Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Ups


MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced today the signing of junior college standouts Buchi Awaji (Citrus (Calif.) College; Los Angeles, Calif.) and Abdul Herrera (Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College; Panama City, Panama) to National Letters of Intent.

Awaji comes to Kansas State after playing two seasons at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., while Herrera played the past season at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan. The duo are the first players to sign with the Wildcats for the 2008-09 season.

“We are pleased to welcome the addition of Buchi and Abdul to our basketball program,” said Martin. “Both add tremendous experience to the roster after having played at the Division I level in their basketball careers. They know what it takes to succeed at this level. Buchi is a scorer who was the best player on the best junior college team in the state of California, while Abdul brings us tremendous presence on both offensively and defensively at the rim.”

A 6-foot-3, 175-pound shooting guard from Los Angeles, Calif., Awaji helped the Fighting Owls to a 35-1 overall record and to their first-ever California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship in 2007-08. He was named the most valuable player of the state tournament after averaging 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists during the team’s three-game championship run. He collected double-doubles in the final two games, including 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the 72-67 win over Fullerton in the title contest. He was named first team all-state and co-most valuable player of the Western State Conference South with teammate Darren Moore. He is rated as the No. 32 player in the junior college ranks by

The only player to start in all 36 games, Awaji averaged 16.5 points on 54.9 percent shooting (219-of-399), including 40 percent from 3-point range (58-of-145), with 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.6 minutes per game in 2007-08. He ranked in the top-5 in nearly every team category, including first in scoring, field goals made and attempted, 3-point field goals and minutes. He was also second in field goal percentage, free throws made (99) and attempted (138) and rebounding.

Awaji scored in double figures in 31 of 36 games this past season, including 12 20-point contests. He poured in a career-high 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting in a 115-110 overtime win over Bakersfield College on Dec. 30, while he posted a career-high 13 rebounds in the semifinal win over L.A. Trade Tech on March 15. He led the team in scoring in 17 games and in rebounding on seven occasions.

Awaji averaged 12.5 points on 42.2 percent shooting (154-of-365), including 32.1 percent from 3-point range (45-of-140), with 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists in 19.9 minutes per game as a freshman in 2006-07. He ranked among the top-5 in most categories, including first in steals and second in both scoring and rebounding.

Awaji tallied 1,021 points during his two-year stint at Citrus, becoming the first player under head coach Rick Croy to top 1,000-point plateau in a career. He connected on 48.8 percent (373-of-764) of his field goals in his two-year career, including 36.1 percent (103-of-285) from 3-point range.

Awaji transferred to Citrus College after redshirting his freshman season at Florida International in 2005-06. He prepped at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Calif., where he was named first team all-conference and team most valuable player as a senior.


thE oLd SouL said...

Get Outta HERE!!!! I've known Buchi since Junior High, it's good to seem him succeeding.

Hamiltoe Inyapants said...

we used to live on the same street as kids. good to see the hood coming up you know.