Martin Talks About His Recruits

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The early signing period has come and gone with Frank Martin coming up with three new Wildcats, which includes size inside in junior college transfer Freddy Asprilla, plus a pair of perimeter-types in high school guards Shane Southwell and Will Spradling.

The way Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin sees it, his talented and deep team is headed toward being even more talented, and even greater in depth.

That's what the Wildcat coach said in evaluating his more recent three-man signing class in Freddy Asprilla, Will Spradling and Shane Southwell.

Asprilla is a hefty 6-foot-10, 280 pounds out of Miami Dade College, the Southwell and Spradling, both guards, are from Rice High School in Bronx, N.Y., and Shawnee Mission South High School, respectively.

"We are ecstatic about the work of our assistant coaches in going out and rounding up three individuals that we wanted in our program," said Martin.

"We've continued to add size and athleticism to our basketball team. We have continued to build depth, which is one of the things that is required to continue to play the way that we want to play, continue to compete with the elite teams in the Big 12 and continue to aspire to win a Big 12 Championship."

Asprilla, a native of Villanicencio, Columbia, played one year at Florida International, but is now at Miami Dade. At FIU, Asprilla averaged nearly 14 points on 53 percent shooting, plus controlled 9.2 boards per game. He was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and was a third-team all-conference player.

"As we continue to try and compete with the elite teams is the Big 12, one of the things that we need to have is tremendous depth in the front court and Freddy is a huge young man," said Martin.

"He has great hands and a great feel for how to play the game and those are things you need. The presence that he brings around the rim is just another example of how we want to play. We play from the inside-out on offense, we play fast and we want to run, but everything starts with pressuring the rim." Asprilla also considered Hofstra, Marquette and Memphis.

Spradling, at 6-3, is ranked the No. 59 point guard in the country by ESPN Scouts, Inc. He averaged 23.2 points in his junior season for South before being sidelined by a calf injury at mid-year.

"Will reminds me a whole lot of (current Portland Trailblazer) Steve Blake when he was in high school," said Martin.

"Not just their physical appearance, but in how both are fierce competitors and their ability to understand the game and make the players around them better. When you watch Will play, the players that are on the floor with him appear to be better than when he is not on the floor. I think those are the qualities and the traits that make him a big-time point guard and a winner."

As a sophomore, Spradling averaged 17.2 points and 4.9 assists per game. He was also selected as the conference Freshman and Sophomore of the Year.

He had received interest from UNLV, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Spradling is the first Kansas City product to sign with K-State since Tyler Hughes.

At 6-7, Southwell gives K-State extreme size as a combo guard. He comes from the New York Gaucho AAU ranks, which also produced current Wildcats Curtis Kelly and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts.

Southwell has been ranked among the top 30 combination guards in the nation. His Rice High prep team is ranked among the Top 25 teams in the country by USA Today.

"Shane is a multi-talented guard. He can play all three perimeter positions," said Martin.

"He's 6-foot-7; he has long arms and is a big-time passer. Both he and Will are as unselfish of player as you could find. Once again, he is a player that makes the other guys on the floor with him better."

Providence, St. John's, South Carolina, Xavier and Marquette also expressed interest in Southwell.

Kansas State will has one scholarship to give in this season's recruiting class.

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