MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State release) Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of four prep standouts on the first day of the Fall National Signing Period on Wednesday with the additions of Antonio Gordon (Lawton, Okla./Eisenhower), DaJuan Gordon (Chicago, Ill./Curie Metropolitan), Goodnews Kpegeol (St. Paul, Minn./North/Taylor Made Prep) and Montavious Murphy (Houston, Texas/Concordia Lutheran).
The four-man recruiting class is a consensus Top 40 class nationally by a number of recruiting services, ranking No. 39 by Rivals.com and No. 40 by 247Sports.com. It is highlighted by DaJuan Gordon, who is rated among the Top 150 players in the country by both services, including No. 114 by 247Sports.com and No. 144 by Rivals.com. All four are considered among the Top 100 players at their respective position nationally.
The largest Fall Signing Class in the Weber era, it includes players from four different states (Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Texas) at four different positions (point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward).
“We are excited to welcome these four outstanding players to K-State,” said Weber. “Obviously, this is a significant signing class because of who these recruits are replacing in Barry (Brown, Jr.), Dean (Wade) and Kam (Stokes). Those guys might go down as three of most significant players in our program in recent history, statistically for sure and hopefully win-wise. We are having to replace not only scoring, but rebounding, assists, steals and minutes – whatever the category may be – with this class.”
“We thought we needed players who are versatile. I think that’s the key phase with this class – versatile. You can’t just go replace players like Barry, Dean and Kam, but remember they were once freshmen, too. They have all put in the work to become really good players. The staff and I feel confident that these four players have the necessary mindset and skills to do the same thing.”
A 6-foot-9, 205-pound power forward Antonio Gordon is a native of Lawton, Oklahoma, where he is entering his senior season at Eisenhower High School after leading the Eagles to a 21-6 overall record and a trip to the Class 5A state semifinals as a junior in 2017-18.
A 6-foot-4, 170-pound combo guard, DaJuan Gordon is a native of Chicago, where he is entering his senior season at Curie Metropolitan High School after leading the Condors to a 26-5 overall record and a trip to Class 4A State Tournament in 2017-18.
A 6-foot-6, 180-pound shooting guard, Goodnews Kpegeol is playing a postgraduate year at Taylor Made Prep in Pensacola, Florida after leading St. Paul North High School in St. Paul, Minnesota to a 22-5 overall record and a first-place finish in Metro East Conference play as a senior in 2017-18.
A 6-foot-8, 190-pound small forward, Montavious Murphy is a native of Houston and is playing senior season at Concordia Lutheran in Tomball, Texas after playing the last three years at Klein Collins.
The quartet will fill the loss of the three-man graduating senior class of Barry Brown, Jr., Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade, who will all complete their eligibility in 2018-19, as well as a currently open scholarship.
6-9 // 205 // PF
High School: Eisenhower (coached by Todd Millwee)
AAU: MoKan Elite [coached by Matt Suther]
Primary Recruiter: Brad Korn
· Rated among the Top 100 forwards in the country and the No. 4 prospect in Oklahoma by 247Sports.com.
· Has helped Eisenhower High School to a 39-15 overall record the past two seasons, including consecutive appearances in the Class 5A State Tournament… The Eagles posted a 21-6 overall record, including a 13-3 mark in Oklahoma Big 10 District play, and advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament in 2017-18.
· Selected to the Oklahoman’s Super 5 Third Team and to the Tulsa World’s All-State Team in 2017-18.
· Has averaged 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks in 39 career games the past two seasons at Eisenhower, connecting on 48.1 percent (240-of-499) from the field.
· Averaged a team-best 20.7 points on 48.8 percent shooting (203-of-416), including 32.5 percent (37-of-114) from 3-point range, with 10.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game as a junior in 2017-18… Connected on 77.1 percent (94-of-122) from the free throw line.
· Scored in double figures in all 26 games as a junior in 2017-18, including 13 games of at least 20 points and three other games of 30 or more points… Totaled 13 double-doubles… Scored a season-high 39 points on 15-of-24 shooting in a win over MacArthur on Jan. 12, 2018… Turned in a 37-point, 13-rebound in a regular season loss at eventual Class 5A champion Memorial on Jan. 27, 2018.
· Paced the team in 10 categories in 2017-18, including scoring, rebounding, blocks, points (537), field goals made (203) and attempted (416), free throws made (94), offensive (110) and defensive (156) rebounds and total rebounds (266)… Ranked second in 3-point field goals made (37) and attempted (114) and free throws attempted (122), while was third in assists and steals
· Played for MoKan Elite in the Summer of 2018, helping the squad to the Final Four of the prestigious Peach Jam in July… Averaged 5.8 points on 60 percent shooting with 2.2 rebounds per game.
