With Will Spradling, Omari Lawrence and Shane Southwell all being seniors this season, the Kansas State Wildcats can use some additional backcourt depth in 2014. On Saturday night the program received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-5 combo guard Tre Harris, a native of Edwardsville, Ill. who currently attends Fishburne Military Academy in Virginia.
Harris is a good perimeter shooter, but he was lightly recruited before making the decision to attend Fishburne after graduating from Edwardsville High school. As a senior there Harris averaged 17 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game on a team that finished with a 31-3 record, but the majority of recruiting attention he received came from mid-major programs. Ultimately the decision to attend prep school paid off for Harris, who picked Kansas State over Delaware and Toledo.
“I liked everything about Kansas State,” Harris told Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle. “Coach (Bruce) Weber and his coaching staff are some guys who know what they are doing. The school has had success and is coming off the Big 12 championship. It’s a good spot in a good conference in the highest level in the country. That is probably what got me here.”
Harris is the second verbal commitment in the 2014 class for head coach Bruce Weber, joining junior college forward Stephen Hurt. And one could count Maine transfer Justin Edwards in the class as well, since he won’t be eligible to play until next season per NCAA transfer rules. Outside of the three seniors mentioned above and junior Nino Williams, Kansas State will have five freshmen competing for playing time on the perimeter with Jevon Thomas not being eligible for game action until the end of the fall semester.
The Wildcat backcourt will consist primarily of underclassmen next season, with Harris looking to compete for minutes when he arrives on campus.
Virginia remained in the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll while Michigan State and Villanova still sit at No. 2 and No. 3 with Xavier once again in fourth.
The biggest change in the poll was that Duke rose to No. 5 after three straight wins; they were No. 12 last week.
Kentucky is still not a part of the top 25.
Here is the full AP Poll:
1. Virginia (42 first-place votes)
2. Michigan State (19)
3. Villanova (4)
t-6. Texas Tech
10. North Carolina
13. Wichita State
16. Ohio State
18. Rhode Island
21. West Virginia
22. Saint Mary’s
24. Middle Tennessee
25. Florida State
Wichita State went into Cincinnati — well, Northern Kentucky — on Sunday evening and landed their biggest win of the season.
They were fired up about it, as you might imagine.
And their locker room celebrating after the win was, as the kids say, litty:
Here’s the funny part to me: This game wasn’t played at Cincinnati. It wasn’t played at Wichita State. It was played at Northern Kentucky, where the Bearcats are playing their home games while they wait for the renovations on their arena to be completed.
Which means that some poor NKU employee that had nothing to do with either of these two programs had to spend the time cleaning up this mess.
Rob Dauster was joined by Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic on today’s show to overreact to everything that happened this weekend, from Villanova pasting Xavier to the insanity that is the Big 12 to what happened in the Big Ten in the last ten days. We also spend a good 30 minutes talking about bubble teams, tournament resumes and some misconceptions with both. The rundown.
OPEN: Bubble Banter. We talk about weird bubble teams and whether or not we like the new Quadrant system.
36:08: Villanova’s win over Xavier and the Big East title race.
45:15: The Big 12 makes no sense and I love it.
58:30: Michigan State deserves the Big Ten title.
The Cougars have now won five straight games, but it was the two games they won this week that set the tone for what the rest of their season can be.
On Thursday night, Cincinnati came to down and Houston dropped them, 67-62, despite digging a double-digit hole in the first half. They followed that up by going into North Philadelphia and poleaxing Temple. They were up 34-11 midway through the first half. They won by 21 points. It was never a question.
And as a result, Houston’s bid to the NCAA tournament is no longer a question so long as they avoid losing to Memphis, East Carolina and UConn. And if they truly are an NCAA tournament team, they’ll get that done.
But perhaps the best piece of news is that the Cougars did all this while Rob Gray did not play well. He’s one of the best players in that conference, and the fact that they were able to right Devin Davis and Corey Davis to wins in two of their most important and toughest games of the league slate is significant.
What happens when Rob Gray gets right?
THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
- WICHITA STATE: Not only did Wichita State land a come-from-behind win over Temple on Thursday night, one where they trailed by 14 points at halftime, but they followed that up by going to Cincinnati and knocking off the then-No. 5 Bearcats.
- MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten due in large part to the fact that they were able to erase a 27-point first half deficit at Northwestern.
- BAYLOR: The Bears look like they are now heading for the NCAA tournament after landing wins at Texas and at home over Texas Tech on Saturday. Now that Scott Drew’s team is healthy, they look like they belong in the top 25.
- ST. BONAVENTURE: The Bonnies might have solidified their bid for the NCAA tournament. As long as they don’t do anything dumb the rest of the season, beating Rhode Island at home on Friday night should be enough for them to get in.
- DUKE: The Blue Devils have now won three straight games after losing Marvin Bagley III to a minor knee sprain, mainly because their defense is now playing at a level that we haven’t seen yet this season. Are the Blue Devils better without Marvin Bagley??? (Hint: No.)
Terry Maston is back from injury and playing the best basketball of his career.
The 6-foot-8 senior was utterly dominant in two critical, close wins this week. It started with 26 points and six boards in a double-overtime win at Texas on Monday night that was something of a play-out game for NCAA tournament purposes.
Then on Saturday, that win was overshadowed. Maston had 24 points and five boards in regular as the Bears knocked off No. 7 Texas Tech for their fifth straight win, and suddenly it looks like Scott Drew’s club will be in the NCAA tournament come Selection Sunday.
All told, in what will arguably be the most important week of the season for Baylor, Maston scored 50 points, or a total of 38 percent of Baylor’s total scoring output in those two games.
Not bad for a guy that came off the bench in both of those wins.
THE ALL-‘THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM
- GRAYSON ALLEN, Duke: In three games without Marvin Bagley III, Duke is now 3-0 thanks to Grayson Allen averaging 22.3 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 42 percent from three. Last week, Duke beating Virginia Tech by 22 points and won at Clemson.
- CALEB and CODY MARTIN, Nevada: The Wolf Pack picked up two road wins this week, including a win at Boise State that gave them the inside track at the Mountain West regular season title. The twins combined to average 42.5 points, 12.5 boards and 4.0 assists in those two wins.
- AARON HOLIDAY, UCLA: The Bruins stayed on track to earn a berth into the NCAA tournament with wins over Oregon and Oregon State. Holiday was the star both nights, going for 17 and 10 assists against OSU and following that up with 29 points, six assists and five boards in an overtime win over Oregon.
- MATT MOBLEY, St. Bonaventure: Mobley averaged 28 points and nine boards as the Bonnies beat La Salle and No. 16 Rhode Island to put themselves in a spot where they can realistically feel good about their chances of getting into the NCAA tournament.
- DEANDRE AYTON, Arizona: Ayton had one of his best games of the season on Thursday night, going for 25 points, 16 boards, four assists and three blocks as the Wildcats picked off Arizona State on the road.