Martin, Players Talk About Kruger, Oklahoma

Junior Martavious Irving scored a career-high 16 points against Texas Tech.

Jan. 26, 2012

Head Coach Frank Martin
On Lon Kruger returning to Manhattan…
“I do not know what he feels like; we visited briefly through text messages yesterday and last night after the game.  He really is one of the all-time greats here; as a player and as a coach.  He has been a winner everywhere that he has been.  I understand that he is coaching at Oklahoma, but that purple still runs through his blood.  He has got tremendous pride about his alma mater.  I think it is going to be an emotional moment for him because I know how much he loves this school.”

On his relationship with Kruger…
“We have communicated but obviously it is hard to ask each other for advice when you compete against each other on a regular basis, but he is awesome.  I just told him, before our game at Oklahoma, that there are some things that I want to visit with him about when the season is over and he immediately said, ‘Frank, all you have to do is call’.  He has been tremendous to me as a coach and as a friend.  I am very appreciative of that.”

On K-State’s first match-up with Oklahoma…
“We were no good but by me saying that, it takes away from Oklahoma and that is not right.  We were not a team that was on the same page as we are now, or that we were back in December.  We were hurt and we had issues that we were dealing with.  We were playing with our feelings hurt and you cannot do that in this league or you are going to get beat.  You are going to get beat good and that is what Oklahoma did to us.”
 
On the improvement of Martavious Irving...
“We were dysfunctional when we went to play Oklahoma; all of us, the players, myself, we were not functioning properly.  That was not one of his (Irving) better games in his time at K-State.  He has rebounding from that like winners do; they do not stay down, pout or whine, they take what in front of them and try to make it better.  I am extremely proud of what he has done since that day.  He has grown up a lot from last year.  I like the consistency that he is giving us from coming off the bench.  I know the things that he is capable of doing and he does them every day.  That toughness that he brings is what we need and he is giving that to us right now.”

Guard/Forward Rodney McGruder
On what he learned from watching the OU game tape…
“It just looked like they played harder than us; they outworked us, they beat us to the 50-50 balls.  They came out to play and we were not ready to play.  I do not want to make excuses for ourselves, they just outworked us.  They wanted it more that we did that game.  We were not really in it.”

On the opportunity to play Oklahoma again this season…
“It does mean a lot to me, personally.  They beat us and it was like a slap in the face because of how bad we got beat.  The best part about having a round-robin schedule is that you get the chance to play them again.”

On the improvement of Martavious Irving…
“He has just been more confident in himself.  That started in practice; I pulled him to the side one day when I talked to him about things and he said that he appreciated it and he was going to do whatever it takes to help this team and ever since then, he has been great.”

On his knowledge of Lon Kruger…
“I know that he was a K-State great.  I know that Steve (Henson) was a great here as well.  He did a good job at UNLV turning that program around.”

Guard Martavious Irving
On becoming the team’s Sixth Man…
“It was not surprising because Rodney had actually spoke to me about it before Frank (Martin) did and I told Rodney that I got him.  Then Frank spoke to me and told me that it was just another role that I had to play to help this team.  I do not really get into the whole starting or coming off the bench thing, it does not really matter.  Frank told me that I would be getting the same amount of minutes except I would just be coming off the bench and that I would be giving the bench some firepower.”

On his knowledge of Lon Kruger…
“Personally, I have heard about him a lot from playing with his nephew (Jarrod Kruger) last year. Basically, he is a K-State great; a great player and a great coach.”