MANHATTAN — For the first two years of his K-State basketball career, Barry Brown didn’t have to worry about being the primary leader of his team. Brown had players like Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson around him to shoulder most of the leadership responsibility through his first two season. However, in his junior year, Brown is being looked to as one of the main leaders of the 2017-18 K-State basketball team. During K-State’s media day session Sept. 27 at the Ice Family Basketball Center in Manhattan, Brown talked about how he has evolved as a leader this offseason.
“I feel like I’ve evolved in just trying to show my players what to do and lead by example. I’m also being that vocal leader that my teammates need me to be and that my coaches need me to be in the locker room, in the weight room, and on and off the court. I’m just trying to help my teammates be better people on and off the court,” Brown said.
K-State head coach Bruce Weber talked about how Brown’s leadership has rubbed off on the rest of the team.
“He’s been the leader. There’s no doubt. He got recruited a little bit later, but he was on an unbelievable AAU (high school) team where he was the seventh or eighth man. He’s come with (a chip on his shoulder) since he got here. That’s continued. He’s got great drive. If your best player is the hardest worker, it’s got to be contagious for the rest of the guys. (Brown’s) kind of taken on that role,” Weber said.
Freshman guard Mike McGuirl talked about some of the things that he’s learned from Brown in his first summer with the team.
“I learned how to work from him. He gets in the gym every day. He works on stuff he needs to improve on. He’s not complacent at all at where he is. He’s always trying to get better, which I respect. He does everything hard. He doesn’t take any plays off from practice. He’s in the gym more than anybody else,” McGuirl said.
Brown talked about some goals that he has set for himself this season.
“For myself, I just want to be in a position to be first team All-Big 12. I want to be a great leader for my team, and lead us as far as we can go (this season). I want to win as many games as possible, and just play hard. If we keep the mindset we have right now throughout the whole season, that can be accomplished. I think that starts with me coming to practice every day, going to weights every day, and going to class every day. Everything’s going to start with me showing these guys how tough it is,” Brown said.
Brown mentioned some things that he has learned from some of the great Big 12 point guards that he has seen through his first two years in college, including players like Iowa State’s Monte Morris and Kansas’ Frank Mason III.
“I learned to just be relentless. Never doubt your abilities, and stay aggressive no matter what. I feel like that’s the main thing that I’ve learned from them. (I also learned) to just stay confident and play your game no matter what,” Brown said.