Kansas State Player Quotes

Freshman forward Bill Walker

On being selected...

“I am just glad we are in the tournament. Last year we were in the same room, just waiting for the whole hour and not hearing our name called it is disappointing. With this year, it is two extremes.”

 

On playing against OJ Mayo and USC...

“Somebody has to go home that is what he told me when I talked to him. As soon as I saw USC up there, I thought what are the chances of us playing them. As soon as I thought that, I saw our name right under them. I have never been in this tournament so I jumped up like I was a father. I have never played against OJ (Mayo), maybe in practice but not on two separate teams. We go back to kindergarten and preschool back in Huntington (W. Va.). At first we were just classmates, but then we found out we lived just around the block from each other. Things went on from there. We won two State tournaments and three AAU championships. We did a lot of winning together.”

 

Freshman forward Michael Beasley

On playing close to Manhattan, Kan...

“It feels really good. We are going to be close so we should have a lot of fans. That will be a big plus to have more fans than (USC).”

 

On being a part of returning the program to the tournament...

“That is pretty cool to say. We haven’t been for a long time. That is a good accomplishment on our part. Even though we had a rough part of the season, the last part probably was not the best, it is still a pretty big accomplishment for us. It is kind of the feeling (of getting a second chance). We have a second chance and we have to just come with our A game. I am just happy to be on the bracket. The thing about the tournament is that you don’t have to be better than every team. You just have to bring it that one night. You don’t have to see that team again for the rest of the season.”

 

On his history with OJ Mayo...

“We go back pretty far. I have known OJ since I was probably 13 or 14. Playing against him in AAU ball, it was real fun. We have been pretty good friends. I haven’t talked to him yet like Bill (Walker) has. I don’t know what to say to him yet. USC is a talented bunch of guys they have a lot of guys and a lot of weapons. For us to be matched up against them in the first round shows where we are as a team and how far we can go.”

 

Freshman guard Jacob Pullen

On getting back to the defense played earlier in the season...

“We need to get back to extending teams to half court in their offense. Rebounding like we have, we haven’t been rebounding that great in the last few games. We need to get offensive rebounds and get the ball in the paint. We need to make open shots. We shot a real good three-point percentage at the beginning of the Big 12; we need to get back to that.”

 

On his role for the team in the tournament...

“I need to maintain the clock, the game and the situation that we are in. I need to give Mike (Beasley) and Bill (Walker) as much and as often as I can. Most of the time they will have a mismatch, because they are both athletic and can step out on the perimeter. It is just about managing everything, the whole game.”

 

Senior guard Clent Stewart

On being selected...

“It is amazing. It is what you play for the whole season. I am just excited for this opportunity. Once you get in, anything can happen. They talk a lot about the No. 1 and 2 seeds, but once you are in, it doesn’t matter if you are a No. 1 or No. 16 seed, you still have to play a basketball game. It all comes down to executing and doing what you can do. We were all very excited, hugging and high-fiving once we saw our name.”

 

On playing in Omaha, Neb...

“It is nice to be close to here and have a lot of fans. Hopefully it will help us out a lot.”

 

On his emotional rollercoaster...

“It has been a rollercoaster road with the ups and downs of the season. My career has had a lot of ups and downs. Getting to the NCAA Tournament and to have this opportunity is definitely one of the highest points. I have never been there, so to get this opportunity is amazing. We have to go out there and execute. USC is a good team with OJ Mayo. (The tournament) is what we play for. To finally get there in my last year, it just means the world. It is your dream; it is what you prepare for.”