Let's talk about Bruce Weber

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#26      
I think Bruce Weber is a great game day coach. If you hand him a roster full of good players who are reasonably coachable, he can get one refjob away form a national championship with them. I think he is a poor developer of talent and a mediocre recruiter, so he struggles to build that kind of roster for himself in a P5 conference. Sometimes he winds up with a good mix and sometimes not. The end result is uneven results on the floor from year to year and an overall mediocre record at P5 schools (0.578 in the B1G, 0.466 in the Big 12).

The fact that he is still employed by Kansas State, frankly, blows my mind.

This is pretty fair. He needs to be at a mid major where he can go after kids that will bust their butt for him imo. There's nothing wrong with "only" being a mid major coach as it applies to a lot of guys that try to prove up to the next level and just fail at roster assembly.
 
#27      
This is pretty fair. He needs to be at a mid major where he can go after kids that will bust their butt for him imo. There's nothing wrong with "only" being a mid major coach as it applies to a lot of guys that try to prove up to the next level and just fail at roster assembly.
His last year here he had 3 future NBA'ers if I remember correctly - Leonard, Paul and Henry - and had a losing record. His recruiting actually wasn't all that bad, but he couldn't develop his talent and his game planning and coaching are overrated. If the stars aligned and he had the right type of player on the roster he would do well, but he wasn't able to make that happen consistently enough.
 
#28      
Orange Krush '13 -'14
To me the biggest downfall of Weber is that he is just way to married to his style of play and basketball philosophy. If he has players that are well suited to the motion offense, half court man to man defense, he'll do good, probably even great every couple years. If he doesn't have the right players, he'll fail miserably because he can't personally get players to buy in and change. And when it goes bad for Bruce....it goes baaaaaaaad.

Underwood on the other hand will design his teams offensive and defensive strategy around his players strengths and weaknesses. We've already switched to the pack line defense and to a ball screen offense these last two years vs. Underwood's preferred style of pressure D and spread O. We're in good hands.
 
#29      
Winged Warrior
Weber inherited a roster literally full of NBA talent. Underwood inherited... a lot less than that.

Let's take a quick look at the Ubben web cam on his first day on the job!

giphy-downsized-large.gif
 
#32      
His last year here he had 3 future NBA'ers if I remember correctly - Leonard, Paul and Henry - and had a losing record. His recruiting actually wasn't all that bad, but he couldn't develop his talent and his game planning and coaching are overrated. If the stars aligned and he had the right type of player on the roster he would do well, but he wasn't able to make that happen consistently enough.
His recruiting was indeed terrible.

The list of misses on guards he should have pursued is long. Taking Bill Cole over Robbie Hummel was a disaster. Shaw wasn't a high major kid. Richard Semrau? Charles Jackson? E'twaun Moore wanted to come to Illinois lol.

Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale were both decent players (Davis more so than Tisdale imo) but not good parts side by side.
 
#33      
Bruce was good at snagging kids who were generally trending down, true, but let's not forget he did still manage to snag some pretty decent recruits who were pretty under the radar. Guys like Mike Davis, Jamar Smith, etc. His issue was culture and buy in after Self's guys were gone. Could never get the chemistry quite right, which is too bad because he's always been a very good X's and o's coach, especially defensively.
 
#34      
His recruiting was indeed terrible.

The list of misses on guards he should have pursued is long. Taking Bill Cole over Robbie Hummel was a disaster. Shaw wasn't a high major kid. Richard Semrau? Charles Jackson? E'twaun Moore wanted to come to Illinois lol.

Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale were both decent players (Davis more so than Tisdale imo) but not good parts side by side.
Yeah he screwed the pooch on some - Moore and Hummel being the most egregious. However, he recruited the aforementioned 3 NBA players, plus guys like McCamey, Pruitt, Tis, Davis, Abrams, Egwu, Richmond, Richardson, etc. He had enough talent to do better than he did; he was really bad at developing talent though
 
#36      
His recruiting was indeed terrible.

The list of misses on guards he should have pursued is long. Taking Bill Cole over Robbie Hummel was a disaster. Shaw wasn't a high major kid. Richard Semrau? Charles Jackson? E'twaun Moore wanted to come to Illinois lol.

Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale were both decent players (Davis more so than Tisdale imo) but not good parts side by side.

Shaw was a top 10, 5* star kid as a freshman and sophomore. He ended up #63 overall in the class. You cannot fault Weber for recruiting him.

We lost out on E-Twaun Moore because we had Eric Gordon committed. Any coach would have taken Gordon over Moore.

