Neville Fincher rounds out recruiting class

The Kansas State basketball team rounded out its 2013 recruiting class on Monday, picking up a verbal commitment from Neville Fincher.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward who currently plays at Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) is exactly the type of player the Wildcats’ coaching staff wanted to get with its fourth, and final, available scholarship.

Fincher describes himself as a defensive-minded player that also has “a few moves on the block. I can score and get the ball in the hoop.”

“I’m long, I block shots, I grab rebounds and I try to dunk everything when I’m down low,” Fincher said Monday by phone. “I’m quick off my feet and I run the floor really well … At Kansas State, I want to develop a little with my mid-range game and get to the point where I can shoot a few jumpers.”

Fincher said he was also recruited by Marshall, Seton Hall, Duquesne, Western Kentucky and Houston. Read More »

Power forward Matt Atewe to visit K-State


Matt Atewe, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Canada with scholarship offers from eight Division I basketball programs, will take his first official visit at Kansas State.

Notre Dame Prep basketball coach Ryan Hurd said he will be in Manhattan to tour campus on Sept. 14 and take in the Wildcats’ football game against North Texas the following day.

Atewe plays for Hurd’s basketball team in Massachusetts, but is originally from Toronto. It will take a long plane ride to get him to K-State, but Hurd said he is looking forward to the trip.

K-State assistant coach Chester Frazier is handling Atewe’s recruitment, and he has a strong relationship with Hurd. He used to play for him at Notre Dame Prep before Bruce Weber recruited him at Illinois.

“Matt is smart enough to look for good people, because recruiting is about relationships,” Hurd said. “I coached Chester for a little while. He’s a great guy. I know he would look after Matt.”
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A few minutes with … Chester Frazier

Chester Frazier just joined the Kansas State basketball program as an assistant coach, but he feels like he has been working with the Wildcats for several months.

That’s not surprising considering he did a big favor for Bruce Weber days before he was hired as head coach.

Weber was considering taking the job, but wanted to make sure Rodney McGruder was returning for his senior season before he did. McGruder grew up in Washington DC, and Frazier (a former point guard for Weber at Illinois) grew up in nearby Baltimore. So Weber called Frazier, who was playing professional basketball in Germany at the time, to ask if he could get McGruder on the phone and find out if he was committed to K-State after the departure of Frank Martin. All while not saying anything about Weber’s interest in becoming the next coach.

Not the easiest of tasks, considering Weber’s request came at 3 in the morning (German time) and Frazier had never met McGruder. But Frazier delivered.

“My phone rang and it was Coach Weber,” Frazier said. “He said, ‘Chester, you have to call Rodney.’ All right what’s going on? ‘Well, I might get the Kansas State job and I need you to see what’s going on. He’s their best player.’”

Frazier took a moment to wake up and then called a friend associated with DC Assault, McGruder’s former AAU basketball team. He obtained McGruder’s cell phone number and had him on the phone about 30 minutes later.

McGruder was more than happy to talk.

“It wasn’t really weird,” McGruder said. “One of my good friends is friends with Chester. He said Chester was going to give me a call. I had seen him play before when he was at Illinois. I was cool with it. I was sitting on my couch watching TV. He was just asking me about my situation. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll stick around. I love K-State.’”

The rest, as they say, is history. Weber became K-State’s head coach a few days later, and he was so impressed by Frazier’s connections (and overall basketball knowledge) that he figured he would be a good recruiter that he offered him a position on his staff.

Frazier moved to Manhattan earlier this week and is excited to get started. He was also nice enough to share a few of his thoughts on his new gig.

What attracted you to this job?

Being an assistant at this level was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. You know, when I was in Germany playing Coach and I kind of talked about it. But as time went on we got more serious about it.
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