Chicken N Pickle prepares for Wichita opening
Trey Wade, a 6-foot-7 junior-college transfer, had an official visit this weekend in Florida.
Those flight plans have been canceled, as Wade announced on his Twitter on Thursday that he has committed to the Wichita State basketball team following his first official visit last weekend. Wade is expected to sign his letter of intent this week and complete a five-player 2019 recruiting class for coach Gregg Marshall and the Shockers.
It was another spring recruiting victory for Marshall over a power-five conference team, as WSU pried four-star and top-150 guard Grant Sherfield from Minnesota and Wake Forest on Tuesday before beating out Florida for Wade.
So what convinced Wade he didn’t need to take another visit?
“The main thing was coach Gregg Marshall just being honest with me and his whole staff being there with me the whole time,” Wade told The Eagle. “They showed me a commitment the whole time, so I’m excited to show mine back. I just had to give myself time to reflect and figure out what the best move for me was.
“After thinking about it, I knew it wasn’t going to get any better than the situation I have at Wichita State.”
Wade is a 6-7, 210-pound wing who signed with UTEP out of high school but was a non-qualifier and had to sit out a season. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in less than 18 minutes per game as a freshman in 2016-17, then transferred to South Plains Community College. Last season, Wade averaged 13.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks as a sophomore.
On his official visit, WSU coaches told Wade that they see some Markis McDuffie to his game. He could very well replace McDuffie as WSU’s stretch forward in the starting lineup this next season. Wade, who will be a 21-year-old junior next season, also offers WSU some much-needed maturity on a team that will only have two other upperclassmen.
Wade’s most natural fit is at small forward, but much like what WSU did with McDuffie, another traditional small forward, Wade’s versatility could give WSU an advantage playing him at the power forward spot. He defends and rebounds bigger than his size and his athleticism would be a mismatch if the opposition tries to guard him with a bigger post player.
Wade was a 35-percent three-point shooter at UTEP his freshman season, but that dipped to 27 percent last season in junior college. While he might not be the three-point shooter McDuffie was, Wade’s athleticism is on par with Dexter Dennis and he could project as a better defender and rebounder.
“I assume they’re probably going to play me at the 4, but with my skills and ability I can play a lot of different positions,” he said. “With me being older, I think you’ll be able to see the maturity in my game. I’m looking to produce right away, defensively and offensively.”
Wade was pitched the history of success at WSU under Marshall and he’s fully aware of the Shockers’ 14-4 run to end the season. The majority of those players are returning next season and Wade thinks WSU can pick up where it left off.
“I know the history and the culture around Wichita State and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” Wade said. “Coach Marshall is a great coach and I know how much he can help me as a junior-college transfer. I really liked how excited he was about me and what he thinks I can do. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
After Rod Brown and Ricky Torres announced they were transferring from WSU last week, there was uncertainty with how the Shockers would fill those two scholarships in spring recruiting.
But Marshall was able to land his top two targets, as Sherfield and Wade were both on official visits at the same time last weekend. They ate breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner, played some pickle ball at Chicken N Pickle, ate dinner at Greystone and ended the visit at Marshall’s home.
Sherfield, the second-highest rated recruit of the Marshall era, and Wade, a top junior-college prospect, join WSU’s three fall signees: four-star guard Tyson Etienne, three-star guard Noah Fernandes and three-star forward DeAntoni Gordon.
Wade said he is excited to play with that young core and even more excited to play in front of more than 10,000 Wichita State fans every game at Koch Arena.
“Oh man, that’s going to be crazy,” Wade said. “I’ve never been around something like that before. It’s going to be unbelievable for me.”