home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 13, 2010

Frank Martin

Jacob Pullen

Jamar Samuels


Kansas – 72
Kansas State - 64

THE MODERATOR: Frank Martin, student-athletes Jacob Pullen, who is a member of the all-tournament team and Jamar Samuels. Coach, first for your thoughts.
COACH MARTIN: Hats off to KU. These guys where our uniforms came out and fought their tails off. I couldn't be prouder of a group of guys, the ride they've given me up to this point in the season. KU is the best team in the country. Every time we made a push today they answered. That's what makes them so difficult to beat. They never give in.
And we have to -- we've got to take this as a tremendous experience for our basketball team, something to keep our heads up about, be excited about, that we're competing with the best team in the country.
And I'm not into moral victories. I just told the team, it's okay to hurt. When you invest and take a chance on being special, you gotta understand there's a chance that you might fall a little short of your dream, of your goal. And when that happens, it should hurt. But once you get past that pain you become a better person or a better team for your commitment and your investment and your perseverance. And that's what we did today. Not into moral victories; it's something that I've talked to you guys about before, and it's something that we're not going to accept. But it's okay to hurt right now, because we've invested a lot and we've taken a chance to be special. But nothing to be ashamed of.
CHARLIE FISS: Questions for the student-athletes, Jacob and Jamar.

Q. Jake, you guys came off with two losses and make this run to the finals here in the tournament. What does that say about how prepared this team is for the NCAAs?
JACOB PULLEN: I think we just do a great job of focusing. We understand that there's quick turnarounds and we understand we have to prepare for teams faster than normal. I think as a team we do a great job listening to the coaches and coaching staff and giving in depth scouting reports and stuff like that. We're able to put together things we need to do fast and we understand them and we go out and execute.

Q. Jacob, what's it like to go through this three times, the game plan, to throw your guts out there on the court with these guys and come up short. Right now what's the emotions?
JACOB PULLEN: It hurts. You know, it does. It hurts. But we get a chance to play next week. Hopefully, get a chance to start over and we just gotta win six games. And we're capable of doing it. But it hurts to lose in the championship.

Q. Jamar, you guys both look like you took the loss pretty hard. Why does it sting so badly? Is it just because you gave it everything you had?
JAMAR SAMUELS: Yeah, we left everything on the floor. It was just a tough game. And we tried our hardest. I mean, emotions are kind of down right now, but we still know that we have another season to play.

Q. Jacob, talking with Coach Mark Turgeon last night, he said the biggest improvement he'd seen in Kansas from mid-season on was their defense. Could you talk about the way they're playing defense right now?
JACOB PULLEN: They do a great job of just making you shoot over the bigs. Their guards do a great job of giving you false hope, that when you get around them, you know, their bigs are there.
It's tough to shoot shots over Cole and the Morris twins. They do a great job of contesting everything. And they rebound the ball very well. So you don't get a lot of second opportunities, which we're really good at.

Q. Denis was saying the other night that this team kind of needs to play with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder and have kind of a sense of anger. Do you see you guys over the next few days maybe taking this hurt that Coach Martin discussed and being able to channel that and to making you a tougher basketball team and aggressive basketball team?
JACOB PULLEN: I think we're tough. I think we're a tough team. But KU is also a tough team. They do a great job of matching our physicality. So I think that we learn every time we play from them, and hopefully we can take this game and build on it and just understand what we need to do going into March Madness going into the NCAA tournament.
JAMAR SAMUELS: They're just preparing us for the tournament. We have two of the most physical teams in the Big 12. I would say the country, too. All I can say is they're just preparing us for the tournament.

Q. Jamar, just talk about what you're feeling right now, knowing in the next 24 hours it's going to be another change of emotions and beginning another season?
JAMAR SAMUELS: I mean, I'm down right now. I'm saying we lost in the championship. Anytime you get to the championship and you fall short, you always feel down. But tomorrow's just another season for us.
So I expect our emotions to get up and be ready for practice on Monday.
CHARLIE FISS: Thank you. Questions for coach.

