Tag Archives: Frank Martin Miami

Martin talks about the season’s newcomers

3 Nov

At Kansas State’s basketball media day last week, I asked coach Frank Martin what each of the first-year guys brings to the team.

“They all bring something different,” he began, “and I know that sounds like a generic answer, but it’s the truth. We don’t have two of them that do the same thing.”

The coach then proceeded to launch into wonderfully detailed description of each of the six new scholarship players. I could paraphrase his comments, but I found everything he said to be interesting and informative, so I’ll just give you Martin’s remarks as he said them.

#42 Thomas Gipson – 6’7″ 275-lb forward – freshman from Cedar Hill, Texas

“Gipson’s a 270-pound wide body that’s not scared to throw that big body of his around. He lays wood on you, you know you got hit. 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 doesn’t rebound the ball as well as either one of those guys yet. It’s something that’ll come.”

#20 Adrian Diaz – 6’10” 225-lb forward – freshman from Miami, Florida

“Adrian Diaz is long and athletic and can run. When the game’s up and down, you see his strengths. When the game’s a grind and a physical nature, you see that he’s got a ways to go from a strength standpoint. He’s got great hands. If he catches that ball, he’s going to dunk it. He’s 10 feet away he can shoot it in the basket – the ball doesn’t hit his hand and end up in the cheerleaders. It stays in the court, which is a plus.”

#13 Angel Rodriguez – 5’11 180-lb guard – freshman from San Juan, Puerto Rico  

“Then Angel, he’s a consummate point guard. He’s the kind of guy that understands the tempo of the game, when to go, when not to go, he’s a little pit bull defensively.”

[Because of knee problems, Rodriguez only played in games – no practices – his senior year of high school, and had surgery after the season. Now he has to get back into the habit of practice.]

“That attention to that daily focus for practice, that you’ve got to have, he’s trying to relearn that because it got lost in the shuffle because of the situation last year.”

James Watson – 6’8″ 230-pound forward – Atoka, Oklahoma – junior transfer from Cowley College

“James is a young man that in individuals has shown the ability to be an outstanding Big 12 athlete. He can jump up and block shots. He can run, dunks the basketball. He probably has had, in individuals, more lob dunks than any guy we’ve had since I’ve been here. Walker would just dunk on people, but James is just athletic. He runs and jumps up in the air pretty good, and he shoots it fairly well. We need him to do what he’s got to do to be able to earn the right to be on the floor, which I think he will.”

[When Martin says, “do what he’s got to do to be able to earn the right to be on the floor,” he is referring to the incredibly challenging conditioning test – an extended series of timed sprints, I have been told – that players must pass before they are allowed to practice.]

Omari Lawrence – 6’3″ 220-lb guard – Bronx, New York – sophomore transfer from St. John’s

“Omari gives us what I call power guard. He’s a 6-foot-3 strong guy that understands – I never watched Omari play at St. Johns. I watched him the summer between his sophomore and junior year in high school. He didn’t shoot it. He’d drive it. He’d finish at the rim. Well, now, after watching him in practice for nine, 10 days, whatever it’s been, he shoots the ball real well, so he’s obviously spent time getting better with that. He’s struggling with our defensive concepts right now, but he’ll be fine. He’s an older guy, and I think he’ll be fine.”

Jeremy Jones – 6’2″ 170-lb guard – Chicago, Illinois – junior transfer from Seward County Community College

“Jeremy Jones is fast. He’s the kind of guy that can go get a basket on his own. He doesn’t need help to go get a shot. He can figure that one out. He needs a lot of help on the other side of the floor, but it’s not because of a lack of competitiveness. Like all first-year guys – if we played a 2-3 zone it’d be a lot easier for those guys to learn what we do. Our concepts our different than 99 percent of the people out there from a defensive standpoint, so it takes time for those guys to learn, and he’s competing his tail off. But he brings a speed element to the game. He had a basket yesterday in the open floor where it was Denis Clemente-like from a speed standpoint, but then the difference is that he went up and finished over Diaz and J.O. – Jordan. I don’t know how the heck he got the shot on the rim, but he did. It was an impressive basket because he showed that unbelieveable speed and then the ability to score over size.”

Awesome News: Frank Martin is on Twitter

13 May

Kansas State men’s basketball head coach Frank Martin is on Twitter.

I discovered this as one of my friends  – who is a manager for the team – mentioned him in a tweet. If you follow @FrankMartinKSU, you are gathering insight from “The Official Twitter Account of K-State Basketball Head Coach, Frank Martin.”

While Martin could probably have someone tweet for him, I don’t think that is the case here. If you’ve heard the coach talk before, with his habitual word choice and mannerisms, you’ll more than likely share my opinion. The tweets just sound like Martin, and the 14 tweets from him so far have proved quite informative.

Fact #1: Martin graced the social media site with his virtual presence beginning May 10, when he tweeted:

“Hello world of Twitter. Thought it’s about time i started sharing with you all the great things about K-State Basketball!!!”

… and later …

“As I unwind on my 1st day on twitter I give thanks 4 being the luckiest man alive..I work at a great place w great people & BIGTIME kids”

Fact #2: Martin follows the NBA, at least to an extent. He made several comments about the Miami Heat, including this one on May 12:

“Heat, they have more than the bulls and unlike Atlanta Miami defends. Great series though I say in 6”

Quite frankly, I think it is great that the coach is on Twitter. Martin is generally a pretty candid guy, and it’s always interesting to hear what he has to say. People are used to the crazy guy who yells on the sideline, so it’ll be good for everyone to have a bit more well-rounded perspective of the man who has put Kansas State basketball back in the spotlight.

Surprise, surprise: Martin won’t be going to Miami

22 Apr

CBSSports.com reported that Jim Larranga, head coach at George Mason, will be replacing Frank Haith at the University of Miami. Now, finally, since the job appears to be filled, maybe everyone can let go of the notion that Frank Martin will leave K-State to go there.

I wrote a column for the K-State Collegian (read it here) with my reaction to Martin’s interview with the Associated Press, in which he said 1) he hadn’t been contacted by Miami, 2) part of the reason might be confusion about his salary, and 3) he would never say never, basically, in response to any job offer.

It’s been hard for people around here to hear the speculation about whether Martin would stay or go. Rumors started flying when the Miami job opened up, and chatter only continued to grow when he stayed silent.

When he finally talked with a reporter (Doug Tucker, a 42-year veteran of the AP who is retiring this year) for a comprehensive story, Martin did little to dispel the notion that he would be interested in coaching in his hometown again. In fact, his statement that the University of Miami might not have contacted him because it didn’t think it could afford him, and the way he went on to correct the notion that he really makes $1.1 million a year instead of the popularized number of $1.5 million a year seemed to send a message: “I’m available for less money than you think I am! If you ask me, you might have a chance of getting me.”

Sometimes sports fans take it personally when a coach leaves or acknowledges interest from other teams. Somehow there’s a feeling that it’s something against the school, the fans, the community, whatever. Really, though, it’s rarely about that. It’s about a coach as a person, doing what he feels is best for him and his family and their future. Obviously, fans want to be part of the future for a coach they admire, and for the most part, people really like Martin, so they want to see him stay at K-State and have success here.

I’m not one to try to predict what will happen in the future, so I’ll stick with what my mom always tells me: Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t have.

As far as K-State basketball, here’s the breakdown: we don’t have a blanket promise from the popular, polarizing and personable coach that he’ll stay forever, but for now we do have him leading the men’s basketball program, which is being invested in to the tune of $50 million for a new basketball practice facility and which is under the direction of a very component young athletic director in John Currie. I’d say that’s a pretty good place to be.