Game Quotes

Jan. 4, 2006

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Postgame Quotes
Kansas 87, Yale 46
January 4, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:

“Once again we made so many unforced errors. We had nine turnovers in the first half, and probably seven of them were out of bounds plays and lack of execution. We did play really well late. (Jeff) Hawkins and Russell (Robinson) keyed that probably more so than anybody. Mario (Chalmers) gave us offense early, and then those guys really got after him. He did a fabulous job and got a lot of steals in the second half and did pretty good from start to finish.”

On the play of Mario Chalmers:
“I thought Mario (Chalmers) played well. Mario started and it may have helped. Jeff (Hawkins) came off the bench and gave us energy and offense. Jeff had a bad back and Mario has been playing a lot better so we will probably stick with this (starting line-up) and see if it will continue to work. Tonight it was pretty good.”

On the play of Jeff Hawkins and Russell Robinson:
“Hawk played well. The best thing about Hawk is four assists and no turnovers. We moved Russell to the ball, and I thought we got the ball at the four (position) better. He didn’t take shots tonight but this is the most fun Russell has had. He had eight assists and five steals. We are not going to get steals against guys that are that quick. We can gamble, miss and sometimes recover. Against guys like (Rajon) Rondo, you can’t do that. Those guys did a great job. We still didn’t make our free throw, and I don’t know why because we have been shooting pretty good in practice. All in all pretty good win.”

On the play of Sasha Kaun:
“He (Sasha) didn’t like sitting over there so much. I thought the first half he wasn’t very good and he only played a few minutes in the first half. In the second half he was great. That is the best Sasha has played to his size since the Pepperdine game where he had about 19 points and 10 rebounds. I was pleased with him, and CJ (Giles) was better although we are still not getting enough low post points from him.”

On the play of Jeremy Case:
“Jeremy (Case) didn’t play much in the first half. We put him in and the team that was in, that he was a part of, went on a 5-0 run and took the lead. He made a defensive mistake and it cost us three points. That’s what I told the guys after the game, that’s how it’s got to be. You have to focus in on defense when you get in. He has doing a lot better, but right now he is on a roll. He had made nine of his last 12 threes so he needs to be in there and get a little bit sounder defensively.”

On Kentucky:
“It will be a game that in my prediction will not be the most artistic game. If it is anything like last year it will be a battle- loose balls, collisions, two teams getting after it and two programs with a lot of pride. I am sure they respect Kansas and we have the upmost respect for them. It is a great series for our fans, and we hope they will be as ready as the players will be because I am sure both teams will be chomping at the bit.”

Senior guard Jeff Hawkins
On the game:

“We are trying to figure out who the best starters are, who needs to come off the bench, and the best rotation.”

On his and Russell Robinson’s teamwork together:
“Russell and I worked good in that last stretch. The last game against New Orleans, Russell and Mario did a great job at the end. It’s fifty-fifty.”

On analyzing his opponent player match-up:
“I try to figure out if they like to dribble more with their right or left, their stants, and be prepared when I come in. Hopefully when I come in, be able to get my hand on the ball and get a steal. I was able to get one steal off of that.”

Sophomore guard Sasha Kaun
On, Russell Robinson:

“He’s been doing great in practice, beating some guys out. Tonight he had five steals. That just shows if he wants to go at it, he can really go at it.”

On upcoming game, Kentucky:
“I know they are going to be pumped up, especially after last year. We just got to bring our best game. We have to play hard and strong. I think we are ready for it. We have been doing great in practices. The last two or three weeks of practice have been phenominal. It will be a great match up.”

Freshman guard, Mario Chalmers
On starting:

“I found out at the shoot-around before the game. I was kind of shocked at first when I heard my name, but then I was ready to go. I was excited and ready to go out there and prove to myself that I should be starting.”

On playing defense vs. offense:
“Right now defense is more fun. When I first got here I thought offense was more important. Like the old saying goes, offense wins games, defense wins champioinships.”

Yale Head Coach James Jones
On the game:

“We did a poor job of handling pressure. The turnovers we had were ones where they took the ball off of us. We need to be a little stronger and not allow our poor offense to lead to points for them. I thought we concentrated well early and made some good plays. Guys made some shots early which helped us, but we just got away from what we do well offensively. It was a 20-point game with 11 minutes to go, but it just snowballed from there. I thought we did a good job in the half court defense in the second half, but they did a better job of executing their offense to start the second half, and that really hurt us. When we aren’t getting stops in the half-court, and they are getting baskets in transition, it is hard to stay in the game. Depth wasn’t really a factor as much as the fact that the guys on their (Kansas) side just played better than the guys on our side.”

On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:
“Every year we play teams of this caliber so our guys are used to it by now. We got off to a good start. We just didn’t finish the game well.”

On Yale’s turnover problems:
“We are averaging about 20 turnovers per game and it is hard to win games when you are doing that. It is astonishing we have been able to win the games we have, considering we have turned the ball over as much as we have. Lately we have been doing a little better job of handling the ball, and hopefully that continues as league play starts.”

Sophomore Forward Nick Holmes
On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:

“It was pretty cool. I had a lot of family and friends here tonight. It was great to play here because it is one of the best places in the country to play. The crowd was large and it was a good time.”

Sophomore Forward Caleb Holmes
On the game:

“We just stopped scoring. Their (Kansas) pick-and-roll offense on the wing really hurt us. That play alone probably lead to 10-15 points on baseline jumpers. We tried to make adjustments, but it was too late. We weren’t down starting the second half, but we knew we needed to come out strong which we didn’t.”

On playing at Allen Fieldhouse:
“It was a fun time. The game could have been better, but it was fun to play in front of friends and family.”