Remy Martin, No. 7 Kansas taking nothing for granted vs. Colorado

Kansas senior guard Remy Martin (11) pumps up the crowd after scoring a wild shot against SFA during the second half of Saturday's game inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas senior guard Remy Martin (11) pumps up the crowd after scoring a wild shot against SFA during the second half of Saturday’s game inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Remy Martin received significant recognition before ever putting on a Kansas basketball uniform and learning much about what is expected.

The reputation of the Arizona State transfer made him the Big 12 preseason Player of the Year, but non-conference play still has presented a learning curve as the No. 7 Jayhawks (9-1) prepare to play Colorado (9-3) on Tuesday night at Boulder, Colo.

“Little things that I know in the game, I just have to be better at. I really do, and I know that,” Martin said. “I know the team relies on me for certain things and to be a leader, and I think I let them down a couple of times. I just have to be better on the defensive end and be smart on some plays.”

Martin’s statistical line (10.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists) as a transfer starter who has dealt with injuries is fine, especially within a deep rotation that features one of the nation’s top scorers in Ochai Agbaji (22.0 points).

Still, an adjustment continues for Martin, who has learned of the lofty expectations at Kansas and even called the box score “terrible” after a surprisingly difficult victory Saturday over Stephen F. Austin.

Kansas used an 18-point advantage from the foul line to prevail 80-72 for its fifth straight victory.

“We hit free throws, but we just have to be better, and I think everyone knows that,” Martin said. “I’ve got to be better. When I pick up the energy and play defense and do the little things, I think that helps us a lot, so I’ve got to do my part.”

Everyone, of course, must fulfill their roles, including Kansas coach Bill Self, who was quick to remind his team that the Jayhawks’ last trip to Colorado in 2013 resulted in a game-winning heave by the Buffaloes that triggered their fans to storm the court.

“I’m excited for it. It’ll be a hard game, but it’s another game that we need,” Self said. “We needed a game like (Stephen F. Austin), even though it wasn’t pretty. But we need to have a game we can play well, but you still have to figure out a way to win.”

Colorado has won three straight and is coming off a 60-46 victory Saturday over Cal State Bakersfield.

Jabari Walker, the Buffs’ leading scorer (13.3 points) and rebounder (8.1), missed the second half because of an injury, which the Colorado staff will continue to evaluate leading up to the Kansas game.

“Our offense will be tested against Kansas. We’re going to have to make shots,” said Colorado coach Tad Boyle, who played for the Jayhawks from 1981-85. “We’ll have to be strong with the ball. It’s a hell of an opportunity. That’s all you can ask for in life.”

The Buffaloes average 71 points a game, while the Jayhawks rank among the nation’s leaders with a 85.8-point clip on 51.9 percent accuracy.

Evan Battey (12.7 points per game) and Keeshawn Barthelemy (11.1) join Walker as double-figure scorers for Colorado, which will use the Kansas game as its last tuneup before Pac-12 play moves into high gear.

–Field Level Media