This past week has been a busy one for Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and his staff, with two Class of 2015 prospects verbally committing to join the program next season. Four days after guard Barry Brown made his decision to become a Wildcat, 6-foot-9 forward Dean Wade followed suit. Wade’s a native of St. John, Kansas, and his verbal pledge makes him the first in-state product to commit to Kansas State during Weber’s tenure.
News of Wade’s commitment was first reported by Brett Regan of Rivals.com.
As a junior Wade averaged 21.9 points, eight rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game on a team that went 26-0 and won a Kansas Class 2A state title. His playing during the spring and summer that led to added interest from mid- and high-major programs, and in the end Dean picked Kansas State over schools such as Creighton, Iowa, Vanderbilt and Wichita State. Rivals.com currently has Wade ranked 107th in the Class of 2015.
Dean, who also had praise for the Kansas State coaches and fan base, told Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle that the closeness of the team was one reason why he made the decision to commit to the Big 12 program.
“Everything about Kansas State excites me,” Wade said. “The team is really family oriented. They are always around each other, always having fun. Then they go play basketball and they are serious. It’s just a really good group to be around.”
Kansas State will lose two forwards at the end of the 2014-15 season, as both Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson are seniors. Among the front court players who will return in 2015 are sophomores Wesley Iwundu and Brandon Bolden, and freshman Malek Harris. In total Kansas State has three 2015 verbal commitments, with Brown and Wade joining Eric Cobb in the Wildcats’ recruiting haul.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.