Hoops Class Rated Among Top 20
Hoops Class Rated Among Top 20
MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State’s fortunes in men’s basketball continue to skyrocket, as its recent recruiting class has been judged one of the nation’s best.
The Wildcats’ five-man recruiting class was ranked among the final top 20 by both major recruiting services released in the past week, including No. 16 by ESPN Scouts, Inc., and No. 18 by Rivals.com. It marks the second time in the past three seasons that K-State has pulled down a consensus top-20 recruiting class in basketball after the 2007 class was ranked No. 1 by most services.
The five-man recruiting class is led by McDonald’s All-American Wally Judge. Regarded as one of the top power forwards in the country, Judge is rated among the top 20 prospects by both services, including No. 15 in the ESPNU100 by ESPN Scouts, Inc., and No. 18 in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from Washington, D.C., has already been named to several All-America squads, including to the first team by ESPNRise.com and second team by Parade magazine. Judge, along with teammate and fellow signee Rodney McGruder, led Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) to its state record-tying fifth consecutive Class 2A state title in 2008-09. He averaged 18.5 points on 64.5 percent shooting with 17.1 rebound per game as a senior and posted a double-double in 30 of 32 games.
McGruder, a fellow Washington, D.C., native, is considered one of the top shooting guards in the nation. He ranks among the top 100 by both services and was recently named co-MVP of the Reebok All-American Game, where he posted a team-high 24 points and seven rebounds. The 2009 Florida Times-Union Player of the Year, McGruder averaged a team-best 23 points per game for Arlington Country Day as a senior on 51.5 percent shooting to go with 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
The class also includes one of the top point guard prospects in the country in Dallas, Texas, native Nick Russell. Rated as the No. 4 player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2009 by Texashoops.com, Russell led Grace Preparatory Academy to a 31-5 overall record this past season and to the TAPPS 5A-4A state title game for the third consecutive season. He averaged 17.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as a senior en route to earning first team all-state honors for the second straight season.
One of the top prep school big men, Jordan Henriquez, will join K-State from The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass. A 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward from New Rochelle, N.Y., helped the squad to a 22-13 overall record in 2008-09 and an appearance in the National Prep Championship. He averaged 11 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game this past season after a successful career at Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y.
The most recent addition to the class is Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shooting guard Martavious Irving. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard from Boyd Anderson High School helped the Cobras to 55 wins the past two seasons, including a 25-3 overall record in 2008-09. A unanimous selection to the Class 6A-5A-4A All-Broward first team by both the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Irving averaged 15.4 points on 55.2 percent shooting with 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as a senior.
The class doesn’t include Connecticut transfer Curtis Kelly, who will be eligible in 2009-10 after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. A former five-star recruit out of Rice High School in New York City, Kelly averaged 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game for the Huskies from 2006-08.
The newcomers will join a Kansas State team that returns four starters and eight total letterwinners from a 2008-09 season in which the squad posted a 22-12 overall record and tied for fourth in the Big 12 standings with a 9-7 record. The Wildcats advanced to the postseason for the third consecutive season, where they lost to San Diego State in the second round of the NIT.