MANHATTAN — Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin had a successful recruiting weekend. Two high school seniors told him they wanted to be Wildcats in a 48-hour period.
Nino Williams, a 6-foot-5 combo guard from Leavenworth, gave his oral commitment to K-State first. Then on Monday, Shane Southwell, a 6-foot-7 guard from New York, told recruiting site zagsblog.com that he had committed after taking a recruiting visit last week.
Recruiting Web site rivals.com rates both players as three-star recruits.
Leavenworth High coach Larry Hogan said Williams was excited to tell him the news.
"It's going to be a good fit for him," Hogan said. "Coach Martin was out here in the gym a few weeks ago and I think that pretty much sealed the deal."
Williams averaged 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior for Leavenworth. Both stats led the team. Hogan likes the way Williams can both attack the basket and shoot the three. He said Williams is always in the gym, practicing his game, and that the release of his jump shot is faster than anyone he's ever coached.
Put all those skills together, and it's not hard to see why Hogan believes Williams could be the best player to come out of Leavenworth since University of Kansas All-American Wayne Simien.
"You don't go into the Sunflower League, lead your team in scoring and get seven rebounds per game without being aggressive and having some ability," Hogan said. "He has all the tools. He can run, he can jump and he can shoot. He's capable of scoring all over."
Rivals reported that Williams will not join K-State until 2011, meaning he will attend a prep school next year. Hogan neither confirmed nor denied Williams' arrival date, but said there could certainly be benefits from a transition year. Williams could not be reached for comment.
Southwell, who has indicated that he likes to create mismatches with his height by playing point guard, told zagsblog.com that he will join K-State next year and has wanted to commit to Martin for some time.
"I probably knew that I was going to this school since early September," he told the Web site.
Southwell plays for Manhattan Rice and also the New York Gauchos AAU team. Seeing K-State's campus in person a week ago is what put him over the top.
"The whole campus is beautiful," he told zagsblog.com. "The teammates were great, the coaching staff was great. The fans were crazy. They love their basketball and their football."