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Something You Might Have Missed: How Coach Martin Got Greenberg a Technical

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This is something I've not seen anyone talking about, but Kansas State coach Frank Martin -- in my opinion, at least -- used one of his timeouts last night simply to get Seth Greenberg a technical foul. This is not in any way a criticism of Frank. I think strategic timeouts like this happen more often than people know. It certainly happens more often than the media reports on it. I thought that this is what had happened, even yesterday, as I first watched the game. And in rewatching the game today, I'm certain of it.

Greenberg had been chewing on the Atlantic Coast Conference crew all game long. I think most people watching that game could feel a technical foul coming at some point. Well, with 5:30 or so left in the game, and the Virginia Tech Hokies still within a manageable 8 points (57-49), a wild scrum occurred that saw (depending upon how the statisticians scored it) up to 5 changes of possession within about 4 to 5 seconds. Apparently, Greenberg felt that a foul should have been called on the Wildcats during said scrum, and he was completely apoplectic on the bench.

After Jamar Samuels finally scored the layup, I was a bit confused as to why Frank used a timeout. That is, I was confused until there was a technical foul called on Greenberg. At that point, I thought, Frank is a freaking genius! Having seen this strategy employed in the past (both as the recipient of the technical, and as the coach calling the timeout to see if the other coach will get the technical), it's a fantastic move. It created a 4-point possession (after Jacob Pullen converted the 2 free throws), taking a precarious 57-49 lead to a much more comfortable 61-49 lead.

Now, will Frank admit that he did this? I doubt it very much. But I don't think there's much doubt that the 4-point possession we had with just over 5 minutes left in the game is a credit to the basketball "street smarts" of one Frank Martin.

So, what do you think? Was there some other reason Frank called that timeout? Or do you agree that he called it to give Greenberg a chance to get a technical foul?