Head Coach Frank Martin Quotes

On Michael’s decision...

“The decision has to be not what’s best for me or for Kansas State or his uncle. It has to be what’s best for him. When he chose to come to Kansas State he felt it was the best decision for him. When it’s time to make this next decision, it’s no different. It shouldn’t be anything but what’s best for Michael Beasley. Like I told him, if I had a son his age that was the best player in college basketball I would have to tell him he’s got to go too. I think this is the right decision to make at the time. Would I like him to stay in college three or four years? Absolutely. Is that the smart thing for Michael Beasley to do right now? No, I don’t think so, because of who he is and that small tight-nit group of family and support he has in his life, he is prepared to take on this challenge and to not just take it on, but make an incredible career out of it. That’s what we all go to college for, so we can make a living. I think he is as ready as anybody can be for that.”

 

On if he tried to convince Michael to stay...

“If I made any kind of pitch to convince him to stay then the pitch I was making was for selfish reasons. I don’t agree with that. I think the decision has to be best for the young man. It’s not what’s best for me and Kansas State. If it’s what’s best for my career and the university then my advice for him would be Mike, you have to stay in school.’ That’s not the whole objective here. The objective is to put him in the best place he can be. Like I told him, if you want to stay in school, no one is going to twist your arm and tell you you have to leave. I also feel if you are the best player in college basketball, it’s time to take on that next challenge. Everyone has to treat that decision individually. Some people can say Tim Duncan was the best player his junior year and he came back, and that was what was best for Tim Duncan at the time. I am just of the opinion that if someone has the opportunity to be worth $100 million they have to take advantage of that when the opportunity presents itself, because that window is not always open.”

 

On if this past season improved Michael’s game...

“I think Mike answered that. Being in college helped him drastically and gave him the ability to sit up here and hold this press conference. To understand what living on your own is and know that whatever is right and wrong is your responsibility, not your mom’s or your coach’s. There is something to do when you are a college freshman, where you learn that. As a player, I’d like to think that we helped him. Last July, he was 218 pounds when Mike played his first game here he weighed 243 pounds. So obviously there was some sort of commitment on his behalf to make himself bigger and stronger. Also there was some kind of direction from people on our staff to get him to do the right things. I can tell you academically, Mike came in here and did everything that was asked of him from going to class to meeting with tutors, and he did it at a pace where he was almost a 3.0 student. He has represented this school with as much class and like any coach could beg any athlete to do. He’s done it because that’s who he is and for those reasons, I think he’s ready.”

 

On if money was a big factor in Michael’s decision...

“As a person that’s grown up in not a very affluent home, that decision changes and that’s why I mean every player has to make their decision individually. For some people money has never been a problem so living a certain way has never been a problem. For others we have grown up a certain way and it’s an opportunity to provide for our family and I think that goes a long way when you look at the person individually. Somebody that comes from a home with a four-bedroom house, a nice pool and whatever, money isn’t that big of a thing. Others that have never been around that, it’s a different way of looking at it.”

On the NBA’s current draft-eligibility rule...

“Let’s be realistic, if the NBA rule wasn’t in place, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now. You guys would be reporting what kind of rookie year he had in the NBA, not here at K-State. For any of us that thought at the end of his freshman year we weren’t going to have to sit around and make this decision when everyone understood that he would be a top five pick after his senior year of high school, it would be pretty ridiculous. Did I expect him to come in here and do the things that he did? No, I didn’t. I never expected a freshman to come in and embrace all the responsibilities that come with representing a winning Big 12 school and taking that program to a different level with very limited leadership around him. Where he had to kind of grow with the process, with a rookie head coach. It’s not like he had Rick Barnes in his corner. We were just at the Wooden Award on Saturday and you guys keep asking me about the decision-making and he entered into a conversation with Coach Barnes and myself about it. Rick Barnes said to him, Understand something, you will win less games next year than you’re college team will win.’ Kevin Durant talks about that all the time, that he can’t understand that he plays on an NBA team that has won less games than his college team has won. All those things go into the equation. I think the way Mike continues to blossom as a player for those people that knew him three or four years ago as a player and see where he is at today, it’s a credit to who he is. You don’t improve as much as he has improved and represent yourself and your teams the way that he has unless you are a first-class, standup person. I know this, Kansas State Basketball is better today than it was a year ago because of Michael Beasley and that’s all you can ask of your student athletes.”

