As we continue looking forward to the start of college basketball season in early November, our early preview of the team continues with a raw freshman forward who may be thrust into early minutes due to lack of experience and depth at the position. #25 Wesley Iwundu, a 6’7″ newcomer from Houston, is the second tallest player on the team – trailing only 6’9″ D.J. Johnson – but is also the lankiest at only 195 pounds. Bruce Weber’s squad is expected to push the tempo this year and players carrying extra weight risk being left behind. Iwundu has little risk of falling into that category.
Iwundu committed to playing for the Wildcats last September after receiving offers from, among others, Colorado, Houston, Richmond, and Texas Tech. 247 Sports rated him the 21st best player in the State of Texas, #40 small forward, and #199 player overall in the nation for the 2013 recruiting class. A three-star recruit, Iwundu averaged 14 points and eight rebounds during his junior season. He followed up that performance with a senior year in which he was named to the Texas Class 5A All-State team, averaging 16.3 points per game while leading his team to a 26-11 season.
Iwundu is working on becoming more versatile this offseason by becoming a better perimeter player. He is comfortable slashing to the basket and will be quicker than most forwards he goes up against. However, he’s not the most accurate shooter from distance. This deficiency has allowed defenders to play off him and prevent those drives to the hoop. If he can develop a solid jump shot and keep opponents honest in their defense, Iwundu has the chance to be a truly dangerous scorer.
Iwundu should be a contributor off the bench his freshman year, and it would be a surprise to see him redshirt. KC Kingdom remarked that he failed to stand out in scrimmages earlier this week, but as the expected future replacement for senior Shane Southwell, there are big plans for his future. Fortunately K-State has a relatively light nonconference schedule for him to adjust to playing at the NCAA level, because given the squad’s lack of height and experience at the position, his apprenticeship will be a veritable trial-by-fire.
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