Martin Inks Three During Signing Period
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State men's basketball coach Frank Martin announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent on Friday during the recently ended fall signing period.
The three-man recruiting class includes junior college forward/center Freddy Asprilla (Villanicencio, Colombia/Miami Dade College) and high school guards Shane Southwell (Bronx, N.Y./Rice High School) and Will Spradling (Overland Park, Kan./Shawnee Mission South High School).
"Once again, we are ecstatic about the work of our assistant coaches in going out and rounding up three individuals that we wanted in our program," said Martin. "We've continued to add size and athleticism to our basketball team. We have continued to build depth, which is one of the things that is required to continue to play the way that we want to play, continue to compete with the elite teams in the Big 12 and continue to aspire to win a Big 12 Championship."
The most experienced member of the class, Freddy Asprilla is a 6-foot-10, 280-pound center originally from Villanicencio, Colombia, who is entering his first year at Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla. Considered one of the top centers in the junior college ranks, he transferred to Miami Dade after spending his freshman year at Florida International in 2008-09 for head coach Sergio Rouco. He averaged 13.7 points on 53.2 percent shooting (126-of-237) as a true freshman for the Golden Panthers with 9.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.7 blocks in 25.7 minutes per game. He was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year as well as a third team all-conference selection. He averaged a double-double in league play, averaging 17.3 points on 55.5 percent shooting (76-of-137) with 11.4 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game.
Asprilla ranked first on the team in eight categories, including field goals, field goal percentage, free throw attempts, rebounding and double-doubles, while he was second in scoring, field goals attempted and free throws. Despite missing seven games at mid-season due to a herniated disc, he led the Sun Belt with 12 double-doubles, including eight in league play. He led the team in rebounding in 21 of his 23 games played. He collected four 20-point games, including a season-best 28 points against Middle Tennessee State on Jan. 10. He played high school basketball at The Patterson (N.C.) School in 2007, which is also the high school alma mater of current Wildcats Victor Ojeleye, Jamar Samuels and Dominique Sutton. He received interest from a number of schools, including Hofstra, Marquette, Memphis and Miami (Fla.).
"As we continue to try and compete with the elite teams is the Big 12, one of the things that we need to have is tremendous depth in the front court and Freddy is a huge young man," said Martin. "He has great hands and a great feel for how to play the game and those are things you need. The presence that he brings around the rim is just another example of how we want to play. We play from the inside-out on offense, we play fast and we want to run, but everything starts with pressuring the rim. With Freddy, we have a young man who can rebound the basketball very well and then have a tremendous presence around the rim on both ends of the floor."
The first of two high school guards in the class, Will Spradling is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound combo guard from Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kan. He is the first Kansas City area recruit to earn a scholarship at Kansas State since Tyler Hughes (Olathe, Kan/Olathe North) in 2002. Spradling is rated as the No. 59 point guard in the country by ESPN Scouts, Inc.
Spradling has been starter at Shawnee Mission South since his freshman season. He averaged 23.2 points per game as a junior for the Raiders before going down with a season-ending calf injury on Jan. 27, 2009. Despite playing just 13 games, he was named second team Class 6A All-State by MaxPreps.com and third team All-Sunflower League in 2008-09. He scored 35 points in the season opener against rival Shawnee Mission East.
"Will reminds me a whole lot of (current Portland Trailblazer) Steve Blake when he was in high school," said Martin. "Not just their physical appearance but in how both are fierce competitors and their ability to understand the game and make the players around them better. When you watch Will play, the players that are on the floor with him appear to be better than when he is not on the floor. I think those are the qualities and the traits that make him a big-time point guard and a winner."
As a sophomore, Spradling averaged 17.2 points and 4.9 assists per game in helping Shawnee Mission South to a 14-8 overall record and a 7-4 mark in league play. He scored a game-high 30 points against Blue Valley West in the Class 6A sub-state game. He was named to the Kansas City Star's All-Johnson County Boys' team in both 2007-08 and 2008-09. He was also selected as the conference Freshman and Sophomore of the Year. He had received interest from a number of programs, including UNLV, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"Will pledged his commitment to us at a very early stage and he is the type of guy that we want," said Martin. "He's all about what we do. He's a Kansas kid and he is going to take tremendous pride in the name that is on the front of his jersey just as well as the one that is on the back."
The final member of the recruiting class, Shane Southwell is a 6-foot-7, 220-pound combo guard from Rice High School in the Bronx, N.Y. He is the third New York product and member of the AAU's New York Gauchos to pledge himself to the Wildcats in the past three seasons, joining current junior Curtis Kelly (and former Rice standout) and freshman Jordan Henriquez-Roberts. He is rated among top small forwards in the country, including the No. 123 overall prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com. He is also ranked among the top-30 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 20 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 26 by Rivals.com.
Southwell helped the Raiders to a 25-3 overall record in 2008-09 en route to the Class AA State Championship and No. 15 nationally ranking. The school opened the 2009-10 season ranked 19th in the USA Today Super 25 rankings. He received interest from a number of programs, including Marquette, Providence, St. John's, South Carolina and Xavier.
"Shane is a multi-talented guard. He can play all three perimeter positions," said Martin. "He's 6-foot-7; he has long arms and is a big-time passer. Both he and Will are as unselfish of player as you could find. Once again, he is a player that makes the other guys on the floor with him better. With the way we defend, both he and Will are long guards that fit with what we are trying to do as a basketball program. "
Kansas State still has one more scholarship to give for the 2010-11 season.