MARION, Ind. (WFFT) - Kyle Mangas is continuing to cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in Indiana Wesleyan basketball history.
Kyle Mangas' career at Indiana Wesleyan began with a bang.
The Warsaw grad won Crossroads League player of the year, and helped Indiana Wesleyan to their third national title, scoring 23 points in the championship game and being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
"I'm going, 'what's he gonna do next year?'" said IWU head coach Greg Tonagel. "Like, we better kind of prepare him for a step down, and he goes a step up."
Instead, all Mangas did was keep rising to challenges placed in front of him.
Mangas has rewritten the Wildcat record books, becoming the first player in program history to score 3,000 points.
Kyle Mangas becomes the first player in IWU history to score 3,000 points. The Warsaw native eclipsed 3k on his 8th point of the game in today's 84-82 win over No. 16 Faulkner. Mangas finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. @kmango2 pic.twitter.com/abemOr2bfC
— IWU Hoops (@IWUHoops) January 8, 2021
Adding to that, he is also a three-time First-Team NAIA All-American, a three-time Crossroads League player of the year, and a two-time Crossroads League male athlete of the year.
He was also named the NAIA's player of the year as a junior in 2020.
"I was confident coming in that I could make an impact. But, I didn't think it would get to this level," said Mangas. "I have to give credit to the coaches, because they've always believed that in me, poured confidence in me."
Tonagel added he knew Mangas was going to be good, but he didn't know he'd be as good as is. And neither did other coaches, apparently.
Outside of his offer to IWU, Mangas received no other scholarship offers, but says he isn't upset by it, because he was set on Indiana Wesleyan from the very start.
Tonagel said people will ask for a long time how they missed on Mangas, but for him, it was simple.
"We saw something early on that just piqued our interest. So much for us is culture fit. If you get in the right environment, then you can continue to grow, and Kyle did that."
Kyle has helped grow the Wildcats' program from good to great during his time in Marion.
The team has lost just 18 times in his three-plus seasons, and so far in 2020-21, they are 18-1, ranked number one in the NAIA, and are outscoring teams by nearly 30 points per game.
Mangas is the engine that drives the machine, averaging a team best 28.4 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting, while also ranking first or second on the team in every major offensive and defensive category.
"You can count on him at any time, any point in the game," said fellow senior and Toledo transfer Dylan Alderson. "On defense and offense he's really accountable, and he's just a lot of fun to play with, very talented."
Tonagel called him a once in a generation player, stating that what he's doing just hasn't been done in the history of college basketball.
"We're gonna miss him when he leaves this place, and for me, I'm just trying to savor every moment I have to coach a kid like this," said Tonagel.
Mangas is set to graduate in the spring, but an extra year of eligibility alotted to players because of the COVID-19 pandemic would allow him to come back next fall, if he chooses.
But when the time comes for him to leave the program, Mangas will certainly leave a mark that won't be forgotte on or off the court.
"At the end of the day, the legacy is the type of teammate he is," said Tonagel.
"He's gonna be an incredible family man, an incredible leader, those are the things that make us proud. And truly, at the end of the day, that's your legacy. People forget your talent. But man, your character is what people are gonna remember for a long time, and the kid's full of it."