Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Ex-Kansas State Forward Angry With Bruce Weber


Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

The waters are getting a bit turbulent for coach Bruce Weber at Kansas State. After an initial backlash against his hiring, it seemed that most members of the KSU fanbase were willing to give him some time to get his system in place. The rumblings of discontent started afresh when the hiring of assistant coaches seemed to take longer than it should. Now, after what some considered the underwhelming signing of Michael Orris, there’s even more trouble.

As Kellis Robinett reported on the K-Stated blog a few minutes ago, former K-State forward James Watson is an angry young man, after seeing his spot on next year’s basketball team taken by new recruit Michael Orris. After Watson was informed by Weber that he would not be on next year’s team because of health concerns surrounding his sickle cell anemia and minor heart condition, Watson spoke at length with Robinett:

I feel like he was just trying to open up a scholarship and wanted me off the team. I feel 100-percent healthy. I only fainted once during my time here, and that was with the old coaching staff. It never happened when Bruce Weber was around. I worked to come back from my injury … It’s crazy.

I’m fine. I feel fine. I got cleared and everything. I’ve been killing it these last couple weeks in practices. I felt like I was one of the best players out there. I’m just still in total shock. I came here to play basketball. I really felt like I could help next year. This year was my chance. I can go out for most positions. I’m a very versatile player.

To see myself kicked off the team for supposedly having health issues, which I don’t really think is the case — they just wanted to open a scholarship up … I don’t know what to say. Basketball is my life. To see it taken away from me is just messed up.

On a more positive note, Watson did say that he planned on staying at K-State (who will keep him on scholarship, but that scholarship will not count against the basketball total), and finishing his undergraduate degree in Social Science. Once Watson finishes his degree, he would be eligible to transfer to another school, and play immediately as a graduate student (as NC State/Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson did during last year’s football season) that is not likely to happen.

Tags: Bruce Weber Featured James Watson K-State Kansas State Men's Basketball Michael Orris