KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Frank Martin says he’s happy coaching basketball at Kansas State.
Still, in a radio interview on Tuesday, the South Florida native indicated he would listen if Miami calls.
Martin, who’s had four successful seasons at Kansas State in his first job as a head coach, was born and raised in Miami and was a well-known high school coach in the area.
Martin said no one from any other school has called him about a job.
“I’ve got a great job. I work with great people,” he said in an interview on a syndicated radio show hosted by Tim Brando. “I look at it like this: 10 years ago as we speak, I was a Division I unemployed assistant basketball coach collecting no paychecks, having no idea how I was going to pay my rent or my son’s day care bill. Ten years later, I’m at a great place.”
Martin was the Big 12 coach of the year in 2010 and led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight. This year, after a rocky start that forced him to change his offense in January, Kansas State finished strong and made the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.
“If people want to throw our name out there, I look at that as a compliment and I look at that as being lucky and fortunate that I’m in a good place right now and that people out there respect what we’ve done,” he said. “But, I haven’t talked to anybody. In this business, it’s hard to ever sit back and say, ‘Never say never,’ because then you get called a liar.
“But I’m extremely happy. I’m not going to tell you there’s never going to be change, but I’m at peace where I’m at right now.”
Volatile, outspoken and highly animated on the sideline, Martin is very popular with Kansas State fans who appeciate that he’s brought the program out of the doldrums. They especially like that he’s beaten Kansas twice, including this season when the hated Jayhawks were No. 1.
Bramlage Coliseum is frequently sold out. He signed a five-year contract extension last year that would average out to about $1.5 million annually. But his top players, Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly, will be gone next year and he faces a rebuilding job.
Miami, in contrast, does not draw well. But Martin, whose mother fled Cuba with her familly in the early 1960s, speaks fluent Spanish and recruits in South Florida and the Caribbean.
Neither Martin nor athletic director John Currie have returned calls to The Associated Press. A school spokesman said Martin was “out of pocket” and Currie was traveling.
Late Tuesday, the school issued the following statement:
“We do not comment on any speculative situations. Coach Martin is under contract here at K-State and we are excited about the future of Wildcat basketball under his leadership.”
Taylor, Robinson to remain at KU
LAWRENCE — Kansas will have junior guard Tyshawn Taylor and sophomore forward Thomas Robinson for at least one more season.
Taylor averaged 9.3 points and 4.6 assists in the Jayhawks’ 35-3 season that ended in the fourth round of the NCAA tournament.
In a statement Wednesday, Taylor noted the heavy speculation about the future of the various Jayhawks. He says he wants to work hard over the summer and have a better season next year.
Robinson, whose mother and two grandparents died during the season, called this year the most trying of his life and says he’s committed to reaching the Final Four next year. He averaged 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds this year.
Irving leaving Duke for NBA
DURHAM, N.C. — Point guard Kyrie Irving is leaving Duke after one season to enter the NBA draft.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement issued Wednesday by the school that Irving plans to hire an agent, ending his college career.
"Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA," Krzyzewski said. "We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player."
Irving played only 11 games and missed roughly two-thirds of the season with an injured big toe on his right foot. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists for top-seeded Duke, which was upset by Arizona in the West regional semifinals.
"It was a great experience playing for Coach K," Irving said. "He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined."
When Irving was healthy, he was electrifying. His 31-point performance against then-No. 6 Michigan State marked just the fourth time in school history that a freshman scored 30 points in a game. He was the MVP of the CBE Classic after averaging 14.5 points and six assists.
But his only season at Duke ultimately might be defined by the 26 games he missed after he jammed his toe during a win over Butler on Dec. 4, and the lingering subplot surrounding the Blue Devils was when — or even if — he would return.
He worked out in full public view before an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game in uniform shorts and sneakers, told reporters after the championship game win over North Carolina that he could return and wound up coming off the bench for Duke's NCAA tournament opener against Hampton. He reached double figures in scoring in each of his three tournament games, capped by a 28-point showing in the loss to Arizona.
Henson, Zeller to return to UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's big men are passing on the NBA for another run at a national championship. The Tar Heels will have to wait a little longer to learn the plans of freshman Harrison Barnes.
The school announced junior 7-footer Tyler Zeller and sophomore John Henson will return to Chapel Hill next season, but said Barnes "is still reviewing information" as he considers whether to enter the draft.
Zeller and Henson were second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference picks as the Tar Heels won the league regular-season championship and reached an NCAA regional final.
In a statement, coach Roy Williams said he spoke to about 10 NBA teams to investigate where the two players might go in the draft. But he said their decisions were "less about the NBA and more about what they wanted to do right now and the experiences they are enjoying" in college.
Zeller averaged a team-high 15.7 points to go with 7.2 rebounds, but he upped those numbers to nearly 26 points and nine rebounds on 59 percent shooting during the NCAA tournament. He also won this year's Skip Prosser Award as the ACC's top scholar-athlete in men's basketball and was named a first-team Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
"I came to Carolina because it had the balance of academics and basketball I wanted and it was the best place for me to prepare for life and a career in the NBA," Zeller said in a statement. "That's exactly what we have here. I want to finish my college career, compete for championships and graduate on time."
Henson, a lean 6-foot-10 forward, averaged about 12 points and 10 rebounds as the team's top interior defender.
"I know at some point I want to play in the NBA, but right now I want to enjoy my college life," Henson said in a statement. "My teammates and coaches are great and I want to help them reach the big dreams we all share."
Williams said Barnes, a freshman who finished second to Zeller in scoring by a single point, "is not as far along in his decision-making process." Williams said he hopes to provide the 6-8 forward with all information from NBA teams by the end of next week.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is April 24. They can withdraw their names from the draft by May 8 to preserve their eligibility.
The draft will be held June 23.