K-State’s ties to the State of Illinois may grow deeper this week, according to the State Journal-Register of Springfield, IL. Wayne McClain served as the assistant coach to newly hired Bruce Weber in Illinois and has now been mentioned as a potential member of Weber’s new coaching staff. The surprise exit of Frank Martin to South Carolina last spring left fans in a lurch as the symbol of the most successful basketball era for the Wildcats in recent memory left for the SEC. K-State responded by picking up Bruce Weber, who was quickly signed by Kansas State after being let go by Illinois in March this year.
Should McClain find himself in Manhattan, he would join a collection of coaches with ties to the State of Illinois. In addition to Weber, the team’s assistants include a former Southern Illinois coach (Chris Lowery) and one of Weber’s point guards at Illinois (Chester Frazier). If you’ll recall, KU’s coach Bill Self was also poached from the University of Illinois, broadening further the two states’ connections. We shall see in the upcoming seasons if these moves have any impact in K-State’s ability to recruit in Chicago, which has become a hotbed of basketball recruiting over the years.