Sneed Withdraws from NBA Draft, Returns for Senior Season

Courtesy of K-State Athletics
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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State guard Xavier Sneed is withdrawing his name from the 2019 NBA Draft process and will return to school for his senior season in 2019-20.

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“After much consideration, my family and I feel that it is in my best interest to return to Kansas State University to complete my undergraduate degree and continue my basketball development program,” said Sneed.

A 6-foot-5, 220-pound three-year lettermen from St. Louis, Missouri, Sneed enters his senior season in 2019-20, ranking 29th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,008 points having seen action in 105 career games at K-State with 72 starts. He also ranks among the career Top 10 in 3-point field goals made (157) and attempted (457) and steals (137). Just 40 shy of 500 career rebounds, he has the opportunity to become the 15th Wildcat to collect 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.

The school’s latest 1,000-point scorer after eclipsing the mark in the NCAA Tournament, Sneed has averaged 9.6 points on 41.2 percent (337-of-818) shooting, including 34.4 percent (157-of-457) from 3-point range, in his career to go with 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

“Obviously we are thrilled to know that Xavier will be part of our basketball program for his senior season,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “He has the ability to be not only the best swing man in the Big 12, but also in the nation. There is no doubt that he will be our team leader. From my conversations with him, I believe the NBA experience has been a valuable one for him. We have received positive feedback from several NBA scouts about his upside and his future. I know that he will use these experiences to help motivate himself to continue his development as a player, have a special senior season and leave a positive legacy in our program. I also know that his family will be excited and proud to have him finish his business degree at K-State.”

An All-Big 12 honorable mention selection, Sneed was one of the Wildcats’ most talented all-around players as a junior in 2018-19, ranking among the team’s Top 4 in scoring (10.6 ppg.), rebounding (5.5 rpg.), assists (1.9 apg.), steals (1.4 spg.) and minutes (30.7 mpg.). He connected on 39.6 percent (118-of-298) from the field, including 34.6 percent (54-of-156) from 3-point range, and shot 67 percent (59-of-88) from the free throw line. He scored in double figures in 18 games, including a season-tying 19 points in wins over West Virginia and TCU.

In helping K-State to the Elite Eight as a sophomore in 2017-18, Sneed averaged 11.1 points on 41.7 percent (141-of-338) shooting, including 34.4 percent (65-of-189) from 3-point range, to go with 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals in starting in all 37 games. He was selected to NCAA South Regional All-Tournament after averaging 19.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in games against No. 18 Kentucky and Loyola Chicago.

Sneed has helped K-State post consecutive 25-win seasons for the first time in school history, including a 25-9 record and a share of the Big 12 regular-season title in 2018-19. The Wildcats finished the year in the Top 25 in both major polls, including 19th in the final USA Today Coaches poll.

With the return of Sneed, K-State is now expected to return eight lettermen in 2019-20, which also includes fellow senior Makol Mawien (7.0 ppg., 4.9 rpg.), from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season and won a share of the Big 12 regular-season title. The Wildcats also return rising juniors Cartier Diarra (6.8 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), Mike McGuirl (3.6 ppg., 1.5 rpg.) and Levi Stockard III (1.8 ppg., 1.5 rpg.) as well as a highly-regarded signing class that includes a pair of Top 150 high school players in DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy and NJCAA All-American David Sloan.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.