Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber has been named the Big 12 Conference’s Coach of the Year following the Wildcats co-championship run for 2013.
Of the honor, Weber said, “It’s a good feeling, there’s no doubt. But like I tell the guys, if you win, everybody wins in the long run. If you become Coach of the Year, it’s because you have great players and a great staff. We’ve had good chemistry all year and good chemistry in the locker room, which started way back early in the year in Brazil.”
Weber is the sixth K-State head coach to earn conference Coach of the Year honors and the second in the Big 12 era, following Tex Winter (1958, 1959, 1960), Cotton Fitzsimmons (1970), Jack Hartman (1975, 1977), Dana Altman (1993) and Frank Martin (2010).
He also collects league Coach of the Year accolades for the third time in his career in his third different league after winning the honor in the Missouri Valley in 2002-03 and the Big Ten in 2004-05. With Weber’s coaching honor, K-State becomes just the second Big 12 school to have its football and men’s basketball coaches earn league Coach of the Year honors in the same season.
McGruder made the Big 12’s top unit in a vote of the players, while Angel Rodriguez was second team,, and Shane Southwell was named honorable mention.
McGruder became just the third men’s basketball player to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors since the inception of the league, joining Michael Beasley (2008) and Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011). He was the leader in six categories, including scoring (15.1 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (25), 20-point games (nine), field goals (174) and minutes (32.9). He ranks among the Big 12’s Top 20 in scoring, field goal percentage, steals and minutes played.
Rodriguez, who ranks among the Big 12’s Top 5 in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio, was named to the league’s second team for the first time in his career. The San Juan, Puerto Rico native, he is averaging 11.5 points on 37.1 percent shooting, including 33.6 percent from 3-point range, to go with 5.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 27.6 minutes per game.
A Bronx, N.Y., native, Southwell earned all-conference honors for the first time in his career, as the junior was named honorable mention. The Wildcats’ best 3-point shooter is averaging 8.3 points on 45.5 percent shooting, including 44.3 percent from beyond the arc, to go with 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 24.8 minutes per game.
K-State begins play at the Big 12 Championship on Thursday when the Wildcats play the winner of Wednesday’s first round contest between No. 7 seed Texas (15-16) and No. 10 seed TCU (11-20) at 6 p.m. at the Sprint Center.