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Hurt, O'Mara off the board

Northwest Florida State College center Stephen Hurt committed to Kansas State on Tuesday, according to his Twitter account and several other sources. He visited WSU in September. New WSU assistant Steve Forbes recruited Hurt to Northwest before leaving the junior college.

I just felt most comfortable with Kansas State," Hurt told Adam Zagoria of "I really liked Wichita State. I liked the coaching staff. I just felt more comfortable going with Kansas State."

Benet (Ill.) Academy center Sean O’Mara committed to Xavier over Loyola. He visited WSU earlier this fall. O’Mara appeared to be a big recruit for new MVC member Loyola, making that doubly painful.

I would imagine Hurt’s decision stings more than most. He filled an immediate need, appeared to be DI ready and the Shockers possessed a strong in with Forbes. Losing him to Kansas State makes it a little more painful. It will remain difficult to beat Big 12 schools on recruits and a player who escaped a lower-level conference apparently evaluated conference strength closely.My feel on Hurt began to  change over the past two weeks as I couldn’t get his coach to return phone calls. While it’s not a perfect indicator, I’ve found a coach and player’s willingness to arrange a phone interview often corresponds to their level of interest in the school.

There are still plenty of big men out there and no particular rush. The Shockers absolutely need big men, but there’s no reason to settle. Signing date is more than a month away. The Shockers already have one commitment (forward Zach Brown) from the class of 2014.