Nov. 14, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signings of Tre Harris (Edwardsville, Ill./Fishburne (Va.) Military Prep) and Stephen Hurt (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Northwest Florida State Junior College) on the first day of the Fall National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Harris transferred to Fishburne Military for the 2013-14 season after a four-year career at Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Ill., where he finished No. 4 on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,460 points). A native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Hurt moved to NJCAA national runner-up Northwest Florida State this season after earning Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year honors as a redshirt freshman at Lipscomb in 2012-13.
“We’re pleased to welcome Tre and Stephen to our program,” said Weber. “They are both really good kids from outstanding families and programs that are going to be great fits for our needs for 2014-15. Obviously, looking at our roster, we need more size and skilled big men are hard to find. We got involved with Stephen early. He had a great visit here and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him. With the losses of Will (Spradling) and Shane (Southwell) to graduation, we need more depth on the perimeter and Tre is a big 3-point threat.”
A 6-foot-10, 275-pound forward from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Hurt comes to K-State from community college powerhouse Northwest Florida State Junior College, the NJCAA national runner-up the past two seasons, where he plays for first-year head coach Steve DeMeo. He has helped the 10th-ranked Raiders to a 4-0 record so far, averaging 10.2 points on 65 percent shooting with 4.8 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game in four starts. He has scored in double figures in each of his last two games, including 13 points each vs. No. 14 Lee College and San Jacinto College last weekend. He is also connecting on 81.2 percent from the free throw line.
“Stephen is a very skilled big man in the mold of Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki,” said Weber. “He has the ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter and has touch around the basket. He has really good skills and is a very good passer with good hands. He is a unique story in that he played at Lipscomb a year ago and decided to go to Northwest after his coach was let go. He has lost a lot of weight since high school, which is the key for him to take his game to the next level. He is considered by many as the top big man in the community college ranks and will give us a better inside presence and more versatility next season, playing alongside Thomas (Gipson) and D.J. (Johnson).”
Hurt transferred to Northwest Florida State after two seasons at Lipscomb, where he earned Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game as a redshirt freshman in 2012-13. The No. 2 rebounding and scoring freshman center in the nation, he connected on a team-best 53.5 percent (130-of-243) from the field and knocked down 68.6 percent (83-of-121) from the free throw line. He notched eight double-doubles during the season, including a 23-point, 18-rebound effort against Austin Peay on Dec. 18, 2012 and was named an ESPN.com “Top Performer.” He also had double-doubles in road tilts at Kentucky (12 points and 11 rebounds) and Memphis (15 points and 13 rebounds).
Hurt scored in double figures in 18 of 30 games played, including four 20-point outings and one 30-point effort. He scored a season-high 30 points at Jacksonville on Jan. 2, 2013, connecting on 9-of-13 field goals and 12-of-13 free throws. He also had 20-point performances against Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville at home. Four times he was named the league’s Rookie of the Week.
Hurt redshirted his first season at Lipscomb in 2011-12 after suffering a torn MCL in his left knee during a basketball mission trip to the Dominican Republic in August 2011. He prepped at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, where he averaged 17.3 points and nine rebounds as a senior.
A 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard, Harris chose to attend Fishburne Military Prep in Waynesboro, Va., after a standout high school career at Edwardsville, where he led the Tigers to a 31-3 record and a third-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament as a senior in 2012-13. It marked the school’s first appearance in the state semifinals since 1956. A two-time Associated Press honorable mention All-State selection, he averaged 17 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals as a senior. He connected on 46.4 percent (66-of-142) from 3-point range. He was the third generation to play basketball at Edwardsville, following his grandfather, father and uncle.
“Tre can really shoot the ball and has a really good feel for the game with a high basketball IQ,” said Weber. “He comes from a very good high school program at Edwardsville for head coach Mike Waldo and was a good student, but he decided to go to Fishburne to mature his game and add more weight and strength. Coach Ed Huckaby (at Fishburne) does a great job with his program – plays a great schedule – so this will be a great opportunity for him to develop his game further and get stronger in the coming year.”
Harris has led Fishburne to a 5-1 record and a No. 3 Prep School ranking heading into this weekend’s action, averaging a team-best 19.7 points on 57 percent shooting with a 41 percent clip from 3-point range. He is one of six players from Fishburne that are expected to sign with Division I teams in 2013-14.
Harris comes from a basketball family, as his father, Rob, is an assistant coach at Lewis and Clark Community College, while his uncle, Jon, is an assistant coach for Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee. His mother, LeAnn, was an All-American basketball player at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. The younger Harris is the first Edwardsville High School alum to play at K-State since Fred Barton played for the Wildcats from 1977-80.
K-State (1-1) returns to action on Sunday, as the Wildcats conclude a four-game homestand with Long Beach State (1-1) at Bramlage Coliseum at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for a low as $15 through the Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221.CATS or online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets. The game will also be broadcast on FSN Kansas City.