The signature of Frank Martin’s teams at K-State was a hard-nosed style of play that emphasized defense and hustle. Martin may have left for yellower pastures in South Carolina, but the legacy of defense lives on. That is, it will if new coach Bruce Weber has his way. Over the weekend, K-State extended a scholarship offer to 6’7″ forward Jordan Bell. The California prospect is possibly the best shot blocker in the country, although Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle suggests his offensive game remains a big work in progress. Yet if any fan base would welcome this type of player, it’s certainly Wildcat nation, which has become accustomed to – indeed welcomed with open arms – players more interested in diving out of bounds for loose balls than making silky layups out of isolation play.
Bell, a four-star recruit, creates the same dilemma as most high school stars do for K-State; that is, how do you convince a player from California to eschew the trappings of either coast for a town in Kansas not named Lawrence? Right now K-State is mentioned on a short list alongside Oregon, Clemson, and UConn. UConn has yet to offer a scholarship, which is the best thing Weber has going for him as Connecticut remains Bell’s favorite school. Either way, Bell has expressed a preference for respecting his right to make a decision on his own time, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see whether the 2013 recruiting class can finally land a difference-making big man.