December 3, 2007

Martin takes Cats to Jimmy V Classic

NEW YORK -- Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin clearly remembers the last time he coached a game at Madison Square Garden. It was the 2006 Big East Tournament and Martin was an assistant for the Cincinnati Bearcats as they played Syracuse in the first round.

"That building left a bad taste in my mouth last time I was in there. Jerry McNamara made a 32-foot three at the buzzer to break our hearts at Cincinnati and knock us out of the NCAA Tournament," Martin recalled. "So, I'm looking forward to going back in that building and having a different memory of it."

This time around, Martin will be the head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats as they meet Notre Dame in the first of two games at the Jimmy V Classic. Both teams carry 5-2 records into the 6 p.m. (Central) contest. USC meets Memphis in the event's nightcap.

Coming off an 80-77 home overtime loss to Oregon, Notre Dame will offer Martin's youthful Wildcats another test that could play into their postseason hopes. This game also continues the growth process for a first-year coach and a team loaded with first-year players.

"One of the things with so many first year guys and a rookie head coach … we're all in this together now," Martin said. "We're on that path now. As we go through that path, those players have to gain trust in the coaches, that our decision-making during the game lead to the right decisions. The coaches have to understand that we can trust certain players, hopefully all of them, in certain situations."

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