Xavier Sneed hopes his seventh exhibition game in a Kansas State basketball uniform goes like his first six.
The 6-foot-5 freshman wing has been one of the Wildcats most productive players since joining the team over the summer. He averaged 10.4 points and 3.2 rebounds during the team’s Europe trip in August. Then he stuffed the stat sheet in K-State’s exhibition opener against Pittsburg State, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
“The thing I liked best was ...” K-State coach Bruce Weber said, not sure how to finish the sentence. “His scoring was one thing, but I thought his defense, his energy, his rebounding (were all good). He had that one flurry where he blocked a shot, then the next time he got the rebound, then he ran the court, then he got an and-one on a drive. That is what we need.
“If you look at our team last year, we didn’t really hae that, a guy who could go make explosive plays. It was impressive to see that. Now, can he come back and do it again?”
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Sneed has found little trouble backing up a good exhibition performance. His next test comes against Washburn at 8 p.m. Friday at Bramlage Coliseum.
His goal: continue helping K-State in every way possible.
He wants to do more than score and rebound. Like senior Wesley Iwundu, he strives to do a little bit of everything.
“I pretty much idolize Wes,” Sneed sasid. “Before I came here, when they were recruiting me, I looked at how he played and what the coaches wanted. That is pretty much what I tried to model my game off.”
So far so good.
Sneed, a four-star recruit from St. Louis, will play his first official college game on Nov. 11 against Western Illinois, but he already feels comfortable in K-State’s system. Playing five games in Europe and practicing over the summer gave him a head start over the typical freshman. It shows.
“Everything he can do with his athleticism, his versatility his height and his ability to guard different positions will help us out a lot this season,” Iwundu said of Sneed. “He has the ability to create mismatches.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett
Washburn at Kansas State
- When: 8 p.m. Friday
- Where: Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan
- Radio: KQAM, 1480-AM, 102.5-FM; KWLS, 107.9-FM
- TV: FSKC