It has to be assumed that eventually the Kansas State basketball team will have its full complement of post players available for more than a game or two at a time.
Until then, the fourth-ranked Wildcats seem happy with building frontcourt depth.
As soon as Curtis Kelly emerged from coach Frank Martin's doghouse, it seems as if Jamar Samuels took the vacated spot in it.
Samuels didn't play Friday against Texas Southern even though he was dressed for the game, and afterward Martin was cryptic about Samuels' status, saying, "Let's talk about the guys that played." Samuels' status for tonight's game against Emporia State is uncertain.
Even without Samuels, the Wildcats exhibited balance among their big men Friday with four forwards and centers playing at least 15 minutes with at least six points and five rebounds.
"Our big guys posted today with the most authority that they have done all year," Martin said after Friday's game. "We still aren't doing a good job of throwing it in the post, but that is a collective effort there."
Big men Kelly, Samuels, Wally Judge, Freddy Asprilla and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts have appeared in the same game twice — against Gonzaga and Duke in the CBE Classic.
Before his benching, Samuels was the most productive inside player, scoring in double figures three times. No KSU big man has played 30 minutes in a game this season, but Samuels has played more than 23 minutes three times.
When Kelly and Samuels are both available, Henriquez-Roberts is most affected. He averaged more than 16 minutes in games either Kelly or Samuels didn't play and about three in the two games both played.
Kelly seems to be rounding into form. He followed a three-point game against Gonzaga by scoring 19 against Duke and 13 against Texas Southern.
"I think I am getting there," Kelly said."... I'm getting back into the motion of the game."
The Wildcats' big men are also learning to get used to one another. With six players — including Victor Ojeleye — who have played at forward or center before garbage time, Martin can go with several combinations and the Wildcats are figuring out their teammates' habits.
"I think the more we practice with each other, the more we are going to learn where each other is going to be on the floor," Kelly said. "I think I am getting to know them and they are getting to know me, so I think we are getting better."