Martin, Players Talk About Upcoming Game with KU

Head coach Frank Martin has two wins against KU in nine attempts.

Jan. 3, 2012

Head Coach Frank Martin
On showing the last year’s Kansas game film…
“We have not shown it to them, but we have talked about the reasons we won here (in Manhattan) and the reason we did not win there (in Lawrence). We have tried to make sure that we understand the things that we have to do to help us try and find success. It is just two different teams.”

On the differences in last year’s two games…
“We were not down 12-1 to start the game (at home). The atmosphere in that building (Allen Field House) gets you to play faster than you need to play and what I mean by faster is to speed yourself up and not stick to your responsibilities. That is what happens when people have good home crowds and that happens for us when teams come here; they get wrapped up in the emotion of the building and they break off from what they are trying to do as a team. In every game the difference has been our turnovers and our bad shots in the first four or five minutes of the game and if you do that in that building, you might as well put points on the board for them. They take your turnovers and your bad shots, where ever they play, and make their baskets. The biggest difference between our games here and there has been our inability to take good shots and to not turn the ball over in the opening minutes of the game. “

On Thomas Robinson…
“I remember watching him in high school, but he was more of a rebounder/dunker more than anything else and he was kind of thin. He has made himself into a strong man now. To see how is game has evolved; scoring off the dribble and hitting face-up shots and his free-throw percentage is around 70 percent from where it was 40 percent from the line and on the low block he is a handful. Right now, he is playing on the same level as (Kevin) Durant, (Michael) Beasley and (Blake) Griffin when they were in this league. That is the kind of presence that I see him creating for their team and he is a problem because he has made himself very difficult to defend. That is a credit to him, his coaches and teammates that they have pushed him and he has gotten as good as he has gotten. “

On facing Kansas…
“Obviously you have to be solid. (Thomas) Robinson is playing at a high level and if you cannot deal with him, then you are going to have a problem but what makes Kansas so tough is that it has never been the players, it is how those players play together. There is a lot of really talented teams that do not play together and they are easy to deal with. When you play against a talented group of guys and they play the game together, that makes it a problem. That is what Bill Self does better than anyone in the country. He gets very good players and he gets them to play unselfishly, that is why their assist numbers are always up and if you look at those numbers, they are among the best in the country. Their team defensive field goal percentage is always of the charts and that means they are playing as a group because it is not a one-on-one game now that Thomas Robinson has developed himself into an elite player and they do such a good job of playing within a system, it makes it very difficult to handle.“

Sophomore Guard Will Spradling
On the difficulties of playing in Allen Fieldhouse…
“Just the noise; it is hard to hear what the coach wants you to do and it is hard to focus. It is the same way for other teams when they play here. Some of us have played there before, so we know how it is going to be and we are just trying to get the younger players to understand what has to be done and how we have to come together after every play so we know what is going on as a whole.”

On the atmosphere at Allen Fieldhouse…
“I think that it is (toughest place to play). Last year Kansas and Missouri were by far the loudest gyms and the strongest atmospheres that we played in.”

On Kansas’ backcourt…
“I feel like they have shot the ball better this year. Last year, I thought that Tyshawn Taylor was more of an off-the-dribble guy and this year he has been shooting it at a high-percentage from behind the arc, so we really have to close out on them harder than last year and pressure them a lot more. The other guards are stepping up and making shots as well; Conner Teahan is coming in and knocking down big shots for them and they are just doing a all-around good job.”

Junior Guard Rodney McGruder
On playing in Allen Fieldhouse…
“We just have to play our game and not get wrapped up in the crowd or atmosphere. We just need to go in there and play K-State basketball and try to go in there strong. That is all that we can do.”

On atmosphere of Allen Fieldhouse…
“I would agree that it is a tough place to play especially with us being rivals from down the road. A lot of people come out and support that game. I watch a lot of Kansas games on TV as well so it is pretty much like that every game. It is just a tough place to play.”

On preparing his younger teammates for conference road games…
“They just need to take it as another game and not stress themselves into being nervous because that is when you play bad. You cannot think about the wrong things, you just have to go in there with the mindset you would have if you were playing a home game or another away game.”