Q. Along the lines of KU's defense, how good was it tonight, and how much has it improved since the first time you played those guys?
COACH MARTIN: Mark's exactly right. He's exactly right. Mark Turgeon, that is. Defensively, from when we played them at home back in whatever day that was, January 30th or whatever, to now, they're just difficult to score on.
I thought we -- we didn't turn it over today, which is a big thing against them. You can't turn the ball over against Kansas. I thought we got halfway decent shots. We missed, I don't know, four or five point-blank, Curtis missed a couple dunks and Rodney missed a layup. Dominique missed a layup. When you get an opportunity against their defense to score those easy balls, you gotta put them in the basket.
If not, it's hard. But defensively -- that's what makes Bill Self as good as anyone in this country, because he takes big-time talented players and he gets them to play unselfishly and as hard as anyone in the country defensively.
That's why the bear is so difficult to take down, because the bear's always sharp and ready to go. He never lets his guard down. When you fight a bear now you need a weakness so you can attack it. And that bear is pretty good.

Q. Kind of like in the game you guys played down at Fieldhouse, you made runs at them in the second half but they always tie up or pull back within 2. What have you seen -- what would it take to get over the top there, what do you need to get that extra push?
COACH MARTIN: It's hard. It gets back to the same thing. When we played at their place, we didn't bring the fight. We didn't bring the fight. We went in there and we got pushed around, and we were lucky to battle and get back in the game.
But we didn't bring the fight. That's why they got away from us at the end of the game. Today we brought the fight. We missed free throws and we missed some -- when you play a good defensive team, they give you an opportunity, you better capitalize on it. If you don't -- that's the difference with them. I thought we defended them well, I thought we tried defensively. But when they got two-foot shots, they made them. You know, we didn't. At the end of the day that's the tell-tale story of today's game.

Q. In each of the three games you've played against them, they had a different leading scorer. So even though you know their team inside and out, you guys played so much, how tough is it to prepare for a team that has as many different options as Kansas has?
COACH MARTIN: Listen, they're good. I'm of the opinion that to be a good team, I don't care what sport you play, you better be good down the middle. Baseball, they talk about your catcher, your pitcher, second baseman, short stop, center fielder. In football, your quarterback, your center, nose guard and safety, you can fill in everything else. Kansas has a point guard that refuses to lose. On top of being a very good player, they've got a center that refuses to allow you to shoot layups and then puts tremendous pressure on the rim.
So you've got to start with those two guys, and then you've got to do everything you can to take away the other guys. The big problem for us when we played them at their place, we gave up too many 3s because we didn't do a good job handling ball screens. Well, today we did a lot better job of handling ball screens. I think we made three ball screen mistakes. They made us pay all three times.
So that's what good teams do. They get an opportunity, they take advantage of it.

Q. Same question I asked Jake, you came off two losses and your guys said they need to rediscover their swagger and hunger. You guys make a run all the way to the finals, Big 12 and the best RPI conference in the country, and just play the number one team in the country. How prepared do you feel like this team is to make a run in the NCAAs coming off what you guys have been able to do?
COACH MARTIN: I got no idea. That tournament's crazy. You don't know what's going to happen in that tournament. I've seen people hit 70-foot shots to beat people.
It's a hard tournament to win in. But I know this, these kids have set a school record for wins in a season. We had the number two strength of schedule in the country going into tonight's game, playing the number one team in the country. So I can't see how our strength of schedule went down after that.
We won 11 games in the Big 12. We sit second seed in the Big 12, the number one RPI conference in the country. Went to the championship and went nose-to-nose with the bear. We were right there and just couldn't finish it off. So we're not going to be any more prepared because of the lessons that this season has taught us. Now, like I told the guys, I said, listen, it's all right to hurt. There's nothing wrong with hurting right now, but understand, last year when we were in the locker room and lost to Texas in the Big 12 tournament, we understood we were headed to the NIT.
I said tomorrow at 5:00 when you see your name go up on that board, you're going to feel good again. We're going to go in practice on Monday and lay it on the line and go take a chance to be special, which is what we've done all year.
CHARLIE FISS: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297