K-State Sports Extra: Asprilla Can't Wait

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Wildcat fans, don't worry about the loss of bulk that Luis Colon provided in the paint this year because even bigger size is on its way with Wildcat signee Freddy Asprilla, a 6-foot-8, 280 pounder.

Smiling, Asprilla says of his weight, "It might be a few more pounds than that right now."

Asprilla is currently attending Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., after starting the academic year at Miami Dade College.

"I played five games, but things just weren't working out," said Asprilla, a native of Villanicencio, Columbia, who moved to the United States three years ago.

After moving to the USA, Asprilla attended The Patterson School, which also produced K-Staters Jamar Samuels and Dominique Sutton.

He would then enroll at Florida International for the 2008-09 season where he averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds in earning Freshman of the Year honors in the Sunbelt Conference.

With a coaching change of Sergio Rouco leaving and Isiah Thomas arriving, Asprilla said, "The new system wasn't a good fit for me."

"It was a combination of factors, but in his best interest not to be there," said K-State assistant coach Brad Underwood of Asprilla's move. "It's unfortunate that he played so few games and it cost him a year, but he's at Cloud County Community College now trying to graduate."

Of the Florida International experience, however, Underwood said, "That will be huge for him. He's been through a season of college ball, so he understands what it takes to compete at the college level. There will still be an adjustment to this level of basketball, but at least he's been through the rigors of a college game and the speed of a college game. Now, he'll just have to amp it up another notch at the BCS level."

Overall, Underwood called Asprilla "...a very, very skilled physical presence. There aren't many guys in the 6-8 or 6-9 range at 270 pounds that can do the things he can do."

Knowing the Miami background of Frank Martin, Kansas State has now become Asprilla's next school of choice.               

"He's a guy who commands double-team attention," said Martin. "To be one of the elite teams in the Big 12, one thing we need is to have a tremendous depth in the front court and Freddy is a huge young man. He has great hands and a great feel for how to play the game. He will give us a tremendous presence around the rim on both ends of the floor."

As for Asprilla, who worked out, but did not play with the Cloud County team this past winter, he can't wait to get started.

Of Bramlage Coliseum, he says, "It's crazy. I love the gym and the crowd."

And of Martin, "He seems hard, but fair. I'm only going to get better under him."