Since we’re just waiting around and speculating on what players (not to mention Frank himself) will transfer from the program this offseason, it seems like a great time to look back on all the guys who have left over the course of Frank’s 5-season tenure and see how their careers ended up going. Feel free to use the comments section to speculate on what this says about Frank as a coach or the impending departure of any players, but I’m not trying to make any sweeping judgments or start any new rumors.
I obviously had a decent idea of what I was getting into when I started this project, but I was still a little surprised when I found 12 (OK, technically 11, but we’ll get to that) guys who have left the team since January 2008. As you’ll see (and probably recall) not all of them can be blamed on Frank, though in some cases it’s a wonder he ever gave a scholarship to these guys in the first place.
In fact, there are so many that I decided it was necessary to split this post into two parts. I’ll be listing players chronologically according to when they left, starting with Andre Gilbert today and resuming with Dominique Sutton tomorrow. No, I’m not counting Jason Bennett.
It’s entirely possible that I’ve left players out, so please let me know if I’m missing anyone. Also, in some cases I’m not sure what’s happened to guys after their careers ended, so if anyone has information, feel free to fill me in.
I suppose if you want a bright spot from my research, it’s that (so far) no one has left to go on and have a spectacular career anywhere else. This isn’t Baylor.
Click the jump for the first six transfers of the Frank era.
Frank had to know he was taking on a monumental project when he recruited Andre, a forward from Minnesota who transferred from San Jacinto Community College in California after starting off at South Dakota State University, where he averaged 8.5 points per game and picked up charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree rape.
He was acquitted, but the charges got him suspended from the team, and led to his transfer to Mount San Jacinto, where he averaged 7.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Sadly, K-State would learn his attitude issues hadn't gone away.
After averaging 3.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, Andre was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules on Jan. 30, 2008. I don't believe anything was ever released publicly, but there is this story from a Cyclone blog. Take it with a hefty grain of salt.
Anyway, Andre took a couple years off a basketball then decided to play his senior year closer to home at Minnesota State University for the 2009-10 season. This will probably come as a shock, but he didn't even make it to conference play before he was dismissed from the then 4-0 Mavericks for "attitude issues" in early December.
Pan tells me that Andre has since started a self-funded rapping career that may have included some comical YouTube videos. Regrettably, I couldn't find anything. Help would certainly be appreciated.
Abdul was another guy who could never seem to settle down. The 6-11 forward from Miami was a pretty hot commodity when he signed with Cincinnati (likely thanks to Frank) in 2006, but he only practiced with the Bearcats as the NCAA ruled him ineligible to play and he left the following year for the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
He only played three games there due to injury (averaging 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds) before heading to his next stop: Hutchinson Community College. He didn't have huge numbers but filled up the stat sheet enough to impress Frank and earn a scholarship despite the warning of Abdul's juco coach.
After playing minimal minutes in four games prior to New Year's, Abdul quit the team. He's the one guy on this list about whom I can find absolutely nothing about since then, so if you know anything, feel free to share.
Ron is probably the player on this list who has had the most success since he left, which is really not surprising since he wasn't too bad in his two years at Kansas State, either. As most of you probably know, he left after averaging 5.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in about 19 minutes per game in the 2008-2009 season.
He sat out a year at South Florida before becoming a solid role player for the Bulls. This season, as a senior, he started most games and averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in more than 26 points per game for a team that won two NCAA tournament games before falling to mighty Ohio in the second round.
I say good for him and definitely wish him the best. He earned his degree (not sure of the major) but I couldn't find anything regarding whether he plans to follow in the footsteps of his dad and pursue a pro career (most likely overseas) or go in a different direction.
Of course, Anderson was only one of three somewhat promising players to leave after the disappointing 2009 season. Another was Fred Brown, a Florida guard who actually averaged 8.1 points per game for the ‘Cats as a sophomore.
Like Anderson, Brown sat out a year before finishing out his career at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He led the team in points and assists in each of the past two years, though that becomes less impressive when you realize ULM won just ten games in that time period and that he didn't even make Third Team All-Sun Belt as a senior (he was third-team All-Louisiana his junior year, though I can't believe that's a thing).
Brown's ULM bio says he majored in general studies, which sounds to me like a fancy way of saying he was undecided. Hopefully I'm wrong and he's got a good career in front of him, basketball or otherwise.
The last of that infamous 2009 departing class was Buchi Awaji, who did at least get a degree in Social Science before he left Kansas State, and that may have been a bigger reason for why the little-used guard left than anything. Kansas State was his third stop after a redshirt year at Florida International and an impressive two seasons at the juco level at Citrus College in Covina, California.
Since he graduated from K-State and his coach wasn't a complete dick like Phil Martelli, he didn't have to sit out a year at Southern Miss, where he averaged 5.3 points per game and shot 38% from 3 coming off the bench for an average Golden Eagles team.
Buchi now works as a case analyst at The Cochran Firm in Los Angeles. Yes, that Cochran Law firm, formerly run by Johnnie Cochran. Awaji told GoPowercat that he may try to get back into basketball this summer, but it wasn't clear whether that meant playing or coaching.
He was pursuing his Master's in Sport Coaching Education at USM, and he seemed like a smart guy, so I'm going to assume he got it.
OK, so Justin doesn't really belong here since he was just a walk-on who scored 18 points as a mop-up player in 16 games as a freshman in the 2008-09 season. But he's the only guy on this list who has definitely gotten more media attention since he left the basketball team.
Justin even got picked up by The Daily Mail in Great Britain when he had the world's largest tonsils removed last January. Yes, that's an official Guinness World Record.
Maybe he would have had a more successful basketball career if he had gotten those removed earlier. Still, he did better than most of us and should be graduating soon with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Congrats, Justin.