March 20, 2007

Hoskins looks to the future

His head down, sweat collecting across a furrowed brow, David Hoskins shook his head back and forth subtly as he peered at the final stat sheet on the table late Monday. He took a sip of water. His junior season ended with a 70-65 loss to DePaul in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament, but already Hoskins, who led Kansas State with 24 points, looked toward Saturday.

"Five days," he said, "until I'm back lifting with Coach Scott every day."

The weight room with strength coach Scott Greenawalt. That's where the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Hoskins yearned to be, transferring the pain of losing into the familiar burn. Yes, the burn. After all, the burn meant progress. Some basketball lovers in March prefer "One Shining Moment." Hoskins wanted to hear iron plates clink in a steady rhythm in a sweaty room. Of course, the TV and radio would be turned off as to shield the senior-to-be from the outside world, or, to be more precise, from any of those blasted NCAA Tournament games.

"I'm done watching basketball," he said. "I'm going to pick it up like I did in the preseason - getting huge."

The goal is to emerge next season with a 400-pound bench press to go along with those cantaloupe shoulders, slabs of granite called a chest, and upper arms stolen from a cover of Muscle & Fitness. The goal for Hoskins is to be as tough as King Leonidas in "300," as mean as Simon Cowell during the Minneapolis auditions, and as sleek as a Ferrari when he takes the court next season.

"I want to be one of those few players," he said, "one of those players who are remembered."

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