(Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics)
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State sophomore forward Kaosi Ezeagu (Brampton, Ontario/GTA Prep/UTEP) has received a waiver from the NCAA that will allow him to play immediately in 2020-21, head coach Bruce Weber announced on Wednesday (May 27).
A 6-foot-10, 245-pound transfer from UTEP, Ezeagu enrolled at K-State on January 17 for the Spring 2020 semester and was able to practice with the team. He sat out the remainder of the 2019-20 season and was expected to do so for the Fall 2020 semester before earning the waiver. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
“We are excited for Kaosi that he was able to gain this waiver and become immediately eligible,” said Weber. “When we signed him, I thought he filled a big need, giving us an older, experienced big guy that has played Division I basketball. He made big strides on the court and in the weight room this past semester and helped raise the physicality and competitive spirit in practice. He really helped push (departing senior) Mak (Mawien) down the stretch. We are appreciative to Coach (Rodney) Terry, his staff and UTEP for supporting this waiver.”
Prior to enrolling at K-State, the native of Brampton, Ontario played one season at UTEP for head coach Rodney Terry in 2018-19. He played in all 29 games for the Miners as a true freshman, averaging 3.2 points on a team-best 56.9 field goal percentage (37-of-65) with 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 12.4 minutes per game. He led the team with 24 blocked shots and registered at least 2 blocks in eight contests with a season-high 3 against Rice on February 23, 2019. Twice he scored in double figures, including 10 in his first game against UTPB on November 16, 2018 and a season-best 12 against Middle Tennessee State on March 6, 2019.
Ezeagu started each of the Miners’ last seven games, averaging 3.9 points on 47.8 percent shooting (11-of-23) with 4.3 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. He nearly had a double-double in his final home game against Middle Tennessee State with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 9 rebounds in a season-best 29 minutes.
Ezeagu was born in the Bahamas but went to prep school in Brampton, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto), where he was rated one of the top prep players in Canada after averaging 11.4 points and 10.4 rebounds at GTA Prep at Mississauga Secondary School in 2017-18. The only player in the league to average a double-double, he was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the National Preparatory Association. He was also selected as the co-MVP of the Signature All-Canadian Showcase.
Ezeagu joins an acclaimed recruiting class that includes community college transfers Rueadale “Rudi” Williams (Hamilton, Ontario/Forest Trail [N.C]/NE Oklahoma A&M College) and Carlton Linguard (San Antonio, Texas/Stevens/Temple College [Texas]) as well as high school seniors Davion Bradford (St. Louis, Mo./Mehlville), Luke Kasubke (St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade), Seryee Lewis (Chicago, Ill./Compass Prep [Ariz.]), Selton Miguel (Orlando, Fla./West Oaks Academy) and Nijel Pack (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central).
The seven-man recruiting class ranks among the best in the country by several recruiting services, including No. 17 by Rivals.com and No. 30 by 247Sports.com. Historically speaking, it is the highest rated recruiting class under Weber and the highest collective class by K-State since recruiting rankings have been kept. Three players (Selton Miguel, Nijel Pack and Davion Bradford) are rated among the Top 150 players by both 247Sports and Rivals, while Williams and Linguard are both ranked among the best community college signees by 247Sports.