v Former Kansas high school players in the NCAA Tourney - Sports in Kansas
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Former Kansas high school players in the NCAA Tourney

Wichita State's Ron Baker (photo: Wichita State Media Relations/GoShockers.com)
By: Kpreps.com & Sports In Kansas
Mar 17, 2015

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March Madness is here and Sports In Kansas and Kpreps have compiled a list of former Kansas high school players who are in this year’s NCAA Tournament.  Below you will find the teams to watch (and perhaps root for), the time they play, the players to watch (with their jersey number), and more about several former Kansas high school players we are excited to watch perform on the biggest stage.

Teams (with former Kansas high school players) are listed in alphabetical order

DAVIDSON (South Region 10-seed vs. 7-seed Iowa; Fri 6:20PM on TNT)

  • Tyler Kalinoski, Davidson #4 (Olathe East ’11)
    The Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Kalinoski leads the Wildcats in scoring at 17 points per game. He also averages 5.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1,2 steals per game. You may have seen the highlight of Tyler hitting the dramatic, game-winning layup to defeat LaSalle 67-66 in the A-10 quarterfinals last week. According to the school’s website, Kalinoski is the first player in Davidson history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200-career 3-pointers. His senior year at Olathe East, Tyler was named Sunflower League Player of the Year and was a first-team all-state selection.

IOWA STATE (South Region 3-seed vs. 14-seed UAB; Thurs 11:40AM on TruTV)

  • Clayton Custer, Iowa State #3 (Blue Valley Northwest ’14)
    Custer has played in 12 games averaging 5.8 minutes per game for the Cyclones. He has scored 13points and dished out eight assists this season. Custer was a three-time, first-team all-state selection at Blue Valley Northwest.  He helped the Huskies to four consecutive 6A state title games including back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Custer scored 1,795 career points in high school and averaged 19 points per game his senior season. The Huskies compiled a 94-6 record during his high school career.

KANSAS (Midwest Region 2-seed vs. 15-seed New Mexico St; Fri 11:15AM on CBS)

  • Perry Ellis, Kansas #34 (Wichita Heights ’12)
    Ellis, the four time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, has developed into one of the best players in the Big 12 over the last couple of seasons. He is one of two high school boys in Kansas to start on four consecutive state championship basketball teams (Jacy Holloway – Moundridge/Iowa State). Ellis has scored in double figures 24 times this season and averages 13.8 points per game, while pulling down around seven boards.
  • Evan Manning, Kansas #5 (Lawrence Free State ’11)
    Manning, a walk on from nearby Lawrence, is the son of Kansas Legend, Danny Manning, now the head coach at Wake Forest.
  • Tyler Self, Kansas #11 (Lawrence Free State ’12)
    Self, the son of head coach Bill Self, averaged three points a game as a senior at Free State. He is now in his third year as a walk-on at Kansas.

KENTUCKY (Midwest Region 1-seed vs. 16-seed Hampton/Manhattan; Thurs 8:40PM on CBS)

  • Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky #15 (Olathe Northwest ’12)
    Cauley-Stein, originally from Spearville, is a 2012 grad from Olathe Northwest. He has exploded over the 2015 season for the #1 Wildcats, earning SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Stein, who is now a junior, is projected as a lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

MICHIGAN STATE (East Region 7-seed vs. 10-seed Georgia; Fri 11:40AM on TruTV)

  • Marvin Clark, Jr., Michigan State #0 (Sunrise Christian Academy ’14)                                               Clark has started seven games for the Spartans this season and averages 11 minutes per contest.  He averages 4.8 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game for Tom Izzo’s bunch. He scored a career high 15 points against Loyola (Chicago) back in November, and had 14 at Indiana on March 7th.
  • Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr., Michigan State #11 (Sunrise Christian Academy ’14)
    Nairn Jr. has started 12 games for the Spartans and averages nearly 20 minutes per contest. He’s scored 2.2 points per game and dished out 84 assists against 33 turnovers (2.5x). He scored five points in Michigan State’s 80-69 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game.

MISSISSIPPI (West Region 11-seed vs. 11-seed BYU; Tues 8:10PM on TruTV)

  • Anthony Perez, Ole Miss #13 (Wichita Word of Life ’12)
    Perez, now a junior for the Rebels, spent his senior season at Word of Life in Wichita, where he averaged 15 points per game.  He has played in 25 games this season for Ole Miss.
  • Sebastian Saiz, Ole Miss #11 (Sunrise Christian Academy ’13)
    Saiz, a native of Spain, averaged 15 points per game as a senior for Sunrise in leading them to a 27-2 record. Now a sophomore for the Rebels, he has averaged 7.6 points per game, while starting 30 contests.

