Frank Martin is approaching tonight's game at 8 against the Baylor Bears as one where the Wildcats have to "stay in the moment." He says it does no good to look back to the losses to A&M and Mizzou, and certainly is no time to look ahead to Saturday's game with Kansas.
"We played better today," Martin said after Saturday's eight-point loss to the Aggies. "I understand the scoreboard doesn't show what people want to see, but we got better today and gave ourselves a chance to win this game."
And, K-State (1-4, 13-7) will have to play better again to have a chance to defeat the 3-2, 13-5 Baylor Bears tonight.
BU is led by preseason all-Big 12 candidate LaceDarius Dunn, who averages a league-high 21.3 points per game, and is the same talent that swished nine treys in an 83-65 Baylor win the last time he visited Bramlage Coliseum in 2009.
The Bears also feature one of the top freshmen in the league in 6-11 Perry Jones III, who is averaging 14.1 points on 57 percent shooting, plus 7.0 rebounds a game.
"In the beginning of the year, we'd see spurts in practice, and flashes in practice," Baylor coach Scott Drew said of Jones. "But I think now we're looking for him more, he's feeling more confident, he's more aggressive. Being that aggressive and assertive, that's what we need."
BU also pounds the glass with a 1-2 punch of Quincy Acy (7.7) and Jones (7.0).
KEYS TO A WILDCAT WIN:
• Frank Martin teams like to play inside-out, which they have not been able to do.
• Free throwing woes – 59 percent as a team – continue to haunt the Wildcats.
• Watch for Dunn! While Baylor is not known as a 3-point team overall, LaceDarius Dunn leads the league with 3.89 treys per game, and is sixth in percentage at .413.
A MUST WIN?
Perhaps, as a loss would put the Wildcats at 1-5 with a game at Kansas next in line on Saturday, which could mean a 1-6 start to the league year. GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: There were plenty of chances for a K-State win at Texas A&M on Saturday, but not enough plays were made, which resulted in a 64-56 loss. In particular, coach Frank Martin talked about the stretch run: "We come out and three of four possessions are turnovers. It's hard to win games if you turn the basketball over." GOOD – KSU allowed A&M to shoot just 37 percent from the field; BAD – The Wildcats were just 5-of-20 from 3-point range. "I thought we got shots and did a decent job of passing the basketball, but it's hard to have many assists when (12) you shoot 28 percent in a half," said Martin. "I thought we took decent shots, but we just didn't hit any." GOOD – KSU had more assists than A&M (12-7), more blocked shots (7-3), and an equal number of steals (5-5); BAD – The Wildcats were out-rebounded, 39-30. GOOD – Curtis Kelly had a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds; BAD – Kelly had an unnecessary lane violation on a free throw, plus a violation on an inbounds pass that allowed the Aggies a total of four points in the eight-point loss. "His stat line looks good, but I don't think he played well," said Martin. "Maybe he should finish the game and not stop playing with two minutes left." GOOD – KSU made four more field goals (20-16); BAD – The Wildcats made just 58 percent from the line and were out-scored 27-11 from the one-point stripe. "We obviously put them on the line way too much. They shot 37 free throws, and if you go on the road and they shoot 37 free throws and we shoot 19, and then you go 5-for-20 from 3-point line, it's hard to win," said Martin. "I thought our defensive effort was good enough to win, and offensively did better today, but we just didn't make shots."