AUSTIN, Texas — There are two different perspectives an individual can take from Kansas State’s loss to Texas on Saturday: The Longhorns went out and won the game, taking the game from a K-State team that played well for a significant part of Saturday’s contest.
There’s the viewpoint that the Wildcats blew it, losing a 15-point lead in the second half and in doing so, squandered a great opportunity to claim their best road win of the season.
Or how about a combination of those two thought processes?
“This is what drives me nuts about the Big 12,” Martin said. “It’s like we did something wrong today. How about giving Texas some credit? How about giving our league some credit — that you know what, this league has some real good teams in it.”
Still, the Wildcats have now seen a 13-point second-half lead at Iowa State evaporate before their eyes and turn into a loss, a nine-point second-half lead at home against Baylor become a loss, and now this.
“The Iowa State game, I wasn’t happy with some things,” Martin said. “But today, give credit to Texas. I’m telling you they attacked us. J’Covan Brown and Myck Kabongo kind of said, ‘boys, we aren’t losing this one.’”
Martin said now is not the time to reflect back on the games that got away.
“We’re too deep in the year to look backwards,” he said. “We look forward. We’re not going to dwell on the negative things here. We got beat. It’s life in the Big 12 on the road — you got beat. You play pretty well, wasn’t quite good enough. You’ve got to go do it better.”
Blown leads, especially double-digit advantages in the second half, can take a toll on a team’s mental phyche, but Martin remained positive in his squad following the loss.
“I’m proud of our kids,” he said. “Did we play well in the second half today? No. But I’m proud of my kids. They line up and go, fight and try like heck. They give us everything we can ask in practice. Their enthusiasm for each other is phenomenal.”
Part of the reason Martin is optimistic is because of the youth on this team. And the ultimate goal is these tough moments will become teaching points for the freshmen and sophomores as they continue to mature.
“The other day at home, we’re pulling away from (Texas) A&M and we had three freshmen and two sophomores on the court doing the work,” Martin said. “Today, when Texas was pulling away from us, we had three freshmen and two sophomores on the court. There are moments when that backfires on us, especially on the road.
“But our guys have been good. They’ve really tried.”
Martin declines to
discuss free throws
Texas shot four times as many free throws compared to K-State, while recording 27 more points at the foul line.
But Martin had no comment on the disparity in attempts.
“I didn’t officiate, you’d have to ask them,” he said following the game.
K-State, which didn’t have an attempt from the foul line in the final 27 minutes , was whistled for 33 fouls to Texas’ 16.
K-State had two players foul out, while four others finished with four fouls. Texas had three players finish with three fouls.