Postgame Quotes

Jan. 4, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

January 4, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On KU’s play early:
“We played so good early and we were so turned up. Thomas [Robinson] missed an uncontested bunny to start the game and we turned it over. Travis [Releford] just throws it to him on the side out of bounds. We were so excited to start the game, but one thing we did the whole night is we really defended. We really guarded their stuff well the first half. That was about as good as we defended a top-25 team in a long time. They missed some shots, but they didn’t get a lot of good looks. The most important statistic is what we did on the glass. I thought our guys were as good as we have been in a long time on the glass.”

On the play of junior Travis Releford:
“Travis played great. He has the best old man’s game of anybody I have ever seen for a young guy. Just think about when he is over 40 and playing, he is going to dominate. He drives in there and reverse pivots and does things that look awkward, but he does some really good things. He needs to be more aggressive driving the ball; he goes in slow motion some of the time. Nobody can fault the way he set the tone in the game, getting on the floor a couple of times. He did a great job of guarding [Rodney] McGruder in the first half. I thought Travis was really good. I thought Thomas [Robinson] was really good. Tyshawn [Taylor] did some good things, still made some bone-headed plays, but did some good things. I thought Elijah [Johnson] was solid, he just didn’t make shots. Our bench was good the first half and it was a good win. Anytime you can get your in-state rival to get off to a good start in the league, it’s a good thing. We know we have to go back over there and we know they will be amped up for us, but we couldn’t be better than 1-0 right now so I am pretty pleased.”

On the run in the second half:
“The biggest deal in the game was we were playing awful. We picked about five minutes to play just brutally bad early in the second half and Conner [Teahan] bailed us out. He made two shots that got it back to nine really quick, and the next thing you know it’s 11. They had worked so hard to cut it from 15 to three and all of a sudden it is right back where we started just in the span of a minute or two. I thought Conner made the biggest shots of the game. There were some good things that happened, but how many of our turnovers were not forced by them. We just threw the ball out of bounds or threw it to a guy and not have him catch it. We can tighten that up, that is something that we can improve on. One thing that I thought that was really good, was that [Jeff] Withey was such a presence in the second half. He is great. He was really good and Thomas [Robinson] wasn’t much of a factor in the second half, we have got to do a better job getting him the ball on the block.”

On the game Saturday in Norman:
“There are not too many Aggies that love the Sooners. Lon [Kruger] has got a good team. They have lost two games this year, Missouri handed them a pretty big setback yesterday, but we know they are capable and we have to go down there and play well. We don’t play many games away from home, so we have to get our minds right and our bodies ready to go down there and take care of business.”

Kansas junior Jeff Withey
On if rebounding was a key focus coming into the game:
“Before the game, we definitely did a lot of drills and rebounding. We knew that they were going to be physical and we definitely prepared to have a physical game. It was a physical game. We were working on rebounding all week so it showed up.”

On how he felt after playing only eight minutes in Kansas’ previous game:
“I knew this game that I was going to play a lot more because it’s a bigger team. I definitely didn’t play that well last game, so I understand why coach didn’t play me that much. I knew it was a new start. It’s a new season for us going into Big 12 (play). I just had to start of the season right and these guys helped the team out. We started off right.”

Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor
On how Kansas prepared for Kansas State’s physical style of play:
“We told our red team to foul us in practice a lot more than they usually do. I think that helped. Our practices the last week have been more physical and more intense. That’s the kind of game we wanted to play. I think we were well prepared for this game. They came out and played physical just like we thought. They came out and crashed the glass like we thought they would. They pressured us like we thought they would. We handled it pretty well for the most part.”

On how Kansas kept Kansas State from getting into a rhythm:
“We kind of played our game. We didn’t let them get comfortable on defense. We didn’t let them dictate how the game was going to be played from their pressure.”

On Conner Teahan’s back-to-back three pointers after Kansas State pulled within three points:
“That was huge. They almost tied it. He came into the game and that was huge for us. It helped us get a more comfortable lead and we pulled off from there.”

