Postgame Quotes

Jan. 13, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

KU Quotes

Kansas State 87, Kansas 71

Jan. 13, 2009

Head Coach Bill Self

On his team’s overall performance:

“We played great early. There are times this year we have looked every bit as great as teams in the past. We just don’t sustain it. We’ve had some great runs at home of late, whether be Tennessee 25-9 or Siena 25-1. Tonight, it was 18-0, then we just traded baskets. We didn’t play poorly. We played out of foul trouble. I think it was a bright spot that we were able to play key minutes without Cole [Aldrich] or Sherron [Collins]. The guys stepped up and played well. It was a good win, and Tyshawn Taylor was fabulous. He drove the ball hard and got to the free throw line. He’s got to make his free throws, but I thought he was fabulous. That just shows you what he can do and what he’s capable of doing. Cole was solid, and of course, Sherron was good. They’re [Kansas State] good and they played their butts off, so we’ll know how hard it is to go over there and play.

We certainly had our two best players play well tonight, and then we had our young kids step up and give us a lot. Also, I thought Mario Little, although he’s out of sync a little bit, did some good things for us on the offensive end.”

On the guards’ performances:

“Sherron hasn’t really shot the ball great. He’s scored, but he hasn’t shot the ball well. I thought that the first half, he had an airball and it just didn’t look right. Then the second half, he got on a roll and you could tell he was feeling it. He needed that. But our guards were good tonight. Brady [Morningstar] made the biggest shot of the game, hands down. They cut the gap to three, and he just steps up and drills one in the corner.”

On playing strongly in both halves:

“I told our guys that we haven’t really played 40 minutes yet. The Tennessee lead, they cut it down. The Siena lead, they cut it down. Tonight, we had a big lead and they cut it to three. They showed some toughness getting it to three. We didn’t have much going and we couldn’t get to the free throw line at all at the beginning of the second half. So there are some similarities in the game, but tonight I thought we showed quite a bit of toughness.”

Kansas Player Quotes

Junior guard Sherron Collins

On the first conference win:

“It feels great. The rivalry makes it even better. We played for the fans and the whole town. It’s just good to get a win over K-State and start the conference at 1-0. I think it’s a positive step.”

On trying to get the freshmen motivated:

“I didn’t have to say too much to Tyshawn. I talked to him, but I talked to all the freshmen. I talked to the twins and I think they came out and played better too. I don’t have to say too much to them. I just tell them to be positive, stay confident and to shoot the ball. There were times when Cole (Aldrich) and I went out with foul trouble and Mario (Little) made big shots or Tyshawn carried us.”

On coming out strong:

“We just came out with intensity and energy. Coach (Self) explained to us all week how tough they were going to come out and pressure us. Tonight we were just aggressive. We came out and pressured them more than they pressured us. I think they were surprised and then they got back in the game. I think we just wanted more than they did tonight.”

On coming off the Michigan St. loss:

“I felt that we were mad coming into this game. I think we were mostly mad because we did come out and compete in the second half, but we didn’t compete in the first half against Michigan State. We just needed to put two good halves together. Coach was mad after that game, but he was glad we competed in the second half but he wants us to compete for the entire game.”

On winning his battle of Chicago with Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen:

“It always feels good when you beat guys from Chicago. It gives me bragging rights, but we will see him again when we have to go to their place and it will be tough for us to win there. We did a lot of joking with each other as opposed to talking smack to one another. There are no hard feelings between us and we keep in contact with each other.”

Junior guard Mario Little

On his decision not to redshirt helping his play:

“I knew if I was going to play I might as well start playing better because I can’t look back now.”

On starting:

“Coach told me I was going to start yesterday. He tried to give me some confidence so I would play better.”

On playing without his glove:

“I know I’ve been missing with the glove, but I don’t know if it helped my shot. I was kind of late getting to shoot-around and I didn’t really want to wear the glove so I said forget it.”

On feeling more confident:

“Like I said before, there is no turning back now, so I might as well go out there and give it what I’ve got.”

