Kansas State University

K-State notes: Nigel Johnson starts at point guard over Jevon Thomas

K-State guard Jevon Thomas didn’t start Wednesday, but he had five points and three assists.
K-State guard Jevon Thomas didn’t start Wednesday, but he had five points and three assists. The Wichita Eagle

Nigel Johnson started his second game of the season against Texas Tech, handling Kansas State’s primary point-guard duties in place of Jevon Thomas.

The change was surprising. Thomas was coming off two of his best games of the season, both K-State victories.

Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said Thomas lost his spot in the starting five during practices earlier in the week.

“He has got to be mature about everything,” Weber said of Thomas. “That is the biggest thing. He has got to learn that you have got to come back after every game and you have got to prepare. He had a couple of great games against TCU and Oklahoma. Now you have got to be just as focused. If you are not, you have got to let somebody else go.”

Johnson responded with two points and one assist in 16 minutes.

Thomas had a better game coming off the bench, finishing with five points and three assists in 24 minutes.

Lesson learned

Texas Tech guard Robert Turner said the Red Raiders were motivated to play well against K-State coming off a 32-point loss at Kansas.

“Nobody wants to lose like that,” Turner said. “We are a better team than we showed that day. We let a team bully us a little bit and that is not our style of basketball. That is not the team that we are.”

Worth noting

▪ K-State has beaten Texas Tech 10 straight times dating back to 2009. Its all-time record against Texas Tech is 21-10.

▪ Justin Edwards had one of his best games coming off the bench for K-State. He finished with nine points, four rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist.

First half

Key play: Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith was whistled for a technical foul with 3:58 remaining. The Red Raiders responded by scoring eight straight points.

Key stat: K-State and Texas Tech combined to make 14 of 15 free throws.

Second half

Key play: Thomas Gipson hit a layup in traffic that put K-State ahead 51-46 in the final minutes.

Key stat: K-State made 11 of 15 free throws.

To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to krobinett@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KellisRobinett.