Tuesday, February 12, 2013

KSU coach Bruce Weber on loss to Jayhawks: ‘ … we caught ‘em at the wrong time’

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber yells at game officials after an intentional foul was called against KSU forward Jordan Henriquez during the first half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber yells at game officials after an intentional foul was called against KSU forward Jordan Henriquez during the first half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Kansas State

KU coach Bill Self talks after his team's 83-62 victory over Kansas State on Feb. 11, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe

Kansas players Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 83-62 victory over Kansas State on Feb. 11, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KSU coach Bruce Weber, Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, Rodney McGruder and Will Spradling talk after KSU's 83-62 loss to Kansas on Feb. 11, 2013.

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Box score


Kansas State coach Bruce Weber knew his team had a higher ranking, was facing a Kansas University team on a three-game losing streak and could benefit from all kinds of doubt surrounding the Jayhawks heading into Monday night's match-up at Allen Fieldhouse.

What Weber did not know was that his team would be so kind in helping the Jayhawks heal.

Behind a 30-point explosion from red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore, who hit six of 10 three-pointers, and a spirited effort that included toughness on the court and thunder in the bleachers, the Jayhawks drubbed Weber's Wildcats, 83-62, to complete the regular-season sweep.

“It's a tough environment and we caught 'em at the wrong time,” Weber said. “But it should've been more of a game.”

For the first seven or so minutes, it was, as Weber's 10th-ranked Wildcats (19-5 overall, 8-3 Big 12) matched muscle and pace with the 14th-ranked Jayhawks (20-4, 8-3) and appeared to set the stage for a scrap-fest. But when the home team elevated its game, the visitors could not reach as high.

“All the things that got us where we are: our defense, our toughness, our discipline ... they weren't there today,” Weber said. “You can't have excuses. That's just part of basketball.”

Excuses they might not have been, but Weber had plenty of answers for why the Jayhawks turned a 12-7 slugfest into a 47-29 laugher in the final 13 minutes of the first half.

“They got us strung out, they got us in transition, way too many layups and we just broke down defensively,” K-State's first-year coach said.

Junior guard Will Spradling, who carded 10 points in 35 minutes, said it was more than layups that hurt the Wildcats.

“They made a lot of threes,” Spradling said of KU's 8-of-21 night from long distance. “But they also got a lot of easy dunks, and that's something we didn't give up the first game (59-55 KU win in Manhattan). When they get dunks at home, it gets the crowd going too, and they feed off that crowd really well.”

Weber agreed with Spradling's claim that KU's three-point shooting was not the biggest blow in this one. Instead, he pointed to the painted area around the rim, where the Jayhawks outscored the Wildcats 34-16 and benefited from K-State's early foul trouble while snagging 19 second-chance points.

“That's the difference in the game,” Weber said.

Early in the second half, the Wildcats trimmed KU's lead to 16, and Weber said he sensed his team had a run brewing. But that vibe quickly disappeared when the Wildcats played too fast and gift-wrapped more easy buckets for the Jayhawks.

“We talked at the timeout about each four minutes cutting four off and we did a great job to start it,” Weber said. “And then I thought we tried to hit grand slams without anyone on base.”

Despite the loss, Weber remained upbeat about his team's position and outlook for the future.

“It happens,” he said. “We're still in first place, and I told 'em, 'If we win the rest of our games, we win the league.' I know that's gonna be tough, but that's how we gotta approach it.”

As for star senior Rodney McGruder, who led KSU with 20 points, including 17 in the second half, he said walking away from Allen Fieldhouse without having tasted success was not something that would bother him — yet.

“You just gotta get over it,” he said. “It's not something you can dwell on. That's something I can dwell on when my career's over.”


Craig Carr 8 years, 7 months ago

No respcet for Weber, best team won again. Great job Hawks!

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 7 months ago

KSU coach Bruce Weber on loss to Jayhawks: ‘ … we caught ‘em at the wrong time’


Pray tell, Coach Weber, when is a good time to catch the Jayhawks? Isn't KU 50+-4 since 1990? Didn't KU win 31 straight games from 1994 to 2005? Isn't KU 23-2 at Bramlage, aka AFH West?

When exactly is a good time for KSU to catch KU?

okiedave 8 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps the week we played TCU might have been a reasonable time.

actorman 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't know if the people watching on TV could hear what we were chanting at the end, but it was great: "This is our state."

bballdiehard 8 years, 7 months ago

Watched the game on T and had no issues at all hearing and understanding the chant. Was awesome to hear, and I even joined in for a few rounds. Not quite the same as being at the game, but still fun to practice for when I next get to go to one.

