MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber enhanced his already highly-regarded 2020 recruiting class with the signings of junior college All-American guard Rueadale “Rudi” Williams (Hamilton, Ontario/Forest Trail Academy/NE Oklahoma A&M College) and prep standout Seryee Lewis (Chicago, Ill./AZ Compass Prep [Chandler, Ariz.]) to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday (April 15).
A 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard, Williams joins the Wildcats after a two-year stint at NE Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma, where he led the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) in assists in 2019-20 for the Golden Norse, while the 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward Lewis arrives from AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Arizona where the Chicago native averaged a double-double this past season.
“We were excited about the initial group of signees in the Fall,” said Weber. “We were going to have a strong need to replace perimeter guys and that was our main concern with this signing class. If you look at the players we signed in the Fall (Davion Bradford, Luke Kasubke, Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack), we were able to fill every position with some versatility. I think the big key was the fact that we were able to get a true big man (Bradford). A 7-footer who already has a pretty good body, both strength and weight-wise.
“Our main focus with the second part of our signing class was to get an experienced point guard (Williams) to go along with our young players (DaJuan Gordon, Pack, Kasubke and Miguel) and then we wanted to bring in another athletic big guy (Lewis) to complement Davion (Bradford) and the guys we have returning (Levi Stockard III, Kaosi Ezeagu, Antonio Gordon and Montavious Murphy).”
The pair of signees join an already-heralded four-man Fall recruiting class that includes the aforementioned high school standouts Davion Bradford (St. Louis, Mo./Mehlville), Luke Kasubke (St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade), Selton Miguel (Luanda, Angola/West Oaks Academy [Fla.]) and Nijel Pack (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central).
The current class is still rated among the Top 25 by several recruiting services, including No. 18 by Rivals.com, No. 23 by 247Sports.com and No. 24 by ESPN. Historically speaking, it is the highest-rated recruiting class under Weber and the highest collective class by K-State since recruiting rankings have been kept. Four of the five prep players are rated among the Top 200 players nationally, including four members of the Rivals150, while Williams ranks No. 54 on the list of the top junior college players in the country by JucoRecruiting.com.
The six-man class is the largest class in the Weber era and now includes players from two countries (Angola and Canada) and three states (Florida, Indiana and Missouri) at all five positions.
Much like the Fall Signing Class, which posted a collective 94-22 (.810) record in their final prep seasons in 2019-20, Lewis and Williams will also arrive at K-State with a winning mentality after having helped their teams to a combined 49-13 (.790) record this past season. Williams helped NE Oklahoma A&M post its best two-year period (52-14; .788) in nearly 30 seasons, including a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in 2018-19 and near repeat this past season after falling in the Region II Championship game. Lewis’ AZ Compass Prep team tallied a 24-6 mark in 2019-20 and advanced to the semifinals of The Grind Session World Championship, a postseason showcase for independent teams that play outside traditional state associations. A fellow semifinalist at the World Championship was West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Florida led by fellow signee Selton Miguel.
“I think it’s always important to bring in players from winning programs,” said Weber. “Anytime you can get a player who has come up through a program that’s won, I think they understand the importance of teamwork and what the main goal of basketball is which is to win.
“In Rudi’s case, when I asked him what do you want me to say about you as a player and his response was that ‘I win’ and ‘I want to win’. He led his team to Hutch (NJCAA National Tournament) as a freshman, won their conference in back-to-back years and lost in the finals (Region II) to return to Hutch this year. Nijel’s (Pack) team (Lawrence Central) was one of the best teams in Indiana, Davion’s team (Mehlville) lost to Luke’s team (Chaminade) to go to the Final Four and Selton’s team (West Oaks) was one of better teams in the country, winning at Oak Hill (Academy), which hadn’t lost in years at home, then beating Prolific (Prep), which was considered one of the top prep schools in the country, and they also won their conference title.
“We feel that we got kids that are about winning and care about winning and we hope that will be key for us moving forward.”
The first member of the Spring signing class to commit (March 19), Lewis was a key piece for head coach Ed Gipson’s AZ Compass Prep squad that could include as many as seven Division I signees in 2020. He averaged a double-double of 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game this past season. He scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the 81-70 quarterfinal win over Minnesota Prep at The Grind Session World Championship on March 11. He also had a near double-double (12 points and 8 rebounds) in a win over St. Louis Christian in the first round on March 10.
A native of Chicago, Lewis played for the acclaimed Mac Irvin Fire AAU program, where he led the squad to a 10-3 record in the 2019 Nike EYBL. He averaged 9.9 points on 64.1 percent shooting (50-of-78) with 5.4 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting against UPLAY Canada on May 11, 2019. He also played at Kenwood Academy and has a longtime friendship with rising sophomore DaJuan Gordon.