NOTRE DAME (Midwest Region 3-seed vs. 14-seed Northeastern; Thurs 11:15AM on CBS)

  • Eric Katenda, Notre Dame #15 (Sunrise Christian '12)                                                                                   Katenda has played in 15 games this season and is averaging approximately two minutes per game. He has scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Eric has battled injuries during his time with the Irish; limiting him to just two games last season. He averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game as a senior at Sunrise Christian.

OKLAHOMA (East Region 3-seed vs. 14-seed Albany; Fri 6:27PM on TruTV)

  • Buddy Hield, Oklahoma #24 (Sunrise Christian Academy ’12)
    The Big 12 Player of the Year, Hield averages 17.4 points per game for the 3-seeded Sooners. Buddy was a first-team all-conference selection after earning second-team All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore last season when he averaged 16.5 points per game. As a senior at Sunrise Christian, Hield averaged 22.7 points per game.

SMU (South Region 6-seed vs. 11-seed UCLA; Thurs 2:10PM on TruTV)

  • Semi Ojeleye, SMU #33 (Ottawa ’13)
    Ojeleye is not eligible to play in the tournament after playing in six games this season at Duke before transferring to SMU at semester.  Last year as a freshman at Duke, Ojeleye played in 17 games averaging 1.6 points and nearly a rebound per game. Semi set the Kansas high school career scoring record with 2,763 points, including a state-record 952 points his senior season.

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (South Region 12-seed vs. 5-seed Utah; Thurs 6:27PM on TruTV)

  • Connor Brooks, Stephen F. Austin #31 (Manhattan ‘11)
    Brooks has appeared in 28 games for the Lumberjacks averaging 9.5 minutes per contest. He averages 2.3 points and a rebound per game. Connor transferred to Stephen F. Austin after two years at Northern Oklahoma College. Brooks was an honorable mention All-State his senior year at Manhattan High School.

WICHITA STATE (Midwest Region 7-seed vs. 10-seed Indiana; Fri 1:45PM on CBS)

  • Ron Baker, Wichita State #31 (Scott City ’11)
    Baker has went from small town walk-on to a national known star at Wichita State. The 2011 Scott City grad paid his own way and redshirted over the 2011-2012 season. A year later he helped lead the Shockers to the Final Four. Two years later he was named a top 20 finalist for the Wooden Award, which honors the nation’s best player. 
  • Zach Brown, Wichita State #1 (Sunrise Christian Academy ’14)
    Brown, who played in nearby in Bel Aire, Kansas, averaged 16 points per game for Sunrise last year. He plays around ten minutes per game for the Shockers as a freshman in 2014-2015.
  • Zach Bush, Wichita State #5 (Goddard Eisenhower ’12)
    Bush, a walk-on, has played in three games this season.
  • Rauno Nurger, Wichita State #20 (Sunrise Christian Academy  ’14)
    Nurger has played in 24 games this season for the Shockers off the bench as a freshman.
  • Evan Wessel, Wichita State #3 (Wichita Heights ’11)
    Wessel, a 2011 grad from Wichita Heights, can do a little bit of everything for the Shockers. The former all-state football player has started 28 games for the Shockers this season, while averaging around four points per game. At one point this season he had the highest winning percentage of any college basketball player over the last 15 seasons.


Did we miss someone? Let us know at admin@kansas-sports.com or contact@kpreps.com

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Olathe East, Tyler Kalinoski, Clayton Custer, Blue Valley Northwest, Perry Ellis, Wichita Heights, Evan Manning, Tyler Self, Lawrence Free State, Willie Cauley-Stein, Olathe Northwest, Spearville, Marvin Clark Jr., Sunrise Christian Academy, Lourawls Nairn Jr., Anthony Perez, Wichita Life Prep, Sebastian Saiz, Buddy Hield, Semi Ojeleye, Ottawa, Connor Brooks, Manhattan, Ron Baker, Scott City, Zach Brown, Zach Bush, Goddard-Eisenhower, Rauno Nurger, Evan Wessel, Eric Katenda

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