K-State Media Day Quotes

By: K-State Sports Information (posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: K-State Sports Information (posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
Quotes from Bruce Weber and players from K-State

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber calls out a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against TCU, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas. Kansas State won 67-54. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Kansas State Basketball Media Day – October 16, 2013

Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening Statement…
“I think any coach is excited about the start of basketball. We have a different dilemma than we have ever had before with the change in the practice date. I have talked to about 30 to 50 coaches and everyone is a little tentative on how hard we go, do we do too much, are they going to be burned out. I think that is one of the things that we have had to deal with and especially with so many young guys that we have are new players on our roster compared to last year. Last year we were new to them, but they had been through the wars, they had experience, they have been through college basketball and been through a lot of games. It was so much easier to just kind of tweak things and they knew what was expected of them on a daily basis. They were able to accomplish a Big 12 Championship at the end. It is a little different for us. I am happy we had an extra practice. I hope I have dealt with it in the correct manner. Now we are about the point where we would normally be. So now we have to really get after it and start making some progress. We have an exhibition game coming in a couple weeks, and then a real game in three weeks. So it will be upon us quickly. I told the guys that we have 16 practices up until that point, so we have got a lot to accomplish. I’m excited about our new guys, we have some pretty good athleticism, some good quickness, but they also have a lot to learn. It is going to be our experienced guys that have to set the tone, have to give us leadership, have to be consistent if we are going to be a successful team that competes for the upper part of the Big 12 this year. It starts with Will (Spradling). He has played in a lot of games, a lot of minutes. I think sometimes people take him for granted; he does so much for you as a player. You can play him at the point; you can play him at the two. He has great awareness on defense. He just knows what you are doing ahead of time. A lot like McGruder, he leads by example. He is not very outspoken. Shane (Southwell) is obviously another senior. He had a breakout second half of the year last year, we need that to continue. He has improved offensively, but we need him to be consistent defensively. Omari Lawrence and Ryan Schultz as seniors, if we can get something out of them, I think will be important for us. Thomas Gipson, he has lost a lot of weight, he could be a major factor for us in the league if he has got that motor every day. He showed glimpses of it last year but if you’re going to be the star you have to do it every game, and that is the biggest thing with this older group. They have to come every day and give us something. If they can do that, I think we have a chance to be very competitive.”

On senior Will Spradling…
“We are just fortunate to just have him there with the circumstances that we had with Angel (Rodriguez) leaving so late. Will has played point before I got here. Last year, when (Martavious) Irving and Angel were out a couple games, Will had to play point. Will played point off and on throughout the year even when we rotated people; it was why we were successful because we had three ball handlers with Angel, Will and Martavous. He will get us into things, he knows our system, and he knows what we want. The biggest problem when he plays point, he does not get a lot of looks because once you get into the system; he had to take so much effort to get into stuff. Now it is tough getting him back involved. We are trying to get into a couple different looks where we ease the pressure on him and yet keep him involved in the offense. On the defensive end, we have to have somebody else guarding the point and let Will guard the two, because we are going to need a lot of minutes out of him early in the year.”

On playing inside…
“Jordan (Henriquez), when he was really motivated he was pretty successful for us, but that kind of came and went with different games. But he seemed to always rise up when we played the higher ranked teams and teams with big guys. Jordan was better when the other team had a big guy, he was not as good when they played small ball. So we are not going to have that luxury, but the big thing that we have to do is to be a better team defensively. We have got to give help; we have got to protect the lane with bodies and making them make an extra play. We are also going to have to rebound. If you look at a lot of stats that we lost, with Jordan and McGruder leaving and even Angel we lost a lot of rebounds and that is going to be important. Wesley Iwundu was the leading rebounder in the scrimmage the other day. He can really rebound, he does it naturally. (Marcus)Foster rebounded in high school over 10 per game. But it seems right now he is so worried about other things that he is not rebounding. He has the athleticism. We are going to have to team rebound. If Gipson has a to guard a big time rebounder he is going to have to box him out and everyone else is going to have to pursue the basketball.”

On leadership and personality of the team…
“I think they all get along pretty well. They have done a nice job. Something we talked about last Spring in our year-ending meeting when we talked about all new guys coming and then the summer that they just needed to grab onto those guys, get them involved. I think that’s one thing that has really helped us is recruiting weekends. When we have had recruits in, I think that they have done a great job. I have got to give a lot of credit to the players. On Friday night, they are all together doing stuff and enjoying each other. I think that is important. I think the older guys accepted the younger guys. They need to eat together, training table all, all of the little things. Will (Spradling) is not the most vocal, even (walk-on)Ryan Schultz. They have to be saying the right things in the locker room and helping those guys, especially when they lose their confidence. All freshmen go through tough days and we throw so much at them and their heads are spinning right now. It is important that those guys take ownership and really lead. Personality, I hope that is it scrappy, tough and defensive orientated. We can be very versatile offensively. Get some transition, we have some better athletes. We will be playing small ball most of the time. That is kind of my vision, that we could be a very good team defensively, very scrappy. On the other end very versatile, spread people, make them chase us whether it is on the break.”