Freshman Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On his performance:

“I felt really good today. I have had some real good practices and I played with a lot more confidence. Having the good practices really helped build my confidence. When Sherron got in foul trouble early I knew that I needed to step up. Cole and Sherron have been scoring most of our points and when they went down with foul trouble I felt I had to step up. I have heard a lot about how myself and the Twins haven’t played well of late and I felt like it was my time to step up tonight.”

On playing point guard:

“I really like playing point guard and having the ball in my hands. I never really played point guard in high school, but I like having control of the game.”

On his recent struggles:

“I felt that I was thinking too much. Early in the season I felt like I was just out there playing. When I first got here I thought a lot, but once my playing time increased I started just playing.”

Freshman transfer Jeff Whithey

On his decision to transfer to Kansas:

“All the coaches, watching the team and watching Cole get better. It was a pretty easy decision. They recruited me in high school and I really liked them then.”

On when he decided:

“I probably decided about a week or two after I decided to leave Arizona. I sat down with my family, looked over everything and decided Kansas was the place to be.”

On practicing:

“I practiced earlier today. It was good, a little nerve-wracking. I’ve got to get myself back in shape. I did the work out earlier and hit the weight room so I’ll be sore tomorrow.”

Kansas State Head Coach Frank Martin

On Kansas jumping out to an 18-0 lead:

“For us to come out and turn it over three of our first four possessions the way we did was just unfortunate. I’ve been here three years and three years in a row we’ve been down 20 at the first media timeout. I don’t know what it is about us in this building.”

On concerns he has of his team:

None. I’ve got none. It’s the same team that played hard to get back in the game. It’s the same team that we’ve been coaching for three and a half months. I’ve got no concern whatsoever. We’re a young team and need to understand why things work for us sometimes and sometimes they don’t.”

On if his team was intimidated:

“I don’t think intimidation had anything to do with it. You see the way we came back? We don’t do that if we’re intimidated.”

On Sherron Collins:

“You guys asked me and I told you. I think he’s the best guard in the league and you could argue he’s the best player in the league. He’s healthy again. Sitting there watching him on tape, he’s back to what he was as a freshman. He’s fast, he’s explosive, he scores it off the jumper, he scores it off the dribble, and he scores it in the paint. He’s a good player.”

Kansas State Player Quotes

Redshirt Freshman Jamar Samuels

On the game overall:

“We had a lot of turnovers. We weren’t guarding the ball and we had a lot of fouls. We needed to guard.”

On ways the team can improve:

“We need to go to the glass more and start getting better shots. We didn’t have a lot of good shots today. We need to start being more aggressive.”

On Kansas’ 18-0 run to start the game:

“There are like 17,000 fans here. We weren’t focused. We need to be focused and have our mind ready for the game. We weren’t ready in the first five minutes.”

Junior Luis Colon

On Kansas State’s slow start:

“We were ready to play. In the beginning we gave up a few easy shots. When we tried to get back into the game it was too late.”

On playing at Allen Fieldhouse:

“We knew a rivalry game like this would be tough to play here.”

On fouling out early in the second half:

“It’s my fourth game in a row that I fouled out quickly. I need to work on my defense and not foul so much.”

Sophomore Jacob Pullen

On the game overall:

“Things didn’t go our way. We need to have a better start to the game. We fought our way back into it. We didn’t guard as well as we should have. We fouled a lot and put them on the line for a lot of free throws. Every time we crawled back into it we fouled or didn’t get a stop.”

On the team’s struggles:

“We go out there and miss shot, wide open shots, and we don’t get back on defense. It has nothing to do with (Coach) Frank (Martin), but it has everything to do with the 12 people in that locker room.”

On Kansas Sate’s slow start:

“Sometimes it can be some of us not being experienced and coming out and panicking. It’s a hostile atmosphere when you walk into Allen Fieldhouse. Like I said before the game, it’s unexplainable. As a team we didn’t have any resistance in the first four minutes of the game. They got whatever they wanted.”