Postgame Quotes

Feb. 26, 2011

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Kansas State Head coach Frank Martin
On the opening minutes of the game...
"Our guys were ready to go today. They were excited about the game and the opportunity and we jumped out that way. We have such a young team that I never like it when we do that because we get too relaxed and that is kind of what happened today. But I was proud of our guys. They were really sharp in practice the past few days. I thought our practice yesterday was phenomenal and we came right out of the shoot and played that way today."

On today's contributions from the bench...
"I cannot exactly remember it, but there was one game where our bench gave us 44 points to the opponent's six. Our bench has been good; they have been good all year. But we are just young. There have been moments this year where we were not as consistent as we needed to be, but those guys are playing more consistent for us right now. Everyone had an impact on this game today."

On the team's offensive production without Jacob Pullen...
"That is what it is all about. You have a team, not players. The game was tied somewhere in the 60's and we ran our offense and Will (Spradling) makes a three. Then we get a stop, come down and run our offense again and Jordan (Henriquez-Roberts) makes a great back-door pass to Rodney (McGruder), and those were our first five of the run. Then Nick (Russell) got fouled and made two free-throws. We made one bad decision in that sequence there. We were up seven and that is when I got really upset at Nick (Russell) because we spend a lot of time in practice talking about time management. He gets a defensive rebound and tries to outrun two Missouri players with the dribble which is something we said we cannot do. Against Missouri, if you want to advance the ball, you have to do it with the pass, not the dribble. He held it, dribbled and dribbled, turned the ball over and then we fouled. But I thought Nick (Russell) made more good plays than bad plays today. I was proud of those kids because they got it done without Jacob (Pullen) in there."

On Curtis Kelly's performance...
"He played with unbelievable energy. That is his whole thing. Playing with energy and focus are Curt's two biggest challenges. He loses focuses because of a mistake, but I thought he was really good with that today and his energy was up. The only time I was upset with him and his energy was early in the second half. He came out of the locker room and two minutes in, he could not run so I took him out and put him right back in and he caught it and scored. I told him that is why he came out earlier and he understood that."

On Jacob Pullen...
"He has never shied away from the responsibility of being a good player. He had an up-and-down freshman year like most freshmen have. Everyone sits around and thinks every freshman should be Kevin Durant or Mike Beasley, but that rarely happens. Most freshmen are up-and-down because they have never been through the level of competition on a consistent basis that kids go through when they get here. But he had the will to grow, to get better, to deal with the tough moments and be ready to go the next day, he stepped up to that right away. I remember when we lost to Iowa in Las Vegas his sophomore year and he was in tears because he felt that he let the team down and that is a sign of a guy who is willing to accept responsibility for the team's success. I will never forget that moment in the locker room. He believes in his people and he is a loyal human being and that is something that is lost in today's society. Nobody believes in the word loyalty anymore, but he does and that is why he deserves everything that comes his way."

Guard Jacob Pullen
On his opening minutes of the game...
"We got some clean looks and we did a good job of running our offense. The ball went through the net and we got some really clean looks. Transition-wise, it was the same thing. We got the ball out and played good defense, which turned into good offense and we caught on fire really early. "

On the impact of the bench players...
"It was big.  We had a lot of people step up, even in the first half; Martavious (Irving) made some big plays. Nick (Russell) came in the second half and Will (Spradling) made some shots. They just had confidence and they felt like this was our game. We were not going to give it away when you have a team that is playing like. Today, we were just hitting our shots and really feeling good about ourselves, it really makes things easy, even when I am not in the game.

Forward Curtis Kelly
On the late run at the end of the game ...
"It was very important at the end of the game. Jake (Pullen) got caught with a foul, and I just tried to do my best and keep playing the ball. They gave me the ball down low and I scored. My teammates were seeing me down there. They saw that I had mismatches and they gave it to me. The run was solid, and I like runs like that."

On Jacob Pullen's foul trouble ...
 "I was scoring, but I did not have any concerns. It is always a concern when he (Jacob Pullen) is out of the game, especially during a crucial time of the game. He is our top scorer and our leader. There was little concern, but we have to keep playing, trying to score the ball, and playing defense."

Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson
Opening statement...
"I would like to congratulate Kansas State. I thought that it was a game of runs. They started off with a tremendous run in a game where emotions are going to run sky high. I thought our guys did a good job of settling in and getting back to the things that we came on the road to do in terms of execution our offense and defense. When you go into halftime down by three points
you feel pretty good about your team .I thought we played well but we just did not sustain it for 40 minutes. We may have done it for 35 minutes but not for 40 minutes and 35 minutes is not good enough in this league. I was proud of our guys' effort and to K-State's credit some of their bench guys came in and played well for them."
 
On K-State's run after tied game...
"I think we had a turnover on that possession. We had a defensive breakdown where they hit a shot and I think we had another turnover after that. We were down five points and I thought that we tried to get five points in one play but you cannot do that. Our inexperience showed in that particular part of the game."
  
On opening minutes of the game...
"(Jacob) Pullen made shots. We played them earlier in the year and I am sure that they were looking forward to the game, but emotion can only take you so far. You have to play your game."

On early foul trouble...
"I think that we had 11 fouls between our big guys. One guy played 12 minutes, one played four and one played three. Obviously they did not get to play a lot today so we ended up going small and I thought that it helped us but it also hurt us especially when you talk about the rebounding."

Guard Marcus Denmon
On K-State victory...
"They made plays down the stretch. They hit a couple of big shots when we were in our zone defense when it was tied 60-60. So give credit to them. "

On team breakdowns...
"I thought we had a lot of mental mistakes as a team. We did a lot of things you can't do on the road to win. We feel it was something that was in our control but we let it slip away."

Forward Laurence Bowers
On K-State's run...
"When it was tied up, there were a lot of emotions but then it seemed like we started shooting ourselves in the foot. I think we kind of beat ourselves up on some aspects of the game but give K-State credit. They are a good team and they protected their home turf. I thought it'd be closer at the end but they are a good team and they found a way to win."

On foul trouble...
 "It is tough when anybody on the team gets in foul trouble, especially when you have three of your four forwards in foul trouble but I thought for the most part that me and Marcus did a good job battling with the four man most of the time while I was on the five man most of the time. We just have to stay out of foul trouble and we can't worry about fouling, that's when we get the cheap fouls and we just have to get ready for Nebraska."