Martin Announces Roster Moves

Head coach Frank Martin returns eight lettermen, including five with starting experience, to go with six newcomers for the 2011-12 season.

May 6, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced several roster changes on Friday with the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent as well as the transfer of two others.

 

Junior college transfers Jeremy Jones (Chicago, Ill./Seward County [Kan.] Community College) and James Watson (Atoka, Okla./Cowley [Kan.] College), Division I transfer Omari Lawrence (Bronx, N.Y./St. John’s) and high school standout Angel Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Krop) will join the Wildcats for the 2011-12 season.  Jones and Watson will both be juniors in the fall, while Lawrence will be a sophomore and Rodriguez a true freshman.    

 

Sophomore guards Juevol Myles and Nick Russell have been released from their athletic scholarships and will transfer to other institutions.  Both leave K-State with two years of eligibility remaining in their careers. 

 

“We are excited to welcome these players to K-State,” said Martin.  “Each addresses a need for the coming year and continues to make us a deeper and more athletic team.  Both James and Jeremy bring tremendous experience at the junior college level, while Omari, like James, has already experienced the highs and lows of playing at the Division I level.  Angel is truly one of the elite high school point guards in the country and will be able to diversify our offense.  He is not only an elite scorer, but he really knows how to involve others on the offensive end.”   

 

A 6-foot-2, 165-pound shooting guard from Chicago, Ill., Jones comes to K-State from Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan., where he earned third team NJCAA All-America honors as a sophomore in 2010-11.  He helped the Saints to a Jayhawk West Conference title and a berth in the Region VI Championship game, where they lost to Coffeyville Community College, 73-69.  A starter in 30 of 34 games, Jones averaged a team-best 18.6 points on 48.9 percent shooting, including 37.2 percent from 3-point range, with 4.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 32.3 minutes per game.  He paced the Saints in nearly every offensive category, including scoring, field goals, 3-point field goals, free throws and assists.  He scored in double figures in 32 games, including 15 20-point contests.  He was named conference most valuable player as well as first team All-Region VI and all-league.   

 

Jones played his freshman season at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, where he averaged 13.4 points in 2009-10.  He came to the Westerners after a standout prep career at Simeon High School in Chicago, which is the same alma mater as the Chicago Bulls’ star Derrick Rose.  He averaged 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and one block as a senior in 2008-09 en route to earning all-conference honorable mention all-state honors. 

 

He selected K-State over a number of scholarship offers, including Arizona State, Houston and South Florida.

 

Lawrence continues K-State’s pipeline to the Empire State where the Bronx, N.Y., native played one season at St. John’s before sitting out the 2010-11 season to take classes at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan.  He is the sixth player from New York to sign for the Wildcats in the last five years, which includes former Red Storm player Jermaine Maybank (2006-07; Bronx), Curtis Kelly (2009-11; Bronx), Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (2009-current; Port Chester), Devon Peterson (2010-current; Brooklyn) and Shane Southwell (2010-current; Harlem).

 

A 6-foot-4, 220-pound guard, Lawrence helped St. John’s to a 17-16 overall record and a trip to the NIT as a true freshman in 2009-10 under former head coach Norm Roberts.  He saw action in 25 games as a rookie, averaging 2.5 points on 34.7 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range, with 1.5 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.5 assists in 9.3 minutes per game.  He appeared in 10 Big East contests, averaging 2.4 points in 7.4 minutes per outing.  He scored in 19 games, including a season-best eight points against Villanova on Jan. 23, 2010.

 

Lawrence prepped at the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn., where he helped the Cardinals to a 26-7 record and an appearance in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) title game in 2008-09.  He averaged 14.1 points 6.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds as a senior for South Kent, which rattled off 16 straight wins during the regular season.  He scored 25 points for the New York City Team in the Jordan Classic Regional game at Madison Square Garden on April 18, 2009, helping the squad to a 129-120 win over the Suburban team.  He starred at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx before transferring to South Kent as a senior.  He averaged 18 points as a junior en route to earning first team All-City distinction from the New York Daily News and first team all-league honors from the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) in 2007-08. 

 

He chose St. John’s after earning scholarship offers from a number of schools, including Georgetown, Clemson, Auburn, Arizona, Memphis, Pittsburgh and Xavier.   

