3 thoughts from Big 12 Conference head men’s basketball coaches worth thinking about
KANSAS CITY — The Big 12 Conference’s tipoff event for men’s basketball was held Wednesday inside the T-Mobile Center, and during it head coaches and players from various teams spoke ahead of the start of their respective seasons.
The conversations ranged across a number of different topics, from team-specific points to ones about the Big 12 and its future. Among those who spoke, were Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, Texas coach Chris Beard and Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton. Here’s a takeaway from what each had to say during their question and answer sessions:
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber addresses conference realignment
Weber, who once coached at Southern Illinois, has experienced coaching against BYU at BYU. The memory he pointed to was a game during the 2000 National Invitation Tournament, a game his SIU team lost. But looking back on it all these years later, he still remembers how incredible of an environment it was.
BYU, of course, is set to join the Big 12 in the near future along with Cincinnati, UCF and Houston. Weber is happy for the Big 12, and the teams that stayed together during this latest run of conference realignment that’ll see Oklahoma and Texas depart for the Southeastern Conference at some point. Remarking on the additions, he pointed to the need to add media markets with population sizes that would be beneficial in future TV contract talks.
“On paper it looks like it’s pretty good,” said Weber, who spoke positively about the league eventually being back to 12 members. “And I don’t know if we’re going to be stronger but … in basketball, football, it’s going to be — I think we’ve got great additions and I think the future is bright for the Big 12.”
Texas coach Chris Beard acknowledges what move to SEC could bring
Beard didn’t deny that the move Texas will ultimately make to the SEC is going to lead to a certain type of response from opposing fan bases. It’s something that he’s already started to talk to his players about, how it’s going to make it more difficult for them to accomplish what they’d like to.
“But it’s really no different than anywhere else I’ve ever coached,” Beard said. “I think if you try to be in the fight, then you’re going to have to understand you’re going to have to overcome a lot of adversity. And I think this year, I think there’ll be some adversity on the road no doubt.”
Of course, being at Texas, Beard thinks that the Longhorns are going to be a big game on everyone’s schedule anyway. He added that it could be an opponent’s biggest game. And, therefore, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that because not everyone can play or coach at Texas.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton comments on Kansas transfer Bryce Thompson
The turnover Kansas’ roster has gone through since the end of the 2020-21 season included Bryce Thompson transferring to Oklahoma State. And as Boynton talked about Thompson, it’s clear why Thompson would’ve considered the Cowboys as his next stop. Boynton said Thompson, a 6-5 guard who spent just last season with the Jayhawks, is someone he’s known since Thompson’s freshman year of high school.
Boynton didn’t comment specifically on why Thompson elected to leave Kansas, other than to say it didn’t work out for Thompson for “whatever reason.” Boynton said that Thompson thought the relationship the two had built up in the past was worth exploring.
“I think some of his reluctance, was whether he would be accepted because we had recruited him so hard, with the current players on our team, a lot of them coming back and knowing him,” Boynton said. “But those guys, to their credit, they just want guys to be all in and Bryce has been all in since he’s been back.”
Boynton sees Thompson as a talent that can add to the team’s perimeter shooting, and defensive capabilities.
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.