K-State Prepares for BYU
K-State Prepares for BYU
Follow the Cats during the NCAA Championships at k-statesports.com and cbscollegesports.com. CBS College Sports Network's coverage of the tournament includes exclusive, behind-the-scenes access with K-State throughout the tournament. The Network has been embedded with the Wildcats since Selection Sunday and will be with Coach Martin and the team throughout their tournament journey. Features will run as part of studio programming and also online at www.cbscollegesports.com.
Below is a transcript from press conference activities on Friday. A full PDF transcript is also attached.
THE MODERATOR: Next up in the interview room from Kansas State, Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly. We're ready to go.
Q. Jake, describe now 1st Round is done, you guys were freshmen the last time did you this, being a leader on this team, is it a maturity level now coming in as a junior into the situation that you guys were in two years ago?
JACOB PULLEN: Definitely. It's about the understanding of how quick of a turnaround it is and how fast you have to prepare for the next team and how you can't get wrapped up in the next game. We have upperclassmen who understand that. It's easier to make a transition than it was freshman year.
Q. Jake, you guys have played against some good scorers throughout the season. James Anderson comes to mind. How do you guys plan on containing Jimmer tomorrow?
JACOB PULLEN: It's tough, you know? He's a very good scorer. He scores the ball in a variety of ways. He does a great job of reading the defense. So we just got to keep him uncomfortable. Try to do him like we did other good scorers, throw different looks at them, whether it be off ball screens or -- we really got to keep them guessing at what we're going to do and just got to hope he misses some shots, you know.
Good players are going to make tough shots. Hopefully, he misses some shots so we can rebound and make him have to guard on the other end.
Q. Curtis, Fredette goes to the basket quite a bit in addition to shooting 3s. How important is it for the big guys to try to come off and help against him, try to get to the rim, try to block the shot?
CURTIS KELLY: We're a good shotblocking team. We tend to jump up there when the guys go to the basket. One thing I notice about him from the tape, he kind of ball-fakes a lot and he likes to get into the big guy's body when he gets to the basket. So what I'm going to try to do is let Jake or whoever guard him, lead him my way, and try to smack it as far as I can, smack it out of there.
THE MODERATOR: More questions for the K-State student-athletes?
Q. Jacob, how are you guys going to handle -- you guys are the favorites, you're supposed to win. But a lot of the time during the season, you guys have played with a chip on your shoulder. You guys still have that there, or are you guys going to handle the idea of being the favorite, the one that's supposed to win?
JACOB PULLEN: We still have the chip on our shoulders. We still feel like a lot of people were picking us to lose this game. We still have the chip on our shoulder, but it's really just about our motivation. It's about us having upperclassmen who understand where we are and where we want to be. We have the motivation that we need. It's not about having a chip or being a favorite for this game. It's just about us understanding that we know what we want to be and we know what we need to do to win.
Q. Freshmen played a big role in yesterday's game. Talk about like Jordan Henriquez-Roberts who came in, especially to the post because foul trouble was definitely an issue. Talk about what these freshmen have been able to do to add depth to your team?
CURTIS KELLY: I think they've been doing a great job. Nick Russell, those guys have been real big when Denis and Jake were in foul trouble. When Jake went down, Trey came in the game and played Big D. And for the bigs, Jordan Henriquez and Wally Judge have been great. I got in foul trouble, and I was in foul trouble until like the 15-minute mark of the whole game, and those guys came in and rebounded the ball well. I think both them had six rebounds. Wally scored well and Jordan blocked some key shots. We need them. We need everybody to come off the bench and contribute, and we can do that. We can go further in the Tournament for sure.
Q. Getting back to Jimmer again, who does he remind you of that you guys have faced this season and why?
CURTIS KELLY: I don't know. You guard the guards. What are you looking at me for?
JACOB PULLEN: Probably little bit of Clay Thompson from Washington State, how well he uses the screens and shoots the ball well off the screens. Has a real mentality to score the ball. Clay is probably the only person we faced that really used screens likes that. James Anderson is a flat-out scorer. Those two have a good basketball I.Q., and they really adjusted to that team. So that's probably the person that he reminds me of the most.
Q. Jake, I wanted to check on the tailbone. How is that doing? How are your elbows? How sore are you? How much ice did you do last night?
