Postgame Quotes

Jan. 6, 2010

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 71, Cornell 66

January 6, 2010

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On Cornell:

“They have a terrific big guy that could play for anybody and they can run their stuff. They’re poised. They have eight seniors and play like a veteran team should play. They’re tough and (Ryan) Whittman is terrific. They are also impressive because they are well-coached.”

On Kansas’ second half performance:

“Our late game was something that I was pleased with. In the last 10 minutes, we did what we wanted to do, but we didn’t make free-throws or layups in large part because of their length. We did some good things and defended well in the second half.”

On the play of senior guard Sherron Collins:

“I’m biased, but he hasn’t had a game where the pressure was really on though. He’s practiced great and everything is coming together for him. To me, he is the best point guard in the country and tonight he was definitely the best guard in the country. He put us on his back. Two things won the game for us: Sherron and the crowd. The weather is horrible and we have (an impressive amount of) people here. If our fans would’ve stayed home tonight because of the weather, there’s a good chance we would be 13-1 instead of 14-0.”

On KU’s next game at Tennessee:

“The game in Knoxville is a game that could go either way. They have a lot of talent. We anticipate the other guys playing as well. We got them last year, and I’m sure this is a sellout which is 24,000. It will be a good atmosphere and one where we really need to play well away from home to start developing an identity.”

On junior guard Tyrel Reed’s pivotal three pointer:

“I’ve been on Tyrel to be more aggressive. He wasn’t aggressive the entire game. I told him to put himself in a position to shoot it. For that play, Brady (Morningstar) set a great fade screen for Tyrel, but that’s probably the biggest shot Tyrel has made in his career.”

Senior guard Sherron Collins

On his drive to the basket to seal the win:

“I knew I could get past the first defender and my thought was who is going to help? That’s what I was really thinking. Coach Self drew up a perfect play and I had isolation and the defender was too late to help and he fouled me.”

On if he was nervous in the final minutes:

“I wasn’t worried. I knew there was a lot of time left. We just needed a basket or a good shot. We had plays drawn up to hit a three or doing anything that we needed to do.”

On head coach Bill Self late in the game:

“He was very calm and confident. He kept our huddle calm and not panicking. I know I put us on my back, but our crowd was great tonight and we have to give them 50 percent of that win.”

Junior center Cole Aldrich

On playing at Tennessee following the suspension of four Tennessee players:

“It’s still going to be good. It’s a road game. It’s one of those games you always look forward to because it’s a road game. We played well out at Temple. We need to have a few good days of practice and head out there to play a really good Tennessee team.”

On if he thought he might suffer his first loss at Allen Fieldhouse:

“Maybe just the slightest. I knew with the mindset Sherron had tonight and that killer instinct of going anywhere and getting anything that he wanted, I looked at him and I said ‘let’s go do this. Let’s go get us a win’. Fortunately, he made some big free throws and X[avier Henry] made the last two to put us up by five.”

On Cornell possibly being a high seed in the NCAA Tournament:

“I knew that watching tape over the last few days. They have great senior leadership and they play as a team. They shoot the ball very well.”

Freshman guard Xavier Henry

On Cornell’s Ryan Wittman:

“He shoots on target and he doesn’t need that much time to shoot. We followed him around the arc and tried not to get screened.”

On playing a tough game:

“We needed something like this. It will teach us about tough games. It’s just a learning experience. Next time we won’t be so fast paced and we’ll know how to take care of it.”

On playing Tennessee on Jan. 10:

“I still expect them to be a good team. I know they had a game tonight, I don’t know if they won or not, but I’m going to look at it and see how they played because I don’t know what they’re going to be like without Tyler Smith.”

On Sherron Collins taking over late in the game:

“He showed his leadership and why they say he’s the best guard in the country. He can do everything for us when we need him to. He put us on his back.”

On how Collins showed his leadership late in the game:

“It was by example. When we saw him [taking over] we got out of the way. He didn’t really say too much to us, we just knew when he got the ball he was going to take care of it.”

Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue

On having the attitude that they would win the game:

“We had the lead for most of the game and I felt that we played very good basketball throughout the game. Our guys gave a tremendous effort on the defensive end and for the most part we were very good on the offensive end as well. We had a few shots rim in and out which would usually go down. I thought that Kansas was fired up to play and they respected us. It was just a great college basketball game. I can’t talk enough about our guys and the effort they gave. I thought (Sherron) Collins took over at every critical moment and hit big shots.”

On the emphasis he places on getting Ryan Wittman going early:

“What happens a lot is that I try to go to him early and try to get him going. Tonight they really started chasing him and the guy that sets the screen is jumping out on him along with his own man. That can create four on three chances for us when he dumps the ball off. I’ll give him a lot of credit. This was a physical game and he was able to play 35 to 40 minutes for us. He always steps up in big game situations. He had a few rim out tonight that usually will go down for him.”

Cornell Senior Forward Ryan Wittman

On the game:

“They made a run at us and they are a good team so that is what you would expect them to do. We had the lead with a minute left and just didn’t make the plays we needed to. Sherron Collins had a great game and hit a lot of big shots for them. He was able to get to the basket and score at the end of the game. He is a great player. I may have rushed that last shot and we may have been able to get something better later if I had not shot.”

Cornell Senior Center Jeff Foote

On getting in foul trouble:

“I tried to come out early and establish myself because I thought I had some advantages. I don’t necessarily agree with the second foul call, but it happened and you just have to move on.”

On the last few minutes of the game:

“We had a lot of optimism on our team throughout the game and we had the lead with a minute to go, but you have to tip your hat to Kansas. They found a way to win and that is why they are the number one team in the country. We felt good at halftime, but we realized that we still had a half to play. Last year we let a few leads slip away at the half like against Syracuse and Minnesota.”