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TODAY'S SPORTS EXTRA

Martin Continues Serving as 'Rebound Warrior' for K-State WBB

December 18, 2017
By Corbin McGuire


K-State's Shaelyn Martin takes pride in dressing a little differently at practices. This season, the senior has sported a yellow undershirt, given to K-State's "rebound warrior" for leading the team in number of rebounds each game, at more practices than the rest of her teammates combined.

"When they started it, I was, like, 'That's my goal every time,' to be the person that wears it every time," Martin said of the game-by-game rebounding honor. "It's kind of a pride factor."

On top of standing out at practice, the "rebound warrior" gets a highlight package made of her rebounding effort for the team to watch.

Lately, the Wildcats have watched a lot of Martin.

Martin has led K-State (7-2) on the glass six times this season, including four of the last five games. Peyton Williams, a 6-foot-4 forward, is the next closest Wildcat in this season's "rebound warrior" count with two. For the season, Martin is bringing in 9.2 rebounds a game, which ranks her third in the Big 12 and is a significant increase from last year's average of 4.9.

"We've been talking about how we have to pick up rebounding," Martin said, as K-State hosts Chicago State on Monday at 7 p.m. "And if I don't do it, how can I ask my teammates to do it? My focus is really just to be able to pick that up."

 

There are a number of factors involved in Martin's increased rebounding production, which includes averaging 11.3 over the last four games.

To start, the graduation of Breanna Lewis has opened the door to more opportunities. Martin's experience certainly helps, too. Plus, she said she's constantly challenged at practice.

"As a freshman you're just kind of figuring things out. The past four years I've had the opportunity in every game to learn from previous games and previous seasons," she said. "The coaching staff and the practice players, especially, they don't take it easy on me, so I definitely have to work against them to get rebounds."

Another significant factor, Mittie said, is Martin's ability to apply coaching instruction immediately.

For example, in K-State's win over UT Arlington earlier this season, the Wildcats were struggling to grab rebounds early. Mittie then told Martin to pick it up in that area specifically, and by the end of the game she had collected a career-high 15 — a number she has hit twice this season.

"It sounds simple, but players get it clouded in their head of other things they think they should be doing," Mittie said. "She has the unique ability to say, 'OK, Coach. I'll go do that one thing.'"

With her performance against UT Arlington, Martin became the first Wildcat to record 15 or more rebounds twice in a season since Nicole Ohlde did so in the 2002-03 season. Martin, who had 11 rebounds in Saturday's 66-51 win over Little Rock, said she wants to total at least 10 every game. Ultimately, however, she wants her team's rebounding to improve as a whole, regardless of what that means for her numbers.

"If somebody else is picking up rebounds, I'll hold off my offensive person to get them those rebounds because it just kind of depends where you are on the court," Martin said. "If I have somebody that I have to keep off the glass, then I'll sacrifice rebounds for our team to get it."

Like her unselfishness, Mittie said Martin possesses a few key traits that allow her to clean up the glass so well.

"It really starts with her effort," Mittie said. "What Shae has improved so much is her timing. Some players have a nose for the ball. You always hear that, the timing, the instincts, all those things. I wouldn't say that Shae has just the instincts, necessarily. What she has is the toughness, desire, commitment."

At 6-foot-1, those innate characteristics help the Salina native make up for a lack of relative height. Personally, she said it almost completely boils down to having the right mindset.

"It's almost 100 percent that. I know I'm capable of doing it, and it's just a matter of how much I'm willing to fight to get it. That goes for everyone. Going into games you just have to have the mindset that every board is mine and that's kind of where I've been the past few games," Martin said. "If I'm asking my younger teammates to go after rebounds, then I have to show them that I'm willing to go after it too."

As K-State looks to strengthen its team rebounding numbers, the Wildcats can individually look to Martin as a blueprint.

"She's a great example," junior guard Kayla Goth said. "She doesn't necessarily out jump the gym but she definitely reads the ball really well and just goes and gets it. So as long as our young ones are looking at that and looking at what she's doing to get those boards, that's a really good example for them to have."

 

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Corbin McGuire, or K-State Associate AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.

   

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