STILLWATER — Brittney Martin feels a lot more at ease as she gets ready to begin her sophomore season at Oklahoma State.
“I can't even explain how scared I was (last year), even for Homecoming and Hoops,” Martin said. “I'm a lot more aware, I guess, and I know what's coming.”
Despite any nerves, Martin quickly used her size, versatility and athleticism to develop into one of the Big 12's top freshmen. This season, she's expected to be a key weapon for a Cowgirl squad looking to build on last season's NCAA Tournament run, where they beat DePaul in the first round before nearly upsetting second-seeded Duke on its home floor.
What areas of your game did you work on during the offseason?
“I definitely need to get my jumper off quicker. When I'm coming off screens, instead of thinking about it too much, just shoot it. I went left every time I got the ball last year, and that's something I think I'm still working on to this day. I need to go right, which is surprising (because) I'm right-handed. Why can't I go right? I just finish a lot better with my left (hand).”
This team returns four starters, but the one you've lost is pretty crucial. How do you all plan to make up for Toni Young's production?
“I think all of us could add four more points to our scoring or two or three more rebounds to our stats. I don't think that's that big of a deal. But that one person did bring a lot of points to us and a lot of rebounds, so I think all of us just really need to step up our game.”
There's been talk of Tiffany Bias and freshman Roshunda Johnson both getting on the floor at the same time, which would shift you from shooting guard to small forward. You primarily played in the post in high school. Would it be nice to go back there on occasion?
“It would be. I came in playing the high post. I love that position. I feel like I was meant to be there. The two and three (spots) are kind of the same, you just basically need to help (in) bringing the ball up the court (when playing the two), so Tiff doesn't have to do it by herself. Of course, I worked on that a lot. Last year, I was so nervous. I did not want to dribble up.”
What are your expectations for this team this season?
“We should be really good. We really should be, with all of (the players we have) returning and how far we went last year. We should have won the Duke game. Everybody knows that. We should have finished that game how we know we should have. But I think this year we should go really far. If we don't, I'll be disappointed.”
Is that game something you still think about and talk about?
“Of course. They bring it up almost every day, the coaches do.”
Is that a good motivation tool coming into the season?
“It is. I think that's why they tell us that. I think that's really what's pushing us hard this year is we can't let that stuff happen again. We wouldn't have been in that situation if we would have won the games where we were up double digits and lost (during Big 12 play). We wouldn't have had to play the No. 5 team in the country on their home court.”