Postgame Quotes

Jan. 14, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 82, Iowa State 73
January 14, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We were awful early. Still though, you have 40 points at halftime, the way we play, we should be up six or eight at the worst. We didn’t guard them in the first half. Of course, their bigs made four threes in the first half. It’s hard to guard when their bigs are shooting like that because you have to pressure out on everybody else so much. I thought we did some nice things defensively in the second half. We rebounded the ball a little bit better, but still not anything close to where we can rebound the ball. They out-manned us inside. I don’t think we came ready to play. We had a lot of things go negative, including going 12-of-24 from the free throw line. We shot the ball miserably from behind the arc. Still, somehow we won the game. (It was) