Wednesday, January 23, 2013
King: Weber the right coach for K-State
By Jason King
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- With the game still in question and a sellout crowd of 12,528 fans cursing and hissing at him from all angles, Elijah Johnson stepped to the free throw line with 5 seconds remaining at Bramlage Coliseum, looked at the Kansas State student section to his left … and smirked.
"Watch this," the Kansas guard mouthed.
Moments later, with one flick of the wrist, Johnson swished a foul shot that provided the final scoring in KU's 59-55 victory. The Wildcats' quest to upset the No. 3 Jayhawks had failed.
Johnson winked toward his hecklers after making the free throw and then blew kisses at the crowd as he trotted off the court. For the 23rd time in 25 years, K-State fans left Bramlage Coliseum enraged about another loss to their in-state rival.
Only they shouldn't have been.
Not this time. Not this year.
Frustrating as it may have been, Tuesday's setback should be more encouraging than disheartening to Wildcats supporters. Ten months after the departure of popular coach Frank Martin to South Carolina, Kansas State's program hasn't lost a beat.
In some ways, it may be even better.
For that the Wildcats can thank Bruce Weber -- or at the very least John Currie, the athletic director who drew criticism for hiring Weber just weeks after he was fired by Illinois last March.