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Weber, Players Talk About Saturday's Game with Gonzaga


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Dec. 17, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and requested players discussed the upcoming game with nationally-ranked Gonzaga (10-1) in the Wichita Wildcat Classic at INTRUST Bank Arena on Saturday. The game will air nationally on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Head Coach Bruce Weber

On experiencing Wichita with a game like this…
“I heard from the last time that they played there, against West Virginia, that it was a great atmosphere. The crowd was really into it. You have a great team obviously in Gonzaga. One of the top names in basketball over the last 10-15 years, I hope we get a lot of people there. A national TV audience, so it should be a good opportunity for our guys. I have seen the building, but I have not been in it. Obviously being at SIU, we played in the Valley. We always played at Wichita State but never played in that new arena.”

On what you think of when with Gonzaga…
“Just consistency. They have been so consistent. They have always been a good offensive team. Right now they are up in the top 10 in the country in three point percentage, scoring, and all those types of things. They have good offensive weapons. He has had where he has had really good big people, and he has had where he has had really good guards which is the case now. He has rotated his system accordingly, and the thing that I have watched and admired from him is that they have gotten really good defensively over the years. I think they did not advance far in the NCAA a few times, and I think he took that to heart and really tried to get his defense better which they are. They guard better than they did 10-12 years ago.”

On a matchup that scares him…
“Well their big fella is huge, and it is tough to matchup even if you have a big guy because they have such good guards. They have guards that can shoot, guards that can penetrate, and they spread the defense. You cannot say you are going to go help this guy on the big guy. That is a tough matchup. We have to control their transition. I think it is like 40 some percent of their points come out of transition, and it comes in different ways. It is just not layups. It is sometimes a kick ahead three, sometime it is swing it and get it to the big guy, and sometimes it is into a quick ball screen to get you all spread out. It would help if we could score the basketball so then we could get back, but when we do not score, which is going to happen, even if we score half the time we will be doing pretty well. We are going to have to really get back and locate people and not let them get easy hoops.”

Senior Guard Shane Southwell
On how big the Gonzaga game is…
“It is another chance for us to go undefeated in December, and a tournament resume win. They are a very good team. I believe that they are in the top 20 so it would be a very big win for us.”
 
On what stood out to him last year against Gonzaga…
“The final score. It was not close. They just dominated us, especially their bigs. They do not have the same bigs, but they are still really good. Their guards have gotten better and older. Altogether they are still a really good. They still have the same coach, so they will always be a really good team.”

On the point of emphasis right now for the team…
“I think it is everything. Around this time last year we got better offensively. I think this year we could be a really good defensive team, but we are not to that level that we were last year. So we still have to improve defensively. Free throws are something that stands out to me. To beat a team like this, we cannot shoot 50% from the free throw line. We cannot miss 17 free throws. We have to be in the high 70’s to beat a team like this. I really feel like free throws would be a big help for us.”

Senior Guard Will Spradling
On what makes them so good…
“They are older guards. They have been there for a few years now. I remember playing (David) Stockton my freshman year. So they have been around. They know how to play the game, and they are fearless. They are not afraid to shot any shot. I know (Kevin) Pangos is scoring over 20 points a game. So he is playing really well.”

On looking to be a spark for the team…
“Coaches have really been on me, especially last week, about shooting the ball. In games before that I would be 2-9 and normally I would have stopped shooting, but last week they really got on me to just keep shooting. I ended up 5-12, which is a good percentage. You just have to keep shooting if you are not making them at first, and that is something that I have had to learn.”

On keys you can take away from last year…
“It is a pretty different team. Last year they really tried to bang it inside with their bigs. This year they are a lot more guard oriented. Obviously they have the same guards, but they had two pros on the inside so they really looked to get them the ball. This year the guards are putting up a lot more shots.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On Gonzaga’s bigs…
“This is going to be a major test for our bigs, and we are up to the challenge. They are real good. They can go right, left shoulder, 15 foot jump shot, and all that. We are going to be ready for them.”

On playing a different way against their big guys…
“I have to be more mobile. I have to get outside the basket as far as being more on the perimeter setting screens to get the guards open before I can get myself open. If I set a down screen for Will (Spradling) the big will eventually help up and that is when he can get me a dump off pass, and I will be able to score.”

On the difference of the bigs from last year…
“Their center is huge and real skilled. It is not like he does not have any skills. It will still be a challenge. He played last year against me. He was pretty good, and I kind of struggled against him. All the bigs kind of struggled against their bigs. This is just going to be a challenge against them, but we will be alright.”