February 4, 2008

Martin expects young team to respond

Just as No. 22 Kansas State enjoyed its biggest victory in years with a nine-point win against No. 2 Kansas, it turned around to suffer one of its most bitter defeats of the season in a 77-74 loss at short-handed Missouri. But first-year head coach Frank Martin wouldn't call it a "roller-coaster." Martin on Monday discussed the Wildcats' past week during the Big 12 coaches' teleconference as K-State prepares for back-to-back home games starting with Nebraska on Wednesday night.

Question: Up and downs are just a part of coaching. It's been quite a roller-coaster for you guys the last week or so, hasn't it?
Martin: I don't know if it's a roller-coaster. We lost. You step into the arena of sports and it's something you have to deal with. We went up to Missouri and we tried and were up most of the game and just couldn't figure out a way to win on the road in a place that's hard to win.

Question: Your team lost a few games in the non-conference and responded well. Do you expect anything less after this loss the other night?
Martin: I don't see why not. We've responded well all year and we've got a group of guys who I know were extremely upset -- to use that word -- after the game the other day. I don't see why it'd be any different this time.

Question: After looking at the tape, what did you guys not do against Missouri's zone in the last seven or eight minutes?
Martin: Offensively, we stood around too much. We didn't move the ball, didn't move without the ball, allowed the zone to push us further out on the floor and never got inside the zone.

Question: Good week to be coming home for consecutive games?
Martin: I don't know if there's ever a good week when you're in the Big 12. I'd prefer playing at home than on the road, though.

Question: What makes a good home court advantage?
Martin: For starters, you're home. You go around your daily routine where you usually do it, whether it's going to class, your bed, your locker room, your fans, your court where you shoot every day. It's not like being on the road where you've got to lay down in a hotel room. Sometimes when you're on the road you've got to lay around the hotel most of the day. It's always better to be home.

Question: What are your first impressions in watching Nebraska tape?
Martin: What they always are when you watch Doc's (Doc Sadler) teams play. You're getting ready to face a buzz saw. His teams play so hard, so together. Doc had the unfortunate thing of having to play Kansas twice within a 10-day period to start the year. If he doesn't do that they're sitting right in the thick of things in the Big 12 right now. They're a heck of a team and had a hell of a non-conference slate there. I'm sure they're going to come in here Wednesday and play their hearts out like they always do.

Question: With all the attention that Michael Beasley has received, how has Bill Walker responded to that?
Martin: Bill's not into attention. Bill wants to win. All Bill cares about is winning. Whether he scores 30 or 6, if we win, he's the happiest guy in our locker room.

Question: With Jacob Pullen, is he just going through something most freshmen go through in being really good one night and not playing up to his part in the next?
Martin: I don't think any of those guys are freshmen anymore. I would like to think those days are behind us and apparently they were not when it came to him this past week.

Question: With so many freshmen, sometimes freshmen hit the wall sometime in February just because they're not used to playing so many games. Is there some concern about this group at some point in February hitting the wall?
Martin: No. That's an excuse to accept failure.

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