Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dominique Sutton To Leave K-State, Possibly To ACC

There is some fairly big news out of Kansas State as Dominique Sutton is leaving school for family reasons. He wants to be closer to his family in North Carolina, and so NC State and Wake Forest seem to be at the top of the list for where he'll be playing in 2011-12.

By no means is Sutton a unique player in the Kansas State lineup. He is a 6'5" swingman who was 5th on the team in points, 2nd in rebounding, and 3rd in assists per game last season. But he did start every game but one, and was expected to be one of three senior starters to lead the team, along with Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly. Wally Judge and Jamar Samuels will both get a lot of time down low, but the player who I think will really see his minutes increased with Sutton gone is Rodney McGruder, who showed real flashes of athleticism in limited minutes off of the bench as a freshman. If McGruder can show that skill in extended minutes then I don't think Kansas State will lose too much without Sutton, even if it will definitely hurt their depth.

That said, there is not a lot of room to spare at the top of the Big 12. When previewing the conference back in April, I spoke about how there were four teams that all could plausibly be called the Big 12 favorite: Kansas, Texas, Kansas State and Baylor. I thought all four teams could reasonably be projected as a Top Ten team next season. So while I picked Kansas State to finish second among that group, they could easily slip with something like the loss of Dominique Sutton.

I still think that Kansas State is a clear Top 25 team, but right now I've got to drop them at least one spot from the 3 seed I had them in my most recent bracket projection.

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