The Wildcats wave farewell to four senior against Baylor

(Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian)

On Saturday, four K-State men’s basketball teammates will run through Bramlage Coliseum’s tunnel for the final time. While they may have come to K-State by different paths, there is no denying that they’ve each had their own positive effect on the program as a whole.

“It’s a group where you have some good quality people, I think that’s the first thing that you talk about,” head coach Bruce Weber said.

The most noticeable member of the senior class is senior guard Will Spradling. Hailing from Overland Park, Kan. Spradling will go down in K-State history for the things that he’s done on the court, like becoming the 25th player in K-State history to score 1,000 points. He is also one of just four players in school history to have over 300 assists, 300 rebounds and 100 steals to go along with the four-digit point total. Spradling will graduate with a degree in business administration.

“I don’t even remember what type of expectations I had,” Spradling said. “I was just excited to get to K-State and knowing how well they’ve done the year before, hopefully carry that on.”

The only other player who came in with the 2010 class that will be celebrating senior night on Saturday is forward Shane Southwell. The senior from Harlem, N.Y. has showed growth in every season as a Wildcat. Last season, Southwell took his biggest leap, becoming a lethal shooter from long-range for the Wildcats during their Big 12 championship run. Southwell went from shooting 24 percent from outside as a sophomore to nearly 44 percent during his junior season. The senior said that you won’t see him have a big emotional moment, but understands the importance of getting the job done on Saturday. Southwell will graduate with a degree in social science with an emphasis in communications.

“Bittersweet, but just got to go out there and get a win,” Southwell said. “It would be very disappointing feeling to lose your last game.”

Omari Lawrence has never started a game for the K-State Wildcats, but when his number was called, the senior from the Bronx, N.Y. answered the call. Out of high school, Lawrence inked to play his college basketball at St. John’s. After a year, Lawrence said he decided to transfer to K-State, but was forced to attend Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan. first because the Wildcats did not have any open scholarships. Lawrence’s biggest impact of the season came at home against the Kansas Jayhawks on Feb. 10. At that time, Lawrence played a career-high 22 minutes in a Big 12 game, finishing with nine points, two steals and an assist. In the following game, Lawrence played a career-high 30 minutes against Baylor. Though the senior graduated last spring, he has been working on his master’s in family studies.

“I can say all around (against Kansas) was probably my best game here at Kansas State,” Lawrence said. “I enjoyed it personally. The crowd, good energy, it was a good time.”

Last but certainly not least is senior forward Ryan Schultz. After two years at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan., Schultz decided to walk-on to Weber’s squad. Schultz has only played 61 minutes in a Wildcat uniform, but you won’t find anyone around that program who has a negative word to throw in the direction of the senior from Wichita, Kan. Spradling said Schultz is one of the hardest working players he’s ever seen in practice. Southwell compared him to Tom Cruise. But Weber’s compliment may go the furthest when talking about Schultz.

“I have daughters,” Weber said. “I’d love him to date one of my daughters.”

Schultz will graduate from K-State with a degree in nutrition and kinesiology and will likely attend medical school after his time in Manhattan is over.

A previous version stated Omari Lawrence attended Cloud County Community College in Junction City. He attended Cloud in Concordia, Kan.