MARTIN WANTS TO SEE SUTTON ‘TRY'

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State enters Big 12 Championship play Thursday at 6 p.m. against Oklahoma State. For K-State to have a chance for victory, Wildcat coach Frank Martin says that Dominique Sutton must find his game. That's offensively and defensively against the league's premier player in James Anderson.

Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin left little doubt that he hasn't been pleased with the play of Dominique Sutton in the final games of the season.

After scoring 21 points against Nebraska and 11 more against Oklahoma three weeks ago, in the last four games Sutton has scored a total of 14 points, going 4-of-18 from the field with six turnovers.

Asked about last week's games against Kansas and Iowa State (combined 1-of-8 with nine fouls and five turnovers), Martin said of Sutton, "He was trying before, but I don't think he tried the last two games. In the past he played with energy, passion and he tried. In the last two games he didn't try.

"That was the Dom that we had at times last year, but we had not seen this year. I hope we now get the Dom we had for 95 percent of the season, and not the last two games," said Martin. "If not, he won't play."

Asked about his own assessment of his play, Sutton agreed with his coach: "It's been disappointing. I haven't played with the same energy. It's just mental. I was upset how I played against Kansas, and I let that game affect my practice and preparation for Iowa State."

With the team losing its first two games of March after going unbeaten in the six-game month of February, Sutton said, "Those losses happened for a reason. Maybe we needed the setbacks to get us hungry again. We're hungry now. We've come into practice this week with the mindset of playing hard and getting back to the things we do."

What Sutton does best is defend the opponent's top scorer whether that is a 6-4 off-guard, or a 6-7 small forward.

With Oklahoma State, that challenge would be the Big 12's Player of the Year in James Anderson, who led the league in scoring this year at 22.9 points per game. Anderson has 17 games of at least 25 points this season, with six of those being at least 30.

In the Cowboys 73-69 victory in Bramlage Coliseum earlier this season, Anderson struck for 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting.

"He's by far the best player I've guarded," said Sutton. "He's herky-jerkey. One minute he has eight or nine points, and the next time you look he's at 17 or 18. He's shooting 6-of-7 from 3, and hitting all his free throws. He has that all-around game."

One thing is for sure, teammate Jamar Samuels wants no part of Anderson.

Laughing, he said, "That's not a good matchup for me. He has a pro game. My brother is a big James Anderson fan. He's been scoring around 30 points a game, so I wouldn't look forward to guarding him on TV with my family watching the game. I wouldn't want them to see him get bucket after bucket on me."


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