Bill Self Weekly Press Conference

Jan. 14, 2011

Press Conference Videos Coach Self | Mc. Morris | Selby

Press Conference Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self

On if the team has a different gear for conference play:
“I think there is for everybody across America. I think the games are more hotly contested. They mean more to the players and their respective fans. In your non-conference season you want to win and play great, but you understand it’s just preparation for conference so it obviously means more.”

On if some of the early upsets in the Big 12 have caught the team’s attention:
We haven’t talked about that. We mentioned some things yesterday, but did not go into any specifics about teams. In our league, anybody can have anybody on any night. Last year Nebraska went 2-14 in the league, we went 15-1, and they’re up by four with 13 minutes left in our building. We played really well after that. That’s just the way conference play goes. If you look across America, it’s not just our league, it’s every league out there.”

On Marcus Morris’ maturation process:
“All of our guys need to mature. It doesn’t matter how old they are or what year they are. For Marcus, going from being a complementary guy and fourth-leading scorer to being “the man,” a maturation process needs to take effect to allow him to do that. I don’t think he has consistently accepted (that role thus far). He was terrific (against Iowa State). He was as good a player as anybody in America the other night. We need to get consistency from him and Markieff (Morris), but when those two are on the floor for a lot of minutes, good things are generally going to happen.”

On Mario Little’s performance against Iowa State:
“I thought he was good. That’s a hard game because it was easier for us to play four and adjust to them than it was for us to play big because if we’re going to switch ball-screens, it’s hard to do with Jeff (Withey). Mario was really important when we made the decision that was how we were going to defend ball-screens. I thought he did a really good job.”

On Nebraska’s ability to play close games with good teams:
“Doc (Sadler) is a good coach. They’ve always guarded and this year they’re leading the country in field goal percentage defense. Our goal is to lead that every year, so we’ve got a long way to go before we can catch them. The biggest thing is when other teams don’t score then you’re always in the game. I learned that from Coach (Eddie) Sutton. Especially away from home, if you take care of the ball and you don’t give up easy baskets, you have a chance. That’s been a good formula for them.”

On avoiding being overconfident since they are one of four undefeated teams in the country:
“I don’t feel that. To be honest with you, I don’t think (the players) think that. They may watch ESPN enough that they start feeling what people are saying, but the bottom line is they hear it from us enough that we are still a work in progress. I don’t think that really means anything to them, as far as “one of four,” “one of three,” or trying to be the last one. I think the bottom line is they know we need to get better.”

On if Travis Releford will be able to play against Nebraska:
“I doubt it. He’s going to try to practice some today (Friday), but he hasn’t been able to yet. It’s a little disappointing because I thought he would be back by now. We all did. He’s worked hard getting treatment, but he’s still maybe a couple more days (away from playing). It’s a pretty severe sprain, but it’s not a high ankle sprain.”

On this being the last time Nebraska will play a conference game in Allen Fieldhouse:
“I hadn’t thought about it to be honest. I’ll be sure to remind our players about that.”

Kansas guard Josh Selby

On playing his first home Big 12 game on Saturday:
“I can’t wait. It’s our first home Big 12 game. I’m going to be a little nervous, but I just can’t wait to play that game.”

On what has allowed this team to stay undefeated so far this season:
“That willingness to win. (Last year’s loss to Northern Iowa) motivated (the returning players) more and made them more hungry. When I came, it felt like I lost also. We’re all hungry right now. We just want to win. We want a national championship. That’s our goal.”

On if the team has noticed some of the upsets in college basketball:
“We notice it, but that’s not stopping us from working because we don’t want to be one of the teams that gets upset by anybody. It has been a wake-up call because Duke lost to Florida State. That shocked me. Anything is possible in this basketball game.”

On Marcus Morris’ play at Iowa State and his development as a leader:
“I think it has to deal with confidence when he plays. He played excellent that game against Iowa State. That was amazing, but we need him to do that every night and we will be able to win. He was feeling it. When you give it to him, it makes it easier for us guards.”

On what he is trying to improve individually:
“I focus on everything in my game because I continue to get better at every aspect. The main thing I try to focus on is getting the ball to the big men. If we give it to them it makes it easier for me, so that’s what I really try to focus on.”

Junior Forward Marcus Morris

On his career-high performance against IowaState:

“It’s definitely a confidence-booster that I can score 30 points. I didn’t think that was possible. This will just give me a lot of confidence on the offensive end.”

On getting to 33 points without attempting a three-point shot:

“It doesn’t really matter how I got it, I just got it. My teammates found me when I was open and I just made shots.”

On if he calls for the ball more when he is making shots:

“Not at all, I think we all have an understanding of who gets the ball when they’re open. We all know just get it to the man that’s open, and they just gave it to me. That was the game plan, to get it down low, because they were smaller on the inside.”

On if conference play brings out a new level of the team:

“Maybe. I wouldn’t say it was another gear for me, I would just say that I was at the right place at the right time. I had a hot day and made a few shots, but I think anybody on our team could have done the same thing.”

On if the team has a new attitude during conference play:

“There’s definitely a sense of urgency. You can win a game by any margin, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you win. Conference is conference and you don’t want to lose in conference.”

On his success driving to the basket:

“Coach (Bill Self) always says play to your strength, and my strength is to take the drive by guys that are not as quick as I am. I think that’s just what I did.”

Freshman guard Royce Woolridge

On how he feels the season has gone for him personally so far:

“I’m learning a lot. It’s been a great experience for me to be able to be in practice with all the players and learn from them. They’ve been teaching me things about the game that I didn’t know so I’ve learned a lot this year.”

On what the hardest thing has been to learn so far:

“The biggest challenge I think is defense and learning where to be defensively. Everybody on the team has been helping me work on my defense. The defense is the hardest part to get and understand.”

On if he is happy with his playing time:

“I’m just happy to be a part of the team and to be able to be around of these players and an organization like this. That (playing time) is not a problem at all with me, I’m just happy to be here.”

On if being at Kansas has been what he imagined it would be like:

“It’s been more than what I could have imagined. I had no idea how much people love Kansas. I knew they loved Kansas, but once you’re on the floor and you see all the people in the stands and you hear them chanting, it’s like this whole other thing that I didn’t even know existed. It’s crazy.”