Michael Beasley's boasts do not bother Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin, whose Wildcats now will have to back up the freshman phenom's guarantee of victory against Kansas University on Wednesday night.
"Do you think Darrell Arthur will become a better player because of what Michael says? Do you think Kansas will become a better team because of what Michael says? They are competing for a national championship. Do you think that will make them better?" Martin said forcefully Monday.
"Mike said what he felt in his heart. It's what he believes," Martin added. "He didn't come here to lose to Kansas. If he would have lined up and said, 'Yeah we'll try to beat them, but I don't know if we're good enough,' he wouldn't be on this team. I'd ask him to leave.
"I don't want guys around me that don't believe we can win every game on our schedule. It's just what he said and what he believes and it is what it is."
KU's players didn't seem worked up Monday about 6-foot-10 freshman forward Beasley's summertime comment: "We're gonna beat KU at home. We're gonna beat 'em at their house. We're gonna beat 'em in Africa. Wherever we play we're gonna beat 'em."
Of course, KU has won 24 straight games over KSU in Manhattan, including 19 at Bramlage Coliseum, site of the 7 p.m. battle.
"He'll be in Africa by himself because I'm not going," KU senior Darnell Jackson said. "That's all talk. Hopefully he'll be ready to play Wednesday."
Junior Brandon Rush said: "It's not a smart thing to do at all. Bob Huggins did the same thing - that was stupid of him, too."
Former KSU coach Huggins guaranteed a KSU victory in Manhattan last year. The Jayhawks won, 71-62.
"It doesn't mean anything to me. It's just him talking. I'm not too into it at all," Rush said.
KU senior Russell Robinson said there may be a method behind Beasley's madness.
"It's what you'd expect. They are trying to get the fans fired up as much as they can, so we've just got to go focus on our game plan and not let it be a distraction," he said.
KSU freshman Bill Walker also has guaranteed a victory.
"We said that because we want to put pressure on ourselves. Either you are going to rise to the occasion or you're going to fall. We plan on rising," Walker said. "I bet the pressure's on them. They are trying to go undefeated."
¢ Phone calls tiresome: Brandon Rush may be extra motivated for the game. He said KSU fans had flooded him with texts and phone calls the past couple days.
"Been getting prank calls, text messages. I don't know how they got my number, but it's been crazy the past few days. I can't even put them in words. They're pretty bad," Rush said.
KSU's fans were on him at last year's game.
"The whole time the crowd is just non-stop talking about stupid stuff that happened in our past. That's about it. You hear it, but you try not to pay too much attention to it. But you're still going to hear it," Rush said.
¢ Appleton offered: Tyrone Appleton, a 6-3 sophomore from Midland (Texas) College, told Rivals.com he had a great time on his visit to KU Saturday and Sunday. He said he received a scholarship offer from coach Bill Self and would like to make a college decision within a couple weeks. He's visited Iowa State and San Jose State and still may visit Texas or Kentucky.
"I do know that Kansas is pretty high-up on my list," Appleton told Rivals.com. "I am very high on Kansas after my weekend visit. I would like to make a decision in a couple of weeks, but I don't know if I will take another visit before I decide."
¢ KU's players talented, too: KU coach Self has praised KSU's players aplenty already this week.
"There's been so much talk, rightfully so, about Beasley and Walker. We've got some good guys, too," Self said.
¢ Who will guard Beasley?: "I have no idea. I haven't even thought about it," Self said with a laugh. "Darrell (Arthur) will guard him some. Darnell (Jackson) will guard him some. Sasha may guard him some. Cole could guard him some. We don't know exactly how we'll match up."
¢ Just speculation: KU coach Self was asked again on the Big 12 teleconference if he was irritated at rumors Oklahoma State booster Boone Pickens would throw gabs of money at him and try to hire him if Sean Sutton is replaced as Cowboys' coach.
"I am surprised because anyone speculating like that is people not in the know at all," Self said. "Obviously that's how rumors get started a large part of the time. There's nothing there. There's nothing that needs to be addressed because addressing it ... all it does is bring attention to it. That's a dead issue."
¢ Aldrich, Beasley 'buddies': KU freshman Cole Aldrich was a teammate of Beasley at both the McDonald's Game in Louisville and at an outdoor all-star game at New York's Rucker Park last year.
"We are buddies. I think it'd be a great time to guard him a little bit," Aldrich said. "He's good. It's going to be a tough challenge for us to really stop him."
Darrell Arthur was a teammate of Beasley's at USA Basketball Under 19 team tryouts.
"He was cool, fun to be around. I got to know him a lot. He hung out in my room a lot," Arthur said. "He's very talented and has a lot of bounce in him. He was always funny, saying funny things."
¢ Collins worried: Sherron Collins is concerned about his friend - Missouri's Stefhon Hannah - who will miss four to six weeks because of a broken jaw sustained in a weekend brawl outside a downtown Columbia, Mo., nightclub.
"He's a good person. I hope he'll be all right. I'll try to get in contact with him some way," Collins said.