MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber continued to add to his 2021-22 roster on Wednesday (April 14) with the signing of prep school standout Maximus Edwards (Stratford, Conn./Our Saviour Lutheran School [N.Y.]) to a National Letter of Intent on the first day of the National Spring Signing Period.
Edwards is the fourth addition to the 2021-22 team, joining transfer guards Markquis Nowell (Harlem, N.Y./St. Patrick/Little Rock) and Mark Smith (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville/Missouri), who signed with the Wildcats earlier this month. Edwards would be the second incoming freshman, joining Wisconsin prep standout Logan Landers (Cedarburg, Wis./Cedarburg), who signed with the Wildcats during the Fall Signing Period in November.
A 6-foot-5, 210-pound small forward, Edwards arrives at K-State from Our Saviour Lutheran School (OSL) in the Bronx, N.Y., where he has spent the last two seasons (2019-21) playing for head coach Peter Wehye. Edwards helped the Falcons win a combined 50 games in that span, including a 21-11 record and a trip to the quarterfinals of The Grind Session World Championships in 2020-21. He led the team in scoring at 19.9 points per game.
“We’re excited to sign Max and welcome him and his family to K-State,” said Weber. “The first thing about Max is his desire to just be a part of our program. He’s just excited to be here, wants to be a part of what we are doing at K-State. He was also attracted to the challenge of playing in the Big 12 and where he can compete night-in, night-out against the very best. (Assistant coach) Shane (Southwell) did a great job of creating a positive relationship.”
An independent school that plays a national schedule, Our Saviour Lutheran School was the one of the few New York City high school teams to play the 2020-21 season despite COVID-19 protocols. The Falcons played most of their games in bubble environments (Phoenix twice and Paducah, Kentucky) in the Grind Session prep league.
Edwards made the most of this unique 2020-21 season by averaging a team-best 19.9 points on 57.5 percent shooting, including 35.9 percent from 3-point range, while connecting on 76 percent from the free throw line. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals per outing. He scored in double figures in 14 games, including six games of 20 or more points, and tallied three double-doubles (points/rebounds). He posted a season-high 35 points against Minnesota Prep on February 12, in which, he knocked down 6-of-shots from 3-point range, while adding 10 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block in a 93-88 victory.
Edwards capped his final prep season by being named to The Grind Session World Championships All-Event team after posting 19 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in a season-ending 81-67 loss to eventual national runner-up and top-ranked Compass Prep on March 4 in the quarterfinals of the event. A few days later on March 7, he won the slam dunk competition at the World Championships event.
“If you study our team, Max really gives us something we have been lacking – an athletic wing – much like we had with Xavier (Sneed) from a few years back and have had great success with,” said Weber. “His athleticism is off the charts, just look at the video of him winning the Slam Dunk contest at The Grind Session (World Championships) in March. That’s just dunking, but that gives you an idea of what he can do. And he’s also extremely versatile, he had six 3-pointers in a game earlier this year (against Minnesota Prep on February 12).”
Edwards helped the Falcons to a 29-4 overall record in his first season at the school in 2019-20, playing alongside current Power 6 players Posh Alexander (BIG EAST Freshman of the Year at St. John’s), Max Amandasun (Pittsburgh) and Dylan Addae-Wusu (St. John’s).
Edwards transferred to Our Saviour Lutheran School after a stellar career at Bunnell High School in his hometown of Stratford, Conn., where he averaged 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 2018-19. A two-time all-state selection led the Bulldogs to a 20-6 record, South-West Conference Tournament title and the quarterfinals of the Division II State Tournament. He scored more over 1,600 points in his career, including 37 in his final game.
“The key thing with Max is that he wants to get better and work on his game, improving his skills,” said Weber. “He wants to be an elite defender. He takes a lot of pride in the little stuff that helps you be successful like rebounding, being a defender and running the court and getting out in transition.”
K-State’s 2021-22 roster is currently taking shape. In addition to the recent signees, the Wildcats will return All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection Mike McGuirl, who is utilizing his extra season of eligibility, as well as the freshman core of Nijel Pack, Selton Miguel and Davion Bradford, who combined to start 71 games in 2020-21. The 71 combined starts by the freshman trio were the second-most by any team in Division I this past season. The trio combined to average 25.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals this season.
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
On the signing of Maximus Edwards…
“First off, we’re excited to sign Maximus and welcome him and his family to K-State,” said Weber. “The first thing about Maximus is his desire to just be a part of our program. He’s just excited to be here, wants to be a part of what we are doing at K-State. He was also attracted to the challenge of playing in the Big 12 and where he can compete night-in, night-out against the very best. (Assistant coach) Shane (Southwell) did a great job of creating a positive relationship.”
On what Edwards brings to the team…
“If you study our team, Maximus really gives us something we have been lacking – an athletic wing – much like we had with Xavier (Sneed) from a few years back and had great success with. His athleticism is off the charts, just look at the video of him winning the Slam Dunk contest at The Grind Session (World Championships) in March. That’s just dunking, but that gives you an idea of what he can do. And he’s also extremely versatile, he had six 3-pointers in a game earlier this year (against Minnesota Prep on February 12).
“The key thing with him is that he wants to get better and work on his game, improving his skills. He wants to be an elite defender. He takes a lot of pride in the little stuff that helps you be successful like rebounding, being a defender and running the court and getting out in transition.”
On where Edwards fits on the team…
“He’s a pure wing but with his abilities he can play that forward spot in modern basketball when you have to go small (to a four-guard lineup). He rebounds, he has some physicality to him, he guards and runs the court; he does all the extra things that helps your team be successful. Those are things that he does well and does naturally. His game is really, conductive to modern college basketball.”
Assistant coach Shane Southwell (primary recruiter)
On what Maximus Edwards bring to the team…
“Max is accustomed to playing with some high-major talent at Our Saviour Lutheran (including Posh Alexander, Max Amandasun and Dylan Addae-Wusu) and with his AAU team – the New York Lightning – and has done a great job of playing his role, but also excelling with those guys. I think his skill set is going to be a real benefit for us.
As a person, Max is a really, really humble kid. A great person to be around. I think the reason he fits so much at K-State is that he wants to be here. That’s really important. It reminds me a lot of our freshman group (Davion Bradford, Luke Kasubke, Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack) from last year. Guys who want to be at K-State.”
On the signing of Maximus Edwards…
“Max gives us that athletic wing that we have been missing. He’s a lot like Xavier (Sneed). (He’s) that 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 wing with a strong body, good frame that has great athleticism and can rebound at a high level on both ends of the court. He is good in catch-and-shoot situations, but also can put the ball on the floor and go make a play. He gives us that athleticism from the wing spot that we haven’t had for the past year, which is really important when you think of how teams play in the Big 12. He fills that void, fills that need. He is one of the most explosive recruits in terms of athleticism that we had here under Coach Weber.”