Xavier Sneed has chance to leave a lasting legacy in men’s basketball

Then-junior forward Xavier Sneed cheers on his teammates from the sidelines during the game against Baylor in Bramlage Coliseum on March 2, 2019. The Wildcats took the Bears 66-60. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

It was the end of May, and the NBA Draft process was nearing an end. It was almost deadline for players testing the waters to withdraw their name, and it appeared that senior forward Xavier Sneed might end up declaring himself to the draft, but he gave the Kansas State fan base an exhale as he announced the evening of May 29, 2019 that he would return for his senior season.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound forward comes into the 2019-2020 season as one of the main leaders of the team with senior forward Makol Mawien.

“I have a bigger role now with Wade, Brown and Stokes gone,” Sneed said. “My focus is to do whatever I need to do to help us win.”

Sneed comes into the season with 2018, 2019 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team and 2018 NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team honors and a 2019 All-Big 12 Honorable mention (league coaches).

He was left off the All-Big 12 First team, which Sneed tweeted his frustration about on Oct. 16 with the caption, “Y’all done really woke up a savage it’s up for y’all.”

Sneed got off to a good start in his senior campaign, as he had a major impact in the first two implications.

In the first exhibition game of this season against Emporia State on Oct. 25, Sneed excelled and scored 18 points in a dominating 86-49 win.

In the second exhibition game on Oct. 30, Sneed followed with another double-digit scoring game as he dropped 10 points in a 66-56 win over Washburn.

“He played so hard [against Washburn],” head coach Bruce Weber said. “He busted his butt. Fourteen on the play hard chart. Recording a double-double.”

Sneed showed promise when he arrived at K-State in the 2016-2017 season as a true freshman from St. Louis, Missouri.

In his career, he has come from being in the role of the sixth man his freshman year to becoming the prominent figure of the team his senior year.

He has played in 105 of 106 games in his career, including starts in 72 of the last 73 games.

Sneed ranks 29th on K-State’s all-time scoring list with 1,003 points. He became the 31st player in school history to post 1,000 career points as a junior and he needs just 40 rebounds to eclipse 500. He could become the 15th Wildcat with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career. He’s “among the best 3-point shooters in school history,” ranking eighth with 457 attempts and ninth with 157 makes. He ranks fourth with 137 career steals.

Weber has high praise for Sneed and said he has much more to show this season.

“He is an outstanding young man,” Weber said. “He will have his school degree in business — which is a mouthful. His legacy will be told what he does now. He has been part of really special things, but now it is his turn. He doesn’t have to be a superstar, but he has to help us win and he has to be a great leader. I just want him to have an efficient year. I think he can be one of the better players in the [Big 12].”