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Weber, Players Discuss Friday's Opener


K-State Athletics

Nov. 6, 2013

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State head coach Bruce Weber and requested players met with the area media on Wednesday after practice to discuss Friday's season opener with Northern Colorado at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State is 85-24 all-time in season openers dating back to its first season in 1903, inlcuidng a 73-8 mark in openers at home. The Wildcats have won 10 consecutive season openers since 2003 with its last loss coming to BYU, 73-64, on Nov. 23, 2002 at the Paradis Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Overall, the school has won 19 consecutive openers at home, including a stellar 20-1 record at Bramlage Coliseum.

This will be the fifth meeting between the schools on the hardwood with each winning twice, but the first since the 1937 season.

Head Coach Bruce Weber

On feelings toward Friday's game...  
"A little bit of all of it.  I hope they're nervous, they should be a little anxious, they want to play.  It seems like forever ago that we played the exhibition game and with the new rules, I kind of like it, but you know we have to keep giving them days off. We had a day off Saturday, so I am not sure how much rhythm we got, but now I think we are getting some rhythm.  We have three games in a nine-day period and then we go to Puerto Rico and we have three games in a short period, so we will find a lot out about everyone in those couple of weeks."

On the week of practice going the way he wanted... 
"I guess if you want to say that we had a chance to yell at them, then I guess it went the way we wanted it to.  It will work, we are figuring things out and we are not supposed to be perfect yet.  They all say 29 days create a havoc, but we have not got to 29 days yet, so we are still learning and figuring it out.  Our young guys are figuring out how hard they have to play and how consistent they have to be if they are going to have success."

On Northern Colorado...
"They have got an experienced team and if you look, I think they won a bunch of games at the end of last year before they lost in the tournament. They are a great shooting team and they have got somebody inside that will be able to challenge us a little bit.  It will be a good experience for us.  I wish it was a little later, but we have to deal with it.  We are playing at home and they are not, so we just have to take advantage of that.  We got the bacon that we are passing out, so we will hopefully have a great crowd." 

On reliance of upperclassmen leadership...
"Obviously, if the freshmen can carry us, I will be surprised.  One of the words I put up today is consistency.  We need consistency from the older guys and they may not shoot perfect every game but they have to be part of it.  When Will (Spradling) plays the point, he did not get a lot of looks if you go back to last year because he had to work so hard to get us into our offense and we just were not patient enough to give it back to him.  We will mix in Nigel (Johnson) if keeps doing well and try to shift Will to the two.  We are just trying to get all of them to be patient so we can maybe get some better looks down the road. We cannot shoot 36 percent (like the exhibition game) and expect to be a consistent team."

On wanting the team to get experience...
"You are trying to build your resume right now, but at the same time you have to get experience, which will lead to consistency. If you add consistency and experience together, you are going to have success.  That is what we will hopefully develop as we go on. I hope we have a little bit of a foundation. We have not even started building the house yet and we have a long ways to go."

On a starting lineup...
"We talked about it today and we decided we will just see how practice goes. The big thing is practice matters, you have to come every day and practice. If you do what you are supposed to every day, you are going to be in a lot. I just want guys to be consistent. It is who is in at the end of the game that really matters. I think people make too big of a deal out of starting. We need people with energy and they will get minutes if they have that." 

Senior Guard Will Spradling 
On play coach's comments on scoring...
"Yeah he really did not say anything to me. I got moved to point so I expected not to get as many shots as Marcus (Foster) and Shane (Southwell) can get. Marcus is a scorer and so is Shane. I did expect to have more shots but not too many shots."

On the team's roles...
"We are still trying to figure out our roles as a team. During the course of the game, the freshman ,for most of them, that was their first game. I mean under the lights it is a lot different."

On playing point guard...
"I kind of liked it. It did not bother me at all. I only had one pass that I was unhappy about, but I had quite a few assists by the end."

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On relationship with the older guards...
"We are all really close. We are all out here bonding and shooting. They are really talented on the court and we hang out with them off the court. So we are really close to them."

On knowing roles...
"I think we are all still messing around with things, and we are still trying to find out what our roles are. We have some defensive stoppers, some X-factors for us, and we still need some rebounders. We are just coming together as a team right now."

On closeness of the team...
"We are pretty close. We are trying to figure out what everyone likes. Finding out where (Thomas) Gipson wants the ball and where Nino (Williams) wants it, and they are finding out where I like to shoot. So we are figuring out everyone's game."