Postgame Quotes

Jan. 5, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 99, UMKC 52

Lawrence, Kan.—January 5, 2011

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the game overall:

“We passed it around well, but we still turned the ball over way too much and had so many unforced errors. We did some good things tonight. Considering that Thomas (Robinson) wasn’t here. He’ll be back tomorrow. He needed to be with his family; there is no doubt about that. We did some good things. We had some individuals play well. We shared the ball. Our thoughts were unselfish. The little three-quarter court press that we put in has been pretty effective so far the first two games (utilizing it). If we can get to where we can sort out of it better maybe it can be a good way to take some time off of the shot clock so teams have less time to shoot it. We did some good things tonight. We just didn’t rebound the ball in the second half at all.”

On the play of the guards:

“Travis (Releford) made a couple shots in the second half which is great for his confidence and did some good things. Our focus is pretty shaky. We get a big lead and lose focus. Tyshawn (Taylor) did a couple of times and Josh (Selby) did a couple of times. It was a good win. I hope UMKC wins some games in their league. I am sure they are better than what they played tonight because obviously they didn’t make anything they looked at in the first half.”

On the helping the team maintain its focus:

“To me it shouldn’t be hard. You play each possession. You don’t play the score when you have a big lead. The message isn’t being heard because why would Markieff (Morris) get a technical for running his mouth when, if he has heard the message and knew his value to our team and his immaturity, its going to cost us games. He doesn’t get it. We have to keep stressing the message. Whatever we have to do physically or mentally, I am prepared to do it. It’s just a camouflage that will cost us big time. We’ve dodged a couple of bullets. Unless those guys pull their heads out of their rear end we’re going to have some problems.”

On the Michigan game:

“Michigan is good. Michigan’s RPI is around 50. They have had some good wins. They played Syracuse to two (points) if I’m not mistaken on a neutral floor. They have a couple impressive wins. They have already started their conference play. I think they have played a couple of conference games so far. They run a variety of backdoor cuts which will help us prepare for Colorado. UMKC did too, but they didn’t really run much tonight.”

Kansas junior guard Tyshawn Taylor

On the team’s improvement:

“I think we’ve taking steps forward to getting better. Coach (Self) expects a lot out of us. Sometimes we might think he expects too much out of us, but we need to just come in the gym and keep getting better. I think we’ve been doing that.”

On his successful game:

“I think it was just one of those games. The defenses that the other teams have been playing have been a sag defense. They have been leaving me open a lot, and I’m not really a shooter. I have a lot of open looks, but I haven’t been taking them. I think it was just one of those games where they pressured us a little bit, and I got out on the break. I just got a lot of easy shots today.”

On the full court press:

“I like it. I think all of us like it because it slows us down. We don’t have to pressure full court so much, and we can just cheat a little. I think once we all get tuned in it will be a good press. It helps us by slowing the other team down. I think it’s good for us.”

On the second half:

“What he (Coach Self) sees that we play hard in the first half and get big leads, then play the teams even in the second half. We just need to go full throttle the whole game. That’s what the goal was.

On his assist:

“I like that a lot. The past few games my turnovers have been kind of high. I want to get back to where I make good decisions, and my assists are higher than my turnovers. So today was good.”

Kansas redshirt sophomore guard Travis Releford

On his amount of playing time:

“It’s been a lot of fun. I have been playing down low. So I have to transition from playing on the wing, and guarding the bigger guys. It’s a challenge, but I enjoy it.”

On his dunk:

“I’ve practiced it since middle school, so it was easy. If I would have missed it I would have had to pay the price for it, but if I make it, it is a nice play. It gets the crowd into the game.”

On the comeback from his redshirt season:

“It’s a lot of fun. I sat out a whole season. I didn’t expect to, but all the hard work I put in paid off. I felt it paid off a lot with my confidence and my jump shot.”

