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Weber, Players Discuss Friday's Exhibition Opener


Oct. 30, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State head coach Bruce Weber and requested players met with the area media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Friday's exhibition opener with Pittsburg State set 8 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats will play their first and only exhibition game with the Division II Gorillas, which fell 97-57 to No. 6 Kansas on Tuesday night in Lawrence. K-State is 54-18 all-time in exhibition play, including 36-9 in Bramlage Coliseum. The school has won 14 consecutive exhibtion games at home dating back to 2003, including a pair over Pitt State. This will mark the third time that the two schools have played an exhibition games since 2004 with K-State winning 88-69 on Nov. 11, 2004 and 89-53 on Nov. 8, 2009.

Single-game tickets to this lone exhibition game start as low as $10 for bench and general admission seating and $20 for chairbacks. These ticket options, along with season tickets for the defending Big 12 champions, can be purchased through the Athletics Ticket Office in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at Bramlage Coliseum.

 

Head Coach Bruce Weber
On what he is looking forward to on Friday…
“We had a couple opportunities to scrimmage, before Baylor a couple people showed up, obviously the scrimmage Madness is not what I would call real basketball, but they still got a chance to go before people. We had our scrimmage, and now they get to play in front of people, and they need experience. Last year we had experience and that is why we were successful. These guys need experience and live stuff, especially the young guys. I told them today that they are starting to figure out roles a little bit, and you wish you were a little bit more established. Between injuries and a lot of new faces, it will probably take us awhile.”

On Marcus Foster being ready…
“Some days he seems like a junior and then the next day he seems like a freshman. Our older guys have got to be consistent. They have to be the foundation of our program for our young guys. So when they have a bad day, like all freshmen do, then we will hopefully still be able to find a way to win games.”

On having a rotation for the game Friday…
“In the first half I would say I would probably script the minutes, and then the second half maybe get a little of a role, figure out who is coming in for who. We have had so many injuries. Will (Spradling) has been out for a while. Shane (Southwell) is out. Nino (Williams) is out. Thomas Gipson is out. He is day-to-day. It has been a whole bunch of things. I was talking to Brandon (Yoder, athletic trainer) today, and it is like the song, “head, shoulders, knees, and toes.” We have had them all, but I guess that is part of the grind of practice that we have had early. Now we just have to hope to get them all back for Friday and then next week.”

On being more acclimated this year…
“I have been through it a whole year. You know what you are doing. You know game time. It is all organized. Nothing is new for us. The older guys have been through this, and they have got to show leadership, and they have got to be consistent. That will help everybody else. We will provide leadership as coaches, but the older guys have got to be the key guys. If the older guys are great leaders then it makes things so much easier on us.”

On how fouls are being called…
“We have talked about it. We have done a lot of foul drills. We went through it in our scrimmage, and I think we had five or six guys foul out. We had guys with three fouls in the first two minutes. We did adjust. I thought we did a better job as it went on, but at the same time, I just hope that it does not ruin basketball. I watched the NBA last night and they still allow some body contact in the lane. You have to play basketball. You have got to guard. This is not the 50s and 60s where no one went near each other, and they shot set shots. I understand if you want to clean it up outside, that is fine. We will adjust, but at the same time, it is part of strategy, and coaching to guard people. Do you want to just hand it over to the top guy because they can just drive it? To me that is not basketball. That is not how it was invented, passing, cutting, and screening. Now it is all dribble drive and shoot free throws.”

Senior Shane Southwell
On how excited he is for this season to start…
“I am really excited. We have a chance to show what we have, and just get out there. It is an exhibition game, but we are going to take it as our first game, we are going to take it really serious. So, we are really excited as a team.”

On what this team this year has to offer…
“Speed and athleticism, which is something that we naturally have as a team. I think that we are getting better defensively; we have shown in practices and scrimmages that we are a good defensive team. We have the ability to score a little bit more later on in the season. Right now, we are just focusing on defense, we have to win the early games by playing defense, and offense will come.“

On if there are any pregame jitters…
“For me, no. I never got nervous for games. I am more excited than anything for basketball games, and to just go out there and play a game.”

On defense and the way that they are calling the game now…
“I love it; I like to play free space. I am taking advantage of it in practice. I like it, personally. It is going to be hard for a lot of players, not just for our team but for every team. I think that Kansas had about 50 free throws last night, it is crazy. But, nationally I think people are going to start to adjust in January and February.”

Sophomore DJ Johnson
On how ready he is to get back out there after the long off season…
“Yes, I feel ready to get going again. I am excited about the season, this year, and all of our hard work pay off.”

On what is going to be his role this season…
“I think just whatever Coach Weber needs me to be. Rebound it, I have been working on my offense a lot this year. Also, just playing hard and giving the team a lot of energy.“

On what he thinks Coach Weber will be looking for him to do in this exhibition game this week….
“Definitely looking for some better offense and keeping up great defensive work and rebounding.”

Freshman Marcus Foster
On how he feels to finally play in front of the fans in the stadium…
“I am really excited, I really cannot wait. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I hear the fans here are amazing, so I am ready to play in front of them and show them what I got.”

On where he sees himself playing in the first game…
“Probably the two-guard sport, they might try and move me to the point, but mostly at the two.”

On if he thinks his game is college ready…
“It might be a little sluggish at first, it takes some time to adjust. But, I think I can come in and make an impact.”

On what he has been working on the most since he has come to Kansas State…
“I have to get my shot better, I have to dribble better, I have to defend better. So, I have to do everything better. So, I do not really just work on one thing.”

On if he could help out the team in one way, what would it be…
“Scoring and defending. The coaches like how I can score, and where I put the ball. Also that my body is so big, so I can guard and target bigger defenders.”

On how comfortable he is scoring…
"Yes, I like a challenge. I like scoring the ball.“