New Commit- Coach Wooldridge Gets his Man

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State men's basketball coach Jim Wooldridge announced the signing of high school forward Deilvez Yearby (Central/Detroit, Mich.) to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. The signing completes the Wildcats' recruiting class for the coming season.

"We are excited about the addition of Deilvez to our program," said Wooldridge. "He gives us another athletic scorer that can play all over the court. Deilvez is a young player that can come in and help us immediately in a variety of different ways."

A 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward from Detroit, Mich., Yearby has been a three-year letterman at Central High School. As a senior, he led the Trailblazers to a 17-5 overall record and the Class A district title. The lone upperclassman in the starting lineup, Yearby helped the team collect nine straight wins before losing to Redford in the Region 4 Championship on March 8.

Yearby averaged a team-best 21.4 points on 58.7 percent shooting (91-of-155) from the field with a team-high 12.1 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 1.8 steals and 1.3 assists. He ranked first on the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, while he was second in steals and assists. Yearby was named third team all-state by the coaches and first team all-city, while he was honored as the city's Mr. Basketball. He was also named to the Detroit News' All-Metro first team and was the most valuable player of the Detroit Public School League (PSL) Southeast Division.

"Deilvez is an extremely versatile basketball player," said Central High School coach Ben Kelso. "He is a 6-foot-6 player that can handle the ball and shoot the ball from the outside like a guard, but can also rebound and block like a forward. He is a very good athlete that has great upside."

Yearby ranked among the leaders in the Detroit Public School League in scoring, rebounding, blocks and field goals. He led the Southeast Division in scoring, rebounding and blocks, while he was second in steals and assists. Yearby had more than twice as many rebounds and blocks than the second-place player. He collected 20 double-doubles on the season, including 18 straight to end the season. Yearby scored in double figures in every game, including a career-high 32 points in a win over Western on Feb. 4. He also posted a 21-point, 15-rebound performance in a 51-43 upset of eventual division champion King on Jan. 28, while he had a 21-point, 21-rebound effort in a loss to Murray-Wright on Jan. 25.

Yearby was also recruited by a number of schools, including USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Kent State and West Virginia.

"Deilvez was one of those guys that fell under the radar screen," said acclaimed recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons of the All-Star Report. "He really came on his senior year and proved to be one of the best players in the country. He will be on my final list of the top 60 players in the nation that is due out next month."

"Deilvez has a chance to be an immediate impact (at K-State)," said Gibbons. "He is so athletic and versatile. He can knock down the three and take it to the hole. He is a world-class leaper. He wasn't in my Top 500 list to start the season, which goes to show you how an inexact science this really is. The K-State coaches have found a young man who should make a major immediate impact in the Big 12. It wouldn't shock me if he became a candidate for the league's Freshman of the Year."

Yearby is the sixth player to sign with Kansas State during the 2004-05 signing period, joining junior college transfers David Hoskins (Schoolcraft/Central Michigan/Plymouth Salem/Canton, Mich.), Mario Taybron (Eastern Oklahoma State College/Temple/Ryan Academy/Hampton, Va.) and Akeem Wright (Neosho County Community College/Martin Luther King, Jr. /Philadelphia, Pa.) and fellow high school seniors Darren Kent (Eastview/Apple Valley, Minn.) and Sidiki Sidibe (Asnieres, France).

"Kansas State has had a bountiful spring harvest," said Gibbons of the Wildcats' entire spring recruiting class. "They have strengthened their program. They have recruited players that will immediately bolster their program. They have done an excellent job of getting players that fit their program and will help them make significant improvement in the coming year."

The signing of Yearby also gives Wooldridge the full compliment of 13 scholarship players for the first time in his five-year tenure as head coach.

2004-05 Kansas State Men's Basketball Signing Class (6)

David Hoskins (G, 6-5, 225, So.-TR, Canton, Mich. [Plymouth-Salem HS/Central Michigan/Schoolcraft]

Darren Kent (F, 6-10, 210, Fr.-HS, Apple Valley, Minn. [Eastview HS])

Sidiki Sidibe (F, 7-1, 265, Fr.-HS, Asnieres, France)

Mario Taybron (G, 6-2, 195, Jr.-TR, Hampton, Va. [Ryan Academy/Temple/Eastern Oklahoma State)

Akeem Wright (G, 6-6, 190, Jr.-TR, Philadelphia, Pa. [Martin Luther King, Jr. HS/Neosho County CC)

Deilvez Yearby (F, 6-6, 205, Fr.-HS, Detroit, Mich. [Central HS])

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