Head coach Bruce Weber:
“Antonio is someone we have been recruiting for quite some time. He’s another guy who is a bit of a late bloomer. He played on an AAU team that didn’t get a lot of attention. He is a guy that replacing some like Dean (Wade) and Dean brings so many things to the court and so can Antonio. He can shoot the 3 and has a great motor. One of the things that stands out about him is that he is very skilled for a guy his size and plays very hard. We are really excited about him, obviously for his versatility and skill set, but also about where he can develop over time.”
MoKan Elite Head Coach Matt Suther:
“Antonio has been a late bloomer. He is a very versatile player to play multiple forward positions. He has continued to develop the skills to be more of a face up guy. He has great athleticism to shoot or put in on the floor. Probably the thing that sticks out most to me is his attitude and how good of a teammate he is. He is a great kid.”
“I think with the way Coach Weber plays, I think he is going to be very versatile for him and expand his skill set. With guys that are versatile like that, it creates a lot of flexibility for a coach. He’s the type of guy that you love coaching. I think the biggest thing is he’s going to be versatile and play multiple positions. He’s hard to take out of the game.”
DaJuan Gordon (DAY-wan)
6-4 // 170 // G
High School: Curie Metropolitan (coached by Mike Oliver)
AAU: Team Rose [coached by Jerrel “J.O” Oliver]
Primary Recruiter: Brad Korn
· A consensus Top 150 prospect by several recruiting services, including No. 114 by 247Sports.com and No. 144 by Rivals.com… Also rated among the Top 40 shooting guards in the country, including No. 18 by 247Sports.com and No. 36 by Rivals.com… Rated as the No. 4 prospect in Illinois by 247Sports.com.
· Rated as the No. 3 prospect in Illinois by the City/Suburban Hoops Report and Chicago Sun-Times.
· Helped Curie Metropolitan High School to a 26-5 overall record, including a second-place finish in the Chicago Public School Red South with an 8-1 mark in league play, as a junior in 2017-18… The team advanced to the Class 4A State Tournament.
· Averaged 16 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line.
Head coach Bruce Weber:
“I think DaJuan was the second kid to commit to us. He is a Chicago kid. He has that toughness that Chicago kids have; that competitive spirit. He’s a little bit of a late developer. Not many knew of him. He plays really, really hard. Much like Barry (Brown, Jr.), he just competes on every possession. He is more of a slasher, getting to the basket, defending. He does all the little things. He just needs to continue to work on his shooting, but that will come with time. He just loves to be in the gym.”
Curie Metropolitan High School Head Coach Mike Oliver:
“He’s going to be a hard worker. He’s an energy guy. He is going to bring a lot energy and he’s a guy that is still looking to prove something to people that he is a high-level basketball player, so he is going to work.”
“We’re excited for him, because he is going to get better and he has time and support to get better. He is going to have some guys to push him with things that he has to be better with. He has to get stronger and learn to how to play the college game but once he does that he is going to be a good basketball player.”
Team Rose Head Coach Jerrel “J.O.” Oliver:
“I think he is going to bring his athleticism and will to score the ball. He is one of the best scorers in the country and is underrated with athleticism. I truly believe he can become a star. He does so much on the court and he can do so many things. I tell him all the time, he’s a star. If he works hard and do what he’s supposed to do, he can do so much. He’s one of a kind.”
“I see him developing as a combo guard and being able to play right away. He has a strong makeup and opportunity to step up and do things because he’s extremely talented.”
Goodnews Kpegeol (KAH-pay-GUL)
6-6 // 180 // SG
St. Paul, Minn.
High School: North (coached by Damian Johnson)
Prep School: Taylor Made Prep (coached by Anthony Taylor)
AAU: Grassroots Sizzle [coached by Brian Sandifer]
Primary Recruiter: Chester Frazier
· Rated among the Top 100 shooting guards (No. 71) in the country and the No. 27 prospect in Florida by 247Sports.com.
· Playing a postgraduate year at Taylor Made Prep in Pensacola, Fla., after finishing his four-year prep career at North High School in St. Paul, Minn. … As of Nov. 4, he was averaging 15.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game while connecting on 36 percent from 3-point range.
· Helped North High School to a 22-5 overall record, including a 15-1 mark in conference play, as a senior in 2017-18, under first-year head coach Damian Johnson.
· Averaged a team-best 18.2 points in 19 games played as a senior in 2017-18… Totaled nine 20-point games with a season-high 29 points against Stillwater on Dec. 7, 2017.
· Guided North to a 24-6 overall record and its first trip to the Class 4A State Tournament in 17 years as a sophomore in 2015-16 under head coach Joe Janquart, scoring a team-high 23 points against Tartan in the Section 4 Championship… The Polars lost to Hopkins in the quarterfinals, where he scored a team-high 13 points.
Head coach Bruce Weber:
“We watched Goodnews over the summer, and I think (assistant coach) Chester (Frazier) recruited him a little before that. He is a young man who is a little of bit of a late developer and grew late. He finished high school (St. Paul North) this past spring and didn’t have the (college) offers that he wanted and decided to head to prep school for a year (Taylormade Academy) to continue to work on his game. He has a lot of abilities, a lot of skill. He gives you that versatile, swing guy. The biggest thing with him is that he can make plays. He is a little older (19) and can provide a little more maturity to our back court.”
Taylor Made Prep Head Coach Anthony Taylor:
“I think he has an incredible feel for the game. He can make plays for himself and other players as well. I think he can do very well if he continues to develop and get better. Coach Weber has done a great job in developing players and I think Goodnews will fit right in with that.”
“After visiting K-State with his parents, he felt like K-State was the best place for him to be for the next four years. He will be a kid with a lot of versatility on the offensive end and he has a chance to be a special player.”
Grassroots Sizzle Head Coach Brian Sandifer:
““He’s a highly skilled, under the radar athlete. He’s super athletic and has a great basketball IQ. More so than anything he brings a high IQ and can be a solid leader. I think with Coach Weber and Coach Frazier, the coaching staff at K-State is just what he needed.”
“He handles the ball tight enough, he can play at the 1 through 3 positions. He just has to become more of a vocal guy. He can make big plays and get emotional, but he can also get a little reserved. Goodnews is a guy that can get to the basket and finish under or above the basket. He finishes very well. Defensively, I think he can guard the 1 through 4 positions. He has the athleticism to lock people down.”
6-8 // 190 // PF
High School: Concordia Lutheran (coached by Bill Honeck)
AAU: Drive Nation [coached by Jermaine O’Neal and Derrick Shelby]
Primary Recruiter: Brad Korn
· Rated among the Top 100 forwards in the country and the No. 23 prospect in Texas by 247Sports.com.
· Playing his senior season at Concordia Lutheran in Tomball, Texas after playing three years (2015-18) at Klein Collins High School.
· Averaging 19.6 points on 51 percent shooting (35-of-69), including 33.3 percent (8-of-24) from 3-point range, with 10.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.6 blocks through 5 games at Concordia Lutheran… Has double-doubles in 4 of 5 games… Scored 32 points on 11-of-22 shooting with 10 rebounds in a win over Port Arthur Memorial on Nov. 10, 2018, while he added 23 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists in a win over Second Baptist on Nov. 13, 2018.
· Selected to the District 16-5A Second Team as a junior at Klein Collins in 2017-18.
· Played AAU with Drive Nation in the Summer of 2018, averaging 5.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 15 games, while playing alongside fellow Division I signees Avery Anderson III (Oklahoma State), Victor Iwuakor (Oklahoma), Jahmius Ramey (Texas Tech) and Drew Timme (Gonzaga).
Head coach Bruce Weber:
“With the way basketball is played right now, however, you want to call it, “small ball,” you need versatile forwards. Montavious fits this for us. He can do a lot of things. He has a little bit of size, he has a body, he has skills, he’s a really good dribbler. He can make plays and pass the basketball. He is off to a really good start to his senior season (averaging 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in his first five games). One thing he really wanted to work on was his 3-point shooting and he’s off to a good start there (8 3-pointers through five games). He plays for a really good high school coach in Bill Honeck (at Concordia Lutheran), who has a reputation for having outstanding teams and really developing players. He was one of the first players to commit to us.”
Drive Nation Head Coach Derrick Shelby:
“For us, Montavious was always one of the hardest workers in the game. He always came with maximum effort and produced at a high level. He is a very, very good basketball player. At 6-9 and being able to step out, I think he will be a big factor at K-State. But more importantly, he can play the 3 and 4 positions, and play out on the perimeter. K-State got a good one.”
“He’s a good kid and has a great family. When you bring a kid in to a team, the family part is always important, and the family for Montavious was phenomenal. He is a kid that will take care of business in the classroom and will be the first one in the gym and the last one out.”