October 17, 2007

Leadership could fuel Martin's Cats

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On Nov. 3, Kansas State will play Fort Hays State in an exhibition men's basketball game that will not only mark the beginning of a promising 2007-08 season, but also will launch the college head coaching career of Frank Martin. He will do so not only with a special collection of young players, but also with valuable lessons from Bob Huggins given off the floor and great senior leaders on the floor.

Martin came to K-State a year ago as Huggins' top assistant, and senior David Hoskins estimated at Wednesday's Big 12 Conference Basketball Media Day at the Marriott-Country Club Plaza that Martin and now associate head coach Dalonte Hill did 75 percent of the coaching last season.

Now with Huggins gone to West Virginia and Martin sitting in the big office in Bramlage Coliseum, the 41-year-old will not forget the first lesson he learned from Huggins upon arriving at K-State.

"Confidence. We walked into that gym at Kansas State last year, and after that first workout was over, we went back in the locker room, and I walked over to him and said, 'Coach, how are we going to win?' And like he did every year that I've known him, he said, 'Frank, we'll figure it out.' He instills incredible confidence in players," Martin said. "He completely convinces players that if they're reading to sacrifice themselves, you give yourself a chance to succeed. That's what I've always believed in, and once I started working for him, I realized that what college basketball is also all about."

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