On what this win means for the team:
“It’s huge for us. As far as confidence going into conference (play), I think we needed a win like this. It was against a good team, one of the best teams in our conference. To come out here and play like that in our first game of conference play, and against a good team, is good for us. We want to get it rolling and we started tonight. We just have to keep taking care of business. We have a tough one coming up against Oklahoma on Saturday. We have to keep it up.”

Kansas junior Travis Releford
On if he was focused on rebounding during the game:
“Coming into the game, coach (Bill Self) had me guarding (KSU’s) Rodney (McGruder). In the past, he has been out-rebounded us on offense and defense. We just got after it and tried to make sure he didn’t get any rebounds on offense or defense.”

On if the team was focused on rebounding:
“Coming into the game, we had our mind set on trying to control the glass and we came out and did it.”

On if he was motivated by the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry:
“It’s one of our bigger rivals, but I was motivated because it’s the first game of conference (play).”

Kansas State head coach Frank Martin
On the importance of rebounding:
“They got 24 more possessions than us. I have never in 27 years, including coaching 13-year-olds, been part of a game where our team got its tail whipped in the physical part of the game the way we did today. It was a complete mismatch. I told the media folks that were at our place yesterday that 10 minutes into the game, the game would probably be over and that’s what happened.”

“Part of the problem with our offensive rebounds today was that our on-ball defense was not very good. We got beat off the dribble. Tyshawn Taylor had the ball in the paint basically every time he wanted it in the paint. I can understand 10 or 12 rebounds because of that, but not when you get out-rebounded by 24. Was that a career high for Travis Releford on the glass? Give him credit, he obviously was well-prepared to play the game today. Rebounds, to me, are discipline and effort. When you are not willing to lay your body into somebody, that’s not very good. We take a lot of pride in doing that, we obviously didn’t do it today and we got what we deserve for it.”

On the trouble that Allen Fieldhouse presents to opponents:
“It’s a combination of three things: it’s an incredible atmosphere, they have very good players and they are coached by one of the best. Put those three things together and there is a reason they have won 83 of 85 here at home or whatever it is. It is a heck of a lesson for every player that plays in this building.

It’s deflating, that is the problem with the first five or 10 minutes here. I think every team is down 12-2 to start the game here. It’s unbelievable. It takes so much effort and energy to get yourself back to where you can manage the game that when you make a mistake and they make you pay; that deflates your team. It deflated us because we went from (a three-point game), and we were kind of rolling a little bit, to being deflated right away. They came up with every loose ball, we couldn’t make a layup and we missed free throws.”

On K-State’s early second-half success:
“We didn’t stand around and watch Thomas Robinson grab every rebound. We decided to compete a little bit. We decided to run the stuff that we practiced and not hold the ball and play one-on-one. Then when we shot, we actually did our jobs and got on the glass for about a five-minute segment. We played the way we usually play.”

On getting close to tying Kansas and then KU pulling away in the second half:
“We got it to three points at one time. Then when it was 42-38, we lose Conner Teahan on back-to-back possessions. Credit Teahan, he made the shots. He could have missed them. That is a breakdown on us; the scouting report says, `do not leave Conner Teahan when he is in the corner,’ and we left him twice and he made both shots.”

On switching to a 3-2 zone:
“We have been doing it more lately, but we couldn’t guard the ball. We just couldn’t guard the ball. Our bigs were late on their ball-screens and just guarding it, they were playing it different than what we practiced. That was putting our guards in difficult moments trying to keep Tyshawn Taylor, who’s a heck of a player, in front of them. I just didn’t feel comfortable that we were doing a very good job of controlling the ball, so I was trying to get Kansas out of that rhythm of just driving the ball and attacking us. We tried to get them to slow down and it worked for a little while. Then we lose Conner Teahan and give up the three. Then I tried to coach a little bit and go back to man because Conner was in the game, but then we let him shoot another one and we can’t do that.”

Kansas State Sophomore guard Will Spradling
On the importance of getting out to a good start at the beginning of the game:
“That was our whole philosophy coming into the game. It was something that hasn’t happened with us before; last year we came in and got down early and we had to fight back last year. We came out the same way we did last year and that hurt us a lot.”

On how frustrating it was to not come out with a good start:
“It was something that goes back to the last three practices we had, we didn’t come out in practice very well. If you don’t come out well in practice, then you are not going to come out and play well.”