An outstanding student, Lewis also earned offers from Brown, Columbia and Yale in the Ivy League.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Williams developed into one of the top junior college point guards in the country at NE Oklahoma A&M, where he set school records for both single season (267) and career (492) assists. He earned Second Team All-America honors from the NJCAA as a sophomore, while he was the NJCAA Region II Player of the Year as well as a first team all-conference and all-region selection.
The owner of six triple-doubles, including four in 2019-20, Williams averaged 21.0 points on 50.9 percent shooting (226-of-444), including 36.4 percent (39-of-107) from 3-point range, as a sophomore in 2019-20 with 8.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals in 32.8 minutes per game. He ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 in seven categories, including first in total assists, second in assists per game, 15th in steals and 20th in total points (629).
Before leading the NJCAA ranks in assists (267/8.9 apg.) as a sophomore in 2019-20, Williams placed in the Top 5 in the category as a freshman, dishing out 225 assists in 27 games in 2018-19. He averaged 8.6 assists per game in 57 career games at NE Oklahoma A&M to go along with a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Seryee Lewis (sounds like Siri)
6-9 // 205 // PF
High School: AZ Compass Prep School [coached by Ed Gipson]
AAU: Mac Irvin Fire [coached by Mike Irvin]
Prominent Scholarship offers: St. John’s, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Saint Louis
- A consensus 3-star prospect by several recruiting services, including by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com… Rated among the top power forwards in the country and the No. 13 prospect in Arizona by 247Sports.com.
- Helped the AZ Compass Prep School and head coach Ed Gipson to a 24-6 record as a senior in 2019-20, which included a trip to the semifinals of The Grind Session World Championships in Benton, Ky. … The Dragons lot to eventual runner-up Our Saviour Lutheran, 79-67… The team included as many as seven Division I signees.
- Averaged a double-double with 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
- Played well for AZ Compass Prep in The Grind Session World Championships, averaging 11 points and 3.3 rebounds in 3 games… Scored 18 points on 8-of-11 field goals in the 81-70 quarterfinal win over Minnesota Prep (3/11/20) to go with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal… Nearly had a double-double in the 65-42 first round win over St. Louis Christian (3/10/20) with 12 points on 5-of-8 field goals with 8 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block.
- Helped the prestigious Mac Irvin Fire and head coach Mike Irvin to a 10-3 record in the Nike EYBL in the summer of 2019… Averaged 9.9 points on 64.1 percent shooting (50-of-78) with 5.4 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.3 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game… Scored a season-high 2
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
“After signing the four guys in the Fall, we thought the one missing piece for us was another athletic forward who could give us some more versatility, play the 4 and 5, someone who could guard a variety of positions and bring a lot of energy. We followed him throughout the season and his progress (at AZ Compass Prep) and of course he had some familiarity with us through his friendship with DaJuan (Gordon). We wanted to get Seryee to campus (in May), but couldn’t with the pandemic, but the family came to us and said we feel like K-State is the right place for him. We like the coaching staff and we are familiar with the players, so they made the decision to commit to us without seeing the campus first, which is not typical.
“I think one of the best things he did was going to the prep school (AZ Compass Prep) in Arizona. He always had the physical abilities, but he will tell you that he learned so much about the game (going to Compass) and made him a better student of the game. You could just tell watching him throughout the year how much improvement he had as the season went on. It was really tough for him leaving Chicago (and home) and going to Arizona, but he will tell you that it was big step for him growing as a man and as a basketball player.”
AZ Compass Prep School Head Coach Ed Gipson:
“Seryee is tough, hard-working young man. He’s a gym rat always putting in extra work on the court and in the weight room. As a player, he’s extremely active around the rim and very much versatile he can score on the block and also shoot from the perimeter. He is a great teammate and one of the most popular kids at the school.”
Rueadale “Rudi” Williams
6-3 // 180 // PG
Hamilton, Ontario (Canada)
Community College: NE Oklahoma A&M College (coached by Jeremy Jackson)
High School: Forest Trail Academy (coached by Antonio Lowe)
Prominent Scholarship offers: Boise State, Fresno State, New Mexico State, Washington State
- A transfer from NE Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Okla., where he spent the past two seasons (2018-20) playing for head coach Jeremy Jackson… Led the Golden Norse to a 52-14 (.788) overall record, including a 29-3 (.906) mark in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play with consecutive championships, and a trip to the 2019 NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. … Guided the team to a 25-7 overall record in 2019-20, including a 15-1 mark in league play, and lost to Murray State College, 58-55, in the Region II Championship game.
- Regarded as one of the top junior college players in the country, ranking No. 54 on the 2020 JucoRecruiting.com Top 100 player list.
- Selected to the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) All-America Team, earning Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2019-20… Also named the 2020 NJCAA Region II Player of the Year and was honored First Team All-Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and First Team All-Region II… Honored as the Region II Athlete of the Week on four occasions in 2019-20.
