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Weber, Players Look Ahead To Oral Roberts


Nov. 11, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Head coach Bruce Weber and requested players met with the area media on Monday night to discuss the upcoming game with Oral Roberts on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

The Wildcats are looking to rebound after a 60-58 loss to Northern Colorado in the season opener on Friday night. It marked the school's first season-opening loss since 2003 (snapping a 10-game winning streak) and the first in a home opener since a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993 (halting a 19-game winning streak).

Wednesday's game with Oral Roberts will be the fifth meeting between the schools and the first since 1985. The series is tied at 2-game apiece with the Golden Eagles winning the last meeting, 86-71, in Tulsa on Jan. 3, 1985. The game will be broadcast on FSN Kansas City with tickets still available for as low as $15 by calling (800) 221-CATS.

Head coach Bruce Weber
On the focus of practice after the loss…
“Obviously, simple things like free throws, lay-ups and not making baskets. If we could have made a couple more lay-ups and free throws, we probably win the game. The whole thing and the key for our success is figuring out roles, leadership and toughness. We need experience and games. My worst fears came about. We played an older team where we let them get their heads up because we did not finish plays, make free throws or lay-ups. Now, they get a second life at the end of the half. We had a couple of bad possessions to finish the half and it is a five-point game. I think that they grabbed the momentum even though they never grabbed the game until late in the game. They got their heads up, got the hunger, desire and made all of the plays. We lost on our play hard chart and in rebounding. It is easy for a fan to say make a lay-up or a free throw and we probably win. At the same, we have to do those other things. Last year, we knew we were going to struggle offensively and all I focused on was defense and playing hard. We had to win games and grind them out. We had some ugly games last year. You blank them out because we scored 80 against Baylor and all of the good things. We are going to have games where we make shots and games where we do not because we have to figure some things out. We have to guard, play hard and compete. That is the crux of the whole thing.”

On the team’s response…
“They are down. We kept yelling during the game that we have to have emotion, leadership and we have to get people together. I cannot go onto the court. If I could or (assistants) Chester (Frazier) or Chris (Lowery), we would but we cannot. That has got to change. It is ironic how similar to football it is. Not only do we have new players, but you have got other players changing roles and now the leadership is so important. I use football because they lost to North Dakota State, I have talked about them and now they are on a run and how much they have improved. Hopefully, we can go in the same direction.”

On Shane Southwell…
“Right now, I think he is trying to do too much. Will (Spradling) is forcing things. You have to realize why he was so good last year. He still had eight assists and probably should have had 12 if we make some lay-ups. He has got to make open shots and screen. He can add to that and now he is putting it on the floor better. He is doing some things better, but you also have to do what you did. You do not want to reinvent yourself. I think Will is forcing shots instead of being patient. Part of that is that our whole team is not patient because they are so young. Pass up the first one and hopefully you get a second one that will be a better look. You get one in and the rim seems bigger.”

On Oral Roberts…
“Well they beat Tulsa and we did not anticipate that. Tulsa was suppose to be better. Watching them on film, they are scary. They have a transfer from Western Illinois (Obi Emegano) and a transfer from Utah (Shawn Glover). They are probably their two best players. They have some quickness. Coach (Scott) Sutton teams are always going to play hard and compete. People probably laughed when I said that Northern Colorado was pretty good. I told our guys that Oral Roberts might be better and might be a little more athletic. They do not a couple of seniors like Northern Colorado has, but they have some athleticism and quickness.”

On Shane Southwell not starting…
“You have to do it every day in practice. Practice has got to be important. He has got to be consistent. I cannot hand anything to anyone. If the other guys play better in practice, you have got to give it to them. Everything has got to be earned and you have to compete. That what is what were are trying to drive into him.”

Senior Guard Shane Southwell
On what is has been like the past few days after the loss…
“Good, Friday was an eye opener. It took us back to going through the little things as in terms of discipline. Also, returning our offense into what is was last year. It has been more competitive than it was three or four days prior to that game.”

On how frustrating it was with his shooting performance...
“It was very frustrating, it is something that I can control. At that point, it was just one of those days that I was not doing well. But, I have been shooting well in practice (the past few days), so I know it will come back.”

On if he thinks that he put too much pressure on himself during that last game…
“I honestly do not know. I felt like at 11 shots, I was pretty much open. Not so much open, but pretty makeable shots.”

Senior Guard Will Spradling
On refocusing after the loss of the opening game and moving forward…
“It is hard. But we have a game on Wednesday, which is good to be able to redeem ourselves so quickly. We are just trying to look forward to that, and see what happens.”

On what they have been emphasizing in practice these past couple of days…
“Right now, defense and rebounding, because that has always been something we have held our hats on (in previous seasons). We did a good job of in the first half, and then in the end of the first half and second half we did not do a very good job of it.”

On how the team has been trying to adjust and finding their roles in the game…
“Yes, that was only our second game (including the exhibition). So, people are still trying to figure out their roles, and people are being thrown around a little bit. Obviously last year, we did not understand the motion offense until we got into Big 12 play. That was with upperclassmen, and we have a lot of young guys, so it is going to take a little while for everyone to catch on.”

Freshman Forward Wesley Iwundu
On reaction to the loss against Northern Colorado…
“The energy in the locker room has been very positive. We are not looking back at it, we are looking ahead. We are ready to get this next game.”

On their focus coming into the next game…
“A big emphasis in practice has been to block out and rebounding.”

On the energy in practice this week…
“Yeah, we have turned it up in practice this week. It is time to go from here, we cannot have more losses, it is time to pick it up.”

On how important is it to get a win this week...
“Yes, the teams are going to get a lot better. We have to start off by winning the first one.”

On if the loss last week was a wake-up call for the team…
“Yes, it is definitely a wake-up call. It is an eye opener. We will be ready from here on out.”

On the difference from practice to real life situations in a game…
“Yes, it is a big difference with the crowd and people yelling. It is all about a focus level we have to have during a game, and in practice.”