One of the nation’s best junior-college rebounders will play for Kansas State next season.
Austin Trice, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound sophomore forward, orally committed to the Wildcats while on a recruiting visit Saturday.
He will transfer to K-State after averaging 12.6 points and 12.1 rebounds for Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill. He chose K-State over strong competition. His other finalists were Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Florida and Washington State. Trice announced his decision on social media.
“I feel as if I have made a decision that would be best for me and my family,” Trice wrote on Twitter. “On that note, I am extremely excited to announce that I have committed to Kansas State University.”
Look What God Did pic.twitter.com/YnNJbtf3OQ— (@1AAtrice) April 7, 2018
Trice could be an impact player for K-State next season since he addresses a major area of need.
The Wildcats were one of the nation’s worst rebounding teams this year, ranking last in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds (8.2) and defensive rebounds (22.5) per game and 340th in the country in overall boards (30.7). On average, teams outrebounded K-State by 3.4 per game.
K-State overcame those low numbers to win 25 games and reach the Elite Eight with strong team defense and two all-conference players on offense. But it wasn’t always easy. Dean Wade led the Wildcats with 6.2 rebounds this season, while Xavier Sneed averaged 5.1. No one else on the roster averaged more than 3.4.
Trice could help. He ranked fourth nationally in junior-college rebounding this season.
“I just have a nose for the ball,” Trice said earlier this week in a phone interview. “It kind of happened this year. I felt like I needed to do something great on top of scoring and I decided to make that rebounding. I was the No. 1 rebounder in the country for a while this season. I always wanted to make sure I had a double-double this year. That was my goal for every game.”
Trice was viewed as the top priority for K-State coach Bruce Weber and his recruiting staff. Shortly after the season ended, Weber said he hoped to add “rebounding physicality” to next year’s roster.
The Wildcats now appear to have exactly that in Trice.
As a junior-college transfer, he can play immediately next season. He will have two years of eligibility at K-State.