K-State newcomers meet the media Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The five newest members of the Kansas State's men's basketball team met members of the media for the first time this season on Sunday night at the Marriott Downtown.  Below is a transcript of the press conference.

Freshman Forward Michael Beasley

On his thoughts on not being able to talk to the media...

“I liked it. I would rather just play instead of having to talk to the media and they’re critiquing my game every game. I don’t really like that very much because it’s always something bad and they’re the first to tell you. So I’m pretty cool with it. It’s not doing me any harm.”

 

On Dick Vitale calling him the best player in the country...

“Anybody can be the best player in the country. I’m the best at what I do. Jake (Pullen) is the best free throw shooter on the team. He’s the best at what he does. Ron (Anderson) is the best post player on our team. He’s the best at what he does. Everyone can be the best at something. Andre (Gilbert) is the best at being the funny guy. He’s the best at what he does. Everybody can be the best at doing something.”

 

On how the team is coming together...

“I think we’re gelling together pretty well. Coach calls us a big family every day. Everybody feels the same way. Come conference play, we’ll be ready for whoever. We play like brothers on the court, and that’s how we are going to continue to play.”

 

On the Sprint Center...

“It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? It looked good. I didn’t know anything about the Sprint Center. I didn’t expect it to look that good, from the locker rooms to the TVs everywhere. It was cool. It’s going to be nice to play there tomorrow.”

 

On being on campus...

“I think when you’re 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds, three feet taller than everybody, they’re going to look at you. I just try to be a regular student. There’s a lot of midgets walking around looking at me. I’m getting used to it. You can ask Ron (Anderson) the same question. He’s bigger than I am.”

 

On his thoughts on the state of Kansas...

“It’s not a city, that’s for sure. Going to a school like Oak Hill Academy, I was ready for it. There’s nothing to do. It keeps me out of trouble. I play basketball all day and catch up on a lot of sleep.”

 

On the comparisons to Kevin Durant...

“I don’t think very much about that. Kevin is Kevin. I think Coach said it the best. If I was in Kevin’s shoes last year, they would compare him to me. I think we play two totally different games. He shoots a lot of shots. I shoot a lot of shots. My team wins and his team wins. I score and he scores. I rebound and he rebounds. But we’re two totally different players.”

 

On if he keeps up with Kevin Durant...

“I talk to Kevin like three times, four times a week, pretty much everyday. We don’t talk about basketball. It’s not important to us. We talk about dumb stuff like SpongeBob or something. I don’t know. We’re just being kids.”

 

On finals week...

“It was pretty easy. I only had three finals. I slept a lot this week.”

 

On if he reconsidered his commitment after Bob Huggins left...

“It’s not a coaching change to me. Frank Martin is my first college coach. He’s a good coach. Huggins was a good coach, great coach. Don’t get me wrong. But Frank Martin is just a tremendous coach and a tremendous person. People look at him like a rookie coach, but he knows more than everybody in this room put together. The way he teaches us and the way he helps us is real good.”

 

On if he considered changing his commitment...

“I signed my letter-of-intent, so once I sign that, it’s like a marriage once you put the ring on. I signed my letter-of-intent and half the school could have burned down, and I would have still been a Wildcat. I made a commitment and I stuck to it.”

 

On the importance of the remaining non-conference games...

“They’re real important. Coach told us we need a signature win. I think we got one, but five more would be nice to get into the NCAA Tournament.”

 

On what’s he learned about college basketball so far...

“Nothing. It’s just like high school but they’re just stronger guys. You’re playing against the same guys that you’ve been playing against since you were in eighth grade. It’s just like high school.”

 

On his biggest adjustment...

“The strength there’s just a lot of strong guys. It’s just basically the strength. In high school, you might play against a guy that’s 6-foot-6, 180 pounds. In college, you’re playing against a guy that’s 6-foot-3, 240. There’s a lot of big guys in the Big 12.”

 

On if he plans to lead the nation in rebounding all season...

“I plan to do what I have to do to get a win for Kansas State. If I have to rebound, I’m going to rebound. If I have to score, I’m going to score. If I have to sit on the end of the bench with a towel over my head, that’s what I’m going to do.”

 

On if he’s enjoyed the college experience so far...

“It’s fun. I thought everybody was lying when they said the college years were the best years. It’s fun. You’re just living on your own. I don’t have any money though I’m hungry sometimes. But it’s fun. I go to a couple of parties and stuff like that. But I’m just being a kid right now. I go to class in the morning and practice in the afternoon.”

 

On if it’s fun enough to come back next year...

