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Big guards represent in the NBA but in college basketball, especially during March Madness, smaller guards continue to prove their worth. That holds true again this year with Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell.
Nowell, the Wildcats’ point guard, is forging a name for himself as the leader of the team and the next unheralded guard to forge a name for himself during the tournament.
We see this in almost every tournament, where one player elevates his game, shines above others and becomes a tournament legend. We saw it with players like Steph Curry, Jimmer Fredette, Shabazz Napier and Kemba Walker. They were great players, but they cemented their legacies in the tournament.
Nowell has entered that zone and holds a special connection and bond with Walker in particular, as they hail from an elite group with a storied tradition.
New York City point guards.
If you watched the Showtime documentary NYC Point Gods, you understand the history, importance, significance and legacy of the point guard position in NY. If you are placed in that role, you have to represent, for you’re carrying the weight of a storied job on your shoulders.
During March Madness, Nowell has put that weight on his 5’8 frame and is doing what other NY point guard greats have done.
Show and prove.
On Thursday night, Nowell put on a show. He put the team on his back and made history in the process by setting the new tournament single-game assists record with 19 in an overtime victory over Michigan State. He also now has the most assists (42) through the Sweet 16 since 1984.
Not only did he control the game and make history, Markquis did it in front of his hometown crowd at Madison Square Garden after suffering an ankle injury in the first half. In a week when Knicks legend Willis Reed passed away, it’s ironic to see Nowell, like Reed, overcome an injury and lead the team to victory in the very place where Reed did the same for the Knicks in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals.
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