With 2:20 remaining in Kansas State’s fourth game of the 2019-20 campaign, Shaun Williams finally made his season debut.
The final stat line isn’t one Williams, or anyone who watched Tuesday’s game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, likely will remember as time goes on: 0-for-2 from the field, with both misses coming from behind the 3-point arc. Other than that, Williams logged no numbers that appear in the final statistics of the Wildcats’ 62-51 win. But after missing the first three games of the season because of a suspension — the nature of which still hasn’t been revealed — Williams likely will take what he can get.
The same could be said for his teammates, who simply were glad to see him back on the floor in a live game. Cartier Diarra’s first words to describe Williams’ return were “definitely dope.”
For Diarra, Williams being back in the fold means he can start to share more of the team’s ballhandling responsibilities.
“Another PG (point guard), so when he comes in with me, I can be off the ball,” said Diarra, a junior guard whose 27 assists through four games are the most in program history. “Also, he can create plays for people. You’ve seen in the past last year, he’s had good games. I remember one game he had 10 (points) and six assists in like nine minutes, so he’s really capable of doing good things. I’m looking forward to that and him getting in the rotation.”
A sophomore guard, Williams played in 30 games for last season’s Big 12 regular-season co-champion squad, averaging 7.1 minutes (9.1 minutes in Big 12 games), 1.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.6 assists per outing.
As happy as Diarra was to see Williams’ suspension over, it meant even more to another teammate: Xavier Sneed. A senior wing and K-State’s marquee player this season, Sneed’s relationship with Williams dates back well before they arrived in Manhattan.
They played together at Hazelwood Central High School in St. Louis.
“Playing with him since high school, it’s great to see him back on the court, be on the court with him again,” Sneed said. “(He’s) got to do some work as well to get back in rhythm with the team as well.”