Antonio Gordon’s time in Manhattan is over. The sophomore forward is transferring out of Kansas State’s men’s basketball program.
Head coach Bruce Weber announced Monday morning that Gordon has been released from his scholarship.
“Antonio has entered the transfer portal,” Weber said in a release. “I appreciate his contributions to our program the past two seasons, especially this season with all his health-related challenges. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his college career.”
Gordon later shared parting words in a note posted on his personal Twitter account.
“First off, I want to thank the people of (M)anhattan for their tremendous and support through this year,” Gordon wrote. “I would also like to thank my teammates for accepting me and loving me like a brother. I would lastly like to thank Coach Weber, (former assistant) Coach (Brad) Korn, (associate head) Coach (Chris) Lowery, (assistant) Coach (Shane) Southwell and (assistant) Coach (Jermaine) Henderson for giving me the opportunity to play at this university.
“I will truly miss the memories that were made here with so many great people. But after prayer and long talks with my family and those close around me, I have decided to enter the transfer portal to continue my athletic and academic journey.”
Monday’s news ended a bizarre chapter to close Gordon’s career as a Wildcat.
He started seven games in a row before he wasn’t with the team for its regular-season finale versus Iowa State on March 6. After the Wildcats’ 61-56 win over the Cyclones, Weber was evasive about the 6-foot-9 forward, alluding to unnamed issues Gordon had battled over the course of the season.
“For him and his sake, he’s endured a lot since last summer — really since the spring. He came back and had a lot of health issues,” Weber said at the time. “It’s just taken a toll on him. For his sake, we just felt like it was best to shut him down. He’s done for the season. Dealt with a lot of different things. It’s tough to be without him, but we’ve just got to make do with what we’ve got.”
Previewing the Big 12 tournament last week, Weber said it was unlikely Gordon would rejoin the team even if it won the event and clinched the league’s NCAA berth.
“We would just have to see how he does health wise and see how he’s making progress,” Weber said. “It’s a big dream and a big goal (to win the Big 12 tournament). Craziness has happened before.”
Following that victory over Iowa State, Weber said Gordon still was a member of the program. The “health issues” plaguing Gordon, Weber said, meant that he couldn’t “help us right now” as it prepared for the conference tournament.
“We’ll keep helping him,” Weber said, “and hopefully he can get through some of this.”
Gordon now will have to overcome those problems with another program.
An Oklahoma native, Gordon appeared in 47 games for the Wildcats over the past two seasons, with 21 starts. He departs K-State having averaged 4.9 points (on 41.8% shooting) and 4.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game.
He connected on 41.8% (89-for-213) of his career field goal attempts, but just 22.2% (18 of 31) of his shots behind the 3-point arc.
Prior to his absence — and eventual departure — from the program, Gordon had become a mainstay in the Wildcats’ starting lineup. And he had developed into one of the Big 12’s best rebounders. Before leaving the team, Gordon had led K-State in both rebounds per game (5.8.) and offensive rebounds (50). At the time, those marks ranked No. 8 (offensive rebounds) and No. 11 (rebounds per game), respectively, among Big 12 players.
During the seven-game starting stretch to end his K-State career, Gordon upped his season averages in the points (7.1) and rebounding (8.4) departments.
Arguably the highlight of his time with the Wildcats came last month against then-No. 23 Oklahoma State, when he led the team in points (15) and rebounds (14) in a 67-60 road loss. Not only was it Gordon’s first (and now only) double-double at K-State, but it marked the most rebounds by a Wildcat in a single game since Dean Wade in 2018.
Gordon’s personal-best outing as a scorer came in K-State’s blowout home loss to then-undefeated Baylor in December.
Though the Wildcats lost 100-69, Gordon tied for the game-high point total (23) despite coming off the bench. It was the most points by a K-State reserve since Marcus Foster also had 23 in a game against TCU on Jan. 7, 2015.