Kansas State Basketball: Predicting Wildcats' Most Improved Players in 2014-15

Sean Frye@Sean_E_FryeFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

Kansas State Basketball: Predicting Wildcats' Most Improved Players in 2014-15

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Kansas State Basketball is fresh off a season full of ups and downs. Going into the 2014-15 season, Bruce Weber's Wildcats have plenty of players returning who are poised for huge jumps in production. 

    There's Wesley Iwundu, a starting freshman last season who proved to be one of the team's best defenders. This season, he should continue to develop on the offensive side of the ball.

    There's also Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson, both of whom should also take huge steps in the next year.

    With that, let's check out the four guys that should see the most improvement for K-State in 2014-15. 

Nino Williams

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Williams started the season backing up Shane Southwell but ended up taking his starting job at season's end.

    A 4-man out of Leavenworth, Kan. with a nose for the ball and a deadly mid-range shot, Williams was one of K-State's most prized recruits.

    Going into his senior year, Williams may finally live up to his 4-star hype and prove to be one of the Wildcats' most valuable weapons. Despite being just 6'5", Williams is one of the team's most aggressive rebounders, and he'll have more opportunity to eat the glass now that K-State is getting an injection of size with 6'10" Stephen Hurt and 6'11" Brandon Bolden.

Thomas Gipson

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    One of K-State's most vicious players in the paint, Thomas Gipson makes up for his lack of size with his impressive footwork and relentless pursuit of second-chance points. 

    Going into his senior campaign, K-State's success now solely rests on Gipson's shoulders. 

    A big area of improvement the coaching staff is looking for is his ability to shoot from mid-range. Since Gipson is limited in how much contact he can have during summer workouts after having shoulder surgery, he has spent extra time working on his jump shot, which should undoubtedly pay huge dividends come wintertime. 

Nigel Johnson

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    The Big 12 tournament gave K-State fans a glimpse of Nigel Johnson's capabilities as the team's point guard.

    After showing brief, fleeting flashes of his skill, Johnson came out against Iowa State and poured in 17 points for the Wildcats.

    With the departure of Will Spradling, Johnson and fellow rising sophomore Jevon Thomas will battle it out this offseason for the starting point guard spot. But after his strong finish to the season, the job seems to be Johnson's to lose. 

Wesley Iwundu

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    While Marcus Foster is the team's starter, the player with arguably the highest upside and the most pro potential could very well be Wesley Iwundu. 

    The team's starter at the 3-spot last year, Iwundu had a knack for making big plays at crucial junctures. There was the block of Kansas' Tarik Black that sealed the Wildcats' thrilling overtime win, the massive dunk against Kentucky in the NCAA tournament and plenty more. 

    Despite not being perceived as an elite shooter, Iwundu still shot 41 percent from behind the arc and 46 percent from the field. With Southwell gone, K-State will look for guys to replace his offensive production. 

    Those shoes may very well be filled by Iwundu. 


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