 

One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Rodriguez continues K-State’s strong connection to the state of Florida.  He is the fourth player from Miami to ink with the Wildcats, joining fellow Krop High School standout Luis Colon (2006-10), Denis Clemente (2008-10; University of Miami/Calusa Prep) and fellow signee Adrian Diaz (Miami, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes).  Rodriguez was coached by legendary Florida high school coach Shakey Rodriguez (no relation), who mentored Martin at Miami Senior High School.   

 

Rated as the No. 4 prospect in the Sunshine State by FloridaHoops.com, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound guard was a three-year letterman at Krop High School, where he helped the Lightning to the Class 6A state final four as a junior in 2009-10.  A two-time first team All-Class 6A selection, he averaged 23 points and six assists as senior before the season was cut short due to the use of an ineligible player.  Krop was the No. 1 team in the state and 11th in the nation by ESPN Rise at the time of the suspension, reducing the team’s record from 20-3 to 1-22.  Rodriguez averaged 20.9 points, seven assists and 3.9 rebounds as a junior, helping the Lightning to a 26-6 overall record.  He was named the Miami Herald’s 2009-10 Class 6A Player of the Year as well as second team All-Florida (all classifications).  He was also selected to the Herald’s first team All-Dade County three times.     

 

He received scholarship offers from a number of schools, including Louisville, Florida and N.C. State.

 

A 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward from Atoka, Okla., Watson spent the past year at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan., guiding the Tigers to a 25-8 overall record and a tie for second place in the Jayhawk East Conference in 2010-11.  The squad lost in the Region VI semifinals to Seward County Community College and future teammate Jeremy Jones, 71-67.  He averaged 10.4 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks in 29 games as a sophomore.  He ranked second on the team in rebounding and blocked shots and third in scoring.  He posted double figures 16 times, including three 20-point games, and tallied four double-doubles.  One of his double-doubles came in the Region VI semifinal loss to Seward County with 22 points and a season-best 12 rebounds.        

 

Watson came to Cowley after two seasons at Washington State, where he played for head coach Ken Bone from 2008-10.  He redshirted as a true freshman in 2008-09 before playing in 29 games as a redshirt freshman in 2009-10.  He helped the Cougars to a 16-15 overall record, including posting six points and three rebounds in an 86-69 loss to K-State on Dec. 5, 2009 at Bramlage Coliseum.  He averaged 1.8 points on 50 percent shooting with 1.8 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per game.  He scored in 15 games, including a season-high seven points against Oregon State on Jan. 2, 2010. 

 

Watson was a three-year letterman at Stringtown High School in Atoka, Okla., where he led the squad to a pair of Class B State Championships.  He was twice selected first team all-conference as well as mention on the state all-tournament team as a junior and senior.    

 

He chose K-State after receiving interest from a number of schools, including Georgia State and Oklahoma State. 

 

The quartet joins the previously announced signings of high school standouts Diaz and Thomas Gipson (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill).  Both Diaz and Gipson are ranked among the Top 150 players in the country by a number of recruiting services, including Rivals.com.  

 

A 6-foot-1, 200-pound guard from Ajax, Ontario, Myles averaged 2.1 points on 63.2 percent shooting this past season with 0.3 rebounds in 4.7 minutes per game.  He saw action in 19 games with a season-best 12 points against North Florida on Dec. 31.  He came to K-State from Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College.   

 

A 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard from Duncanville, Texas, Russell averaged 4.2 points on 37.1 percent shooting in 2010-11 with 1.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 12.2 minutes per game.  He appeared in 25 games, including 14 starts, posting double figures three times.  Russell appeared in 46 games in his two-year career, averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per outing.   He came to K-State after a prep career at Grace Preparatory Academy.        

 

“Juevol and Nick have decided to continue their playing careers at other schools,” said Martin.  “We appreciate their contributions to the program and wish them the best in the future.”  

 

K-State returns eight lettermen, including five with starting experience, to go with its six newcomers for the 2011-12 season.  The Wildcats will enter the campaign with a string of five consecutive 20-win seasons and five straight postseason appearances.  The squad posted a 23-11 overall record in 2010-11, including a tie for third place in the Big 12 standings with a 10-6 mark, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.  They will enter the season with eight upperclassmen, including three seniors (Victor Ojeleye, Devon Peterson and Jamar Samuels).