College Hoops Analyst Thinks Adding Coleman Hawkins Makes K-State A Top 25 Team

Mar 28, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) reacts against the Iowa State Cyclones in the semifinals of the East Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) reacts against the Iowa State Cyclones in the semifinals of the East Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats already had a talented incoming frontcourt.

It only got better with the announcement Friday of the addition of Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins from the transfer portal. Now, the Wildcats are getting some love nationally to the point of some thinking they are a Top 25 team.

During an appearance on The Field of 68 podcast, longtime college hoops writer Jeff Goodman said K-State is deserving of some preseason mention.


"He makes them a Top 25 team," Goodman said of Hawkins. "Beforehand, I think they were a fringe Top 25 team. "I'm not sure I would've even put them there and I didn't and I probably wouldn't. For me, they would've been like 30 to 40."


Last year Hawkins averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Illini, which lost to eventual champion UConn in the Elite Eight. He is now paired with transfers Mobi Ikegwuruka, Baye Fall, Ugonna Onyenso, giving the Wildcats an impressive frontcourt foursome.


There is even the possibility of Hawkins receiving some minutes at small forward. It largely depends how he recovers from a knee injury that bothered him last season.


"If he's 100 percent, I mean imagine that frontline," Goodman said. "I'm not saying he's going to play 35 minutes at three but I think he can give 10,12, 15 minutes maybe at the three ... Jerome Tang has some flexibility. He's got four talented dudes to split time between the four, five and if Hawkins can play the three."

Shandel Richardson can be reached at shandelrich@gmail.com


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Shandel Richardson

SHANDEL RICHARDSON