A Look at Next Year’s Roster: The New Guys

12 May

Six players have signed on for the 2011-2012 version of the Kansas State Wildcats. Since it seems a little bogus to evaluate players despite not having seen them play, we’ll stick to a brief rundown of each recruit.

Omari Lawrence (Bronx, N.Y./St. John’s) The team’s only Division I transfer comes to Kansas State as a high school star who struggled during his first year in college. The roster at St. John’s included two of his childhood friends from his hometown Bronx. In an article by NYDailyNews.com, Lawrence said that while he will miss his friends, he just needs to get away and get a fresh start. A 6’4″ 220-pound guard, Lawrence will compete for a meaningful role on the Wildcat roster, and if he works hard his odds may be pretty decent, especially since two would-be contenders for guard spots, Nick Russell and Juevol Myles, recently announced they would be transferring.

Jeremy Jones (Chicago, Ill./Seward County [Kan.] Community College) Kansas State will be Jones’ third stop in his college career. He played his freshman season at Western Texas College, averaging 13.4 points per game, and his second at Seward County Community College, where he averaged 18.6 per game and 4.5 assists per game. He’ll be yet another option at guard for the Wildcats, but at 6’2″ and 165 pounds, he may need to bulk up a little to be able to withstand the physicality of Big 12 play. Obviously that’s a matter the coaches and trainer will figure out, and I’m sure they will do so every so competently.

James Watson (Atoka, Okla./Cowley [Kan.] College) Watson will be one of the Wildcats’ options to fill the holes in the frontcourt. The 6’8″ 225-pound forward spent two seasons at Washington State, redshirting the first and playing the second, before transferring to Cowley College and putting up 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Right now the only true forwards on Kansas State’s squad are Jamar Samuels, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, Victor Ojeleye and Nino Williams. The latter two have not seen much playing time. It will be interesting to see how much of a post presence the Wildcats will have this season, as that will play a part in whether Kansas State reverts to its big-man-dominated box-and-one system or its more recent pinch-post offense, which requires more movement.

Angel Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Krop) Floridahoops.com ranked the 5’1″ 165-pound guard as the fourth-best in the state. He was averaging 23 points per game and 6 assists per game before his team’s season was abruptly terminated because one player (a 19-year-old from the Bahamas) was ineligible. His coach was Shakey Rodriguez (no relation), who is well-known in Florida high school basketball and who mentored Kansas State coach Frank Martin.

Thomas Gipson (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) Another forward option for Kansas State will be the 6’7″ 240-pound Gipson. ESPN’s evaluation calls him a “space-eater” who knows how to score over taller and more athletic forwards and has good footwork on both sides of the basket.

Adrian Diaz (Miami, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes) The 7’0″ 205-pound Diaz was the first recruit in Kansas State’s 2011 class, signing with the Wildcats in August of 2010 before even visiting the campus, according to ESPN. One evaluation of Diaz mentioned his strengths as being able to run the floor well and having a solid shot out to 15 feet.

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