Come on, Weber deserves plenty of blame but these two examples are crap.
 
#37      
I suppose until this year during the years since his departure KSU has had as much success as Illinois. I do not expect that to be the case going forward.
 
#39      
I suppose until this year during the years since his departure KSU has had as much success as Illinois. I do not expect that to be the case going forward.

KState has had far more success since we fired Bruce than we have up until this year. The thing is, what Bruce is doing at KState seems to be about the ceiling for him at a P5 program. He's had some really, really bad team, some pretty good teams, and a bunch of middle of the pack teams, but they're kind of all over the place and are never really great teams (except the year he won a ton, big surprise, with Martin's players).

Underwood's approach seems a lot more sustainable, albeit with a small P5 sample size so far.
 
#40      
Except for the Dee/Deron years, getting his players to actually run his patented motion offense instead of standing around dribbling the ball is what mystified me.
 
#42      
KState has had far more success since we fired Bruce than we have up until this year. The thing is, what Bruce is doing at KState seems to be about the ceiling for him at a P5 program. He's had some really, really bad team, some pretty good teams, and a bunch of middle of the pack teams, but they're kind of all over the place and are never really great teams (except the year he won a ton, big surprise, with Martin's players).

Underwood's approach seems a lot more sustainable, albeit with a small P5 sample size so far.
Bruce came up with a coach who was very successful despite not being at his state's marquee school. Purdue fans wanted to win overall and beat the Hoosiers and didn't worry about getting that year's Damon Bailey. Gene Keady got his guys and won with them. Very similar dynamic at K-State with KU as their white whale.

Illinois is different. We are the marquee program in a state with a ton of talent. Fans expect Public League stars and Mr. Basketballs. Fail to get them and you're in a tough spot even before the season starts. Bruce tried and sometimes got four-stars, but it always seemed like an internal tug-of-war between the way he wanted to run the program and the type of guys the fan base demanded.
 
#43      
I'm not a Weber fan - I thought we waited too long to move on when it was clear the magic was gone, but he's not just a mid major coach - he has won 2 big 12 titles after he left here made an elite 8. While recruiting was clearly a weakness, in fairness he had a couple of top 10 classes here and in hindsight recruiting was much better under him than it has been recently (it's all a matter of perspective, having only a top 5 Big Ten recruiting class used to be disappointing!) One of his downfalls is his top recruits didn't work out very well - Richmond being the most glaring. The whole IDKWTI incident set him back years as well, that could have been his ticket to keeping the momentum going, but it was frankly all down hill from there.

We're in a good spot now with this team - hopefully we can finally we can finally cut down the nets and build on that into the sustainable national contender we have never quite been able to achieve. We do have some reasons for the future to be bright and Curbelo could be the "next" in line to carry the mantel - but he'll need help and we do need to win some of these national recruiting battles which is I think the initial context of the thread
 
#44      
I'm not a Weber fan - I thought we waited too long to move on when it was clear the magic was gone, but he's not just a mid major coach - he has won 2 big 12 titles after he left here made an elite 8. While recruiting was clearly a weakness, in fairness he had a couple of top 10 classes here and in hindsight recruiting was much better under him than it has been recently (it's all a matter of perspective, having only a top 5 Big Ten recruiting class used to be disappointing!) One of his downfalls is his top recruits didn't work out very well - Richmond being the most glaring. The whole IDKWTI incident set him back years as well, that could have been his ticket to keeping the momentum going, but it was frankly all down hill from there.

We're in a good spot now with this team - hopefully we can finally we can finally cut down the nets and build on that into the sustainable national contender we have never quite been able to achieve. We do have some reasons for the future to be bright and Curbelo could be the "next" in line to carry the mantel - but he'll need help and we do need to win some of these national recruiting battles which is I think the initial context of the thread

This. We should have moved on long before we did from Weber. His recruiting/development combo did not do good for us. I don't even think he was that good of an in-game coach at Illinois. I hated knowing before the game that if we were within 2 (up or down) with under 60 seconds to go against Wisconsin that it was an automatic loss because Bo Ryan was just going to simply outcoach him.

All that being said, I think he's improved overall as a coach and has done a pretty decent job at KState. It is probably his ceiling as a P5 coach.
 
