Markquis Nowell’s performance in Kansas State’s men’s NCAA tournament win against Michigan State on Thursday was the talk of the sports world. In a return to the city where he played high school basketball, New York, Nowell put up 20 points and 19 assists, including an iconic alley-oop to Keyontae Johnson late in overtime.
Nowell was not afraid to talk trash on the court, and that included celebrities attending the game at Madison Square Garden. Right before that alley-oop, Nowell appeared to turn to the crowd and shout “Watch this” at a few notable fans.
“I was talking to Isiah Thomas, because I think he had a friend over there, and he was rooting for them and I’m like ‘Y’all not going to win today,’” Nowell said after the game. “And I just kept looking at him for some added motivation.”
That friend that Nowell was referencing happened to be Michigan State legend Mateen Cleaves, the star of the Spartans’ 2000 National Championship team.
The guts for Nowell to throw up an alley-oop in a tie game with a minute left in overtime shows how much he believes in himself as a player. His willingness to talk trash to what seems to be anybody and everybody shows how much he enjoys letting people know how good he is.