- Placed among the NJCAA Top 5 in both total assists and assists per game in 2018-19 and 2019-20… Led the community college ranks in total assists (267) and was second in assists per game (8.9 apg.) in 2019-20, while he placed second in assists per game (8.3 apg.) and fifth in total assists (225) in 2018-19.
- Dished out a school-record 492 assists (against 146 turnovers) in his 2-year career, assisting on more than a third of NEO’s made field goals and posting a career 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio… Also departed the school as the single season leader in assists with his 267 in 2019-20.
- Led one of more balanced community college teams in the country at NEO, as the Golden Norse averaged nearly 83 points per game (82.7) while holding opponents to just 66.6 points… The team ranked in the Top 20 in the NJCAA ranks in scoring defense in both 2018-19 (67.4 ppg/17th) and 2019-20 (65.7 ppg./15th), while they were Top 10 in steals and Top 15 in assists in each season… In 2019-20, the Norse averaged 85.4 points on 48.5 percent shooting (1013-2088), including 37.4 percent (264-of-706) from 3-point range, with 21.4 assists per game, while holding opponents to 65.7 points per game.
- Was an impressive all-around player in playing in 57 games with 49 starts in his 2 seasons at NEO, averaging 17.1 points on 51.7 percent (356-of-689) shooting, including 36.6 percent (56-of-153) from 3-point range, with 8.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 25.8 minutes per game… Also connected on 81.3 percent (208-of-256) from the free throw line in his career.
- Tallied double-doubles (points/assists) in 24 of his 57 games played, including 13 in 2019-20.
- Posted six career triple-doubles (points/rebounds/assists), which included four in 2019-20… Among his four in 2019-20 included 4 with 20 or more points… Tallied 18 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against Southwest Christian (11/19/19), 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds vs. Roane State (11/29/19), 23 points, 11 assists and 15 rebounds vs. Redlands (1/16/20) and 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds vs. Central Baptist (2/7/20)… Also had a pair triple-doubles as a freshman in 2018-19 with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Central Baptist College (11/5/18) and 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists against Missouri Southern (12/4/18).
- Dished out double-digit assists in 29 career games, including a career-best 14 against Oklahoma Wesleyan JV (11/8/19).
- Registered double figures in 49 of 57 games played, which included three 30-point performances and 20 other games of 20 or more points… Scored a career-high 35 points on 13-of-23 field goals in a win over Murray State (2/20/20)… Also had 32 points in a loss at Indian Hills (11/15/19), which included a 10-of-11 effort from the line, and 32 in a win over Northern Oklahoma-Enid (3/6/20).
- Averaged 21.0 points on 50.9 percent (226-of-444) shooting, including 36.4 percent (39-of-107) from 3-point range, with 8.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals in starting 29 of 30 games as a sophomore in 2019-20… Also connected on 80.7 percent (138-of-171) from the free throw line… Posted double-figure points in 29 of the 30 games, including three 30-point games and 16 more 20-point games, along with 13 double-doubles, 16 double-digit assist games and four triple-doubles.
- Ranked among the best in NJCAA in seven categories as a sophomore, including first in total assists, 12th field goals made and steals, 14th in minutes and 20th in points scored… Also led the Golden Norse in a range of categories, including scoring, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, free throw percentage, assists, steals and minutes.
- Averaged 12.9 points on 53.1 percent (130-of-245) shooting, including 37 percent (17-of-46) from 3-point range, with 8.3 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in starting 20 of 27 games as a freshman in 2018-19… Totaled double-figure points in 20 of the 27 games, including four 20-point games, to go with 11 double-doubles, two triple-double and 13 double-digit assist games.
- Prepped at Forest Trail Academy in Kernersville, N.C., where he played for head coach Antonio Love.
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
“I think the first things you will see when you meet Rudi is his smile, his charisma and his energy. Those are things that seem to be there every day. As a coach, it is always great to have guys that bring energy to daily life, to practice and hopefully to the court when you have games. He is young man that wasn’t highly recruited. He was a little shorter in high school, grew as a sophomore and junior, and took a chance to come to the States. He went the prep school route then to junior college where he had tremendous success at NEO. He told me, ‘Coach, I’m about winning.’ Physically, he has a good body, good physical strength already. He has pretty good quickness and a mid-range game. He is an exceptional passer and led the country (NJCAA) in assists. I think he will give us great versatility as a point guard.”
NE Oklahoma A&M Head Coach Jeremy Jackson:
“Rudi is a very talented point guard with a great vision and feel for the game. His ability to set his teammates up and facilitate are very special. His freshman year I asked him to become the best facilitator in the country and he did a pretty good job of accomplishing that. His sophomore year I asked him to become more of a scorer and he did that this year averaging over 20 points per game but still was a great facilitator averaging over 8 (assists) per game. His ability to lead a team vocally, with his energy, and basketball IQ makes him one of the best point guards in the country.”