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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

September 15th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Kansas State Wildcats

Overall Rank: #57

Conference Rank: #7 Big 12

 

2005-06: 15-13, 6-10, 7th (t)

2005-06 postseason: none

 

It didn’t take long for new coach Bob Huggins to put his stamp on the Kansas State program.  And what a difference a coach like Huggins makes.  For the first time in a long, long time the Wildcats are beginning to have preseason expectations. 

 

Who’s Out: Center Tyler Hughes was dismissed from the squad after averaging 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game off the bench last year.  Dramane Diarra started 27 games last season at forward and averaged 5.2 points and 5.3 boards during his senior campaign.  Little used forwards Mark Frederick and Kyle Taylor have also run out of eligibility.  Curtis Allen and Mario Taybron are transferring out and little used Josh Campbell and Schyler Thomas have wrapped up their careers at Kansas State.

 

Who’s In: The frontcourt will find some help with Jason Bennett and Luis Colon.  Bennett, at 7-3, is the tallest player in K-State history and will be a defensive presence as a freshman.  Bennett can play facing the basket and his size will be an asset.  His post moves need some work, but there is plenty of potential for a big freshman season.  Colon is a solid shot blocker and rebounder and is expected to develop into a quality option off the bench or compete for the starting gig at the power forward spot.  Blake Young, a transfer from Daytona Beach Community College in Florida, will see significant minutes at the one and two spots.  One of the top rated juco’s in the nation, Young is a tremendous scorer and averaged 23.4 points last year.  Point guard Ray Brewer will add some depth at that position and walk-on Ryan Patzwald will join the team for the 2006-2007 campaign.

 

Who to Watch: The two guard spots will be filled by Young and returnees Clent Stewart, Lance Harris and Akeem Wright.  Stewart is not a prolific scorer, but after two years of effectively running the KSU offense, he will be looked to once again for leadership.  Harris is an experienced shooting guard, averaging 10.7 points per game last year.  However, Harris might be forced to work off the bench for his senior campaign.  Wright proved to be quite effective during his first season in Manhattan.  He is a solid rebounder and will battle for the starting shooting guard spot.

 

Final Projection: The status of Cartier Martin is uncertain after being suspended indefinitely by the school.  Even without the 18.0 points per game, the Wildcats are deep at the small forward spot.  David Hoskins averaged 13.1 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior, but either Hoskins or Martin are likely to see most of their minutes at the four.   The talent on the wings is extraordinary, but the experience up front is an issue and the newcomers will have to adjust quickly.  If that happens, Coach Huggins will have KSU in the NCAA for the first time since 1996.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

 

Projected Starting Five:

Clent Stewart, Junior, Guard, 4.6 points per game

Akeem Wright, Senior, Guard, 6.2 points per game

Cartier Martin, Senior, Guard, 18.0 points per game

David Hoskins, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game

Jason Bennett, Freshman, Center, DNP last season

58 Bucknell » Complete List » 56 Oregon

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