OKLAHOMA CITY — By Friday afternoon, Kansas State forward Jamar Samuels was no longer concerned with his performance, or lack thereof, in Thursday's first-round NCAA Tournament win over North Texas.
Samuels, who averages 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds, had two points and two rebounds in a season-low seven minutes against the Mean Green. Friday, he wanted to know who stiffed the Wildcats on the television in their locker room.
"I can't even see that thing, I need my binoculars," Samuels said, smiling. "Is that what happens to the No. 2 seeds? Yesterday we had a big flat-screen and now we got the pawn-shop TV."
The joking was Samuels' way of trying to alleviate some of his admitted frustration after foul trouble forced him into a spectator role for most of K-State's victory.
"I was frustrated, but I need to just shake it off and move onto the next game," Samuels said. "At this point in my college career, I can't have two bad games in a row... I still feel like I need to show people what I can do."
Samuels will get another chance to help his team tonight against Brigham Young with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, but to be successful he'll need to avoid the foul trouble and consistency problems that have plagued him all season.
Samuels has missed double-digit scoring in just nine of K-State's 34 games, five of which were losses.
"Even though he didn't play a lot, I don't think Jamar had a bad game," K-State center Luis Colon said. "He just got in foul trouble and other people had to step up. He'll bounce back in a big way, that's his style."
Samuels, 6-foot-7, might find some redemption defensively against the Cougars if he can find a way to stop 6-6 forward Jonathan Tavernari, a two-time All-Mountain West Conference player and BYU's career three-pointers leader (264). He averages 10.1 points and is one of the first off the Cougars' bench.
"It's amazing how quick (Tavernari) can get rid of the ball, what a release... if I could put pressure on him, that would be big," Samuels said. "I was aggravated with how I played (against North Texas). That's not my level."