K-State added 6-foot-9 PF Neville Fincher to its recruiting class on April 20
K-State 68, Texas Tech 59
The Wildcats and Blue Hens play in first semifinal at 6 pm on ESPNU
The Wildcats host Ospreys on 1-7 FA Appreciation Day at 1 pm
The Wildcats and Cardinals are the first game of a doubleheader
Former Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery is in his first season as associate head coach at Kansas State after being the first hire by first-year head coach Bruce Weber on April 5, 2012. He was promoted to associate head coach on October 2.
"We are very fortunate to have someone like Chris on staff," said Weber. "He has not only been a Division I head coach before at SIU, but also a very successful one. It is very important to have someone like that on staff and essential to the players to have a veteran voice like his when I'm not around."
Lowery has 17 years of coaching experience, which includes assistant coaching stints at Rend Lake College (1995-97), Missouri Southern (1997-2000), Southeast Missouri State (2000-01), Southern Illinois and Illinois. He has been a part of teams that have won more than 300 games and advanced to the postseason on eight occasions.
Lowery is reunited with Weber for the third time after serving as his assistant coach at Southern Illinois (2001-03) and Illinois (2003-04). During that three-year period, the duo helped the Salukis and Fighting Illini to a combined 78-22 (.780) record, including a 43-9 (.827) mark in conference play, with three NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2004.
Lowery arrives at K-State after an eight-year stint (2004-12) as the head coach at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, where he posted a 145-116 (.556) record with four postseason appearances, two Missouri Valley Conference Championships and one State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. His teams averaged 18.1 wins over his tenure, including three 20-win seasons, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on three occasions (2005, 2006, 2007), including a 2007 trip to the Sweet 16. Lowery was twice named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (2005, 2007). He finished his tenure with the fourth-most wins in school history.
Lowery coached two Associated Press honorable mention All-Americans at Southern Illinois, including Darren Brooks in 2005 and Jamaal Tatum in 2007. In addition, his players earned numerous Missouri Valley Conference honors, including two Players of the Year (Brooks and Tatum), four Defensive Players of the Year (Brooks, Randal Falker, Bryan Mullins twice), two Freshmen of the Year (Mullins and Kevin Dillard) and one Sixth Man Award (Tony Young). He saw 12 players earn all-conference honors, including five first-team selections. He also coached 10 players to the MVC All-Defense Team, six to the All-Tournament Team, five to the All-Freshman and All-Bench Teams and four to All-Newcomer and Most Improved Teams.
Lowery began his coaching career at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., in 1995, where he helped the Warriors to a 20-win season. He moved to Missouri Southern in 1997, where he worked three seasons for legendary head coach Robert Corn. After winning 13 and 11 games in his first two seasons, the Lions posted a school-record 30 wins in 1999-2000, including 16 in conference play, and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time. He moved to SE Missouri State as an assistant to Gary Garner in 2000-01, helping the RedHawks to an 18-12 record before moving to SIU. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach to Weber in 2002, helping the Salukis to a 52-15 (.776) record from 2001-03 with back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference titles and consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He followed Weber to Illinois in 2003-04, where he helped the Illini to a 26-7 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. Illinois also captured its first outright Big Ten regular season title in more than 52 years, as Lowery helped coach current NBA players Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Roger Powell and Luther Head.
After a one-year stint at Illinois, Lowery returned to his alma mater as the 12th head coach at Southern Illinois on April 9, 2004. In his first year, SIU posted a 27-8 record, including a 15-3 mark in MVC play, and Lowery became the youngest coach, at the age 32, to ever win Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Salukis won the MVC regular season crown and beat Saint Mary's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2006-07, he helped SIU to its greatest season in school history, as the team won a school-record 29 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006-07. The squad finished with a No. 11 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and earned its highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 4).
Lowery was a standout player for legendary Saluki coach Rich Herrin from 1990-94. Known as a scrappy, hustling player, he helped lead a basketball renaissance at SIU, guiding the Salukis to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1993 and 1994. He helped the school to an 86-37 mark during his playing career, including four postseason appearances and two Missouri Valley Conference titles. He scored 1,225 points and dished out 391 assists in his career. He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from the university in 1995.
Lowery also has some international coaching experience with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant with the U-19 team who won the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. He coached alongside Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Purdue's Matt Painter for a squad that included current NBA players Gordon Heyward, Shelvin Mack, Trey Thompkins, Klay Thompson, Tyshawn Taylor and Kemba Walker.
A native of Evansville, Ind., Lowery, 39, was born on July 7, 1972 and attended Harrison (Ind.) High School. He and wife, Erika, have four children, Lexis, C.J., Kahari and Jazmyn.