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Kansas State basketball adds junior college All-American forward to 2024-25 roster

Kansas State basketball has turned to the junior college ranks for its latest addition.

Chimobi Ikegwuruka, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, has signed with the Wildcats, according to a social media post by Arturs Kalnitis, his agent.

Ikegwuruka, from Galway, Ireland, is the sixth transfer signed by coach Jerome Tang this recruiting cycle, pushing the Wildcat roster to 10 players with three more scholarships available. He averaged 19 points and 10.3 rebounds in 21 games as a redshirt freshman and second team juco All-American at Ellsworth and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Scouting reports show that even at 6-6, Ikegwuruka is more of a power forward, as evidenced by his rebounding numbers. He also shot 59.4% while attempting just six 3-pointers and made 70.5% of his free throws on nearly six attempts per game.

Ikegwuruka is the second junior college transfer signed by Tang since coming to K-State. Forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin was a key contributor to the Wildcats' NCAA Elite Eight run in 2022-23. Also, 2023-24 leading scorer Tylor Perry spent two years at Coffeyville Community College before heading to North Texas.

Related: Kansas State basketball forward David N'Guessan reveals his plans for next season

Kansas State coach Jerome Tang has added Chimobi Ikegwuruka, a forward from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, to the Wildcats roster for next season.
Kansas State coach Jerome Tang has added Chimobi Ikegwuruka, a forward from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, to the Wildcats roster for next season.

During a Catbacker tour stop in Salina on Tuesday, K-State assistant coach Anthony Winchester said that adding size to the roster was a priority for the staff.

"Obviously we need some size," Winchester said. "I think that's where we're kind of focused right now and then try to see if we can finish the roster out here soon."

Ikegwuruka, while perhaps undersized as a power forward, clearly is at home around the basket, but the Wildcats could still use a veteran big man or two.

Super-senior David N'Guessan, at 6-9, 220 pounds is the lone experienced post player, though they did sign 6-11, 215-pound Arkansas forward Baye Fall, late last month. Fall, a 2023 McDonald's All-American, played in just nine games as a freshman this past season with the Razorbacks.

Related: Kansas State basketball takes another portal hit with guard Dai Dai Ames' departure

In addition to Ikegwuruka and Fall, the Wildcats have signed former Michigan point guard Dug McDaniel, Illinois-Chicago guard CJ Jones, Villanova guard Brendan Hausen and Cal State Fullerton senior guard Max Jones from the portal. They also will bring in high school point guard David Castillo, who played his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy.

While Ikegwuruka is not a perimeter shooting threat, the four transfer guards all are, connecting on 37% or better from 3-point range. No Wildcat shot better than 34.5% from beyond the arc last year.

"I think it was at the forefront of our thoughts. It didn't just work out that way by accident," Winchester said of targeting shooters. "We obviously looked at that as a need, and anytime you can have a guy out there that can help with spacing and stretch the floor a little bit, it's just going to make your offense better.

"We've added multiple guys that can shoot it at a high clip, so I think that's going to pay off as we look for size, because you can approach it a little bit different. I think that allows to play a little bit different, too, offensively."Arne Green is based in Salina and covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be reached at agreen@gannett.com or on Twitter at @arnegreen.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas State basketball lands junior college All-American forward