As he searched for ways to explain how his team ended the season on a hot streak and played its way into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed today, Kansas State baseball coach Brad Hill told a story about Frank Martin.
Two weeks ago, he invited the Wildcats basketball coach to speak to his players. A must-win series with Kansas was coming up, and K-State was in need of some advice.
But the description he gave of Martin’s speech at the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City wasn’t totally accurate. While it made for an entertaining story, he never asked Martin to use his trademark demeanor and stare to scare his team.
“That was actually a joke,” Hill said.
In reality, he was very mellow.
“He came in and just talked about what he’s seen in our program,” Hill said. “He comes to our games. Gosh he comes to a lot of our games. I appreciate that and the support he gives.
“More than anything else he just talked about, before we played KU, that the rest of the season didn’t matter. And it didn’t. All that mattered at that point in time was us turning the corner and playing our best baseball from then until now.”
The Wildcats did exactly that, and went on to sweep three games from the Jayhawks and win two games at the Big 12 Tournament.
Obviously, Martin’s words helped.
“I thought it was a good point that he made with our kids,” Hill said. “The rest of the season, throw it out the window. It’s what we do from here on out that really matters. I think our kids took that to heart.”