Beasley Getting Notice and Turning Heads

Jerry Wainwright's assessment of Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley is as follows: an absolute amazing talent, but an 18-year-old; a future NBAer, but at this time, an 18-year-old.

"There's every reason to believe that Michael will be a great college player," said Jerry Wainwright, who coached the USA team to a Silver medal this summer at the U19 World Basketball Championships.

Listed at 6-foot-8, 230 pounds on the USA roster, Wainwright said that playing at five schools in the past five years has put a bit of a damper on Beasley's overall progress as a basketball player.

"His career has had so many starts and stops," Wainwright said. "It's one of the reasons he's relied on instincts and is lacking in some areas of fundamentals. But I'm sure Frank (Martin) and his staff will get that straightened out."

The DePaul head coach, who also tutored Beasley on the U18 team in 2006, added, "He's a gentleman ... never confrontational." But he also said, "He's a young kid in a man's body. In no way am I saying he's a bad kid, but he's also a kid. Michael needs some guidance, but you can say that about almost every kid."

Beasley averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds per game during the seven-game U19 event, leading the team in both areas.

"When he gets his fundamentals down, he can be as good as anyone in the country. He's playing on instincts right now, so he has a long way to go with his game. But the Lord blessed him with a lot of ability."

Wainwright believes that Beasley can definitely be an immediate impact Big 12 player, but said, "His total package needs some maturing. Michael will be humbled. He's going to have to learn how to score against scouting reports. Teams aren't going to just let him do what he wants to do."

That's on the court. Off the court, Wainwright says it will be vital that Beasley is circled by the right kind of people.

"There will be a lot of people wanting a piece of him," Wainwright said. "He's going to need to sort out what he needs to hear, from what he wants to hear. That can be a heckuva task for a young man."

‘CATS TO PLAY IRISH:
Kansas State has been paired with Notre Dame in the Jimmy V Classic, scheduled for New York's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4. The game will start at 6 p.m. (central time) and be shown on ESPN.

WALKER TO GET EXTRA SEASON:
Kansas State's Bill Walker has received a medical redshirt from the Big 12 Conference after playing just six games during the 2006-2007 season.

"Bill is still a freshman because he participated in less than 10 practices and played in just six games last year," said KSU coach Frank Martin. Walker ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Big 12 opener against Texas A&M.

Walker started working out this summer, and will be at 100 percent when practices start in the fall.


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