Bruce Weber's transition in Manhattan has hit a few bumps, most notably the dismissal of troubled forward James Watson, who Weber informed last week won't be returning to the Wildcats. Watson, a transfer from Washington State with a rough upbringing (although without legal run-ins), also suffers a heart condition that causes him to faint at times. Watson also suffered an elbow injury that reduced his 2011-'12 playing time to one game and no points.
Watson told the Wichita Eagle that he'd done everything he was asked to and had been operating with the belief he'd be a member of the team next season:
"I was so shocked," Watson said in a phone interview. "I didn’t want to hear what they were telling me. I thought April Fool’s was back I was so shocked. I don’t know why the new coach kicked me off the team. I think it’s really messed up. I could have helped the team next year.
The other reason is that Weber is opening scholarship room for Chicago area point guard Michael Orris, whom Weber had recruited to Illinois before he was fired there. Watson contends that he's been medically cleared to play basketball, and that he'll likely stay at Kansas State long enough to earn his degree.
"I feel like he was just trying to open up a scholarship and wanted me off the team," Watson said. "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.