MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Kansas City Star reported Saturday that former University of Maine men’s basketball star Justin Edwards has committed to Kansas State University.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard revealed March 28 that he was seeking to transfer from UMaine to a higher-level program.
Edwards previously had taken NCAA official (paid) visits to both Iowa State and Creighton. He arrived in Manhattan on Thursday and reportedly made his decision official Friday night.
“Would like to thank everyone for there love and support through this process! I’m glad to be part of Wildcat family! #KSU,” Edwards said Saturday afternoon via his Twitter account.
Edwards, of Whitby, Ontario, earned All-America East second-team recognition last season after he led the conference in scoring with 16.7 points per game, tying Binghamton’s Jordan Reed for the honor.
In doing so, Edwards became the first Black Bear to lead the league in scoring since Dean Smith of Dover-Foxcroft (19.1 ppg during 1989-90).
Edwards, who excels with his open-court play, also contributed 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and a league-best 1.9 steals per game while playing an average of 32.7 minutes.
He also committed a league-high 119 turnover in 29 games this season and averaged 3.6 per contest in 58 career games at UMaine.
During Edwards’ time at UMaine, the Black Bears compiled a 23-36 overall record, including a 12-20 league slate. They lost in the America East quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.
Under NCAA transfer rules, Edwards must sit out for a calendar year before he can play for the Wildcats. He will not be eligible to compete until the 2014-15 season, but can receive scholarship money.
Kansas State, coached by Bruce Weber, went 27-8 last season, winning the Big 12 title. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to La Salle in the West Regional.
In an April story by Mark Janssen of K-State Sports Extra, associate head coach Chris Lowery explained the kind of players he and his staff are looking for at Kansas State.
“We look for guys who play hard. Guys have to have a motor and be able to do a lot of different things in our system,” Lowery said. “We feel if you’re willing to play hard, we can help you get better in developing a shot or to become a better ball handler. We want that jack of all trades who we can help get better in the fundamentals of the game.”
Edwards is one of three players expected to leave the UMaine program this year. Junior Alasdair Fraser is contemplating a pro career, while junior Jon Mesghna is transferring to Division II Montana State-Billings.
Edwards, known for his leaping ability and his knack for dunking, also continued to work on his perimeter shooting. He shot 27 percent (44-for-164) from the 3-point arc for the Bears.