December 17, 2007

Martin unhappy after Cats' winning effort

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Frank Martin wanted Kansas State to make a presence in the Sprint Center. So after the Wildcats rolled to a 87-60 win against Florida A&M in the inaugural K-State Holiday Classic, the first-year head coach applauded the purple-clad crowd of 17,699 that filled the arena. As for his team's performance, though, Martin said, "We were real, real bad in practice this week. And we went out and played that way."

It should be mentioned that it was the Wildcats' third-largest margin of victory of the season as they improved to 7-3 after coming off an eight-day break. There was the ice storm that rocked Manhattan. There was finals week.

"You can say the ice storm, finals -- those are excuses," Martin said. "I'm not interested in excuses."

Martin remains in search of consistent results from a young team that continues to struggle through growing pains. Freshman Michael Beasley, who didn't hit his first bucket until 13 minutes into the contest, finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th straight double-double. He scored nine during the first four minutes of the second half as the Wildcats watched a 47-28 halftime lead swell to 26. Then 28. And eventually to a 32-point cushion.

"(Beasley) was part of the problem in practice (this week)," Martin said. "He hadn't done that all year. This was the first time he's acted like an 18-year-old kid."

Beasley, who shot 7 of 16 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the free throw line, wasn't made available to the media after the contest. The night before, he and fellow newcomers were permitted to speak to reporters for the first time this season.

Senior guard Clent Stewart added a season-high 13 points to go along with three assists and five steals in his 100th career game as a Wildcat. The eldest spokesperson, which missed most of the preseason due to an injured hamstring, said, "I'm getting my legs back under me. It's coming back."

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