MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang filled his last scholarship for the 2023-24 season with the signing of big man Will McNair Jr. (Philadelphia, Pa./Martin Luther King/New Mexico State/Mississippi State) to a Financial Aid Agreement on Monday afternoon (September 18).
A 6-foot-11, 265-pound forward, McNair arrives at K-State after playing one season (2022-23) at Mississippi State, where he was part of a Bulldog team that won 21 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He also spent 3 seasons (2019-22) at New Mexico State, where he helped the Aggies win 64 games and earn a pair of WAC regular-season championships (2020, 2022) to go with a run to the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
As a graduate transfer, McNair will have one year of eligibility remaining after the NCAA granted Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 sport student-athletes an additional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McNair gives the Wildcats yet more Division I experience, becoming the fourth impactful transfer signed by Tang since the end of the 2022-23 season, joining fellow graduate transfers Tylor Perry (Fort Coffee, Okla./Spiro/ Coffeyville CC/North Texas) and Ques Glover (Knoxville, Tenn./Bearden/Florida/Samford) as well as junior Arthur Kaluma (Glendale, Ariz./Dream City Christian/Creighton).
The quartet have combined for 3,307 points in 348 games played at the Division I level.
All told, McNair has seen action in 116 combined games with 29 starts in his college career at New Mexico State and Mississippi State, leading teams to an 85-34 (.714) record with a pair of 25-win seasons, two regular-season conference championship (2020, 2022), one tournament championship (2022) and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021-22.
McNair has scored nearly 500 points (3.9 ppg.) in his college career on 52.8 percent (196-of-371) shooting from the field to go with nearly 400 rebounds (3.4 rpg.) and 60 plus blocks (0.5 bpg.) while averaging just under 15 minutes (14.7 mpg.) per game. He has 14 career double-digit scoring games, including a career-high 18 points at UTEP on Dec. 3, 2021, while playing at New Mexico State.
McNair also has a pair of double-doubles in his playing career both coming during the 2021-22 season at New Mexico State. He scored 12 points to go with a career-best 15 rebounds vs. Indiana State on Nov. 21, 2021, while he had 14 points and 14 rebounds against Seattle on Feb. 21, 2022.
McNair played in 82 games with 37 starts in his New Mexico State career (2019-22), totaling 336 points (4.1 ppg.) on 55.8 percent (149-of-267) shooting with 278 rebounds (3.4 rpg.) and 46 blocks (0.6 bpg.) in 1,267 minutes (15.5 mpg.). His best season as an Aggie came during the school's remarkable run during the 2021-22 season, as the squad won 27 games, captured both the WAC regular-season and tournament championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after an upset of UConn. He ranked fourth on the team in scoring (6.6 ppg.) and third in rebounding (5.0 rpg.) while hitting on 54.9 percent (101-of-184) from the field.
This past season, McNair helped Mississippi State to a 21-13 overall record, including an 8-10 mark in SEC play, and the school's first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2019. He was one of 6 players to see action in all 34 games, averaging 3.3 points on 45.2 percent (47-of-104) shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 12.6 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 3 times, including a season-high 13 points in a win over rival Ole Miss on Jan. 7, 2023, while twice he scored 10 points in games against Alabama (Dec. 28, 2022) and Florida (Jan. 21, 2023).
Originally from Philadelphia, McNair split his high school career between Parkway Center City Prep School and Martin Luther King High School. His teams averaged more than 19 wins during his junior and senior seasons.
The countdown for the start of the season is underway, as the 15-man roster officially opens practice on Monday, Sept. 25. The lone exhibition is set for Wednesday, Nov. 1 against Emporia State, while the squad hosts first-time opponent Bellarmine in the home opener on Friday, Nov. 10.