Article on New Big Guys

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Article on New Big Guys

Postby xtrawildcat » July 10th, 2017, 9:43 pm

Thanks to Dave for pointing out this article on the new big guys. I like Stockards comments that he can score.

Kansas State’s new basketball arrivals already competing for time
BY KELLIS ROBINETT

MANHATTAN
Kansas State basketball’s front court is going to look a lot different without D.J. Johnson next season.

Instead of relying on a proven senior to fight for rebounds and points at the rim, the Wildcats will look to as many as four newcomers to get the job done inside. They are shifting from one featured center to a committee of them.

“They each have some attributes and we are excited about them,” K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said. “We are definitely going to need some of them to play and help us.… It is going to be important that we have all these bodies and there is good competition. The best thing about our team this summer is there has been competition, which we haven’t had. There are more bodies.”

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That is a welcome change, particularly in K-State’s frontcourt. Replacing Johnson (11.3 points, 5.7 rebounds) figured to be one of the biggest challenges of the offseason, and that chore was made even more difficult when forward Isaiah Maurice was kicked off the team last month.

Maurice was the likley choice to inherit Johnson’s minutes inside. Now they are completely up for grabs.

At least Weber will have options. Though no single player may be able to match the size, energy and production that Johnson brought to the floor when healthy as a senior last season, the Wildcats do have the makings of a deeper frontcourt with the additions of four new scholarship big men.

Freshmen Nigel Shadd and Levi Stockard, junior-college transfer Makol Mawien and Mt. Saint Mary’s transfer Mawdo Sallah will compete for major minutes down low. Add redshirt freshman James Love, who missed all of last season with a broken foot, to the mix and K-State has the makings of an entertaining position battle.

“It’s a big motivation to me,” said Mawien, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who joins K-State from junior college after starting out at Utah. “My first year, I redshirted. I haven’t played at this level. I am very excited, and I want to work and earn those minutes.”

Weber says Mawien is currently ahead of Shadd and Stockard, because of his experience playing at the college level. And Sallah won’t arrive on campus until he graduates from Mt. Saint Mary’s.

But Shadd, a 6-9 forward from Mesa, Ariz., and Stockard, a 6-8 forward from St. Louis, have both shown promise.

Shadd has the body to play immediately, but he is adjusting to college competition after rarely facing skilled big men in high school.

“I’m a rebounding big,” Shadd said. “I like to run the floor and spread the floor, just get rebounds. That is pretty much my game right now. I would like to expand it more, but for now I just want to do my job and get rebounds.”

Stockard has enhanced technique, but needs to add muscle.

“I can guard the four and the five,” Stockard said. “I am very versatile. I can score, obviously.”

Returning junior Dean Wade has played against each of them during summer workouts, and has been impressed.

“They are a lot more physical than I was coming in,” Wade said. “They are a lot more ready than I was my freshman year. I feel like they are already a step ahead.”

It’s only July. The season remains a long ways away. But that’s something each newcomer can use as they push for playing time in a frontcourt that lacks experienced depth.

The competition is just beginning.

“You can see it every day,” Shadd said. “Everybody is working hard, because everybody wants minutes. That is the big thing everyone is working for every day. On the court or off the court, you can see everyone is tough and determined to earn those minutes.”
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Re: Article on New Big Guys

Postby Puffdad » July 10th, 2017, 10:55 pm

Pretty much exactly the same as the info I was given. Shadd is pretty physical but not a scorer and a little slow. Stockard is much more refined and skilled....just doesn't have the physique to be physical yet. And Love gets no mention.
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Re: Article on New Big Guys

Postby xtrawildcat » July 11th, 2017, 10:29 am

Puff, maybe you know but my quess is that Mawien and Dean Wade are both a handful for these freshman at this point. Both 6 ft 9 and bodies built up after two full years of the intense training you get in high level D1 ball. Everybody thinks Dean Wade needs to get stronger but in my opinion he is at a good weight and still plenty strong for the style of game he will excel at. Mawien is 220 plus after being 193 in high school.
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Re: Article on New Big Guys

Postby Puffdad » July 11th, 2017, 12:53 pm

I would guess that you are right xtra on Mawien. I should have asked about him but I must confess that I didn't unfortunately. I just asked about the freshmen. I don't want to bother them right now but I think they are done with their summer workouts in about 3 weeks and I will try to find out more then.
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Re: Article on New Big Guys

Postby pulitzerdave » July 11th, 2017, 4:34 pm

The "Five for Five" experiment is underway. (Five guys vying for playing time at the 5 position.)

It's likely that this will winnow down to two, maybe three guys ... unless another can show enough versatility to fill in for Dean at the 4 spot.
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Re: Article on New Big Guys

Postby xtrawildcat » July 11th, 2017, 4:46 pm

pulitzerdave wrote:The "Five for Five" experiment is underway. (Five guys vying for playing time at the 5 position.)

It's likely that this will winnow down to two, maybe three guys ... unless another can show enough versatility to fill in for Dean at the 4 spot.


I think Mawien for sure and maybe Stockard can provide the back up minutes for Dean Wade and that should allow us to have a rebounding presence at the four spot vs Sneed filling in at the 4. Maybe Sneed in some small ball situations.
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