Tuesday, January 3, 2012


’Cats will put KU to test


Kansas State forward Jamar Samuels has played three games in Allen Fieldhouse, Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving, Rodney McGruder and Victor Ojeleye two, Will Spradling and Shane Southwell one. Frank Martin has been the Wildcats’ head coach four times, an assistant to Bob Huggins at K-State once, in Allen Fieldhouse.

All those Wildcats have something in common. They never have tasted victory in Allen Fieldhouse.

Martin did a nice job Monday on the weekly Big 12 coaches conference call of summarizing what makes playing in the fieldhouse so difficult.

“There are three major challenges,” Martin said. “Bill Self and his coaching staff, their players and the culture that they’ve built, and then, obviously, the 16,000 who sit in the stands and just don’t let you communicate with your players.

“That may sound simplistic, but it is what it is. They’ve got a lot to be proud of there. Their team plays to it every single time they take their home court. Their crowd is amazing, and it makes it an incredible challenge for us and everybody else who goes in there.”

Martin knows better than to think that school not being in session means the building won’t generate the same intensity Wednesday night in the conference opener for both squads.

“We went in there for their conference home-opener in early January, and it was absolutely bonkers in there,” Martin said.

A crowd’s influence generally benefits the home team’s defense more than anything, in part because it rattles the opposing ballhandlers.

The seven Wildcats with Allen Fieldhouse experience have played 211 minutes in the building, or 11 minutes more than a team compiles in one game. They have combined for three assists and 15 turnovers in those 211 minutes and have shot just .340.

Obviously, they’re older and more experienced than when they played those minutes, a year older and more experienced than when they lost 90-66.

McGruder, the leading scorer (12.5 points per game) for K-State (11-1), has had the most statistical success of any of the Wildcats in Allen Fieldhouse, averaging 10 points and six rebounds and shooting .538 overall, .429 from beyond the three-point semicircle.

Likely to be hounded by KU’s lock-down defender Travis Releford, McGruder has emerged from a five-game shooting slump in which he made just two of 20 three-point attempts. He has made eight of 13 in the past four games. He made 10 of 11 field goals and six of seven free throws and scored 28 points in a 17-point victory against Long Beach State.

“Rodney faced adversity, and he didn’t pack up his bags and go home or pull up a pillow on the corner of the bench and cry,” Martin said. “He’s played so much better of late.”

During that same four-game stretch during which McGruder heated up, sophomore guard Will Spradling has made eight of 14 three-pointers. If KU’s big men don’t hustle back on defense and the guards have to drop down to protect the goal, McGruder and Spradling could burn the Jayhawks by nailing open threes in transition, no matter how loud it gets Wednesday.


Dillon Davis 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget little Angel, the Denis Clemente clone. I hate that street ball jacking up 3's type of play but that's the way they do it. They don't have a set offense they just get it to whoever's open and let them shoot. Then hopefully their rebounders will give them a second chance opportunity.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

That's all Frank Martin knew to do at Miami Senior High School and 'little' Angel Rodriguez came from nearby Krop.

KU_Alumn_2000 6 years, 4 months ago

Pay Heed to all Who Enter the Phog !!!

Lets get fired up Jayhawk Nation !!!

fansincewilt 6 years, 4 months ago

This game will tell us much about both teams.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Coach Martin looks (and sometimes acts) like Brucie from "The Longest Yard"

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 4 months ago

i can't believe we won't be ready to play....but if we're not, we will lose.

the 2nd season starts tomorrow night, and we'll really get a feel of how we'll do this year at the end of this game.

i think we're finally starting to buy in that they we have to rely on defense and TRob to win games. God help us if he gets hurt...but he's the main ingredient for this team. we must play through him...and start the offense with him. and then everything else can fall into place.

KU 70 KSU 64

Go Jayhawks!

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

I figure that both teams will jack up bad shots. The issue will be, who fetches the rebounds?

baldwinjhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

We gotta play more pressure defense if we are going to win the big 12

Mike Kendall 6 years, 4 months ago

Here kitty, kitty----welcome to our house----thank goodness it is not an "octagon!" Rock Chalk Jayhawk and put the hammer down!

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

Why not, we have a better record in the Octagon then AFH against KSU.

rockchalkchalkin23 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree. More fouls are called when we play at the Hawktagon.

Benjamin Piehler 6 years, 4 months ago

Lol... The first step is admitting you have a problem. I'm proud of you.

KPOP 6 years, 4 months ago

this is a rivalry game. they are unpredictable. usually the better team wins, but not always. Bottom line for KU is to show up early, make your free throws and play lock down defense. That sounds like my keys to victory. In fact, those are my keys to victory. rock chalk.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

Rivalry game? When did it become that...

John Randall 6 years, 4 months ago

Between 1912 and 1919 . . .

And the all-time record is closer than than the rivalry that is winding up this year.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Is there a rule that prevents teams from wearing blue tooth ear pieces so their coach can communicate with them on the floor in a noisy arena?

johnnyphoton 6 years, 4 months ago

If that happened, coaches would have to cover their mouthes when they "transmit" their instructions to the player. Multiple coaches and or players would have to be decoys. I just see it being a bit too much.

tical523 6 years, 4 months ago

I must say that I have a lot of respect for Coach Martin and how he gets his players to compete, thought they would fall off after the departure of Huggins but that is certainly not the case. Going to be a battle tomorrow night, ROCK CHALK!!!!

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

Didn't he run off about 3 players last year during the season? He isn't that great of a coach, and he'll finish about .500 in the big 12 this year at best.

John Randall 6 years, 4 months ago

You need to understand the phrase, "Addition by Subtraction."

When a player refuses to buy in to "team comes first," the team is better without them.

This year, 9-9 in the tough Big-12 (plus 11-1 non-con) will net a 7-12 seed in NCAA tourney. I expect KUS to end up in the 3/4/5 range, so that will take at least 11 or 12 league wins, and maybe 3-6 seed.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

I hate to admit it but I kind of like Frank "The Mad Mountain Man" Martin.

He truly respects Kansas and our Legacy, Bill Self and Kansas Nation.

That feeling, however, does not diminish, by one iota, my desire to beat KSU like a 20 year old rug in a Kansas wind storm!!!

Dan Harris 6 years, 4 months ago

+1(although I didn't want to admit it!)

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 4 months ago

I work with a KState fan who actually has had some complementary things to say about KU today.

It's so out of character for him... I'm not sure if he's getting soft following the birth of his first child, or if Frank Martin's KU butt-kissing is starting to rub off the KSU fanbase...

Scott Smetana 6 years, 4 months ago

KU-KSU - Great, somewhat friendly rivalry. I love beating them, but would definitely root for them in the tourney. Alot of my Wildcat fans are the same.

Mizzery, they can go to @)$!)! I want nothing to do with them and are glad the classless fans are leaving our conference.

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