Postgame Quotes

Jan. 6, 2013

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Kansas 69, Temple 62
Jan. 6, 2013
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We didn’t play well at all. I wasn’t pleased. I don’t think anybody was pleased. The players weren’t happy. Coaches weren’t happy in the first half. That was about as uncharacteristic as we’ve played here lately because the ball stuck. We didn’t guard anybody. Our first shot defense was pretty good, but we gave up five uncontested layups to start the game. They only had 10 points with eight minutes left in the half, and they were uncontested layups. It was unbelievable. Then, when we started playing bad and it started getting away from us, we played dumb and tried to make home run plays. We tried to make great passes after the play was broken down. We shot three pitiful threes on consecutive possessions that were all terrible shots. The ball hadn’t had a chance to change sides. The second half we came out after a great halftime talk and go from six up to down three, or whatever it was, so that that wasn’t any good either. Travis (Releford) showed great poise coming back after picking up his fourth (foul). We made our free throws down the stretch. Elijah (Johnson), who couldn’t throw it in the ocean, made some key plays. Kevin Young, who had struggled from the free-throw line all year, steps up and makes them. Then, of course, Jeff Withey was off the charts good in many ways. We can learn from it. We’ll grow from it. We’ll watch tape, but you have to win some games where you’re not your best. This was certainly one of those games.”

On Kevin Young’s performance with 16 points and key free throws late in the game:
“He was terrific. We’re 16-for-18 from the line. It was amazing; we couldn’t get to the free throw line. I’m not saying we got a bad whistle, but it probably wasn’t a typical home whistle, so to speak. We couldn’t get to the free throw line. They play unorthodox, and of course (Khalif) Wyatt was terrific. We knew going in he could be. He got Travis in foul trouble, and then Elijah didn’t do a great job on him. Ben (McLemore) probably did as good of a job as anybody on him down the stretch. It was a good win. We rebounded the ball above average. We just didn’t turn them over. If we could just eliminate our unforced errors, or half of them, this game would not have been a game that came down to the last minute.”

On many of KU’s turnovers leading directly to Temple points:
“They’re 19-for-63. If you take away our turnovers, they may be 15-for-59, which may not sound like a big difference, but it is. Our turnovers, in large part, led to baskets. I was disappointed in that. Elijah turned the ball over today. Nobody was terrific, but we made plays and we hung together.”

On Releford making a big three-pointer near the end of the game:
“He hit two when we really needed them. He’s shot it really well as of late. Ben was never plugged in offensively. I thought we did a bad job of keeping him involved. We never had any rhythm. I think they guarded us really smart, considering what we’re good at. They kind of took some of that stuff away. Jeff didn’t make shots. We threw it to him, but he didn’t make shots. It wasn’t very fluid at all, but guys did make enough plays to get the `W.’ The crowd was great. I don’t know what it was, 57-54 or something like that, then all of a sudden I think we scored on a lob on a sideout play. Next thing you know, there’s momentum, the crowd’s into it and we made a lot of plays down the stretch.”

On Big 12 play:
“I think we have four games in eight days. Guys played a lot of minutes. That means practice will be very short tomorrow for a lot of guys. We have to get ready for Iowa State. We need to put the first season (non-conference) behind us. It was a success at 12-1. The second season starts (Wednesday). I wish we would have played yesterday. We would have had another day to prepare, and this would have been an off day, but we’ll respond. Our crowd will pick us up.”

Senior forward Kevin Young
On pressure free throws:
“I don’t really think about it too much. It’s just another free throw and I was trying to focus on making it.”

On leading the team in scoring:
“It can happen any night. Elijah (Johnson) could score, Jeff (Withey) could score, it’s nothing I am shocked about, or surprised if it happens again. At the same time, I still need to work on other things.”

On starting conference play:
“I think we are really excited. We get to see the new places that we get to go to, in TCU and West Virginia. I think it will be fun this year.”

Senior guard Elijah Johnson
On his play late in the game:
“I felt urgency. Everybody was sagging off their guy, waiting for us to go to Jeff (Withey). Jeff was tired and it was late in the game, so I had to do something. I decided to put on the pressure and I felt like (my defender) couldn’t stay in front of me at that time, so I just kept driving. I knew I needed to give us some kind of spark.”

On guarding Khalif Wyatt:
“I respect him so much. He has a crafty game and he has an after effect game. For most people, once you crowd them and they are uncomfortable, they can’t make the shot. I feel like that’s when he makes most of his shots. He did a good job creating contact and playing under control. Even when we decided to trap him, he made the right plays. He is a good player. I wouldn’t say we underestimated him, because we definitely got the 411 on him, but I respect him.”

On playing without Travis Releford:
“That was really the biggest thing to me. Not having Travis out there, that’s my partner. To have him on the bench like that, that can happen in March. How are we going to respond? I think Naadir (Tharpe) came in and did some good things, Andrew (White III) came in for a few seconds and we figured it out, so we know we can do it now. We’re not used to seeing Travis in foul trouble like that, usually he is sound. He did what he had to do, (Khalif) Wyatt just kept drawing contact. We might have that problem with somebody aiming at one of our top players to get them out of the game and we have to respond to it. I am happy they did that to us; we know we can do it now.”

Senior center Jeff Withey
On his performance:
“I didn’t do that well offensively, I couldn’t buy a basket. Defensively, I felt like I did pretty well. Down the stretch I felt like everybody, as a group, did their part and we got stops at the end like we needed. Early on in the first half and even early on in the second half, we just couldn’t buy a basket. We didn’t really do too much until the last couple minutes of the game, when we crunched down and played like we were supposed to.”

On if this game helps the team in March:
“That felt like a tournament game. They are a really good team. We didn’t shoot the ball that well and in the tournament it feels like that a lot of the time. It comes down to the last four minutes and tonight we overcame it. Being at home definitely helped, but come March this game will definitely help us.”

Temple head coach Fran Dunphy
Opening statement:
“I thought our kids did a good job. I thought we managed the game about as good as we could for a long stretch. I thought we quick shot a couple of balls late in the second half. When we had a four-point lead, we quick shot it twice and that led to them tying the score and then they made some big plays at the end. We had some looks and couldn’t get the ball to go down, but very proud of our guys”

On overcoming KU’s 12-point lead:
“I’m proud of our guys and I think we showed some toughness. This is my third time here and I don’t remember it being this loud. The other two visits the noise was deafening, this was beyond that early in the game. I think our kids were not troubled by that. They were not as in awe as I would have been had I been a player in that situation so I was very proud of that. We didn’t turn it over much under those conditions, which was very good.”

Temple senior guard Khalif Wyatt
On KU’s late run:
“It came down to the last three to four minutes. We made some bad decisions and took some bad shots, and they were able to come out on top.”

On how Temple handled Allen Fieldhouse:
“I think we handled the atmosphere great. I was proud of all our guys. Nobody showed any kind of fear. Nobody let the stage get the best of them. We only had three turnovers. We’ve played in some big atmospheres already and we have some guys with experience. I’m happy with the way we took care of the ball and managed the game except for the last three or four minutes.”

Temple sophomore forward Anthony Lee
On playing against Jeff Withey:
“It was pretty tough. It was a good challenge for me. I was able to go head-to-head with him, and play pretty good defense for the most part. I think we took him out of his element in the post. We didn’t get the win, but playing against him was a good experience for me.”