With Bruce Weber’s coaching staff complete, he has a pretty good idea where Kansas State will focus on the recruiting trail.
During the Big 12′s summer basketball coaches' teleconference on Thursday, he said the Wildcats will target players near and far. Among the states he mentioned by name were Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Florida and Texas. Among the regions he mentioned by name were the Midwest and the East Coast.
So you can expect K-State to be making calls everywhere but the West Coast.
“We would obviously like to hit Kansas City and Kansas, this part of the Midwest,” Weber said. “But you can branch out to Texas. Dallas, hopefully, will be big for us with daily flights there out of Manhattan. Coach Huggs (Bob Huggins) and Frank (Martin) had a lot of success there. A lot of Big 12 schools have worked prep schools in the East. We will continue doing that. My contacts and Chris Lowery’s are in the Illinois, Indiana region We will hit that a little bit and then throw in the community colleges when you have a certain need. That’s our plan. We will see what happens.”
When Weber was at Illinois, he focused much of his recruiting efforts in nearby regions. Chicago was his biggest area. When Lowery was at Southern Illinois, he also built up contacts in surrounding states. K-State went to both regions to sign incoming freshmen Michael Orris (Chicago) and Darrell Johnson (St. Louis).
Weber likes both players, who are currently on campus. He says he sold them on K-State’s family atmosphere and impressed them with the new practice facility, which is almost finished. But he admits K-State was forced to play catch up.
“Now the big thing is getting kids to campus,” Weber said. “You’re a little bit away from everywhere. You can get the Kansas City kids over and the Kansas kids. But to get kids to make unofficial visits, it’s a little different. We’re going to have to work the phones hard, all the social media that’s allowed, stay with kids until their official visits.”
He hopes to extend K-State’s recruiting net for the 2013 class. He hired Alvin Brooks III mostly for his Texas connections, and former player Chester Frazier is well known on the East Coast. Together, Weber thinks his staff can cover a lot of ground.
“That was the main thing when I took the job,” Weber said. “I looked at it and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go to Texas.’ It’s such a big state, big cities with very good basketball. They have kids that maybe get overlooked a little bit. Alvin brings good contacts there. He’s been there. He’s done a good job with kids, getting on the phone with them.
“Chester is from Baltimore. He’s got a lot of connections there. That’s where he’s starting to work. Chris will branch out a little bit into Florida and the Midwest. Hopefully I’m just following up with whatever they are doing.”