K-State could surprise in 2012-13
The Wildcats have Sweet 16 potential in Bruce Weber's first season
When Frank Martin announced on March 27 that he was leaving Kansas State to take the job at South Carolina, one thing was immediately apparent: Some lucky coach would be handed a very good situation in Manhattan, Kan. After all, Martin was leaving behind a veteran roster, one that reached the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament before bowing out to top seed Syracuse.
It turns out the lucky coach is none other than Bruce Weber. After nine seasons at Illinois, Weber was fired because his program's on-the-court performance had registered a long, slow decline since the Illini made an appearance in the 2005 national championship game.
Major-conference head coaches who are fired don't usually turn around and land another major-conference gig with a team that's a perennial NCAA tournament participant. But Weber has a sterling reputation in the profession as not only a good X's and O's coach but also as a rock-solid citizen and straight shooter. In all of those qualities, he figures to be a good "fit" in Manhattan. If any coach deserves a golden opportunity like this after a 6-12 season in-conference, it could be Weber. And the fact that no K-State players have (as of yet) elected to transfer can itself be seen as a vote of confidence in the new coach.
So put me down as agreeing wholeheartedly with my colleague Jason King: "Weber couldn't have walked into a better situation." In fact, there's good reason to believe that this season's Wildcats squad could be better than the 2011-12 edition -- and possibly develop into a Sweet 16-caliber team.
To read why Kansas State should have high expectations in Bruce Weber's first season, become an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Workers trying to save buckling UCLA court
- Giving back: Hill donates $1.25M to Duke
- Ex-PC starter Fortune heading to Colorado
- Kentucky great 'Wah Wah' Jones dies at 88
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game