KU basketball assistant on Remy Martin’s return: ‘His confidence is getting there’

·5 min read
Charlie Riedel/AP

Some of the parents of Kansas’ men’s basketball players and a few media members lingering in Allen Fieldhouse last Saturday were treated to a hoops encore of sorts 40 minutes after the Jayhawks completed an 85-59 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

KU senior guard Remy Martin, who had just missed his second straight game because of a nagging bone bruise injury on his right knee, held an individual workout with the help of KU assistant coach Jeremy Case and a manager.

Martin’s knee held up as the 6-foot, 175-pound Burbank, California native fired up a various assortment of shots including many off the dribble from three-point range.

Case was asked about that Martin workout session Wednesday night while subbing for KU head coach Bill Self on Self’s weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

“He (Martin) didn’t get a chance to work out before the game because it was so early,” Case said of the 1 p.m. tipoff. “So we had discussed working out after the game. We hoped there wasn’t anybody in there, because he wanted to shoot in the big gym. He didn’t want to shoot in the practice gym, so that’s what we did. We were just trying to get him loose, get him going and try to get him in game-situation type shots and whatnot. Somehow it blew up into a big deal,” Case added of media and others posting comments and videos of the workout on Twitter.

“We probably should have gone in the practice gym,” Case repeated, “but he wanted to be in the big gym because obviously there’s a difference from shooting in the practice gym and shooting in the fieldhouse.”

Martin, who hurt his knee in the KU-Nevada game on Dec. 29, came off the bench and played 15 minutes in the Jayhawks’ 67-64 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

“It looked like he hadn’t practiced in two or three weeks or practiced much,” KU coach Bill Self said of Martin, who scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting with two rebounds, two steals, one assist and two turnovers in his return game versus the Sooners. “He tried to do I thought too much early. He turned it over, didn’t play very smart,” Self added of Martin, who played 13 minutes the first half, just two the second.

Asked how he felt Martin’s knee held up, Self said after the game: “I assume fine. Nobody told me anything different.”

Case was asked by Hawk Talk host Brian Hanni how Martin is faring as far as feeling confident in the strength of his knee.

“I think his confidence is getting there. He’s not quite fully confident with it,” Case said, “but again he hasn’t had a lot of practice time obviously because we have games. Hopefully he can get in some full practice time this week (heading into Saturday’s 3 p.m. game at Kansas State).”

Martin’s one bucket on Tuesday night was a stepback 15-footer.

“I think so,” Case said, asked if fans can expect to see more of that from Martin in coming games. “Once he gets healthy and full strength we can definitely see that. I know we would like to see that. We feel he can really help us,” Case added of Martin, who has averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds a game with 41 assists to 28 turnovers in 14 games. He’s averaged 24.7 minutes in those 14 contests.

“He brings another dimension being able to get his own shot. He is really good at getting other people shots. He can get in the paint any time he wants, has good speed. He can run the fast break in transition. I think we can (see more of that) once he gets to be full strength,” Case noted.

Case praises K-State

Case is in charge of the scouting report for Saturday’s game between the No. 7-ranked Jayhawks (15-2 4-1) and Wildcats (10-7, 2-4). K-State has won back-to-back games in the Big 12 against a pair of ranked teams. The Wildcats defeated No. 19 Texas Tech, 62-51, at home Saturday and stopped No. 23 Texas, 66-65, Tuesday in Austin, Texas.

“They’ve been getting better. They really guard you. They run a lot of sets and have some really good guards,” Case said of Bruce Weber’s Wildcats.

“Their leading rebounder is 6-4 Mark Smith (8.3 per game). They have good three-point shooters in (Nigel) Pack and (Markquis) Nowell. They’ll be a tough guard. It’ll be a good game for us and good test for us. They have a solid, solid team. They don’t make mistakes. It’ll be a dogfight. It’ll be a fun game,” Case added.

Moser’s take on KU-OU game

First-year Oklahoma coach Porter Moser praised KU’s Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun, who combined to hit three three-pointers down the stretch of KU’s 67-64 victory over Oklahoma on Tuesday night in Norman.

“You have to tip your hat to them for the shots they hit,” Moser said as quoted by the Daily Oklahoman. “I loved our effort. I really did. I loved our belief. The guys never stopped believing they were going to win until the final buzzer. That’s a great sign of the culture. It’s why I love where we are going. We have to keep pushing.”

Moser, the former Loyola Chicago coach who replaced Lon Kruger following Kruger’s decision to retire last spring, helped attract a season-high attendance of 9,296 Tuesday at Lloyd Noble Center. He tweeted an incentive that the first 200 students to arrive at the 11,528 seat arena would receive pizza hand delivered by the coach.

“I just want to thank them,” Moser said. as quoted by the Oklahoman. “I thought it was great. The students were unbelievable. It was a high-level college game.”