Torn ligaments in his knee forced him to sit out a season at Lipscomb with a redshirt before he could take the court. Lipscomb’s decision to part ways with its head coach following his encouraging freshman season convinced him to transfer to Northwest Florida State College. Now he is preparing to help his team chase a junior college championship.
Outside of averaging 11.5 points and 7.2 rebounds while being named Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, Stephen Hurt’s first few years of college have been far from perfect.
Still, the 6-foot-10 power forward doesn’t have any regrets. After receiving heavy recruiting interest from Indiana, Tennessee, Wichita State, Miami and Kansas State, he verbally committed to K-State on Tuesday. Now the thought of attending his third college in as many years seems exciting.
“It’s kind of wild, but regardless of how it happened I think I ended up in a good situation,” Hurt said during a phone interview Wednesday. “I just think Kansas State is the best situation for me. I felt really comfortable with Coach (Bruce) Weber and (assistant) Coach (Alvin) Brooks. They have a real good staff. I feel like I hit it off with the team on my visit. They are coming off a Big 12 championship. It’s a great situation. What more could you ask for?”
Hurt said he took official visits to K-State, Wichita State and Miami, as well as unofficial visits to Indiana and Tennessee. He becomes the first member of the Wildcats’ 2014 recruiting class.
His size will be a welcome addition to K-State’s roster. The Wildcats will be a bit undersized this season, but will look completely different next season when Hurt and Georgetown transfer Brandon Bolden join the mix.
Hurt says he likes to play down low with his back to the basket, but claims he can also shoot the ball well enough to lure opposing big men out of the paint.
His junior college coach, Steve DeMeo, said he is difficult to defend.
“He is very versatile for a big guy,” DeMeo said. “He is able to score with his back to the basket with both hands. He shoots the ball very well out to three-point range. He is a very intelligent player who has got some skills you just can’t teach.”