#45      
I'm not a Weber fan - I thought we waited too long to move on when it was clear the magic was gone, but he's not just a mid major coach - he has won 2 big 12 titles after he left here made an elite 8. While recruiting was clearly a weakness, in fairness he had a couple of top 10 classes here and in hindsight recruiting was much better under him than it has been recently (it's all a matter of perspective, having only a top 5 Big Ten recruiting class used to be disappointing!) One of his downfalls is his top recruits didn't work out very well - Richmond being the most glaring. The whole IDKWTI incident set him back years as well, that could have been his ticket to keeping the momentum going, but it was frankly all down hill from there.

We're in a good spot now with this team - hopefully we can finally we can finally cut down the nets and build on that into the sustainable national contender we have never quite been able to achieve. We do have some reasons for the future to be bright and Curbelo could be the "next" in line to carry the mantel - but he'll need help and we do need to win some of these national recruiting battles which is I think the initial context of the thread

Let's keep in mind that Weber's Elite 8 year, he had the incredible luck to play a 16 seed in the 2nd round (or third round, whatever they call it nowadays) and he lost to 11 seed Loyola (I know they were good, but it's a very winnable game) in the Elite 8 with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

The next year he lost to a 13 seed as a 4 seed. (He also lost to a 13 seed as a 4 seed in 2013).
 
#46      
Let's keep in mind that Weber's Elite 8 year, he had the incredible luck to play a 16 seed in the 2nd round (or third round, whatever they call it nowadays) and he lost to 11 seed Loyola (I know they were good, but it's a very winnable game) in the Elite 8 with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

The next year he lost to a 13 seed as a 4 seed. (He also lost to a 13 seed as a 4 seed in 2013).
I remember thinking that Weber/KSU had probably the luckiest draw of any team in tournament history. They won their opening round game, played a 16 seed, had to beat a goodish kentucky team, then had an 11 seed for a shot at a FF game against a 3 seed. Thats about as easy as it gets.

Webers career, in my eyes, can be boiled down to three things: underperforming, under recruiting (though this is slightly over exaggerated at least at Illinois), and poor culture. He clearly is a good basketball coach. I think he would succeed heavily if he wanted to talk a step back to a mid major. His ceiling is limited, but he has a good floor.

I'm a big believer in a good defense. It can win you games against better competition. It doesn't take 5 stars to play a good defensive game. But it only gets you so far.
 
#48      
I'm not a Weber fan - I thought we waited too long to move on when it was clear the magic was gone, but he's not just a mid major coach - he has won 2 big 12 titles after he left here made an elite 8. While recruiting was clearly a weakness, in fairness he had a couple of top 10 classes here and in hindsight recruiting was much better under him than it has been recently (it's all a matter of perspective, having only a top 5 Big Ten recruiting class used to be disappointing!) One of his downfalls is his top recruits didn't work out very well - Richmond being the most glaring. The whole IDKWTI incident set him back years as well, that could have been his ticket to keeping the momentum going, but it was frankly all down hill from there.
Guenther had an almost Reinsdorfian loyalty to his coaches, usually pulling the trigger three years too late.

Then, when even he knew it was Time, he was in his last year as AD and didn't want to fire and hire when a new AD was coming.

Thomas was worse than Guenther. Thomas made terrible hires, and Guenther didn't want/know when to cut bait.
 
#49      
BOOM! Feed my ego.
Weber is a very good basketball coach with an awkward personality which may or may not connect with today's youth. He's much better at coaching the Xs and Os of the game than he is managing the personalities involved. In a world where every coach has the same level of talent and the same personalities to deal with, he's going to be in the top 10%. In a world where he has to account for those other things, he's going to be average at best. I don't think it's any more complicated than that. You'll never convince me Greg Gard is a better coach than Weber. Maybe they're equal. But Gard has been able to manage the sideshow acts better than Bruce and provide a more consistent product. Bruce can coach, but he can't build a culture.
 
#50      
I certainly want to see our recruiting pick back up (to Ayo, Miller and Curbelo levels) in the coming years - specifically for a big man - but I'm not at all worried. NO ONE should be as worried as they should have been in 2006, though. Even as a young eighth grader who didn't follow recruiting, I remember having this horribly hollow feeling as 2006 drew to a close ... the cupboard was not getting me excited. I "bought back in" when Weber finally picked up recruiting, but the 2011 season not being more than it was - earning a frickin' 9-seed and losing in the Second Round - was when I knew 110% for sure we were never coming back with him.

EDIT: In short, we were in a MUCH worse spot when Dee was leaving campus than we are as Ayo is leaving. Handing the keys to Miller and Curbelo is damn exciting! We actually DO have a little time to get recruiting back to an elite level, and this staff has at least proven before that it can recruit elite talent.
 
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