The start of football season brings with it the start of official recruiting visits in other sports. That means Kansas State basketball coaches are lining up as many visits as possible over the next few weeks.
After working the phones for a few hours Monday, I confirmed four official visits that are taking place in the next two weeks. Four-star guard Jordan Mathews and shooting guard Wesley Iwundu will be in Manhattan this weekend for the Wildcats’ season-opening football game against Missouri State. Three-star small forward Jeff Carroll and his Dallas Mustangs teammate Marcus Foster will visit Manhattan the following week.
Here is a look at all four players:
Jeff Carroll, 6-foot-6 small forward, Rowlett, Texas
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Jeff Carroll has no idea what to expect during his official visit to Kansas State next weekend, and not just because the three-star prospect who plays AAU basketball for the Dallas Mustangs has never been to Manhattan.
“I'm just really excited to go on this visit,” Carroll said. “This is going to be the first college visit I have ever been on.”
He has received plenty of interest from college coaches, though. Carroll has scholarship offers from K-State, TCU and Oklahoma. He is also expecting an offer from Oklahoma State and is actively talking with Texas. Right now, he says he is considering all five, but …
“If I had to narrow it down to a top three,” Carroll said. “Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas would be my top three.”
Carroll is hoping to make a decision after his visits are over sometime in October. He hopes to visit TCU and Oklahoma State after touring K-State. The Wildcats will have the advantage of going first in the rotation, but that isn’t the only thing that might help them. Carroll says he regularly talks to K-State forward Thomas Gipson, who is also from the Dallas area, and has enjoyed getting to know Bruce Weber and his coaching staff.
Carroll sees himself playing either shooting guard or small forward in college. In the coming year, he hopes to add muscle to his frame so he can become a more complete player.
“I shoot the ball real well and I’m very athletic,” Carroll said. “I can get up and down the court. I'm a slasher and I rebound well. I will probably stay a small forward. It just depends on how tall I get. But I’m probably not going to grow that much more. I could still get better at ball-handling and a few other areas.”
Whatever he plays, he sees himself fitting into K-State’s system.
“I can picture myself there,” Carroll said. “I think I can play really well there and it seems like a really good school. Kansas State is really high on my list.”
Marcus Foster, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Wichita Falls, Texas
The recruiting process is almost over for Marcus Foster. The shooting guard who plays AAU basketball for the Dallas Mustangs is down to two schools — Kansas State and Creighton.
He will visit K-State next weekend and then tour Creighton on Sept. 15. At this point, he has no favorite. But he could see himself committing to one school at any given moment.
“If it feels right and I know this is where I want to be for the next four years, I will pull the trigger,” Foster said. “It could be all about the timing. We’ll see how I feel after the visits.”
Foster also received interest from California, SMU and Oklahoma. He is currently a shooting guard, but is in an unusual spot. He says he is undersized for the position in college, and hopes to develop into a combo guard capable of also playing the point. But for his high school team in Wichita Falls, he plays power forward.
“You’ll see me pull down 15 rebounds in my high school games,” Foster said. “I think that will help my game out in college, because I know how to be physical with bigs. I think that makes me stand out. I can shoot the three and get to the rack, but I also have intensity on defense. I have really worked hard since my freshman year to grow into that role.”
Foster will make his visit to K-State along with Carroll, his AAU teammate. That will be a fun experience for both. Though they haven’t seriously talked about playing basketball together in college, it’s an idea they are fond of.
“We’re real close,” Foster said.
“He’s like my brother,” Carroll said.
For Foster, his recruitment could come down to the best fit.
“I have built a good relationship with Bruce Weber,” Foster said. “I really love the idea of playing for him. I know he could help me improve as a player.”
Jordan Mathews, 6-foot-3, shooting guard, Santa Monica, Cali.
Jordan Mathews might end up being the highest profile recruit to visit Kansas State in the coming weeks. The four-star prospect will take an official visit to K-State this weekend and take in the Wildcats’ first football game of the year against Missouri State.
Mathews has received interest from several other colleges, including California, Gonzaga, Marquette, USC, San Diego State and Kansas. He is considered a top 100 recruit nationally, and will be expected to contribute right away wherever he ends up.
His father, Phil Mathews, is an assistant coach at UCLA. So he has a deep knowledge of the game to go along with his natural talents.
“He’s got a good motor and is a real high energy guy,” said Gary Franklin, who founded the California Supreme AAU basketball team Mathews plays for. “He can score the ball really well, and he’s a great kid on and off the court. He’s a really smart player because of his dad.”
Wesley Iwundu, 6-foot-6 small forward, Houston, Texas
Wesley Iwundu has wanted to take an official visit to Kansas State since the summer began. He will get his wish later this week, according to a source close to the Houston small forward.
Iwundu is receiving interest from Colorado, Texas Tech, SMU, Drake and Houston. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday, but he spoke highly of K-State in a July interview with Rivals:
“I have high interest in Kansas State, too,” Iwundu told Rivals. “Competition wise they are always having good seasons. With their new head coach coming in, Coach [Bruce] Weber, it looks promising. They have a brand new facility built for the basketball team so it looks like things are going to continue to go in the right direction for them.”