From The Couch – The 2024-25 K-State Basketball Roster Is Complete!

From The Couch – The 2024-25 K-State Basketball Roster Is Complete!

K-State’s 2024-25 basketball roster is complete after the signing of Illinois transfer forward Coleman Hawkins, who received an NIL deal of over two million dollars. If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself “two million dollars?” Times are a changin’ in college sports.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to break down this final signing along with the rest of the newcomers all in one place. This one might take a while to digest, so grab your favorite drink and enjoy learning about all the newcomers to K-State basketball.

JM: K-Staters rejoiced on social media after this signing was announced. I mean “over-the-top” rejoicing. Like, this “dude” is a combination of Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James rejoicing. I found it a bit strange, so I thought I would look into this player a little deeper.

JM: Free publicity from Dick Vitale is always a good thing, but did you notice he said “star ability,” not “star?”

JM: Two million dollars for a transfer player that wasn’t going to get picked in the NBA draft who averaged 12 points and six rebounds a game? Is that the going rate now in order to compete?

JM: While K-State fans were busy celebrating this signing, posts like this stuck out to me. The reality of the situation is that Jerome Tang’s class is still rated number seven in the Big 12. It could be better and could be worse.

As K-State media lauded the signing of Hawkins, I decided to dig a little deeper and get the other side of the story. If he is so great, why did he transfer? Why would Brad Underwood let him go? A simple X search helped paint the picture.

JM: I’ll admit, I’m not sure I’d ever take the opinion of someone who named themselves “McHot Balls” on Twitter seriously, but the thread is worth reading.

JM: I’m not an expert on Big 10 basketball, but this may be hyperbole.

JM: It looks like Mark really isn’t a fan of Hawkins and welcomed a transfer. There are many other posts like this, but I’ll spare you the time. I think this goes to show that opinions vary on this player and we, as K-State fans, need to let this play out before jumping to conclusions.

JM: KU wanted Hawkins, too, but I’m not sure this dig by Hunter Dickinson was the right way to go about trying to get him.

Here is a player-by-player breakdown of the newcomers in this basketball class.

David Castillo

Castillo is a 6’1″ point guard from Sunrise Christian in Wichita. He is rated among the top 50 players nationally by three of the four recruiting services (number 42 by Rivals, number 45 by 247Sports, and number 50 by ESPN.) He is rated a four-star player by most services. Castillo was among 12 prep players named to the prestigious 2024 Nike Hoop Summit for USA Basketball. I found a highlight reel from this past season. It looks like he’s got a good three-point shot.

Mobi Ikegwuruka

Ikegwuruka is a transfer from Ellsworth, Iowa Community College. He is a 6’6″ wing/forward who averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game. He should see the floor quite a bit for K-State this fall if he plays as well as his highlight reel indicates that he can…

Coleman Hawkins

As a high school prospect in the class of 2020, Hawkins, a 6’10” power forward, was a three-star player ranked 167th nationally by 247Sports. He has played the last four years at Illinois, the last two as a starter. Last season he averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Here is his highlight reel. I’ll always take a 6’10” guy who can shoot three pointers, but the video is a bit misleading. He shot 4.6 per game and made 1.7 per game, a 32% average.

Ugonna Onyenso

I’d hate to be Wyatt Thompson trying to pronounce these last names every game. “Ikegwuruka passes inside to Onyenso…” Anyway, Onyenso is a seven-footer from Nigeria who is a transfer from Kentucky. He will be a junior this fall. Coming out of high school, he was ranked a four-star recruit and the number 39 prospect overall in the Class of 2022. In 24 games this past season, Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 18.8 minutes per game. Here is his highlight reel. He’s skinny, but looks to be fairly athletic.

Achor Achor

Achor is a 6’9″ power forward transfer from Samford who will be a senior this fall. Achor played his first two college seasons at Chipola Community College in Marianna, Florida, where he led the school to two NJCAA Final Four berths. Last season at Samford, he averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. Samford lost by four points to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament in March. Achor had 23 points and eight rebounds in the game. He’s another big guy with three-point range, but again the highlight reel is a little misleading. He only shot 1.9 three-pointers a game…

Max Jones

Jones is a 6’5″ guard who transferred from Cal State Fullerton. He played his first two college years at Division II Tampa. He will be a senior this fall. Last season, Jones played in 24 games with 21 starts, averaging 15.3 points per game and shot 39% from three-point range. Here is his highlight reel. Seems to have good speed an quickness.

Baye Fall

Fall is a 6’10” forward transfer from Arkansas. He was rated a consensus four-star as the number 28 overall player in the Class of 2023. He will be a sophomore this fall. Fall didn’t see the court much at Arkansas, playing in nine games and averaging just five minutes per game and 0.8 points per game. I tried to look into why a former McDonald’s All-American like Ball didn’t see the court much, but didn’t really find anything. I found some high school highlights of him mostly dunking. Looks like a project to me.

Brendan Hausen

Hausen is a 6’4″ transfer guard from Villanova. He was ranked as the number 117 player overall by 247Sports in the Class of 2022. He will be a junior this fall. Last season, he played in 34 games off the bench, averaging almost 18 minutes 6.2 points per game. He was brought in as a three-point specialist. He averaged 1.8 three-pointers a game while shooting 38% from beyond the arc. I like what I see in his highlight reel…

CJ Jones

Jones is a 6’5″ guard transfer from Illinois-Chicago. He was rated a two-star player in the Class of 2022 and will be a junior this fall. Last season, he averaged 11.4 points per game. Here is his highlight reel. Looks like he is good at taking it to the rim and scoring and is also a thread from three-point range.

Dug McDaniel

McDaniel is a 5’11” point guard transfer from Michigan. He was rated a four-star and the number 87 player overall in the Class of 2022 according to 247Sports. If you’re counting, Jerome Tang has recruited four top-100 players in this group of newcomers. McDaniel will be a junior this fall. He started 26 games for the Wolverines last season, averaging 16.3 points and 4.1 assists per game. He also made 2.2 three-pointers per game on average, shooting 36%. McDaniel is a proven commodity, and the star of this transfer class, in my humble opinion. You may agree with me when watching his highlight reel that “this kid is good.”

What does all of this mean? I have no idea. How is that for some expert commentary? There are a couple of solid players in this group joining returners David N’Guessan, Macaleab Rich and Taj Manning. There is no doubt there is some talent on this roster and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff molds them together as a unit. The non-conference may be difficult to watch (again), but the potential is definitely there to make a return to the NCAA tournament.

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