Huggins announces recruiting class


MANHATTAN, Kan.
Kansas State men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on the first day of the fall signing period on Wednesday. 

The four-man recruiting class, which is considered by several analysts as one of the nation’s best classes, includes consensus No. 1 recruit Michael Beasley (Notre Dame ( Mass.) Prep/Washington, D.C.), Fred Brown (Dwyer High/West Palm Beach, Fla.), Jacob Pullen (Proviso East/Maywood, Ill.) and Dominique Sutton (The Patterson School/Durham, N.C.).

“We are excited to announce the addition of Mike, Fred, Jacob and Dominique to our basketball program,” said Huggins.  “With the loss of so many seniors, especially on the perimeter, we were looking to fill a lot of needs with this class.  We had to get more athletic and this is an extremely athletic class.  These four individuals will be great additions to the foundation we have already put in place.”

The headliner of this class, Beasley is a 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward originally from Washington, D.C., who transferred to Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., for his senior season after spending the previous year at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.  As a junior, he averaged 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game in helping Oak Hill win a school-record 40 games (with just one loss) and finish with a No. 2 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25 High School poll and a No. 3 ranking in the final Student Sports FAB 50 poll.  He also recorded 21 double-doubles.       

“Obviously, Mike is a special player,” said Huggins.  “I think rarely does a player combine his athleticism and skill level.  He is capable of playing four positions on the floor on both ends of the court.  We look for Mike to be a tremendous difference-maker for us in games.”

Considered one of the most highly-regarded high school recruits to ever join the Kansas State program, Beasley is rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 5 prospect by Scout.com.  Both services rated him as the top power forward in the country.  He was selected to the 2006 Parade magazine All-America Boys’ Basketball second team.  Beasley was one of just three non-seniors named to the first three All-America teams by USA Today, as he was named to the All-USA High School Boys’ Basketball All-America third team.  In addition, he was one of just four juniors on the 20-man EA Sports High School Boys’ Basketball First Team and a Slam magazine All-American.

In addition to his high school success, Beasley has also excelled on the international front for Team USA , where he is a member of the under-18 National Team.  This past summer, he helped theU.S. to a perfect 4-0 record and a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men in San Antonio, Texas.  The team leader in both scoring (13.8) and rebounding (8.3), Beasley helped the squad to convincing wins over Uruguay (111-64), Brazil (90-66), Canada (92-66) and Argentina (104-82).

Beasley ranked third at the FIBA tournament in rebounding, fifth in offensive rebounds (3.75), eighth in both field goal percentage (.525; 21-of-40) and defensive rebounds (4.5), 10th in scoring, 12th in free throw percentage (.684; 13-of-19) and 13th in steals (1.50).  He led the squad in scoring against Uruguay with 17 points, while he was leader in rebounds (11), assists (4) and steals (3) against Brazil .

As a sophomore, Beasley averaged 28.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game in helping Riverdale Baptist ( Md.) to a 33-1 overall record and the state championship.  For his efforts, he was named to the Washington Post All-Met first team.  He averaged 30.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as a freshman helping National Christian Academy ( Md.) to a 30-0 record.

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Fred Brown comes to Kansas State from William T. Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he saw action in 20 games as a junior in 2005-06.  Rated the 13th-best player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com, Brown led the Panthers to an 18-3 overall record and a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play en route to a No. 7 final ranking in the FHSAA Class 5A Power 12 ranking by FloridaHoops.com.    

“Fred is an exceptional passer,” said Huggins.  “He has great floor vision with quick feet and extremely long.  He has the potential to be a lockdown defender and a player that others will want to play with because of his great vision and passing ability.”

Brown averaged 12.3 points and 6.0 assists per game en route to earning both all-county and all-area honors as a junior.  He scored in double figures on 15 occasions, including a season-high 19 points against both Suncoast High (12/6/05) and Jupiter High (2/4/06).  He played AAU basketball for Team Breakdown and the Tallahassee Wildcats this past summer.

