Burning Question: Does Bruce Weber have enough pieces to survive another year in Manhattan?
When Bruce Weber took the Kansas State job in 2012, it was one that came stocked with quality talent in the cupboard. Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling, Shane Southwell and Angel Rodriguez may not have been as good as the core Steve Prohm is inheriting this year at Iowa State, but as a first-year head coach at a new program, Weber arrived in Manhattan with a team built to win immediately. And win Kansas State did, sharing the 2013 Big 12 regular season crown with Kansas and going to a school record fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament the following year. As nice as that was for the program, the question with Weber has never been about what he could do with a previous coach’s players. His critics, rather, have focused on the lack of development exhibited by the players he brings to campus. By that measure, Weber hasn’t been any better in Manhattan than he was at Illinois. In fact, he may have even taken a step back, and the fallout of a disastrous 2015 could be too much for him to overcome this time around.
Last season was the first time Weber’s Kansas State roster was largely composed of players he had recruited and the early returns couldn’t have been more discouraging. As if a 15-17 record — the team’s worst since 2003 — wasn’t bad enough, a rash of off-court issues led to six dismissals and transfers. While it’s admirable that Weber places such a high value on team chemistry among his players, it’s now tough to picture him having enough talent on hand to produce the kind of year that would lead athletic director John Currie to offer him another season. Read the rest of this entry »