Kansas State Basketball: Meet the New Additions in 2014-15
Kansas State experienced plenty of highs in lows in 2013-14, including a season-opening loss to Northern Colorado, wins over Gonzaga and Kansas and a first-round exit in the NCAA tournament to eventual runner-up Kentucky.
2014-15 could see the Wildcats get back to Big 12 title contention though, thanks largely in part to the influx of talent arriving in the Little Apple.
New to the Wildcats this winter will be Top 100 recruit Malek Harris, two highly regarded transfers in Justin Edwards and Stephen Hurt, as well as three other fresh faces to make up for the losses of Will Spradling, Shane Southwell and Omari Lawrence.
Let's meet the six players that'll soon call Manhattan, Kansas, home.
NOTE: All recruiting rankings according to 247sports unless otherwise noted
The prized recruit of Bruce Weber's 2014 class is without a doubt small forward Malek Harris.
A 4-star recruit, Harris officially signed with K-State in early May after initially committing to Marquette. When Buzz Williams took the Virginia Tech job, he opened up his options and finally settled with Weber.
Harris is a terrific athlete that provides immediate depth at the 3-spot, which for now includes just Wesley Iwundu, the incumbent starter.
Harris has a chance to be one of the best freshman in the Big 12 should he be able to find the floor for K-State.
A shooting guard out of Illinois, Tre Harris is an unrated prospect with good size and a good shooting stroke.
Harris is 6'5" and 180 pounds, so he's a tad lanky for his size. But the Wildcats could use some depth at shooting guard to provide some depth behind Marcus Foster, the team's leading scorer last year.
Harris isn't a big-time name by any means. According to 247sports, his only offer was from K-State. But a shooter can always find a place in college basketball.
Besides, it's not like Harris will be asked to do much with Foster playing over him.
A pure shooter out of Texas, Evan Beucler will walk on to Kansas State and replace Ryan Schultz, a walk-on last year who is graduating.
There's not much to really say about an incoming walk-on. But the more shooters any team has, the better.
Brandon Bolden, a transfer forward from Georgetown, joined the Wildcats this past season and sat out due to transfer rules.
Bolden flamed out in the nation's capital, playing just five minutes over the course of the season.
But he's shown flashes of athleticism, and a fresh start with a coaching staff that's going through a rebirth of its own could be exactly what Bolden needs.
In terms of necessity, K-State's biggest weakness last year was its depth down low, where it was limited to basically Thomas Gipson, Shane Southwell and D.J. Johnson.
With Bolden being thrown into the mix, the Wildcats get a much-needed dose of height into their lineup.
It's not often that you get to inherit a guy that once posted a double-double on Nerlens Noel and Kentucky.
But that's what K-State gets in incoming transfer big man Stephen Hurt.
After spending two years at Lipscomb, Hurt transferred out and spent the last season at Northwest Florida State College.
Then, he decided to take his talents to Manhattan, where he'll likely immediately compete for a starting job. Hurt spent his first season at Lipscomb sidelined with a knee injury, so that's an area of concern.
In the one season he played at Lipscomb, he averaged 11.5 points and nearly eight rebounds per game. Now he'll either back up or partner with Thomas Gipson to provide a scary-good frontcourt for the Wildcats.
Perhaps the most anticipated arrival to the K-State roster this offseason is Maine transfer guard Justin Edwards.
Edwards, who joined K-State last year with Brandon Bolden, had to sit out 2013-14 due to transfer rules. But that didn't stop him from electrifying crowds at Bramlage Coliseum.
During the preseason "Madness in Manhattan" event, Edwards dominated the dunk contest, giving fans a brief glimpse of the type of freakish athleticism that he'll inject into K-State this year.
The biggest problem for Edwards will be where he fits into the lineup. He'll either play the 2 or 3.
If he lines up at shooting guard, he'll be backing up Marcus Foster, which could inhibit his productivity. There's speculation that Foster could move to the point guard to open up the spot for Edwards, but then that creates a log jam at point guard that includes Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas.
If he lines up at small forward, he would either have to dethrone Wesley Iwundu from the spot or back him up as well. Iwundu was arguably K-State's best defender, so Weber and Co. would like to keep him in the rotation.
Whatever K-State decides to do with Edwards, he'll be a welcome addition and could thrust K-State back into the conversation for a Big 12 title.
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