“Yes, I think it’s fun enough for me to stick around and get my degree.”

 

On if sticking around is his plan...

“Yes, it’s education first. I’m a student-athlete, not an athletic student. I’m trying to get my degree before anything. If this basketball team takes me where you think it can take me, then I’ll try that out. But I’m here to get my education.”

 

On what he thinks of the draft projections...

“I don’t think very much of it. It’s a prediction like Miss Cleo. Do you know Miss Cleo? She’s locked up now for making predictions. People think what they’re going to think. Basically I just laugh. I’m just a small-time guy from D.C. I don’t need much in this world but a bowl of macaroni-and-cheese.”

 

On if he and Bill Walker can be one of top tandems in the conference...

“Possibly. I think anybody can. I think Andre Gilbert and I can be the top tandem in the Big 12. Anything is possible, right?”

 

On Bill Walker’s game against California...

“It was huge. I knew Bill could do that. It’s just a matter of him finding his game. Just look forward to a lot of games like that.”

 

On if he feels pressure to get K-State basketball back where it belongs...

“No, because I am me. I can’t do it by myself. Like I said earlier, if I score 30 points and nobody else scores, then we lose. It’s a team effort. Every team needs a leader, and every leader needs a team.”

 

On if he has any games circled right now...

“All of them I’m not going to look past anybody. This year, so far, there have been a lot of upsets. We can’t take anybody for granted.”

 

On if the team thinks it should dominate Florida A&M...

“No, that’s wrong. Good teams can beat good teams no matter who is on the floor. Florida A&M can beat us tomorrow. You don’t know that. That’s why we have to come out and play our hearts out.”

 

On what it was like to live with Bill Walker for a semester...

“Fun Bill is the biggest jokester. We just chill. I get this question a lot. People think we’re superstars, rock stars on campus. We chill. We say hi to them. They say hi to us. We sleep just like they sleep. We play video games with everybody. We’re just regular students.”

 

On if Bill Walker picks up his stuff...

“He don’t look like it, I’ll admit that. But Bill is a real neat guy. He’s got a real neat room.”

 

On if he’s looking forward to playing anybody...

“Everybody I want to play everybody. Looking forward to playing somebody is looking past everyone else.”

 

On if he was told to not talk about a certain team...

“You mean KU? No, I wasn’t. They’re on our schedule this year. I want to beat them just like I want to beat everybody else. I think it’s possible just like I think it’s possible to beat everybody else.”

 

On if it’s important to show the local people what this team is about...

“I think it’s important to show everybody what this team is all about. We’re a team that doesn’t get a lot of respect. I think it’s important to show everybody that we can win no matter who we play. I think it is time to show the world that K-State is a contender.”

 

On if K-State gets enough respect...

“I don’t think so not as much as we should be. In my mind, we’re the best team. I would be letting my teammates down if I was up here saying there is a team in the NCAA better than us. That’s no confidence by me or my team. I think that we’re the best team period.”

 

On what he’s learned from the losses...

“The next game, you just have to score more points. I learn from wins and losses. You can play the best game of your life and still lose. You can play the worst game of your life and still win. They’re all the same to me. You can learn from mistakes in a win and a loss.”

 

On not scoring early in some of the games...

“I play in the flow of the game. I’m not going out there looking to touch the ball early. If it happens, then it happens. We’ve got scorers on our team. We have people that can score the ball anytime they want our point guard, for instance. I just chill. If my team needs me, I’m here. They can score, too. I’m tired of everybody asking me why I don’t get the ball. I’m not the only one on the team.”

 

On if he would re-evaluate his NBA prospect after the season...

“No. I’ve answered that question already. I’m here to get my degree. I think I would be letting my mother down if I didn’t get my degree. The NBA is nice. It’s a fantasy to me. I still have dreams dunking on Michael Jordan in a championship game. I’m just a student. I like to be a student first. I’d like to be like a regular student.”

 

On if he talks to Kevin Durant about the NBA...

“Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant. Mike Beasley is Mike Beasley. He made the decision that he thought was the best for him and his family. It worked out pretty well. I don’t think about it. I told you that Kevin and I don’t talk about basketball. We’re friends. We’re not just ballplayers. We’re regular people.”

 

On where Jacob Pullen will be by the end of the season...

“He’s a wonderful player, an amazing player. Jake just has to mature a little bit. He’s learning. He doesn’t do anything but make freshman mistakes just like all the rest of the freshman class. He makes freshman mistakes. But he’s learning every game. He’s doing what he has to do. He needs to bring his assists up to about six maybe.”

 

On if there is one highlight that sticks out this season...

