K-State coach expects Beasley to go pro

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Michael Beasley is still grappling with a decision, but his coach expects the Kansas State star freshman to head into the NBA draft.

Frank Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press and the Manhattan Mercury on Tuesday he believes the 6-foot-10 power forward, even though he loves college life, will probably opt to turn pro.

“I think he’s going to go, and I think it’s the right thing to do, because he’s going to be the top pick in the draft,” Martin said.

Kevin Durant, who set freshman records last year with Texas and was the second overall player taken in the draft, is now worth about $100 million counting salary and endorsement money, Martin said.

“How do you say no to that? How can I sit here and tell that young man that’s he’s wrong to go with that?” the first-year head coach said.

Most draft projections have Beasley going No. 1 overall after averaging 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds. He also led the nation with 28 double-doubles and had 13 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Quick and strong, able to hit both inside and outside, he had the second-most rebounds (408) and third-most points (866) of any freshman in NCAA history.

He and his mother, Fatima Smith, were flying back to their home in the Washington, D.C., area on Wednesday to discuss plans with family. Martin said he would sit down with Beasley next Tuesday and then meet with him again after they both travel to the Final Four.

“He’s got to make sure that he does what’s right for him and for his family. That’s what my advice will come from,” Martin said. “Not what’s best for Kansas State, not what’s best for John Doe. It’s what’s best for Michael Beasley. He’s got to do what’s best for him.”

If the money were not so great, Beasley would probably be very inclined to stay in school.

“He just absolutely loves it,” Martin said. “He kind of gets that stage to be a celebrity. But at the same time, he can disappear into being a college kid. He’s embraced the responsibility of leading our program, of re-establishing Kansas State as somebody that’s on the national scene that people in college basketball talk about. He’s opened doors for us for television, for recruiting, for things that continue to benefit this program.

“But he loves being a college student. If he didn’t, then the decision would have been made already.”


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