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Kansas State assistant coach calls out Kentucky HC John Calipari

By Victor Barbosa,

Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kansas St. assistant men's basketball coach Jareem Dowling called out Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari on Sunday night, following the teams' second-round NCAA Tournament matchup.

Dowling's Wildcats defeated Calipari's Wildcats , 75-69, behind the efforts of guard Markquis Nowell. The two-time Big 12 All-Defensive team member scored a team-high 27 points, including 23 in the second half.

Nowell is listed at just 5'8".

It's hard to tell if Calipari's comments were a purposeful dig at Nowell, who was animated and perhaps in some minds over the top during his second half eruption, or if it was an innocent comment.

If college basketball fans aren't familiar with Nowell's game yet, they should be now. He was a member of the All-Sun Belt First Team during the 2019-20 campaign with Little Rock before transferring to Kansas St. and not only making back-to-back All-Defensive teams but earning All-Big 12 First Team honors as well.

Nowell led the conference in assists per game this season at 7.8 (second in the NCAA) and free throw percentage (88.7%) and was fourth in points per game (17.1). He's also led the Big 12 in steals per contest in each of the last two years, recording a career-high 2.4 this season.

Calipari earned his lone NCAA title in 2012 with the Wildcats, has been named the College Coach of the Year three times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dowling is in his first season on the Kansas St. bench along with first-year head coach Jerome Tang. According to the Kansas St. men's basketball website, Dowling has "16 years of coaching experience as well as 12 years of international head coach experience," including the last five years as an assistant with North Texas.

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