Leading up to the opening of the 2020-21 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball teams. Today it’s the Kansas State Wildcats.
2019-20 Season Recap
Record: 11-21 (3-15 in Big 12)
Postseason: All postseason tournament action was canceled due the coronavirus. Kansas State was not expected to advance to any postseason tournaments.
Top returning leaders
G Mike McGuirl (6.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg), G Dajuan Gordon (6.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), F Montavious Murphy (5.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg), F Antonio Gordon (4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg).
2019-20 seniors/lettermen lost
G Xavier Sneed (14.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg), C Makol Mawien (7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), G Pierson McAtee. In addition, G Cartier Diarra transferred to Virginia Tech. F James Love III transferred to Eastern Michigan. F Nigel Shadd transferred to Pacific. G David Sloan transferred to East Tennessee. G Shaun Williams transferred to Cal State Bakersfield. F Levi Stockard III transferred to Virginia Commonwealth.
F Davion Bradford, 7-foot, Mehlville (St. Louis, MO); G Luke Kasubke, 6-foot-5, Chaminade (St. Louis, MO); G Selton Miguel, 6-foot-4, West Oaks Academy (Orlando, FL); G Nijel Pack, 6-foot, Lawrence Central (Indianapolis, IN), F Seryee Lewis, 6-foot-9, Compass Prep (Chandler, AZ); G Rudi Williams, 6-foot-3, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (Miami, OK); C Carlton Linguard, 6-foot-11, Temple College (Temple, TX)
It’s a massive class. The inordinate number of transfers prompted some late signings in the April period. Pack is the centerpiece of the high school recruits, as he finished at No. 101 in 247Sports.com’s final player rankings for the 2020 class. Williams is the No. 4 juco recruit in the country and he helped pull the class rating up considerably (No. 35 nationally). Weber and his staff cultivated a solid mix of height and perimeter game, and added to it late with Linguard, the nation’s No. 12 juco recruit.
For 2021, the Wildcats signed Cedarburg, Wisconsin, center Logan Landers, who at 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, could make an immediate impact next season. He’s a national 200 recruit, and since K-State, at the moment, has just one senior on the roster, he could be the Wildcats’ only signing.
Transfers eligible for 2020-21 season
C Kaosi Ezeagu (UT-El Paso). Ezeagu is a bit of an unknown right now, given that he transferred in last mid-season (he received a waiver to play in the fall semester). He is now the tallest player on K-State’s roster with D-I experience. He only averaged 3.2 points per game his freshman year at UTEP, but he led the team in field goal percentage, was the Miners’ best rebounder off the bench and led the team in blocked shots despite only starting eight games. He has an inside presence the Wildcats will sorely need this season.
Transfers expected to sit out in 2020-21: None.
Looking ahead to 2020-21
Get ready to hear the word ‘competition’ come out of the mouth of head coach Bruce Weber leading up to the season. As in, ‘every position is up for grabs.’ Diarra’s transfer robbed the Wildcats of the one player with vast experience that would have been the focal point of their offense and, certainly, their grittiest perimeter defender. Now, the
Wildcats return McGuirl, Murphy, Dajuan Gordon and Antonio Gordon, and if they’re in the opening-night starting lineup it’s only because Weber feels like playing his veterans. That lineup is best written in pencil at this point. But with the influx of talent coming in, who knows? Normally freshmen redshirt, but this year in Manhattan you can expect at least a few to work their way into the lineup immediately, with Pack, Williams and Bradford the most likely to get significant time. One wants to be optimistic about a Wildcat rebound in 2020-21. But with so many moving parts and so few players that have proven anything at the Division I level, one can expect an exciting camp leading up to the regular season, and a lot of tinkering on Weber’s part as he tries to find the eight to ten players that make the most sense going into Big 12 play. A winning record for this team? Hmmmm… let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Remember the Iowa State preview? Remember the point I made about the number of transfers the Cyclones lost and how you could use last year’s TCU team as a guide as to whether the Cyclones might rebound? Apply the same template to Kansas State, but the Wildcats don’t return a player that averaged double-digits in scoring last year like Iowa State does. It’s liable to be another rough season in Manhattan.
**Want to win a $20 gift card? Go sign up here and join our conversation! The best poster each week wins a gift card to your favorite establishment!**