K-State men's basketball Enjoys Big 12 Media Day

Linking up with the nine other Big 12 teams' coaches and select players, national media had its first opportunity to chat with the conference about the upcoming 2014-15 season.
"It's fun to see everybody, players, coaches and, for guys like us in the media, we have the chance to catch up with these guys now that they're in the middle of practice," said ESPN reporter Fran Fraschilla before starting out a busy day of interviews. "It's always good to start to do your homework and get ready for Big 12 basketball."
Obviously Fraschilla had already started on his homework well before the event began, because yesterday morning he shared his opinion of K-State hoops without hesitation.
"I like them," the ESPN personality began. "Nationally, maybe some people don't realize just how good Coach Weber's teams can be, but when you talk about Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Thomas Gipson coming back as a senior and then some transfers, some freshmen, I think there's a culture under Coach Weber that has been established. When you talk about Kansas State basketball, right now you talk about toughness, defense and winning basketball."
For K-State, it's trio of Weber, Gipson and Williams answered all of the questions the national media threw their way. These questions ranged in topic from the Wildcats upcoming season to Williams' favorite cookie to Gipson's favorite board game, but, in the end, a good time was had by all.
"It was pretty fun, it started early and ended pretty soon, but it's just a fun day," said Gipson as the Media Day came to the end. "I especially enjoyed being here with Nino. He's my roommate, and we kind of vibe together. Also, seeing players (from other teams) and knowing we're going to play against them in a couple of months, I feel like it's going to be a good year for the Big 12, so that's cool."
Though it was Gipson's second year attending the Big 12 Media Day, it was Williams' first time at the event.
"I thought it was great interacting with the other players that we're going to face later in the year and see the different coaches. Everybody's got a smile right now and everybody's friendly. It's a great time."
 
Taking place only a few hours before the Kansas City Royals took on the Baltimore Orioles in Game Four of the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the upcoming game was all the buzz at the basketball media day.
One reporter even asked K-State head coach Bruce Weber his thoughts on the team.
"Oh yeah, how can you not (follow the Royals)?" said Weber with a smile on his face. "They're everywhere you go. But I like baseball and the Wild Card game has to go down as one of the classics all-time and you just have to admire what these guys have done. To win the big games, make the big hits and the base running, it's great for Kansas City, it's great for the state of Kansas, and you can include Missouri, too, but it's just fun. It's a fun time of year."
And, adding to this fun time of year is the fact that basketball season just around the corner.
K-State men's basketball tips off its 2014-15 campaign on Sunday, Nov. 11, with and exhibition game against Washburn followed by the season opener with Southern Utah on Friday, Nov. 14. 
Single-game tickets for the Big 12 slate will go on sale in early December. For more ticket information, call 1-800-221-CATS, visit the K-State ticket office in Bramlage Coliseum, or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.
GIPSON AND WILLIAMS RESPOND TO FANS
Even fans had the opportunity to get involved at the men's basketball 2014 Big 12 Media Day as they sent in their questions for both Gipson and Williams via social media. 
Here are a few of the much-anticipated answers:
@3CatGuy asks: "What will be our MBB greatest strength this season: depth, rebounding or ability to get out and run?"
Gipson: "I feel like our depth and rebounding, and our energy to get out and run will all be our greatest strengths. Our rebounding, I will have more help. Nino Williams, Brandon Bolden and Stephen Hurt, those are all guys who can rebound, and especially with depth, for the bigs, along with me for the front court, Brandon, Stephen and Malek Harris, they are some really good guys who will help us out.  We'll be able to get going on the run at times, or we'll be able to slow it down depending on the tempo of the game."
@PeterNicklin asks: "Do you consider yourself the most elite big man in the Big 12?" 
Gipson: "I've kind of been a humble guy my whole life, I'm not really a cocky person, but I think I could consider myself to be one of the best big men. There are good big men in the Big 12 like (Oklahoma's) Ryan Spangler, (Kansas') Cliff Alexander and (Texas') Myles Turner, there are quite a few big guys. It's kind of cool to be considered one of them.
@octagonofdoom asks: "Where is your favorite place to play outside of the Octagon Of Doom?"
Gipson: "I think my favorite place to play is at TCU and at Oklahoma State. At TCU, because I'm originally from Dallas and all my family gets to go there, I usually get like 30 people out there watching me play. Then at Oklahoma State, for some odd reason, I just like their crowd and their energy.  I always have a good game there."
Bill Lang on Facebook asks: "Thomas, how much can you bench press?" 
Gipson: "Last time I bench pressed, it was probably 250 lbs., I really haven't done it in a while because of my shoulder, so it's kind of different, but I would say about 250 is my range."
@PeterNicklin asks: "How big will your role be this season?"
Williams: "I'd say it's going to be a little bigger than last year with leadership and off the court stuff, but on the court it will probably be the same. I'm going to be a little more aggressive on the perimeter with attacking trying to get fouled and get to the line a little more. Also, I'm going to shoot a lot more threes this year than I have probably ever at K-State."
@torpyedo asks: "Besides winning the Big 12 and qualifying for the NCAA tourney, what is another goal this season for the team?"
Williams: "I would say just starting out solid and finding out our identity and what type of team we are early. Last year, I think early on we lost a couple of games because we were young and immature, but this year we have veterans coming back, we have second-year guys that are really good, so we want to start of strong, stat off fast."
@_ClayJared_ asks: "Will Nino be using any product in his hair this season?"
Williams: "No, I just let it be however it is, that's how it's going to be. I don't use any products."
@3CatGuy asks: "What will be our MBB greatest strength this season: depth, rebounding or ability to get out and run?"
Williams: "I would say depth. We have a lot of guys at each position, if you're not playing well, there's a guy behind you that can play just as good of better. So, I just think having guys ready to play will be big, but I think all of those areas are going to be big strengths this year though. Those are probably our biggest three strengths."
 

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 Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.