Imagine for a moment that you are Nick Russell.
You haven’t played meaningful minutes in nearly a month and have watched four of the past five games from the bench. Then on Saturday afternoon, you hear Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin call out your name midway through the first half.
What would your reaction be? Surprise? Relief? Enthusiasm? How about confusion?
“I had no clue. No clue at all,” Russell said. “I was just sitting over there cheering. They had to call my name at least five teams for me to get up. I heard them say, ‘Nick,’ and I thought they were saying, ‘Vic.’ So I kept looking down and they were looking directly at me like, ‘Nick, Nick!’ And I’m looking at Vic (Victor Ojeleye) like, ‘Hey Vic, you better get in there.’”
That’s how out of the blue Russell’s breakout game was against Iowa State. Not even he was expecting it. But once he actually took the floor, he made a huge impact. The sophomore guard made three three-pointers and scored 13 points. (more…)