JayHok 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe a light-hearted chant about Kevin Young or something. The big 12 programs see us year-to-year as the class of the Big 12. No need to chant something like this that is already very well known. Only exception would have been Missouri. No one else deserves this. They came in and tried. Why not simply clap for them at the end of the game like we do for any other school in the state, Washburn, Emporia State, Fort Hays. I repeat Missouri is gone.

kay_you 8 years, 7 months ago

They're not missouri but they are our chief rival. Missouri is just another team in the SEC. Loved the chant.

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 7 months ago

Hello actorman. No, we could not tell what was being chanted. We have a club in Topeka, called the Topeka Jayhawk Club, and we had about 100 fans show up from our club, who reserve a room at a great sports bar (and that does not include all of the Jayhawk fans who were in other parts of the sports bar. I will Post what was being chanted. Thanks a bunch!

8 years, 7 months ago

We had to rewind it a few times to understand what they were saying, and loved it once we figured it out. A lot classier than what the KSU fans were chanting at us earlier this season in AFH West.

Code_2008 8 years, 7 months ago

We swept them in Volleyball and Women's Basketball this year as well.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 7 months ago

I disagree with Weber ... I think they caught us at the right time. We lost 3 games in a row, one of which was at home to OSU, and our guard play was in huge question. Yes, it was at home, but with as bad as we had been playing it could have easily been the other way around. We came out and we stuck to the game plan; win. KSU was just happy to be ranked ahead of us. So, Weber, you had about the best chance you ever can have at beating the Jayhawks at AFH, and you still lost by 20. Good luck ... never. RCJH!!

Oh, and HAPPPY BIRTHDAY B-MAC! What a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday. Couldn't have been a better game/night to get his and the teams confidence back. Woo hoo!

JayHok 8 years, 7 months ago

Agree. Classic Weber. When opposing coaches in the big 10 figured out his system take a look back at his quotes at Illinois the last few years. I don't know if I've ever seen Weber actually say they beat us or it was my fault or they played better than us. Always an excuse. He is a funny hire in so many ways. KSU people laughed at Weber in so many ways when he was coach at Illinois. When he was hired their fanbase was very upset and petitioned for Doug Gotlieb.

JayDocMD 8 years, 7 months ago

If by "wrong time" time you mean past century you are spot on Liberace.

Mel Clare 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, we knew this would probably happen after the last three.......K State at home,, Big Monday, Rivalry Week, B Mac's B Day..........ect.......ect.....

Weber is correct though..............BAD time to catch the Hawks with all those other things going on! Give it some serious thought guys................How many K State players over all these years have NEVER beaten a Hawk team? Some losing as many as 9 times (counting tourney)................that in itself says it all!

Jared Grillot 8 years, 7 months ago

People who don't know how this works might think, "Hey, they've been losing... maybe we have a shot, too!"

People who DO know, who know Jayhawk basketball, will think, "They've been losing... eventually they're gonna go off, and I hope it isn't on us."

Three game skid, two on the road? Finally coming home? To Big Monday? Against our in-state rivals? Who are somehow ranked higher than us? Who DIDN'T see this coming? Seriously. Purple kittens didn't have a snowball's chance. RCJH

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

if it's either going to be a death blow to KU or a spanking of the Wildcats. Odds are good it's going to be a spanking of the cats.

good call JG.

Gary Wirsig 8 years, 7 months ago

Easy to say all this after the fact. If you had said this as strongly before the game (and maybe you did), then you'd truly be a prophet. If not, then not so much.

JayHok 8 years, 7 months ago

Then by Weber's definition all three losses we just had in the last ten days, all of them, "we let get away from us." I think we all know we flat out lost all three of those games even though we had a chance to tie at the buzzer in two of them and one had a chance to pull within two on a missed layup with 14 seconds left. All three of those games Self gave big props to the other teams although he might not have another nice thing to say to Travis Ford after he finds out what Ford has been calling Self since the defeat (sawed off little turd). A family inlaw sat through the OSU film sessions after that game and called him this everytime he was on the screen. Ford does not like Self at all.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree, I didn't catch the post-game press conference but normally in these post-game notes the losing coach at least gives some credit or praise to the winning team. Bruce seems to not give the KU team much credit for this outcome.

He said some pretty good things about KU and about Bill Self before the game and before the game in Manhattan too, but when he's frustrated and emotional we see what he really thinks about our coach, and he can't bear to give us any of the credit.

