Oklahoma State basketball: Brittney Martin getting comfortable with Big 12 basketball

Brittney Martin is the reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Week for the third time this season heading OSU's top 25 showdown against No. 24 Iowa State Sunday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
by Gina Mizell Published: January 19, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State's Brittney Martin (22) tries to get past Kansas' Monica Engelman (13) during a women's college basketball game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Kansas at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Brittney Martin (22) tries to get past Kansas' Monica Engelman (13) during a women's college basketball game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Kansas at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

When Martin first arrived in Stillwater over the summer, coaches stressed she needed to improve defensively. And occasionally during nonconference play, she was asked to guard the opposing team's best perimeter scorer.

“I think she started looking at herself as a defensive stopper and that was her role,” Littell said. “But we need her to score. She's one that can create off the dribble and do some things.

“We challenged her that she needed to find a way to go get 10 (points) and 8 (rebounds) every night … She needs to be a great defensive player, but she also needs to have the dimension to her game that ‘Hey, I'm a scorer.'”

Teammates also had to remind Martin to, simply, stop being nervous, a message she has focused on during the past two weeks.

“I feel a lot fresher,” Martin said. “I feel a lot more calm. It's a lot more fun when you're not playing so scared.”

Martin is sure to run into more bumps before her rookie season is over. She's still learning that players are quicker at this level and passing lanes are smaller. She's getting used to playing shooting guard, a position she never played in high school.

But Littell experienced a similar growing process last season with Liz Donohoe, who went on to win the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award. And he has similar confidence in Martin.

“She's got a lot of talent,” Littell said. “And we're going to put her out there and play through some mistakes.”



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