OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Kansas State held its open practice and met with the media Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's NCAA First Round matchup with North Texas. Below is a transcript from press conference activities on Wednesday.
CBS College Sports Network's coverage of the tournament includes exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to Kansas State throughout the tournament. The Network has been embedded with the Wildcats since Selection Sunday and will be with Coach Frank Martin and his Kansas State team throughout their tournament journey. Features will run as part of studio programming and also online at www.cbscollegesports.com.
Head coach Frank Martin
Opening statement: "I can't tell you how excited I am for our young men, the guys on our staff and for our school. More importantly, more than anybody, the kids that wear that uniform. I understand better than most the sacrifices and commitments that they've made over the last three years to grow as players, to take pride in who we're trying to become as a program. The complete commitment you got to make to be good, not just for a day, not just for a week, but for the long haul. I couldn't be happier for our kids."
On President Obama picking KSU in the Final Four: "I've always been one of those people that believe that when people speak about you it's either a good thing or a bad thing, it's not neutral. I'd like to think that it's because of the way our kids have played, their focus and intensity that they bring to court every time we play. There's a calling there as far as the stuff that we try to do as a staff to get our guys to play a certain way. It's flattering. Three years ago, heck, our own beat writers didn't know who I was, and now we have the President of the United States speaking about our school, our team and me. It's very complimentary. I hope he's a prophet and his predictions work out."
On his postseason experience: "You deal with a completely different set of emotions as players, as coaches, as a team. You have to understand one emotion that's different from the rest of the season and that emotion is real simple. If you don't get through that next day, that team will be done and won't play again as a team. That season, all of its accomplishments will be over. That fear of that moment brings a different set of emotions and the only way you can understand how to handle them is when you've gone through them before. That's where being in postseason three straight years, this being our fourth year, allows you to understand that. It allows you to reach into that experience to help you handle those emotions better than the first time through."
Junior Guard Jacob Pullen
On President Obama picking KSU in the Final Four: "I voted for him, so he had to vote for us. He probably just watches a lot of basketball and likes our style of play."
On the history of good Chicago point guards: "I watched all of them. Whenever they were on TV, I tried to make sure I watched them and understood what they did good and what they did bad. There is a lot of talent to come out of that area. I'm sure all the other good guards that came out of Chicago watched them too. All of us are really tough and we're competitors. We don't like to lose so we do whatever we have to do to make sure our teams win."
On North Texas' Josh White: "I'm really impressed by his game. He plays a lot like his brother that played for Oklahoma. He's really talented, he gets to the basket well with his left hand and he shoots it well off the ball screen with his right hand. For us, the whole thing is keeping him off balance and keeping him from understanding what we're trying to do with ball screens. We want to keep him guessing so he's not comfortable."
Junior Forward Curtis Kelly
On President Obama picking KSU in the Final Four: "It's just cool to have President Obama watching us. We're from small town Manhattan, Kan. and we've got President Obama watching us. I guess that means we're doing something good."
On staying loose before big games: "I usually just try to relax. We do things like play video games and joke around with each other to relax our minds. The rest of it, I just let Jake [Pullen] take the lead. I've been here before, but I haven't been on a team like this. This is a new team for me and Jake's been here the longest. He's our leader so I just let him take the lead, follow him and let everything else fall into place."