I think that it's going to be fun in the next few years having this coaching rivalry between Self and Weber.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't think the term "gracious loser" has ever been used to describe Bruce Weber.

Sam Constance 8 years, 7 months ago

Nope. It's too many syllables when "loser" is just as good.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

It certainly feels good to be back on the winning track again, I just wish it would have been against anyone else so it would be a true test. How do we NOT beat K-State ? EVER ?

Like I've said before -

K-State = Dusty Dinkleman

ku_foaf 8 years, 7 months ago

I believe it did bother Rodney McGruder. He looked near tears at the end of the game. They thought they had us coming into the game.

canuckhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to thank the Wildcats for climbing up the rankings so that we could get another "quality" win (and they could collect another "quality" loss). Thank you little bro, good to know you got our back.

bad_dog 8 years, 7 months ago

K-State smelled blood in the water coming into AFH. Unfortunately, it belonged to Jordan Henriquez...

Janette Crotinger 8 years, 7 months ago

Wish KU fans would have chanted "overrated", lol!

kay_you 8 years, 7 months ago

Probably didn't think of it because they are so rarely ranked higher than us but that would have been funny.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 7 months ago

Never a good time to catch KU if you're K-State.

Well, maybe in October... on the gridiron.

kay_you 8 years, 7 months ago

Note to coach. Your school has lost 46 of the last 49 meetings. There is no good time.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Note to coach II: If you win the rest of your league games (and KU does theirs as well) then you end up TIED with KU for the championship. And since KU beat you 2 out of 2 then you are just a pretender to the throne.

Garrett Coleman 8 years, 7 months ago

Wouldn't KU win outright? We would have one both head to head meetings and there are no longer divisions in the Big12

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 7 months ago

We still have our work cut out for the regular season title. K-State & the Oklahoma schools are going to need to get upset to give us a cushion.

Pitthawk34 8 years, 7 months ago

His new name is Screech. Every time I hear him talk it reminds me of Saved by Bell.

mikehawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Expect we will have to play them a third time in at least the Big 12 tourney. Always hard to beat a good team 3 times in one season. Not sure what coach does with the "Naadir factor." The fact is, KU pulled away while he had the point. He underwhelms still at times, but you can see flashes of point guard brillance . You put his play in a context of his doing it consistently, it leaves Coach with a big decision. EJ seems so much more relaxed when he gets to slide to the 2. The problem is, something has to give when both are in there together. I think EJ feels the need to be spectacular when he has the point to show everyone (Coach is really the only one who matters) the point guard job still belongs to him. Unfortunately, he demonstrates this with speeding up and being quasi out of control, and continues to overestimate his ball handling skills. Hopefully, EJ will find out all he has to do is make the easy play, play good defense, and get the ball to Ben and Jeff. He does those things, and the game gets more simple, and suddenly, without warning, his shot reappears. He has to find a way to slow down, cease stressing, and let the game come to him. I think Coach continues to support him to help him relax. If EJ was a junior or less, Naadir gets a chance to start. The problem is, Naadir's good play is making it more difficult for EJ and Coach. Give Naadir credit, he has a fearless quality to him and his skin is thick when it comes to the high expectations of Coach. Coach knows most of the EJ slump is in EJ's head. ask? Because EJ has performed in pressure packed situations before, but as a 2 and not as the point. Thankfully, we don't have a full fledged soap opera, yet. But we do have the makings of a story line. Think about it, EJ's slump and the losing streak line up pretty closely. Naadir's streak of brillance and the runaway from K-State in the 1st half line up pretty closely, also.

Rick Neely 8 years, 7 months ago

Wait a second, Weber told his team that they are still first and if they win all the remaining games they win the league... They are tied for first and if both KU and KSUck win the rest of their games, they would tie for first. And going into the tournament, we would have the tie breaker...

Rick Neely 8 years, 7 months ago

I haven't liked Weber since the stuff at Illinois. So, no love lost there, but I feel that he is only half correct on the statement about winning the conference. As Fraschilla said, you don't ever take the title from Kansas, you can borrow it for a while, but eventually, you have to give it back.

Garrett Coleman 8 years, 7 months ago

How does a tie happen if we beat them twice? I would understand a tie if we split but we beat them head to head twice thats not a tie in my book.

ku_foaf 8 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else think Weber will slowly build K-State down to mediocrity? I am just basing this on his history, I am really not wishing it on them. I kind of like them being good, it legitimizes us and the Big 12.

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