Walker Says He Will Return to K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas State moved quickly to replace Bob Huggins as men's basketball coach, promoting assistant Frank Martin to the top job Friday.

The Wildcats also retained Dalonte Hill, another Huggins assistant, as associate head coach. The two were to be introduced at a news conference Monday.

"I'm elated," Martin said in a statement. "I've worked 22 years with the dream of one day earning this type of opportunity, and I'm indebted to this university for believing in me.

"It's been proven in a short period of time that Kansas State can be very successful in men's basketball, and we fully intend to continue moving in that direction."

The quick hiring, one day after Huggins resigned to become head coach at West Virginia, seemed designed to help Kansas State hang onto a recruiting class ranked as the nation's best by Rivals.com.

It will be Martin's first head coaching job at a Division I school.

The 41-year-old was an assistant at Cincinnati for two years, one under Huggins and one under Andy Kennedy, before joining Huggins in Manhattan. Before that, he was an assistant for four seasons at Northeastern and the Huskies' recruiting coordinator from 2002-04.

Martin, a graduate of Florida International University, was a high school coach in his native Miami for 15 years before breaking into the college ranks.

"We feel Frank was an integral part of the growth and success of Kansas State basketball this past season and deserves the opportunity to lead this program and continue to build on the foundation that has been established," athletic director Tim Weiser said in the school's statement.

Hill's hiring could go a long way toward helping Kansas State keep forward Michael Beasley, the centerpiece of the four-player recruiting class.

Hill has a close relationship with Beasley and was the main factor in the 6-foot-9 prep star's decision to choose Kansas State. Beasley has said he considers Hill like an older brother.

The recruiting class also includes point guard Jacob Pullen and shooting guards Fred Brown and Dominique Sutton. Weiser said Thursday he would not consider releasing them from their letters of intent until a new coach was hired.

But even before Martin was promoted, Sutton's high school coach said he was likely to stay with the Wildcats.

"I don't really want to go into it, but as of right now, he'll still be going to Kansas State," said Chris Chaney, Sutton's coach at The Patterson School in Durham, N.C. "Obviously we'll wait and see what happens with the next coach, but as of right now, he's still going to K-State."

Forward Bill Walker, whose freshman season ended after only six games because of a knee injury, told a newspaper he intends to return to Manhattan.

"I have an obligation to fulfill with Kansas State, and I'm prepared to go back," Walker said, in a telephone interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer.


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