One of Wichita State’s Sunflower rivals could be open to a series with the sixth-ranked Shockers.
The Wichita Eagle
Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber said Wednesday that he would not oppose scheduling Wichita State, unlike Kansas’ Bill Self, but that the timing and circumstances have to be right.
“I’m not against it,” Weber told Wichita Eagle sports columnist Bob Lutz. “But scheduling is one of the most difficult things about coaching.”
Weber said he and K-State administrators talked last spring about the possibility of trying to set up a game with the Shockers at the Sprint Center. But Weber thought otherwise when one of his best players transferred, point guard Angel Rodriguez.
“I had to be smart about it,” Weber said. “I coached at Southern Illinois, where it was hard to get a game. We went from one side of the country to the other because no one would play us. Then I coached at Illinois and now at Kansas State and scheduling is different. It’s got to work out and make sense for everyone.
“But I like things that are good for basketball.”
K-State and Wichita met 19 times from 1985-86 through the 2002-03 season, but haven’t played since. The Wildcats lead the overall series 20-11.
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has always said he would like to develop a series with Kansas State and Kansas, but that he’s not willing to approve of a two-for-one set up. He said he proposed to KU a three-game series with one game at Allen Fieldhouse, one at the Sprint Center and one at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena but never heard anything.
Self has a long-held stance of not scheduling Wichita State and said in December that he had never heard from Marshall about a possible series between the two programs.
“This isn't knocking Wichita State,” Self told The Star then. “But if it was best for our program, I would reach out to them about scheduling them. But it’s not.”
The word Wednesday out of Manhattan was more to Marshall’s liking. When told of Weber’s comments by The Eagle, Marshall said he was happy to hear them.
“Home and home, that would be fine,” he said. “Sprint Center? I’d do that, probably. Two for one is where I draw the line.”
Marshall indicated that he would call Weber to talk more about scheduling.
But before Weber bulks up his schedule with a team such as Wichita State, he wants to make sure the schedule isn’t already bulked up enough.
“For me, playing in Kansas City (against Wichita State) is my first inclination,” Weber said. “That’s what we were talking about last spring. It seats a lot of people and we drew 16,000 or 17,000 for our game against Florida there last season. So if you had Wichita State there, it definitely would become a demanded ticket.
“Again, it’s just got to make sense. Schedule-wise and season-wise. I understand something like that would be good for basketball, but you just have to be smart about it.”