Frank Martin used the word “patience” prior to the game at Texas on Saturday when describing his coaching style this season with such a youthful Kansas State team.
He said, in fact, that he has referred to his junior varsity coaching manual that he used for nine years in the Miami prep ranks. “I’m stubborn, but I’m patient,” he said.
That patience, however, was tested Saturday in a 75-64 loss at Texas, where the Wildcats let a 40-27 intermission lead disappear when the Longhorns out-scored the Wildcats 48-24 in the second half.
It was a game where Martin said that Texas delivered “haymaker after haymaker,” but, “We didn’t punch back. That was disappointing.”
He would add, “We broke down from our disciplines and did not execute. We wanted to play one-on-one.”
Those “disciplines” will be needed tonight at 8 when Kansas State faces Kansas in an ESPN “Big Monday” clash in Bramlage Coliseum.
How will the Wildcats respond after Saturday’s game, and what must be better than in the 67-49 loss to Kansas in Lawrence back on Jan. 4?
“We’ll find out,” replied Martin.
Speaking in particular of the first game at Kansas, Martin said his club didn’t handle “… their arena, the intensity of the game, the emotions of the game, and we let them get run-out easy baskets.”
He would add, “We can’t run and hide. We can’t call mom to come pick us up. We have to walk out that door and face the music. We’re excited to have the opportunity.”
As much as the physical challenges of facing the 20-5 and 10-2 first-place Jayhawks, Martin said it’s also the mentality of the game that needs to be addressed: “The mind is always the biggest challenge. You can train your body physically to withstand the rigors of a season in any sport, but if your mind tells you you’re tired, then you’re tired. If you’re mind tells you you’re fine, then you’re fine.”
• Calling the game on ESPN will be Dave Pasch, Bob Knight and Holly Rowe.
• Bad news: KU has won 43 of the last 46 meetings with KSU; Good news: KSU has won two of the last four against the Jayhawks in Bramlage Coliseum.
• K-State has won 11 straight home games in the month of February. In the last four years, Martin is 13-1 in home games in February.
• Frank Martin is the first KSU coach since Dana Altman in the early-1990s to win more than one game against Kansas.
• KU shares the Big 12 lead with Missouri at 10-2; K-State shares fifth place with Texas at 6-6.
• KSU’s Will Spradling has a run of 17 consecutive free throws.
• KU’s Jeff Withey has scored 43 points with 25 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in his last two games.
WILDCATS-JAYHAWKS BY THE NUMBERS:
Record 17-7 20-5
Scoring 72.4 75.3
Defense 63.2 61.2
FG Percentage .439 .487
FG Defense .397 .380
3-Pt Percentage .333 .345
Rebound Margin +4.38 +5.60
Assists 14.0 15.9
Thomas Robinson, KU, 18.1; Tyshawn Taylor, KU,, 16.8; Rodney McGruder, KSU, 14.6
Thomas Robinson, KU, 12.1; Jeff Withey, KU, 6.3;Jamar Samuels, KSU, 6.1; Thomas Gipson, KSU, 5.3
Will Spradling, KSU, 1.67; Tyshawn Taylor, KU, 1.64
Tyshawn Taylor, KU, 5.12; Elijah Johnson, KU, 3.72; Will Spradling, KSU,, 2.59; Angel Rodriguez, KSU, 2.57
Elijah Johnson, KU, 1.60; Rodney McGruder, KSU, 1.25
Jeff Withey, KU, 3.16; Jordan Henriquez, KSU, 1.83;Thomas Robinson, KU, 1.16
NEXT FOR THE WILDCATS:
The murderous schedule continues for K-State on Saturday with a trip to Baylor for a 12:30 p.m. start, followed by a trip to Missouri on Feb. 21 for a 6 p.m. start.
The rest of K-State’s schedule includes Iowa State on Feb. 25 at home, traveling to Texas A&M on Feb. 28, and hosting Oklahoma State on March 3.