Martin Making Strides with K-State

"I've grown a lot," Martin explained earlier this week. "Sometimes I don't notice it, but my teammates will point out things and tell me, 'At the beginning of the season you wouldn't have done that,' or 'You're reacting a lot better.' So my teammates are noticing, and they've let me know that I've improved."
A native of Salina, Kansas, Martin is averaging 4.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game as she ranks third on the team in rebounds. A smart, talented and aggressive player on the court, Martin has nabbed a team-leading 53 steals, while her 66 assists are just four behind sophomore guard Kindred Wesemann's team high of 70.
"With experience, you grow a little bit more confidence, and that's where I feel Shaelyn has grown the most," explained Woods about her young teammate. "She's always had this great focus and a great attitude. She has a mentality where she always wants to get better. She has great heart for the game, and I think coming in she was a great player with a lot to build off."
One of just two players to start every game this season, Martin has seen her fair share of in-game experience and has continued to learn from it. Though Woods leads the team in minutes played per game (29.6), Martin isn't far behind as she averages 29.5 minutes on the court.
"I feel really comfortable with where I am right now," explained Martin. "I feel like all my teammates trust me even though I'm the youngest one out there on the court, and that makes me feel more confident in myself and in my team."
Martin is gaining experience daily, but there are certain things that are, naturally, new to any freshman. One of those things is traveling around the Big 12.
Tonight, K-State (15-9, 5-8 Big 12) will take on Texas (16-8, 5-8 Big 12) at 7 p.m., at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Martin grew up following Big 12 basketball and has seen the Longhorns' home court on television, but it will be her first time playing at the arena. 
"It's always exciting going to new facilities to play," said Martin with a smile. "I've watched Big 12 basketball my whole life, but now getting to go to these schools and play there, it's a really great experience."
The Wildcats enter tonight's game coming off of a tough 74-68 overtime loss to Texas Tech on Sunday afternoon. Though it is a quick turnaround, the team is excited to get back on the court tonight and wash away the taste of its weekend loss. 
"It's probably good for us," said head coach Jeff Mittie about the quick turnaround. "It's probably good for us to get back on the floor again after Sunday's game. I want to get back out there, play and travel. I think it'll be good for us to get on the road and just be together." 
Despite the fact the team is coming off of a loss, the Wildcats have been playing some of their best basketball of the season in the past few weeks, going an impressive 4-2 in their last six games, which includes an upset win on February 4, against none other than then-No. 20 Texas.
"The way we were all connected with everything, offensively, defensively, the flow was really nice on both ends of the court," explained Martin about what she remembered from the Wildcats' 66-57 win over Texas a few weeks ago. "That collectiveness of our group, that's what stood out to me, and that's the way we need to continue to play and bring to the court (tonight)."
The last time the two teams faced off, four Wildcats scored in double-figures, including Martin with 10. While K-State knows it has what it takes to beat Texas, the Wildcats need to bring a whole new mentality as they enter tonight's game as the visiting team. 
"We beat them before, but they're still a really good team," said Woods, who scored 13 points in K-State's last matchup with the Longhorns. "They just played Baylor (in Austin), and they lost by just two points. So you have to go in there with a different attitude. We may have beaten them (in Bramlage Coliseum), but we have to go in there with a lot more focus, more heart and more energy because we're the away team. But I feel like it will be a good game."
Tonight's game will be televised on the Longhorn Network, while fans can hear the game on the K-State Sports Network. 
For game notes and more information about tonight's game, please click here

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