New Kansas State men’s basketball head coach Bruce Weber secured his first recruit for the 2013 class this weekend.
Alex Etherington — a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com — announced his commitment to K-State Sunday after also receiving interest from Xavier, Boston College and New Mexico.
The Wildcats, though, were an easy choice for the 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward from Arcadia, Ind.
“It was just the right fit,” Etherington said on the phone Sunday. “I liked everything about K-State… the facilities, the coaches — I think it is a good fit for me.
“I didn’t really have to think about it. I knew I wanted to go there — and playing in the Big 12 is a big factor.”
Etherington, who averaged 23 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior last year, also plays with the Indiana Elite South AAU team.
His older brother, Austin, plays at Indiana and was a freshman for the Hoosiers last season, while his dad, Brett, was recruited by Purdue when Weber was an assistant coach there.
“I just felt like I had a connection with the coaching staff,” Etherington said. “And I’ve heard nothing but good things about Coach Weber.
“(Austin) just told me to do what makes me happy.”
Etherington said he hopes to bring a strong presence in the paint to K-State.
“I’m about getting to the basket,” he said. “I can get to the basket pretty well. I feel like I can fit in pretty well with Coach Weber’s style.”
The state of Indiana has a very storied tradition when it comes to basketball — especially high school hoops.
Etherington, who came back from a concussion suffered in February that temporally paralyzed him, said he is healthy now and that the high level of play that so often exists in Indiana will have him ready for K-State.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “Last year, I think there were 60-something Division I recruits. It adds to the motivation and the competition is pretty good up here — especially in the AAU circuit.
“There’s no other place I’d rather be than K-State.”
According to a Rivals report from April, Etherington’s play from an AAU tournament in Las Vegas was “one of the more pleasant surprises of the Vegas trip” and that Etherington “was relentless attacking the rim in transition or halfcourt settings”
The Rivals report continued that Etherington was “a strong and tough wing who doesn’t back down from anybody, he also looks to be able to make an open jumper.
“If Etherington can replicate his Vegas performance for the rest of the summer, high major offers are likely to follow.”