“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ― L.M. Montgomery
Ever play a game of Madden or EA Sports NCAA basketball in dynasty mode and instead of losing and ruining your season you simply press the reset button before the clock hits zero; starting all over again and pretending it didn’t happen?
Kansas State was just 11-21 this past year which is the lowest win total for Weber in 22 years as a head coach and just his third losing season ever. After losing a number of very close games, frustration boiled over for the Wildcats in late January when a brawl broke out at the end of an 80-61 loss to rival Kansas which ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back for the 2019-20 season.
Weber will reset his program by bringing in seven new players for the start of 2020-21 which he admits is both equally exciting and frightening at the same time.
One of the themes Weber spoke about to allow renewed success at Kansas State was togetherness.
Weber said, “We’ve really tried to get these guys connected.” He added, “One of the themes we’ve talked about is being together and being closer than ever. We constantly have individual calls, we have team calls and I’ve had the players do their own FaceTime group calls. They play video games together late at night so we’re trying to stay connected in a very, very difficult time and hoping to bring our team closer together.”
He also spoke about how the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic has created even more challenges for him and his staff to get this group of players on the same page in advance of the new season. However, he did say he has enjoyed a silver lining of having some more personal time with his wife Megan going on walks of six or seven miles per day and eating more healthy creating a better focus.
Weber is one of those guys who has forgotten more basketball than most of us will ever know.
His resume includes a career record of 474-265, 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament with four Sweet 16’s, two Elite Eight’s and multiple National Coach of the Year awards.
These accolades allow Kansas State fans some solace in knowing Weber should have their Wildcats returning to winning ways come 2021 and that what happened last season won’t become their new normal.
According to Rivals, Kansas State had the No.17 rated recruiting class bringing in the following players.
- Carlton Linguard – 6’11 F San Antonio, TX – Temple College (Juco)
- Rudi Williams – 6’3 G Hamilton, ON – NE Oklahoma A&M College
- Seryee Lewis – 6’8 F Chicago, IL – Chandler Prep (AZ)
- Davion Bradford – 7’0 C St. Louis, MO – Mehlville
- Luke Kasubke – 6’4 G St. Louis, MO – Chaminade
- Selton Miguel – 6’4 G/F Luanda, Angola – West Oaks Academy (FL)
- Nijel Pack – 6’0 G Indianapolis, IN – Lawrence Central.
Kansas State will also have transfer Kaosi Ezeagu available in January 2021. The 6-foot-10 forward from Brampton, ON enrolled in the spring semester after playing his freshman year at UTEP but he will still have to sit out the first semester in the fall.
The Big 12 conference could be the deepest and most talented anywhere in the country in 2020-21.
At many college campuses across the United States, an 11 win season may be cause for concern about the state of their program. However, with the new talent coming into Manhattan last season’s downfalls look to be more of an aberration instead of a pattern.
Ben Franklin once said, “After losses and crosses, men grow humbler and wiser.”
Look for Kansas State to fly a little under the radar early in the season with a whole new cast of characters trying to find their footing. However, never underestimate the power of underestimation.
They can’t stop you if they don’t see you coming.
Check out part of my conversation with Bruce Weber below: