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PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF MEDIA CONFERENCE


November 14, 2013


Bruce Weber


TIM SIMMONS:テつ Coach, welcome.テつ Just a quick comment on the early practices for your team starting in September as opposed to October 15th.
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, for us this year I think it was a good thing.テつ We have so many new players.テつ Half our team is new with freshmen and transfers and all the practice time we could use is a good thing.テつ I think everybody, this was new for all the coaches.テつ I probably talked to 40 or 50 coaches, and any time you're out recruiting, how you're going to handle it and that, and it was an experiment.テつ It was a new way of dealing with it, and I think we'll all know a little better a year from now how to approach it and how it affected our kids.
But I think it's been good, and now we're in the games and we're back to our regular routine of games, one day off a week, and I think that it won't be too much change.
TIM SIMMONS:テつ You've played two early season games plus an exhibition.テつ Any players been standing out so far knowing that you have a lot of new faces in the lineup?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, last night our freshman Marcus Foster had 25, I think second player in the history of K‑State to get 25 as a freshman.テつ He's been our leading scorer in our scrimmage and one of our better players in anything we've done with live competition.テつ He did not have a great game against Northern Colorado, and that was one of the reasons we struggled, but 9 for 12, 4 for 5 from three and 25 points, pretty good outcome.
And then in the first game our other freshman had a double‑double, Wesley Iwundu, young man from Houston, long, athletic player, can get to the hoop, good in transition, and I think he was one of three players in the history of freshmen to have a double‑double, and it was Beasley and Norris Coleman, so some pretty good company for those guys.
They've played well.テつ We still need our older guys to be successful.テつ Shane Southwell, Will Spradling, those are the guys with the most experience, and then we get Thomas Gibson, he's been out with a head injury.テつ We're hoping he'll be ready for our next game before we come to Puerto Rico.テつ But he definitely can be a different difference maker for us.
TIM SIMMONS:テつ You open up with Charlotte in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip‑Off and prior to that you have a game with Long Beach State, a non‑bracketed game.テつ Just talk thoughts about playing Charlotte in the first round.
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, one, the field is unbelievable.テつ The group that ESPN has put together is‑‑ I don't know, I haven't studied all the brackets around the country of the early season tournaments, but it's got to be one of the best.テつ I think you have seven teams that had over 20 wins, postseason play, NIT, NCAA for a lot of teams, obviously headed by Michigan as the national runner‑up, so it's a competitive tournament.
We get to play Charlotte, a team that has 20‑some wins last year, NIT, Alan Major, a good friend of mine, he was our manager when I was at Purdue, and then he became one of my assistants at Southern Illinois when I took over that job.テつ He loves basketball, very, very dedicated, has done a great job in trying to reenergize that program.
It'll be a tough match‑up for us.テつ Every game right now for us is tough.テつ We're just trying to figure out some kind of identity and hopefully we'll make a little more progress on Sunday against Long Beach and Dan Monson and be ready for a competitive game and a competitive bracket.

Q.テつ How can this benefit you guys playing in this tournament, going down there and getting some experience and kind of getting on the road?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, I think all these tournaments are great benefits.テつ I think one thing is just having the opportunity as a new team to go and travel together for a week and be together, the bonding, the chemistry is such an important part of putting your team together, building that foundation.テつ And then to deal with all the different competition, different styles of play, teams from all different leagues all over the country.テつ I think it's a great benefit.
Obviously if you win and have success, it's a great confidence builder as you get into the meat of your non‑conference schedule.テつ It's a great jump start for us and for our young guys to play away from home.テつ You don't have that true road game crowd type of situation, but you still‑‑ it's different than playing in Bramlage here in Manhattan.テつ It's a different approach and all that stuff.
I think it'll be a great trip for us.テつ Hopefully it turns out on the positive side.

Q.テつ I just wanted to talk a little bit more about your relationship with Alan Major and just how unique it is in this college basketball world to cross paths with him again.
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, you know, Alan, he was a very dedicated, very involved manager.テつ He was Matt Painter's roommate, just one of those basketball junkie guys, helping with camp, doing everything, always around the program, and you knew he wanted to get into coaching.テつ When he got out, he was fortunate to get on.テつ He was at Pacific.テつ We had an opportunity at Southern Illinois to come back a little closer to home, jump started that program, then he had another opportunity to take another step to go to Xavier and be with that, and obviously that worked out great for him to go to Ohio State then and be a part of a really successful program there.
I admire him and his dedication and work ethic and his love for basketball.テつ Other than next Thursday, we'll always be cheering for him.
DAN SHOEMAKER:テつ It does point up how small this business is when you get right down to it, the relationships that you have in the business and so many people that you continue to run into over and over, and I do want to on behalf of ESPN, really appreciate you bringing Kansas State back to the Puerto Rico Tip‑Off.テつ We had them there four years ago.テつ They equated themselves incredibly well and I know made a lot of friends and fans on the island.テつ It's going to be great to have you there.
COACH WEBER:テつ I appreciate that, and we're looking forward to coming down.
TIM SIMMONS:テつ Coach, thank you very much.テつ Look forward to seeing you next Wednesday at shoot‑around and your first game against Charlotte.テつ Good luck.
COACH WEBER:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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