Men’s basketball honors seniors in Octagon of Doom

(File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Division I college basketball is something that millions get to witness and few get to experience. That experience is coming to an end for three K-State seniors. Brian Rohleder, Justin Edwards and Stephen Hurt will play their final game inside Bramlage Coliseum tonight.

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(File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

“It’s fun,” Edwards said. “I’m going to miss the whole college atmosphere.”

The Octagon of Doom has served the senior class well. Hurt said his last home game will be emotional, but there is still a game to be played.

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(File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

“We have to keep our minds focused on getting the win and keeping this thing rolling on into the Big 12 Tournament,” Hurt said.

Head coach Bruce Weber said he knows senior night will be special. He has rallied the team around getting a win for the seniors.

“You want them to have a nice, lasting memory of their last home game here,” Weber said. “All of them have been important members of the team and they’ve had some nice moments along the way.”

These nice moments include a court-storming celebration against then-No. 7 Kansas last season and an upset over then-No. 1 Oklahoma this season.

“Getting to beat the No. 1 team in the country, I don’t think a lot of players who play in this country can say that,” Edwards said.

Both Edwards and Hurt said they plan to see how far basketball can take them, and both have hopes to coach whenever their playing days finally come to an end.

“(Edwards) wants to coach down the road,” Weber said. “He’s become one of the best students of the game.”

Rohleder joined the program in the 2011-12 season. After dedicating five years to the program, Rohleder was awarded a scholarship for the 2015-16 season. A true love of the game has been the driving force behind Rohleder’s work ethic.

When Weber offered Rohleder a scholarship last summer, he turned down an internship to take the scholarship. Rohleder told his coach he had worked his entire life to earn that scholarship; he could work for the next 40-50 years of his life.

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(File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

“There’s so many ways this has paid off for me,” Rohleder said. “I’ve made great connections. There are so many people who have made it all worth it.”

Rohleder will complete his degree in mechanical engineering this May.

“He’s already got a job,” Weber said. “I think it’s a six-figure job right out of school.”

Though the road has been bumpy, each of the seniors have played an important role in guiding a young team through a season based on rebuilding. The sand hasn’t quite ran out of the hourglass on K-State yet.

Beyond what happens this postseason, all three seniors are sad to see their K-State basketball season come to a close, though they are ready to see what’s next.

“They’ve been good K-Staters,” Weber said. “I think that’s the most important thing.”