Kansas State, coming off its first Elite Eight appearance in more than 20 years, is poised to make another run at the Final Four in 2011. But it won’t have Dominique Sutton to help out.
And that’s a good thing. For Sutton.
The 6-5 wing, a starter and defensive star for the Wildcats, announced he’ll transfer to an undisclosed school next season so he can be closer to his girlfriend and two daughters in Durham, N.C. Family over a chance at the Final Four? That’s a no-brainer.
“Being around my kids every day, and having the chance to play in front of my family all the time sounds pretty good,” Sutton told the Kansas City Star. “I love them a lot. I want to be there for them, and be a part of their life. Seeing them grow up is something I want to do.”
Not that K-State saw this coming. Sutton played it close to the chest.
“It was pretty random,” Sutton said. “I don’t think anyone suspected it. I didn’t want to tell them, but it was something I had to deal with.”
The Wildcats will turn to Nino Williams, a four-star recruit from Leavenworth, Kan., who plans to enroll a year early. The 6-5 wing is expected to contribute immediately
“Obviously with the Sutton situation, that has changed the whole outlook and has given him an opportunity now to be on the team, which kind of changed overnight,” Williams’ guardian, Derek Zeck told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “He’s pretty excited. He had to go in and change his whole mindset, from possibly sitting out or redshirting to now having opportunity to play and earn minutes.”
As for Sutton, there’ll probably be high demand for a player with his size, skill and defensive ability. Coaches love those guys.
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