So my buddy and I really wanna get away this weekend and go jump some cliffs. What's the cheapest cabins there? We stayed at an awesome elk one for $50 a night, but they just raised it to $75 (which is still dirt cheap, but away from the water).
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WEBER: ON K-STATE … AND THE FUTURE:POPCORN:
Also: Former AD Bebe Lee Passes Away
April 2, 2013
By Mark Janssen
Editor’s Note: Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber took time last week to visit with Sports Extra on the just completed basketball year. An historic season that included 27 victories, a co-Big 12 championship for the first time since 1977, and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Yesterday, we chatted about the just completed season; today, Weber speaks on how he found the Kansas State landscape in his first season.
SPORTS EXTRA: What were your expectations of the personality of Kansas State coming from Illinois.
BRUCE WEBER: I understood that the population base would be different, but here it’s so much more about quality as to quantity. The fan base here is so loyal and so passionate in how they respond during games. I’ve found people to be very appreciative.
One thing that did surprise me is I thought Kansas fans would dominate the state. They’re in the Kansas City area, but you go to other parts of the state and it’s just amazing the support that Kansas State receives, and that includes parts of Kansas City. I thought I could fly under the radar a little bit in my first year, but I was constantly being approached in the Kansas City airport and in Kansas City.
SE: You came to a school high on football. Has that made your job easier or tougher?
BW: This is the first time that I’ve coached at a program where football was really good. What we did by winning the Big 12 title in football and basketball is really an accomplishment. As a basketball coach, coaching here with the success the football program is enjoying is nothing but a positive. There’s not a 100,000 in that stadium like you have in some of the Big Ten stadiums, but the quality of experience is really something. I brought friends and relatives back for games, and they were just in awe of the experience.
SE: What does it mean to have a LHC Bill Snyder in the stands for many of your games, including those in Kansas City?
BW: I really appreciate that. Bill is such a positive fan and influence on all of us whether it’s coming to talk to our team, being in the stands, or writing letters to our players. That’s a great statement to all of us to see him there. I know he’s said he loves basketball and the Big 12 tournament is one of his favorites.
SE: After a year in the Big 12, how can you compare it with the Big Ten?
BW: This year the Big Ten is said to be the best in the nation, but all of that next year will depend on how many players come out and how many young players a league has, like the Big 12 did this year.
I was sorry to see the Big 12 not do well in this year’s tournament, but we have great coaching in this league. What, four of us (Weber, Bob Huggins, Bill Self, Lon Kruger) have coached in the Final Four? You have great coaching and the athletic ability is a little better than in the Big Ten. It’s more of a possession game in the Big Ten.
SE: Bruce, the wild emotional ride you’ve been on in the last 12 months … being let go at Illinois, and less than 12 months later being a Big 12 champion. What’s it been like?
BW: My whole life I’ve been very blessed to be associated with winners and champions. We won at Illinois more than at any time in the program’s history, so how it went down is very disappointing. But I’m a person of strong faith, and my whole life I’ve worked under the philosophy that everything will work out for the better … and this has.
SE: You lose three seniors … the scoring ability of McGruder, the defensive presence of Henriquez and the toughness of Irving. Are the pieces in place to replace those guys?
BW: We have some nice pieces returning, but they have to get better. Shane (Southwell) needs to decide if he loves it and wants to put in the time. He’s made strides and has the intelligence to play any position on the court when some of our guys don’t know their position. He can play them all, but at times he thinks too much. You become a better player during the summer. He needs to decide whether he wants to do that.
SE: As for recruiting, where do you hope to set up recruiting bases?
BW: We want to start in Kansas and the Kansas City area, but we also want Texas to be a good base because of the population, quality of play, and the connection it has with the Big 12. The third area is probably back east with the prep schools and the connections we’ve established with our New York kids.
SE: Bruce, the state of college basketball … officiating, rule changes, etc.
BW: The NFL and NBA playoffs are special, but in college, there’s not a three-week event that can match the NCAA Tournament. Officiating? It’s so tough, especially with how teams get after it this time of the year. But honestly, 95 to 97 percent of the time, they get it right.
SE: Would you like to see replay expanded?
BW: At this time of the year when so much is on the line, I think it would be a good idea to watch anything that is close. Go watch it and get it right. My biggest rule concern is the flopping you see players do, but it’s so hard to call. You really do need a replay because it happens so quickly.
SE: Bruce, the world is watching the Sweet 16 and now on to the Final Four. Will you be part of that world?
BW: Not right now (heading into Sweet 16). Right now it would be very hard to watch because I know we could be there. I sit in church and my thoughts turn to basketball; I go to the grocery store and people approach me about basketball. It’s hard to get away from. I’ll be at the Final Four for the coaching convention, but right now it would be very hard for me to watch.
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at [email protected], or Kansas State Assistant A.D. for Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at [email protected].