K-State signs two recruits in early period

By Joel Jellison

Besides winning its first game of the season, the Kansas State men’s basketball team got another piece of good news on Wednesday in the form of two signed National Letters of Intent.

The Wildcats landed junior college big man Stephen Hurt and prep school shooting guard Tre Harris for the 2014 class, filling the needs of adding size and another perimeter shooter.

In Hurt, the Wildcats get a 6-foot-10 forward who at one point weighed 285 pounds. Rated a 3-star player by Rivals, Hurt transferred from Lipscomb to Northwest Florida State College after a coaching change. He will be a junior when he plays for K-State next season.

Hurt chose the Wildcats over offers from Miami and Wichita State, but he was getting interest from Indiana, Tennessee and VCU when he committed to K-State on Oct. 2.

“Couldn’t be more excited, we need size,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. “It’s hard to get big guys and to get Stephen Hurt is a major coup for us. We beat some very, very good programs.”

Hurt wasn’t majorly recruited out of high school in Tennessee, but landed at Lipscomb where he received major minutes against some of the top teams in the SEC. After Scott Sanderson resigned from his position as the head coach at Lipscomb, the injured Hurt decided to transfer to a junior college instead of sitting out for a transfer season.

Weber said Hurt lost a large amount of weight and will use the season to adjust into his new body size, as well as work on conditioning.

Despite his size, Hurt isn’t the typical 6-10 big guy, but a more versatile player with a skill set that goes beyond the paint.

“If you’re thinking of someone he’s like, I think Tim Duncan,” Weber said. “He loves (Dirk) Nowitzki, that big guy that can do stuff. He can shoot 3s, he can really help us.”

The second piece of the Wildcats’ class so far this season in Harris, chose to go to Fishburne Military School in Virginia, after hardly getting recruited out of high school in Illinois.

Weber said there were multiple connections to the 6-foot-5 shooting guard, but what they do know is he can shoot.

“I’ve known his high school coach for years, his uncle is an assistant at Tennessee,” Weber said. “He didn’t get quite the recruiting that he wanted to, made the decision to try a prep school. Coach (Chris) Lowery went out to watch someone else actually, but he’s a deadeye shooter.”

Harris is not ranked by Rivals, and little is known of him because he does not play the AAU summer circuits.

But Weber was excited about the possibilities Harris could bring to the Wildcats, especially if he uses his prep school year to improve his body.

“He can definitely shoot the 3 ball and stretch the defense,” he said. “He went out there to mature and get stronger. If he does those things, I know he can shoot the basketball and he’s going to help us.”

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