Isaiah Maurice is confident.
The six-foot-10 redshirt freshman forward from Durham, N.C. feels so good about his game, he sees himself contributing from all over the floor.
“I consider myself a stretch forward,” Maurice said Monday at K-State Basketball Media Day. “I’ll see a lot of five minutes as well this year — (but I can) play in the paint and on the outside.”
Coming from two seasons at Bull City Prep in Durham, Maurice was denied clearance through the NCAA Eligibility Center in 2015, but redshirted and played on the scout team in practice. While disappointing, the experience proved valuable for him. He was able to learn the plays and the in-and-outs of college basketball.
“What college basketball was really about,” he said. “It’s always a good thing to sit back and watch what you’re getting yourself into, so that was a good experience for me.”
Maurice sees himself as very similar to returner Dean Wade, and expects the two of them to gain a firm hold on the four spot, although they’ll each see time as a five as well, joining senior DJ Johnson and seven-foot freshman Dante Williams to provide K-State will solid big-man depth it hasn’t seen in a while.
Maurice sees his game stretching beyond the arch, with head coach Bruce Weber making a soft comparison between him and former forward Stephen Hurt, who was known to take and make outside shots in key spots. Maurice has confidence in his inside game, his ability from mid-range, and of course his inside game as well.
But, while he can contribute from all over the floor, he said the coaches have worked with him on doing so more consistently.
“The biggest part of my game that I feel I struggle with is just being consistent all-around,” he said. “But that’s something I can fix. Just being physically stronger.”
With a year of development behind him and the season creeping ever closer, Maurice is excited to hit the floor and show fans what he can do.
“I’m very, very eager,” he said. “I fell asleep thinking about it. So, that’s the biggest thing.”