Kansas State Wildcats

FAU Coach Dusty May Praises Keyontae Johnson After Crossing Paths at UF

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Kansas State

Kansas State kept its national championship dreams alive on Thursday night after defeating No. 7 seed Michigan State 98-93 in overtime.

The Wildcats were lethal behind their star duo of Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson, who combined for 42 points. It was Nowell who stole the spotlight, setting an NCAA record with 19 assists and added five steals on the day, but Johnson was actually K-State’s leading scorer with 22 points.

Now, the only thing standing between the Wildcats and a Final Four appearance is the Florida Atlantic Owls, who come into the game with a 34-3 record in Dusty May’s fifth season. May is familiar with one-half of the Wildcats’ star duo, as he was an assistant at Florida when Keyontae Johnson was being recruited to be a Gator.

 

At Friday’s pregame media conference, Day was asked about his familiarity with Johnson while in Gainesville. Here’s a look at the interview and what Day had to say about Johnson.

Q. I was trying to square your guys’ timeline and I wasn’t sure, would you have intersected with Keyontae Johnson?

DUSTY MAY: Yeah, I watched him a lot at IMG his junior year and then saw him a little bit at Oak Hill and then his official visit when signed him and spent time with him and his family. So I know Keyontae well. My oldest son, Jack, is a walk-on at Florida, and he was teammate, very close friend. So they had a couple of great moments last night, as well.

Q. What was your biggest takeaway from him?

DUSTY MAY: He played like a 35-year-old veteran at 18 years old. The game is really, really slow in his mind, and that’s very unique when you consider his size, strength, length, athleticism, shooting ability, his ability to drive the basketball. He’s just a really unique talent.

 

Q. When Keyontae went through his episode, I wondered how that impacted you, what you recall your emotions were that day, and did you have any conversations with him or people around him following that?

DUSTY MAY: I talk to Mike White every day, their entire staff. A couple guys on their staff now used to work with me here at FAU. So my son was on the team, my wife was probably at that game. It’s hard for me now like to watch — they showed it on SportsCenter yesterday, and I said, I’ve got to go.

The Wildcats and Owls are scheduled to tip at 5:09 p.m. CT, with K-State favored by two points. Make sure to check out our preview and prediction of the game here.

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