On senior Shane Southwell and what position he will play…
“We are going to play the best players. There are going to be times Shane will play three (guard) and Nino (Williams) can play the four (guard) if they are the best players and playing the best at that time. Then there are other times when we had great success playing small ball. Shane realized that if big guys were guarding him that he could take advantage of them and get them out on the court and go screen and move that they would get lost and he could make shots. I think it will be a mixture and even a little point forward. He could bring the ball up, people are pressuring us. Certain teams like to take the point guard away and we will just let Shane bring it up and get everyone out of there because he is good enough to do that. We have practiced going through Shane a lot, just different things. He is a great passer. You look at his assist-to-turnover last year and it was just spectacular. We can use him in so many different ways; I think that is one of his strengths.

On the year’s expectations…
“You put your own pressure on. I am not sure what fans expected last year. I think we went by any expectations that were out there and had great success and got into the Top 10 at part of the year and won the Big 12. We are a new team; it should be a fun team. All we are worried about is our game against Northern Colorado, that is all I am focused on and then getting better. If that happens we will be competitive by the time we get into the second half of the season. We also have to stay healthy especially at some key positions where we do not have much depth and that is going to be important.”

Senior Guard Will Spradling
On the differences in his body type…
“I notice it a lot, especially playing point guard. I use my body a lot more than I use to. Before, I would use my smartness and now I have a body to go with that.”

On his biggest challenge this year as a point guard…
“Just taking care of the ball. The biggest problem my sophomore year was that I was turning it over too much at the point guard position. Last year, I did a great job of taking care of the ball and this year I have to do the same thing.”

On the expectations this season…
“The expectations are the same. We have to go out and try for another Big 12 Championship like last year and make a deep run into the tournament.”

Senior Guard/Forward Shane Southwell

On pressure of being the go-to guy…

“I feel like I should have that pressure, I worked hard to get that pressure. For me it is not even pressure for me anymore, it is just a matter of doing it.”

On expectations this year…

“Here in this building, the expectations are still the same. The expectations are still to win the Big 12. Last year outside of this locker room no one had us winning the Big 12. That is just an expectation here, we have to improve every day and take it one day at a time. Just have to be 1-0 that is the motto for this year.”

On what he has improved on…

“The biggest thing for me is leadership. I have to take a step higher than I ever have in the leadership department because we have a lot of new guys.”

Senior Guard Omari Lawrence

On how the team looks so far…

“We are still in the learning stage right now. The coaches are working with us right now to get through all of these drills. We have seven new guys, so everyone is just slowly, but learning the system.”

On how the newcomers are learning…

“It is very important, we have three seniors and seven new guys, a few can play this year and we will need them to help us out.”

On how Marcus Foster and Will Spradling compliment each other…

“Marcus (Foster) is a great scorer and Will (Spradling) likes to contribute the ball. Marcus pressures the ball and plays great defense, they will work well with each other.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On his experience so far at K-State…
“We are basically undersized at our position. We will have more power than we did last year. We just have to react better on defense. When Jordan (Henriquez) was here last year, people could make mistakes because he would be there to block shots, but now we have to be more effective on the defensive end and not let mishaps happen.”

On his new size…
“I think I am moving better and reacting better. I am lighter on my feet and I think it will help.”

Junior Guard Justin Edwards
On his experience so far at K-State…
“My experience has been great here. I have learned a lot from the seniors and coaches. It is a lot more intense than my previous school, but so far my experience has been great here.”

On which players have helped him the most…
“Shane (Southwell) has helped me a lot. So has Will (Spradling) and Nino (Williams) and even Thomas (Gipson). All four of them have helped me in teaching me the ropes and things like where I need to be on offense and defense.”

On what he is looking forward to in Madness in Manhattan…
“I am just looking forward to the atmosphere and just playing in front of a lot of people. I am not use to that. At my old school, we did not have that many fans. I am just looking forward to playing in front of that crowd and atmosphere.”

Sophomore Forward D.J. Johnson
On what he is looking forward to in Madness in Manhattan …
“I think it will be good to get the new guys in front of a bigger crowd. We need to get them acclimated to playing in front of a bigger crowd because it will be really good for them.”

On the seniors stepping into the leadership position …
“I think that they are stepping up a lot. They help motivate each other in practice a little more and are trying to get everyone involved as far as motivating the team. They are making sure that everyone is on the hustle from drill to drill and anything that they can do to better the team at practice .”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster

On his role with the team…

“They want me to come in and score the ball. The coaches like how I guard and how high my motor is. I am ready to bring scoring for this team.”

On the senior leadership…

“The guys are doing a good job of being leaders when they are on the court and when they are off the court. “

Freshman Forward Wesley Iwundu

On the leadership…

“The seniors are more of the voices of the team, if we have a question we will go and ask them. Such as what spots we are supposed to be in.”

On transition from high school to college…

“In high school everyone wants the ball and wants to score and having that feeling. Now you have to do whatever helps the team, if that’s rebounding or whatever gets your teammates involved, it is just whatever coach needs you to do.”

On his rebounding…

“Rebounding is a natural part of my game. Scoring will come along. It is just about helping the team out.”

Freshman Guard Nigel Johnson

On transition from high school to college…

“It is going good so far, it is just a difference with the speed of the game and the size of the players, other than that it is going pretty smooth.”

On his scoring ability…

“I am a scorer so I know I will be able to score, but I think this year scoring is not going to be my main focus. We have older players like Shane Southwell and Thomas Gipson, they are more established and the can score the ball very well and they will be the main targets for our scoring this year.”

On role model on the team…

“When I went on my visit Shane Southwell was the main person I paid attention to, because I remember him from last year and I just think he is a very good player.”

--www.kstatesports.com--


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