After a crushing 30-point loss at the hands of Oklahoma, it appears the Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team is on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament. If the Wildcats do miss out on the tournament, Bruce Weber will likely be out of a job at Kansas State, leaving much debate on who will replace him. Let’s take a look at some possible replacements.
In his first year as head coach at Oklahoma State, Brad Underwood has the Cowboys on a roll. Underwood has guided the team to a 20-9 record this far, but has won 10 of their last 11 games. He is the clear fan favorite to replace Weber if an opening occurs, as many were calling for his name last year when Underwood was having success at Stephen F. Austin.
Underwood has many ties to K-State. He grew up in McPherson, Kansas, and played for the Wildcats from 1984-1986. He also served as an assistant coach at K-State from 2006-2012.
One of the big problems that would prevent Underwood from coming home would be the $6 million buyout in his contract.
Underwood isn’t the only — or the last — candidate who has K-State ties. After emerging as one of Lon Kruger’s top assistants at Oklahoma, Henson earned himself a head coaching job at UTSA.
Like Underwood, Henson reigns from McPherson. He played for the Wildcats from 1986-1990 and is the all-time assist leader at K-State.
The Roadrunners’ record isn’t too impressive, just 11-14 thus far, but Henson has showed great potential in his first head coaching job and would expect the Wildcat fan base to welcome him back with open arms.
This is the last former Kansas State player on the list, but regardless, Jankovich deserves to be on it.
After taking over for Larry Brown, Jankovich has a 34-4 record at SMU. He has also served as head coach at North Texas and Illinois State during his coaching career that started in 1983.
Jankovich played for the Wildcats from 1979-1982 where he had a decorated career, being in the top 10 in nine different categories.
From Garden City, Kansas, Fox could look to return closer to home. Since 2004, Fox has been the head coach at Nevada and currently Georgia. In his career, Fox has a 62.7 percent winning percentage.
Fox is familiar with Manhattan, as he served as an assistant coach from 1994-2000.
While Fox hasn’t quite had the success he had at Nevada, Fox has led Georgia to 20 or more wins four times, including five seasons at .500 or better in conference play.
Let’s throw Gottlieb’s name in the conversation, because why not?
The last time Kansas State had a head coaching vacancy, Gottlieb’s name was tossed in the hat. Without any coaching experience, many questioned why Gottlieb was even considered.
Gottlieb is familiar with Kansas State, as he played for Oklahoma State in the ’90s.
Gottlieb’s dad, Bob, was once an assistant at Kansas State and his brother is also coaching. It’s also not like Gottlieb doesn’t stay in touch with the game, as he has been a respected analyst for some time.