K-State lands first commit of 2014 class

By Joel Jellison

Stephen Hurt had a number of suitors after he announced his intention to transfer from Lipscomb last spring, but in the end, Kansas State was his chosen destination.

The Wildcats landed the 6-foot-10, 275-pound Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year on Tuesday night, when Hurt announced through his Twitter page that he had “just committed to Kansas State.”

The sophomore selected K-State over Wichita State and will have two years of eligibility left when he arrives on campus in 2014. Hurt had interest from Indiana and Tennessee, but also took a visit to Miami.

Hurt is transferring after a season in which he scored 11.5 points and had 7.8 rebounds per game, and going the junior college route so he doesn’t have to sit out next season. Hurt is playing at Northwest Florida State this season.

Hurt arrived on campus at Lipscomb in 2011 and was redshirted due to torn ligaments in his knee. Last season he left an impact on the Atlantic Sun conference, but Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson resigned in April and Hurt asked for his release soon after.

Rivals rates Hurt as a 3-star player, while 247sports rates him as a 4-star. Hurt told national recruiting analyst Adam Zagoria that he made his mind up early this week, and decided to announce on Tuesday.

Hurt’s addition might bring memories of another player who followed his path to K-State. Freddy Asprilla was the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year at Florida International in 2008-09, and then transferred to a junior college before coming to K-State. Asprilla transferred in January 2011 after 13 games with the Wildcats.

But Hurt brings a different type of skill set to K-State than Asprilla. Northwest Florida State coach Steve DeMeo calls him a versatile player who passes well and can shoot from mid-range, along with playing on the inside. He also said he has developed an ability to shoot from 3-point range.

Hurt joins a loaded frontcourt for the 2014 season, that will include returners Thomas Gipson and DJ Johnson, as well as Georgetown transfer Brandon Bolden.

The Wildcats added five freshman this season and two transfers — the other being Justin Edwards from Maine. K-State has just three seniors this season, meaning most of the roster would potentially return next season.

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