“I got my shot blocked to the 25th row twice. It taught me to learn how to pump fake against a shot-blocker. That was the first time (it has happened). That was pretty amazing though. Did you see that on tape? I wasn’t going to be mad. Oh, I’m going to beat you up because you blocked my shot.’  He made me eat it. He really blocked my shot. I can’t do anything about it. I was told on my spin move that he jumped before I turned around.”

 

On something about Coach Martin that we don’t know...

“He’s a jokester. He’s a funny guy. A lot of people don’t know that. He’s real down to earth. People expect these head coaches to be business all the time with no jokes and stuff like that, but he’s just like one of us. After practice and after games, he’s just like one of us.”

 

On how much he has learned from Coach Martin...

“I’ve learned a lot. He’s tough on me just like he’s tough on everybody else. I have responsibilities. Everybody else has responsibilities. If I don’t meet them, he’s pretty upset. He’s tough on everybody. I’ve learned so much from him and I’m going to continue to learn during this season and as my four years pass.”

 

Freshman Guard Jacob Pullen

On the experience of college life...

“It’s college, I love it. It’s different because you get to live on your own and wake yourself up to go to class. It’s just been a different experience.”

 

On the differences of college basketball...

“As I did in high school, you watch game film and you learn what mistakes you can do in college and what you can’t do in college. Most people are stronger and know the game a lot better, so you have to limit your mistakes.”

 

On playing with classmate, Michael Beasley...

“I’m happy for Mike. Mike is a great player, someone that you always want to play with. He is an unselfish player and makes opportunities for everybody else on the floor.”

 

On the importance of the remaining non-conference schedule...

“Very important. We have to make our strides regardless, so we can’t get mad about the few losses that we have. It is important that we win these games and play hard so we can be ready and focused going into Big 12 play.”

 

Freshman Forward Ron Anderson

On the season thus far...

“The season is going pretty well for us so far. We have a lot to work on. It is always important that we prepare for our next game in practice. It’s also important for us to have fun and stay humble at the same time, to listen to our coaching staff because they know what we need to do to win. If we go out there and execute that we will be fine.”

 

On playing in Kansas City’s new Sprint Center...

“I’m very excited. It is unlike anything that I have ever experienced. It is a very large arena and we know that some K-State alumni will be there so it is an honor and a privilege to be playing in front of alumni from my college. I’m really excited.”

 

On playing with Michael Beasley...

“Mike and I have been playing together for a long time so it was a lot easier for me to adjust to the college life, knowing that I had someone there who was going through the same experiences as I was, who shares the same goals as I do. Now I can stay that everyone on the team shares the common goals and I can talk to them because they are friends that I will have for a long time. That’s what I really like about college, because you really don’t know what to expect. I think that we have both adjusted to the college life fairly well but there is still a lot to learn. That is what we intend on doing, learning and moving on.”

 

On his role on the team...

“The biggest thing is trying to get involved and be a big presence on the court. That is basically what the coaches ask of everyone to compete. We each know what we have to do individually, for me it’s to crash the boards and make a big impact on the offensive end. Everyone has their role and everyone tries to go out and do what they can to help the team win.”

 

Junior Guard/Forward Andre Gilbert

On the respect of K-State’s team...

“When you feel like we really have a good team, you think that you deserve respect. With a young team and a first-year coach who is really a great coach we have to prove it to people because we are so young. I know a lot of people don’t believe in us but we have to prove, as the season goes on, that we are supposed to be hear to compete against the upper-echelon teams of the NCAA.”

 

On being a leader as a junior...

“I feel like I share some insight on the college life and playing college basketball. I’ve played in many games and I’ve played against big opponents but this big atmosphere in this university is a new experience for me, just like a lot of newcomers. However, I feel like I can share some things with some of the older players that have been around the program longer. So it is just one intertwined circle where knowledge is shared.”

 

On his role on the court and off...

“I enjoy life, I love living. When you go through some harder things, you learn to enjoy life. My role on the team it to be a competitor like everyone else, defend, rebound and make things happen. As far as me being the class clown,’ I like joking around just like everybody else, but my jokes may be funnier [laughing].”

 

Freshman Guard Fred Brown

On transitioning to the college life...

“It’s been a good experience from high school to college. The big difference is strength; the players in the Big 12 are a lot stronger. So I need to learn everyday in practice and get better.”

 

On senior guard, Clent Stewart...

“I’ve learned a lot of things from Clent, but being patient is the biggest lesson from him so far.”

 

On playing in Kansas City’s new Sprint Center...

“It is a nice gym, I can’t wait to play in there.”