JACOB PULLEN: They iced it a lot. I'll be all right.
CURTIS KELLY: You'll be all right.
JACOB PULLEN: I'm straight.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions for Kansas State student-athletes? Thank you. Kansas State Head Coach Frank Martin now up in the interview room. We'll get a quick opening statement from Coach Martin and proceed with questions.
COACH MARTIN: After watching tape all night, I've come to the realization that our job is going to be even harder than I thought it was. At about 8:00 p.m. last night, BYU's as gifted an offensive team and Dave does an unbelievable job of getting those guys to do some things differently than most teams do. They definitely use that 3-point line as a tremendous advantage. So it's going to be a big challenge for our guys. We have to be very disciplined with our defensive assignments to have a chance here tomorrow. So, we'll see. We'll give it our best shot the way we have all year.
THE MODERATOR: Ready for questions.
Q. Coach, a lot has been spoken about Denis' speed. Has he ever been timed in the 40 or 100-yard dash or measured his actual speed?
COACH MARTIN: We don't time our guys in that kind of stuff, but we do -- our strength and conditioning coach, Scott Greenwald, he does the same stuff they do at NBA pre-draft camps and all that, the different tests they put kids through. We've been doing it since our days at Cincinnati. There's one drill where it's with the basketball, and you have to go from foul line to the other baseline. And I believe -- I haven't seen this number, because we do all this back in September, October, but I believe the number was 2.6, how long it took him to get from the foul line to the other baseline. If I'm wrong on that, it's by a tenth ever of second or so. It's not by much more than that.
Q. Jacob just said he would compare Jimmer to like Clay Thompson from Washington State. What would you say is the biggest key to keeping him off the scoreboard early, keeping him in check?
COACH MARTIN: That's the difference between Jacob and I. He compares them to guys now. I compare them to guys my age. I think he's Billy Donovan, is who I think he is, when Billy played at Providence. Very similar, unbelievable ability to shoot the basketball, and an unbelievable ability the utilize that shot through his foot fakes and shot fakes to create angles, to get other shots and get to the foul line. Then when you put him on the line, he's just not going to miss. It's not going to happen. You have to be very disciplined when you guard him. From watching them on tape and a little bit yesterday live, he does as good a job as anybody as attacking you off the dribble to the middle of the floor. It's going to be a challenge. When the ball gets in the middle of floor, it's hard to help. Regardless of where you help from, you're going to open up shooters. And that's what makes him so difficult, because then you can't help and then he scores and gets fouled. If you do help, he pitches it and they all make 3s. He's a hard matchup, as hard as we've had this year.
Q. When Coach Rose had has cancer scare last summer, he heard from a lot of coaches. He said you were one of them that contacted him and talked with him. Can you speak briefly of your relationship with Coach Rose and what he's been able to do, having come back from that to do what they've done this year?
COACH MARTIN: Four years ago, Huggs and I just got hired at K-State. I'd been on the job for about a month, and I got sick. I've always been one of those guys, I get sick, I just take three Advils, wrap myself up with some blankets, sweat, and get out of bed and do my job. But I couldn't. Eventually I gave in to Huggs, convinced me to go to the doctor. The doctor took me and put me right into the hospital, and I laid in that hospital bed for two weeks. They eventually figured out I had pancreatitis. I had all kinds of crap going on in my body. That's what happens when you don't take care of yourself. The most severe thing I had aside from pneumonia that I developed was pancreatitis. Once the pancreatitis -- it's a swelling of your pancreas and shuts down all your organs. Once the pancreas went back to normal and my organs started working again, the pancreas when it returned to its normal phase had a different shape to it, and then they feared pancreatic cancer. I had no idea what pancreatic cancer was. I just know I had the cancer word. So I'm laying in that hospital bed, and I looked at my phone and searched to see what it is, and I found out I believe it's 4 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive it. I lived with that fear for ten days. I had to fly around the country, get specialists to do more detailed looks at me, and knock on wood, good man upstairs didn't give me that disease. When I heard Coach was battling that, it kind of hits close to home, someone you know actually is going through it, but God bless him. His, I believe, was a tumor that I believe only happens to 2 percent of the people that have pancreatic cancer that can actually get cut out, and, you know, he's been healthy since. God is good to good people. I'm sure he's taking care of him.