K-State Sports Extra: Cats Fill Spots with Recruits
By Mark Janssen
Kansas State assistant basketball coach Brad Underwood says, "Only if the right guy, or right transfer comes along," will the Wildcats use the remaining scholarship available for this 2010 recruiting class.
He adds that the offer would go to the "best available" talent, regardless of position and year in school. "We feel real fortunate to have a nice class balance."
Including the three early signees to the 2010 class, K-State's class breakdown for the 2010-11 season would include three seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen.
Of highest priority, Underwood said, "We like our locker room and we like the kids we have coming in. In no way do we want to take a chance of disrupting our locker room and the chemistry that we've established."
K-State's early signees include 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Freddy Asprilla; 6-3, 170-pound Will Spradling; and, 6-7, 220-pound Shane Southwell.
"We filled all the spots that needed filled," Underwood said. "We needed someone to replace Luis (Colon), we needed a big wing, and we needed a point guard. All were priority spots and we filled all three."
Asprilla will be a junior after starting his career at Florida International in 2008-09 when he was named the Sunbelt Freshman of the Year after averaging 17.3 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. With a coaching change, Asprilla transferred this past year to Miami Dade College where he played five games before leaving school for personal reasons.
"It was a combination of factors, but in his best interest not to be there," said Underwood of Asprilla's move. "It's unfortunate that he played so few games and it cost him a year, but he's at Cloud County (Kan.) Community College now trying to graduate."
Of the Florida International experience, however, Underwood said, "That will be huge for him. He's been through a season of college ball, so he understands what it takes to compete at the college level. There will still be an adjustment to this level of basketball, but at least he's been through the rigors of a college game and the speed of a college game. Now, he'll just have to amp it up another notch at the BCS level."
Overall, Underwood called Asprilla "...a very, very skilled physical presence. There aren't many guys in the 6-8 or 6-9 range at 270 pounds that can do the things he can do."
Underwood said Asprilla's size isn't quite as big as Texas' Dexter Pittman, but adds, "His skill set is good. He's not a guy who will play over the rim, but he is a very good passer and has very good instincts, which a lot of big guys don't have."
Southwell, a product of New York City's Rice High School, joins Jordan Henriquez-Roberts and Curtis Kelly as signees from the New York Gauchos AAU program.
"He's not quite as athletic as a Julian Wright (former Kansas Jayhawk), but he's that type of kid," Underwood said. "He can play multiple positions on the perimeter and has the size that allows him to guard. He's a guy like we haven't had in that he's built like Jamar (Samuels), but is a very good ball handler, a very good passer and very good in the open court. He has a versatility that will be a nice addition. He doesn't shoot the ball great, but he has all the other perimeter skills."
Spradling will vie for the vacated point guard position left by senior Denis Clemente. He's a player that Underwood says has "... a good feel for the game. He's a pass-first guy, but has the ability to score the ball. He brings a level of toughness, leadership and intelligence that you want from your point guard."
Underwood said Spradling averaged in the 19- to 20-point range at Shawnee Mission South High School after a 23-point average as a junior and 17 points as a sophomore.