On Monday it was announced by Kansas State that men's head basketball coach Bruce Weber had finally added another person to his coaching staff in Alvin Brooks III. While the details of the contract are not fully available, K-State is stating the base salary for Brooks will be $150,000 for the upcoming season.
His hiring comes a little more than two weeks after Weber hired former Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery to his staff. With both Lowery and Brooks now on board it leaves one assistant coaching position still up for grabs.
The initial story you hear about Brooks is that he has recruiting ties in his native state of Texas, an area that Weber wants to exploit. The only flaw in buying into this hype is that Brooks has never coached at a BCS level school and thus has never recruited a player to the high major Division One level. His last position was as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State and before that he had been at Bradley.
So his ability to bring top notch talent from the AAU ranks in Texas to Manhattan, KS is a complete unknown at the moment. While some K-State fans could argue that former assistant coach Dalonte Hill was an unknown before getting his chance at K-State the difference is he was bringing with him the #1 recruit in the country in Michael Beasley. Unfortunately for Weber it does not appear he could get that lucky with Brooks.
The hiring of Brooks would likely not get much publicity at another school but the situation at K-State is unique and comes with a higher amount of scrutiny amongst the fanbase.
It obviously started with the decision by K-State athletic director John Currie to bring in Weber who had been fired by Illinois after his team essentially quit on him this past season. Only twice in his final five seasons at Illinois did he lead the Illini to the NCAA Tournament. This fact alone was enough to make Wildcat fans worried about the future of their resurgent basketball program.
The first coaching move made by Weber did not help ease Wildcat fans worries either as he brought in Lowery who was fresh off getting fired by his alma mater Southern Illinois.
At one time, Lowery was a hot name on the coaching rumor mill but losing records in three of his final four seasons relegated him to being a coach looking for his next job. The only experience on Lowery's resume at the BCS level was a one year stint as an assistant under Weber at Illinois. Beyond that he has always been at the mid-major level of college basketball.
So this left the K-State program under the control of two former head coaches who had seen their respective former programs spiral so far down that each was fired. In addition, Weber either did not try very hard or was unable to get any of the previous assistant coaches at K-State, namely Brad Underwood, to stay and provide an easy transition for the current players.
In reality the only major bright spot that K-State fans can point too in the very short Weber era is his apparent ability to keep the current collection of players in town. Usually when a new coach comes in there are a few defections but that does not seem to be the case for Weber and K-State.
With an almost full roster coming back from a team that won an NCAA Tournament game last season the immediate future for Weber and his staff look to be good. The fears come down the road as fans have to hope that a staff which currently consists of a head coach and top assistant who were recently fired and an assistant who came from the Southland Conference can figure out how to recruit and win in the new look Big 12.
For more on K-State's basketball offseason, check out Bring On The Cats.