Men's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

Junior Martavious Irving talks to the media day on Wednesday.

Oct. 26, 2011

Photo Gallery

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State head coach Frank Martin and selected returners met with the area media on Wednesday afternoon during its annual media day festivities.

Below are selected quotes from today's media day.


Head Coach Frank Martin

On redshirting Jamar Samuels during his freshman year…
“We met when last season was over and I told him that if he had not listened to me and Delonte (Hill) four years ago and he had not red-shirted, his career is over and what would he do right now. Maybe that registered but I do not know. I am not into figuring out the past, I am into helping for the future. The meeting that we had, that is kind of what I said to him.  Could he have helped us at the end of the year? Probably but I am not into burning a kid’s year of eligibility to get him to play seven games. That just does not make any sense. He has been pretty focused and has been pretty committed to everything that it takes to be a student-athlete.”

On Jamar Samuels’ improvement…
“Currently it is hands down the best stretch of practices he has had since he has been here. One thing is beating your chest and screaming on game day and another thing is being that same person the next day when the fans, cameras and the other team are not there. He has embraced all of the things that go into finding success consistently and that is being consistent with how you do your job every day. He has had been good and I am pleased with where he is at right now. I am not going to jump through hoops because he has been inconsistent for four years and now he is acting differently for six months. Let’s wait till the end of the year when he has a college degree and when he performed his last season of eligibility to see if he has finally moved forward. “

On Rodney McGruder’s improvement…
“He is a lot more explosive. He has been better defensively and he continues to grow into his junior year. He is a way better defender now than he was last year or two years ago. I think a lot of that has to do with that he can cut on either leg now comfortably and pain-free which goes a long way. As a player, we have asked him to become a better player on the move, meaning that he as to be more aggressive with the dribble and more confidence in that. Also coming off screens and shooting when he is on the move rather than just shooting standing still where people do not guard him; he did that real well for us last year. He did not do the movement part real well for us, but he has worked on that and watching him in practice, it is obvious that he has improved on it.“

On Nino Williams redshirting last season…
“Nino is a competitive kid and what hurt him was with the concussion was he could not take part in workouts, so he just sat on the side. So he did not get the full benefit of a regular redshirt like (Denis) Clemente and Curtis Kelly where they are in practice every day and they understand what you are trying to teach them on the go. Everyone understands when they are sitting on the side but when they have to go out there and perform it gets a little more complicated and he is behind where those guys are at. So it is hard for him to get the full impact of a hundred practices like everyone else does. He is competitive but he does things in practice that make you realize that he is a freshman but then he also plays with a certain effort and aggression that makes you appreciate who he is.”

On choosing a starting point guard…
“We have a plethora of guys that can play. The guy with the most experience at the point spot is Will (Spradling). He is the one who has played the most minutes as a point guard for our team. I am going to put the five best guys on the floor that I can put out there. Those are the guys that are going to play and then we are going to play combinations of who can play with who. I am not into making those decisions yet, I am still trying to evaluate our team. “

On Martavious Irving…
“He has been good. Here is the thing with a guy like Martavious; he played behind Jacob Pullen last year. It is hard to get a lot of consistent minutes when you are playing behind somebody who is that good. The other side of that coin is that you practice against that guy every single day. So you play thirty games and you practice against Jake (Pullen) in a hundred and fifteen practices. There is a lot more practices to improve on than games and he was faced with that having to defend Jake and having to try and score against Jake. I am pleased with where he is at.”

On the incoming freshman…
“(Thomas) Gipson is a 270 pound wide-body that is not scared of throwing that big body around. He lays the wood on you and you know that you got hit. He gives us a presence at the rim. He plays with the same aggression as Luis Colon but has an understanding of how to score a little bit like Curtis Kelly, but he does not rebound the ball nearly as well as either of those two guys yet. Adrian Diaz is long, athletic and can run. When the game is up and down, you see his strengths but when the game is a grind and a physical nature, you see that he has a ways to go from a strength standpoint. He has great hands and when he catches that ball, he is going to dunk it. If he is 10 feet away he can shoot it into the basket. The ball does not hit his hand and end up in the cheerleaders, it stays on the court which is a plus. Angel (Rodriguez) is the kind of guy who understands the tempo of the game, when to go and when not to go. He is a little pitbull defensively.”

Senior Victor Ojeleye
On this season’s team…
“In terms of differences, the team is unique in itself. Our team is different than last year’s team and will also be different than the next, as each person works on their skills and potential that makes us a unit as good as we can be as we each grow in our role and helps us find success.”

On what each playing brings to the team…
“Each person on this team has brought something different; Martavious is working on defense, Rodney is explosive on offense and working on being a leader and running the offense, Jordan putting on weight and working on things that will help him get better. I think each person in their unique roles is working and it is just really exciting for me.”

On his excitement level for this year…
“This team is excited and very passionate. I see freshmen asking how early they can get to the gym and if they can get an extra practice in and that is really encouraging to me because I see them really wanting to learn and grow. That is what this team is about right now; getting better and preparing ourselves for success. That is what this team is all about.”

Senior Jamar Samuels
On his weight gain in the offseason…
”The challenge that coach gave me was unbelievable but I knew that if I wanted to do it, I could. He asked me to gain weight, stay in the gym, and just be better as a person. The weight gain has helped me because I am not going to be thrown around on the court. Like Frank said, I actually look like a Division One prospect.”

On this year’s team…
”We are an athletic team. This is probably (Coach) Frank’s most athletic team, and everybody is kind of stocky so us being like this is going to be tough Big 12 team. There is going to be a lot of input from everybody.”

On his difference in attitude this season…
“You will not see me talking back to the refs this year. I promised my mom that I would not get any technical fouls this year. You will definitely see a change in me.”

Junior Rodney McGruder
On being a leader this season…
”I do believe that this is my team. I do not want to just be a voice, I want to lead by example and show the guys the ropes like Jacob (Pullen) showed me.”

On the maturity of Jamar Samuels…
“I knew Jamar had it in him. He just had to mature and he is a totally different guy on the court You can see it in the way he acts. He is more focused.”

Junior Jordan Henriquez
On his areas of improvement this offseason…
“I am just trying to play a lot of different areas, whether it is in the press or half-court defense or sometimes in drills defending guards, to improve my footwork and coordination.”

Junior Martavious Irving
On his hopes for this season…
“It’s going to be a very big year for us, hope to be very successful, I believe very hardworking players out there a lot of new guys ready to showcase their talents.”

On his personal goals for this year…
“There’s a sense of urgency for me it’s my junior year I want to help this team and be an asset not a liability.”

On helping out the newcomers…
“We all try to help each other because we have been through it we stand with each other through practice and try to help the freshmen out.”

On the team’s practices...
“This team is 100 miles per hour all day. I think that is how Frank Martin likes it and in practice we are going non-stop. This team as a whole likes to work hard.”

Sophmore Will Spradling
On his experience level this season…
”Having experience is going to help me a lot this year and I am doing my best in helping the younger players understand what it will be like and I know the other players are doing that as well.”

On his improvements this offseason…
”Over the summer, I worked a lot on working off the dribble. Coach (Martin) got on me a lot for that so it was the main thing I focused on.”