Two players who rarely have seen the floor during their time at Kansas State are leaving the program.
Fourth-year junior forward James Love and third-year sophomore forward Nigel Shadd entered their names into the NCAA transfer portal Friday morning.
The pair both posted good-bye messages on their personal Twitter accounts Friday evening.
“Although my career as a student-athlete on the court has not been what I envisioned coming to Kansas State University, off the court, Kansas (S)tate has blessed me with some very memorable moments and opportunities (I) will forever be grateful to be a part of,” Love wrote. “Through my time here, my teammates have turned into brothers. (T)he coaches, fans (as well) as others all turned into one big family around me, and everyone has supported me through my time here in the Little Apple. You guys will always have a place in my heart. God has His own paths for everyone and gives his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers. I’m excited to see what He has in store for me. Love you guys always!”
Shadd sent out his parting words an hour later.
“These three years at Kansas State University weren’t exactly how I envisioned it. Due to injuries, it has been a setback on the court,” Shadd wrote. “But off the court, I have been blessed with many different opportunities, memories and people who made my time here at Kansas State special and surely unforgettable.
“My teammates, we have been through many different trials and tribulations together that made us brothers, and I will cherish that. The coaches, you guys have given me knowledge to not only be a better player, but to be a better person each and every day. To the fans, you guys made Manhattan like a second home to me and without your support, these memories wouldn’t be the same. Manhattan and everyone who has supported me will always have a special place in my heart.
“Throughout many discussions with my family, we have all agreed it is in my best interest to transfer to another university. God has been with me this far; I am surely excited to see what He has in store for me. Thank you for everything.”
Both players battled injuries throughout their K-State careers.
Shadd appeared in only three games this season, totaling seven minutes. He grabbed eight rebounds and scored no points, going 0-for-2 from the field and 0-for-1 at the free throw line.
Love played in just one game in the 2019-20 campaign: K-State’s neutral-site contest against Mississippi State in Newark, N.J. Love played two minutes and grabbed one rebound in the Wildcats’ 67-61 loss on Dec. 14.
“James has had surgery and he is going to be — next time you see him, he’s going to be on that little cart,” Weber said. “Sadly for him, this is his third surgery (on his foot). I feel bad for him.”
Had Love been medically cleared to return, he would have had to serve an eight-game suspension — imposed by the Big 12 Conference — stemming from his actions during the brawl that marred the end of the team’s loss to Kansas in Lawrence on Jan. 21.
A Florida native, Love missed the entire 2016-17 campaign after breaking his foot prior to his freshman season. In sum, Love had four surgeries during his time at K-State: three on his foot, one on his wrist. Last month, Weber said he wasn’t sure if Love’s college career is over.
Avoiding injuries would be a start.
“He’s got to get healthy enough to ever have a career,” Weber said. “It has not been a carefree walk in the park for him. It’s been tough.”
Love finishes his time as a Wildcat having played in 36 games, averaging 3.4 minutes, 0.5 points and 0.4 rebounds per outing.
Shadd, an Arizona native, had an equally injury-plagued time in Manhattan. In three seasons with the Wildcats, he participated in just 24 games. Shadd appeared in eight games as a freshman in 2017-18 before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury.
“You miss basically a year and a half, two years — whatever — he’s just been hurt all the time,” Weber said Feb. 28. “When you’re not here practicing in October and November and beginning of December, it’s tough all of a sudden to know the plays, to know the coverages, all that stuff.”
He saw scant minutes in K-State’s losses at KU and Baylor before finally making his home debut last weekend in the Wildcats’ regular-season finale: a 79-63 victory over Iowa State that snapped a 10-game losing streak, the longest drought for the program since 2000 and the worst skid in Weber’s eight years at the helm.
“Physically, he can do some things. ... If we get in foul trouble with big guys, the thing he does have is a big body,” Weber said, “so you might have to use him.”
Despite minimal contributions in terms of raw statistics — he scored just 11 points and snared 11 rebounds in his three seasons — Weber said Shadd excelled in areas that can’t be measured.
“He’s a good young man. He wants to do well,” Weber said. “He’s put in a lot of extra time trying to get back, but it’s just tough.”