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For Curtis Kelly, benching = Kryptonite

The staring, the yelling, the running ... By now Curtis Kelly is used to all that.

Midway through his third year at Kansas State, the senior forward long ago learned how to deal with, and often appreciate, the many forms of tough love constantly thrown at him by his basketball coach.

“I like that stuff,” Kelly said. “It helps keeps me motivated.”

Well, it used to anyway. But as Frank Martin discovered in the middle of November, sometimes the tough have to get tougher. It was then that Martin decided to bench Kelly for three games.

He felt Kelly was underperforming in practice, and realized his usual tactics weren’t doing the trick with Kelly like they had in the past. So, like a doctor increasing a patient’s medicine dosage, Martin amped up his motivational techniques.

Kelly didn’t see it coming. And it sent a shiver down his spine the way all the staring, the yelling and the running no longer could.

“I’m only scared when he don’t play me,” Kelly said. “That’s my Kryptonite, and now he knows that.” (more…)