Jan. 14, 2006

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Postgame Quotes
Kansas State 59, Kansas 55
January 14, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:

“Give them (Kansas State) credit. They came in here and beat us. We can talk about us playing poorly and all those things, which is accurate, but they had a lot to do with that. We had a chance to crack it in the first half and didn’t take advantage of it. We go up 12 in the second half and then jack around. These young guys haven’t been in that many close games. They went zone, and the pressure started mounting. We attacked their zone miserably. It is disappointing because we are a better team than what we played today. I don’t want to say that we should blame it on our ineptness, because I thought they (Kansas State) played very well.”

On the streaks within the game:
“Kansas State didn’t have many droughts the second half. It was 26-18 at halftime and if we would have played a lick the last four minutes, it would have been 34 or 36 to 18. That would have put it in a difficult situation for them to come back. The pressure is usually on the home team in a situation like that. They are playing with nothing to lose and we are playing like we are trying to protect something. Obviously, we didn’t make plays down the stretch and we didn’t get guys in position to make plays. We made them look like they were a world class flex offense in the second half, which they were.”

On Mario Chalmers:
“Mario did some good things, but it’s hard to get excited about anybody when you lose. He played a lot of minutes and did a good job dictating tempo midway through the first half. We had some guys really struggle today. Other than Sasha (Kaun), we aren’t getting any points in the post. That should be a strength of our team, but obviously it’s not.”

Sophomore Guard Russell Robinson
On the game:

“I am a little shocked. I just felt that we had control of the game. It was really devastating considering we just came off wins against Kentucky and Colorado and I was starting to feel like we were becoming a good team. Now all we can do is try to put it behind us and just move forward.”

On the Kansas post players’ struggles:
“We were definitely trying to get some inside play going. Christian (Moody), C.J. (Giles), and the rest of the big guys really struggled today. We just need that presence inside especially against Kansas State because that is where they are weak.”

Freshman Guard Mario Chalmers
On the game:

“I think not putting this team away when we had them down and also not getting big stops at the end really cost us. This is the most frustrating loss so far because it is in our conference and our goal is to win the Big 12 championship. This loss really puts a dent in our record. The zone really took us out of our rhythm. We missed some open shots and we also were forced to take some tough shots. Those are just things we need to work harder on. My points really don’t matter, it is all about getting a victory for the team.”

On his pressure defense:
“We were lacking a bit of momentum and coach just told me to go out there and pressure the ball to try to get the team going.”

Freshman Guard Brandon Rush
On the game:

“This is definitely a devastating loss. We really needed a win so we could step up in the Big 12 race and start 2-0. We are going to bounce back though. They were really playing my right hand and it was just a tough adjustment. I am going to just have to keep working on my left hand because it is really weak right now because I had surgery on it. Coach was really mad after the game, but he just said we have to move on and put this loss behind us.”
On the end of the streak:
“The streak really doesn’t matter to me because I wasn’t a part of the streak. Yet, I was still trying to maintain it. The upperclassmen are taking it real tough. The seniors are especially upset about the loss.”

Head Coach Jim Wooldridge

On the win:
“It is very satisfying. The week has been very difficult. I thought the way we played in the first half was a reflection of the week. Then, for whatever reason, we were able to regain some composure and play with poise, and played our best half of basketball to beat a very good basketball team on their home court. It is an improbable win if you look at where we were on Wednesday night.”

On the satisfaction with the win:
“This is about the highest because of the improbability of where we were Thursday morning coming out of (the Nebraska) game. And then this afternoon, down the stretch, we played poised and played about as good of a basketball game as we can play. We had to that to beat that kind of a team.”

On Kansas State’s zone defense:
“I thought we played outstanding defense in both halves. In the first half, man defense, and in the second half primarily zone defense. We covered up some things and made it a perimeter game and we were able to finish out possessions by being a good rebounding team. That was a great effort. As you know, we are not a high scoring, high-flying team. We needed a great defensive effort and a great rebounding effort.”

On winning at Kansas:
“It is very satisfying for a lot of reasons: Where we were Wednesday night, playing on the road — winning on the road in this league is so difficult– and beating a team in our league that has been a great team and a great program. Everybody recognizes that they are one of the stellar programs in the Big 12 Conference. To come over here and get this job done is a feather in our kids’ cap. I am excited for them. I am proud of them. They deserve accolades today just like we deserved as a team, program and coaches, criticism Wednesday.”

Junior Guard Cartier Martin
On playing after the loss to Nebraska:

“That was heartbreaking to lose at home. They came in and played better than we did. The media has been coming down on us the past couple of games. We’re a great team, KU’s a great team, and we came out and fought tonight. It’s all about heart.”

On winning for the seniors:
“This was for Schyler (Thomas). He’s been here for four years and hasn’t won a game against KU yet. He came out and played his butt off tonight. Dramane (Diarra) came in and he did some great things. Dramane is a great player and he is going to do some big things for us the rest of this year.”

On the KSU fans in attendance:
“It’s great just to know that we have support and that they are on our side. We love our fans and hope that they come out and support us even more.”

Senior Guard Schyler Thomas
On beating Kansas:

“This is for all the players who didn’t get a chance to beat KU. Before the game I said to the guys that I’m not going to go through another year without beating them. We struggled the first half, but we believed in ourselves and that is why we won the game. We have had a lot of close games with them and it has come down to the wire before, but this time we pulled it out.”