Kansas State will likely have to compete in this week’s Big 12 tournament without star senior forward Dean Wade.
Injuring his foot on Saturday in a Wildcat win over Oklahoma, Wade played the rest of the game, but later felt “discomfort in his foot,” according to Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber.
“We probably doubt he will be in the Big 12 Tournament,” Weber said about Wade on Monday. “But you never know. We are hoping for the best. But, at the same time, we want, if possible, to have him healthy down the road.”
Accustomed to playing in the postseason without Wade after he sat out last year’s NCAA tournament, this is not the news Kansas State was hoping for. The No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament has already been without sophomore guard Cartier Diarra for the last few weeks as losing Wade is another huge loss.
Wade is averaging 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on the season while shooting 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range.
(H/t: Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star)
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.