Simply put, Kansas State basketball coach says of the 16-round Big 12 Conference basketball grind, "It's hard."
But he also understands, "You've got to play all of them, and you're playing the same guys everyone else is playing. Whether you play them early, play them late, or play them in the middle … whether you play them on the road early, or on the road late, I can't say there's ever an advantage for one team.
"You're going to have to go to Columbia and play some time, and they're not going to let you escape without going to Allen Field House," Martin said.
"At times you would like to see them spread some of the games out, but really, you have to play them all, and everyone else has to play them all."
With that being said, Martin says he has had no complaints with the schedules that the Big 12 Conference sends out this year. Not even the stretch that the Wildcats just played with three games – Texas A&M, at Colorado and Texas – in a span of seven days.
"That's why we schedule those quick turn-around games early," Martin said in reference to playing three games in a four-day period in Puerto Rico, and later three games against Washington State, Xavier and at UNLV in a seven-day span.
"You try to prepare as much as you can for the environment we just went through."
Plus, he understands, "You never give up the opportunity to play on "Big Monday."
K-State's first seven games this season will include six outings against teams that will likely make up the first division of the Big 12 Conference.
But to open play in February will be a run of six games all against teams most likely to be in the bottom division – at NU, at ISU, CU, NU, at OU and at Tech.
If the 'Cats can take care of business during that three-week span, they will be in contention for the league title heading into the home stretch to the season – MU, at KU and ISU.
Recent history tells us that it takes a minimum of 13, if not 14, Big 12 wins to win a title, and, at least nine, if not 10, to secure a first-round bye.
Kansas State is currently 3-2 heading into a most rugged week to the season.
(Tomorrow, a look at what goes into putting a Big 12 Conference schedule together.)