Incoming K-State recruit fails to qualify

By Joel Jellison

The one post the Kansas State men’s basketball team looked to be adding next season won’t be coming after all.

Neville Fincher, the lone big man in the Wildcats’ incoming freshman class, will not be academically qualified to play Division-I basketball next season.

K-State coach Bruce Weber confirmed Thursday that Fincher had not met NCAA academic qualifying standards and would not be enrolling with the school.

“At this point, it does not look like Neville is going to meet NCAA qualifications and he probably will pursue going to a community college,” Weber said in media reports. “We are going to continue to watch him and recruit him and hope someday that we’ll be able to recruit him again.”

Fincher will now have to enroll at a junior college, which was confirmed by a New Jersey basketball recruiting website Thursday evening. Fincher, who is from Teaneck, N.J., was rated as the 26th-best center prospect according to ESPN.

A 6-foot-10, 240-pound post out of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, Fincher averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks as a senior.

With a new scholarship open for the upcoming season, the Cats could pursue an available junior college player, likely a post, to fill the hole left by Fincher. However, the number of available post players, even in the juco ranks, has dwindled this late in the recruiting season.

Fincher was to join the Wildcats five-player class of guards Jevon Thomas, Marcus Foster, Nigel Johnson and forward Wesley Iwundu.

K-State added two transfers in the past month in Maine guard Justin Edwards and Georgetown forward Brandon Bolden _ both of whom must sit out next season due to transfer rules.

The Wildcats have lost two post players since the end of the season, as Jordan Henriquez graduated and Adrian Diaz announced a transfer. K-State has two traditional posts with experience on its roster in Thomas Gipson and DJ Johnson.

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