Head coach Bruce Weber of the Kansas State Wildcats yells from the bench during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on February 11, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.
Photographer: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - On March 31, 2012, Bruce Weber took over the Kansas State men's basketball program. He was prepared to lead, but not everyone was ready to follow.
“My biggest thing is you can’t win over the fans. That comes over time with winning. You’ve got to make sure you win over the kids because they’re the most important. If you win them over, you’re going to win and everybody else jumps on board.”
The Wildcats won early but weren't always winning pretty. They seemed to struggle with Weber's motion offense.
“Over Christmas, we had such a long break, and I kind of dreaded it at first. What we did was every morning we had a special study hall for basketball….Really just worked on shooting. Worked on cuts. Worked on reading screens. It was a half-hour every morning. They bought in. They were good. Then, slowly but surely, over a month time from the 14th of December through January 22nd, we really made some progress.”
That progress was evident in late December when Kansas State upset eighth-ranked Florida.
“I think the big step was the Florida game….Now all of a sudden, ‘Hey, this guy knows what he’s doing. Maybe this staff knows what they’re doing.’ They kind of jumped on board.”
The team is completely on board now. After being picked fifth in the conference preseason poll, the Cats have rattled off the most Big 12 wins in school history. In addition, Weber has won more games in his first season than any other Kansas State head coach.
“It’s fun, but it’s not over. I don’t want it to be over. You want it to keep going for their sake. I’d love for them to experience winning a conference championship, experience making a good run into the NCAA.”
A year after taking the job, Bruce Weber is still leading. Now, all of K-State nation is ready to follow.
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