 

“It works in basketball and other sports. I am not into depriving people from making a living. If they want to go pro out of high school, then declare and go. If there’s a story about some guy who is not worth two dimes and all of a sudden makes some decent money then that’s me. I am not about depriving people from making money. I understand what it means to be poor. But at the same time, this is a collegiate institution. It’s not an NBA training camp. The way the rule is set up that way, that’s what it makes it out to be. In baseball, if you want to go pro, then go pro. If you go to a four-year school you have to be there for three years. I don’t see why it can work there and not work for basketball.”

 

On if Beasley is the best college basketball player he has ever seen...

“I said that from the word “go.” Huggs (Bob Huggins) has about 12 years on me. I’ve thought about as many guys as I could ever think of and I remember seeing Wayman Tisdale and Mark Aguirre when I was a kid and seeing those guys come into college basketball and average 22 points a game and dominate college basketball. Then you watch Kevin Durant last year do it as a freshman. Mike’s come in and out-done anything those guys have ever done. When you start talking about the best players ever I never saw Lou Alcindor at UCLA but it’s hard to argue with all those championships. I saw Michael Jordan in college, but that was a lot like when I saw Aguirre and Tisdale. I was so young, it was hard for me to gauge the difference between a good player and a bad player. I know they all won and that’s a big factor when determining good players. Mike’s as good as any of them.”

 

On Beasley’s impact on the Kansas State Basketball program...

“It would be a lot more difficult moving forward if he never played here. It would be a lot harder for us in a recruiting standpoint. I could tell you that you guys would not be here asking any questions if he had never played for us. Mike has opened doors for us in the world of college basketball, that a year ago were not open for us. Billy Gillespie said it best the other day, “How would you feel to coach five guys a year that were all one and done players?” And he said, “I would feel great, that means I have five pros on my team.” I kind of agree with that. My thing is I wish the rule was different. I don’t like the rule. We all live under it, so we have to make the best of it. You have to be a little lucky when you do your recruiting and you take your chance on a guy as talented as Mike. You know after a year the chances that this might happen. He is also a standup person and he is going to do everything that is asked of him. Let’s remember they are students even though some people tend to think differently sometimes, they are students first. The way the rule is setup Coach Bob Knight has been the most outspoken person about it. He didn’t have to go to a single class all semester. Once he passed the number of hours he needed in the first semester, that’s not something that prevented him from continuing his responsibilities. There are some guys that you might take that make that difficult for you. I don’t want to say that we got lucky with Mike because we knew what he was about. We knew his people. I think he is going to continue to represent Kansas State Basketball for the next 15 years, 82 times a season. Anytime you get that kind of person promoting your basketball program I think it’s a plus.”

 

“Every time he goes out and makes an All-Star Game, which is going to be about 15 years in a row with the help of the guy upstairs. Maybe if he and Durant play together, I don’t think there’s many NBA teams that want to play against those two guys at the same time. Every time he puts a hat on with a Powercat on it, that helps us in recruiting. It continues to put our brand out there. We lived in Cincinnati when Kenyon Martin was the number one pick in the draft. We are ten years removed from that and they still talk about his days in Cincinnati. I’m sure their staff still does it now when they go out recruiting. They still go out and talk about Kenyon Martin to recruits and they know who Kenyon is. Imagine the kind of impact that going into the home of a young man and showing him a picture of Michael Beasley who everyone after this year knows who he is. It’s helped us out tremendously in recruiting. The part that’s made it the best is that Mike has put our brand out there again. It’s helped people know that Kansas State Basketball is back. He’s put us on national television. It’s a powerful message.”

 

On what scouts are saying about Michael’s draft status...

“I will be extremely surprised if he is not the first player taken in the draft based on my conversations. They are not going to come out and guarantee you anything. Some teams have sent their general managers here for three or four days at a time. They’re not going to do that unless that’s who they expect to draft number one.”