A 6-foot-1 point guard, Jacob Pullen arrives at K-State from the legendary Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill., which produced NBA stars Doc Rivers, Jim Brewer, Michael Finley, Dee Brown, Shannon Brown.  Pullen is rated the No. 7 player in the state of Illinois by ChicagoHoops.com and No. 13 in the Illinois Hoops Super 25 by Rivals.com, while Scout.com ranks him the 28th-best shooting guard in the nation.  He named among the Top 50 boys basketball players by the Chicago Tribune.

“Jacob gives us someone with exceptional speed with the ball,” said Huggins.  “He brings great ability and great personality to the floor.  He comes from a great high school program that produced Doc Rivers, Dee Brown, Shannon Brown and Michael Finley.  Jacob certainly has the potential to be a player of that caliber at this level.”

A two-year starter for Proviso East, Pullen averaged 18.9 points, 7.0 assists and 3.0 steals in helping the Pirates to a 26-6 overall record and both regional and sectional championships. He was named to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times All-State teams as well as first team all-conference and all-area. As a sophomore, he helped the team to a 28-4 record en route to both regional and sectional titles.

One of the top shooting guards in the country, Dominique Sutton comes to Kansas State from The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C.  The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 57 overall prospect by Scout.com and No. 131 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  Sutton is also ranked among the top-50 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 11 by Scout.com, No. 21 by High School Hoops magazine and No. 39 by Rivals.com.  In addition, he is rated the No. 2 player in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com.

“Dominique gets to the ball better than any high school player that I have seen,” said Huggins.  “He is extremely athletic with great anticipation.  He consistently makes plays around the ball.  He is potentially a great player at both ends of the floor.”

Sutton recently scored 24 points on 12-of-16 field goals to go with nine rebounds in Patterson’s win over powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in an exhibition game.  Prior to transferring to Patterson last season, he averaged 19.7 points as a sophomore for Durham (N.C.) Jordan High School, guiding the Falcons to a 19-8 overall record and the 4-A Western Regional semifinals.  He was named to The Associated Press All-State second team and was the Durham Sun-Herald Player of the Year.  Sutton played his AAU ball alongside fellow recruit Michael Beasley with the DC Assault.

Sutton chose K-State after receiving scholarship offers from Kansas, Illinois and Wake Forest.

The recruiting class is already receiving high marks from recruiting analysts across the country, with both Scout.com and Rivals.com rating it the No. 1 class in the country.

“ Kansas State, with the addition of Bill Walker and Michael Beasley, narrowly edged out Syracuse for tops in 2007,” said Dave Telep, national recruiting analyst for Scout.com.  “In the end, having a pair of Top 10 talents in the same class was the push that gave Bob Huggins the edge.”

“This is going to wind up as the marquee basketball recruiting class in the history of Kansas State basketball,” said Telep.  “I have rated this class as the best one in the country with the presence of Michael (Beasley) and Bill ( Walker).  This is truly new territory for this program to sign two players that rank in the top-10 nationally at their respective position.  This class will define the Bob Huggins’ era at Kansas State.  It is an enormous step for the program and will make everyone stand up and take notice at what is going on in Manhattan, Kansas.”

“Going into the early signing period, we have Kansas State as our No. 1 recruiting class,” said Jerry Meyer, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.  “This is counting Bill Walker, who obviously is already enrolled at K-State and will play this season.” 

“There are two superstars in No. 1 Michael Beasley and No. 6 Bill Walker and a strong supporting cast in Dominique Sutton, Jacob Pullen and Fred Brown,” said Meyer.  “Those three guys are all solid 3-star guys and the type of players that Coach Huggins has had tremendous success with over the years.  They all have solid all-around games, are strong defensively and play very hard.”

“The class is highlighted by the two legitimate superstars in Michael and Bill,” said Meyer.  “Those guys are ready to make a significant impact at the college level.  They are what I call physically-mature.’  They are ready for Big 12 basketball right now.  However, both are different players.  Michael is an extremely talented power forward with an impressive all-around game.  He is going to impact the team in so many ways.  He can really score the ball and is dominate defensively.  Bill is one of the most athletically-gifted players that I have seen on the circuit in many years.  This is a great class for K-State.”