On playing down in the post:

“I never thought I would be playing the No. 4 position when we have a seven-foot guy and a 6-foot-8 guy. It was surprising but, but I’m doing what I can out there.”

Kansas sophomore guard Elijah Johnson

On the fast start:

“We got some good news from Coach (Self) before the game, and it just riled us up right before it was time to play. It was a big game, everybody knew I was playing in front of my family, everybody felt the intensity, and we turned it up on them real quick.”

On his recent success:

“I think I am getting more comfortable on the floor. I know no one is going to play a perfect game, and I am starting to accept that fact, so I just try to keep my mistakes to a minimum, instead of thinking that I’m flawless. (I’m getting better) just being more comfortable on the court, and knowing how much I have left in me, and knowing what I struggle at.”

On when he got that feeling:

“I felt it right off the bat. Maybe it’s because I am not a freshman anymore. I felt like I took some weights off of the barbell. It is easier now. Simply because now when I mess up, it’s not because I don’t know what I am doing wrong, or I’m still figuring it out. It’s because I’m not aware. It was just all about growing up, and becoming more comfortable out there.”

On shooting the deep ball:

“A lot of people say that I shoot it deep, but I don’t feel like I shoot it that deep. I feel like I am right on the line every time, but it is just a comfortable shot for me.”

On the backcourt:

“Coach (Self) is very strategic. (He) knows that he has a good team that he can just shuffle stuff up and just throw anything at you. He knows that if you put me, Tyshawn and Josh on the wings, that will probably be the fastest game you have ever seen. He also knows that if he puts Brady, Tyrel and Josh in the game, then they are just going to make threes all day, and probably won’t miss too many. We just have a lot of different combinations – a lot that people haven’t even seen yet – that I think he is holding off with. Coach is doing what he does, he knows what he’s doing.”

UMKC Head Coach Matt Brown

Opening Statement:

“Obviously Kansas is a terrific basketball team, and in terms of our effort and energy, I didn’t think we had the same effort tonight that we had two years ago. I told them that the first four minutes of the game would be very, very critical – we did a bad job of executing our half court offense, and I thought that was the difference in the game. Just like I mentioned to our guys, our biggest game of the week is Saturday against Southern Utah to open league play.”

On Travis Releford:

“I saw him play a lot in the summer (when he was in high school in Kansas City), and we have two guys on our team who played for the same AAU program as Travis. He is much improved, especially with his ability to shoot on the perimeter. I always thought he was a great defender, but he has developed into a guy who can play the off guard position, or even the small forward. He is going to give a lot of teams some mismatch problems.”

On the start of the game:

“Against a team like this, they are going to try and knock you out of the game right from the beginning, and that’s basically what they did. I was disappointed with our inability to take care of the basketball, but a lot of that had to do with Kansas’ pressure, they’re a very good basketball team.”

On the speed and athleticism of the Kansas backcourt:

“They are very good. (Brady) Morningstar and (Tyrel) Reed have done a good job, and Josh Selby is a huge addition to their team. Travis Releford is a great addition for them, because he can be a guard or a forward.”

UMKC senior forward Jay Couisnard

On what their game plan was facing Kansas:

“We wanted to come out of the gates and get the first punch. No matter who we have played against, we’ve been able to make the first punch. Today, we didn’t make the first punch, and if that could have happened, things may have been different.”

UMKC senior guard Bakari Lewis

On what it’s like giving up 99 points, when only two opponents have scored 80 this year:

“Every game is a learning experience – Kansas is a terrific team, they have a great offense and a great defense. I feel like this was a good test for us going into league play on Saturday. Mentally, it is something we definitely have to work on, and we’ll have to go back to the drawing board. If we can figure out our mistakes, it will definitely help us.”

On Kansas’ strength:

“They have good chemistry, they move the ball around very well, they’re all disciplined, and it looks like they are having fun out there. Their help-side defense is really good, and they do a good job on getting a rebound and making a long outlet pass.”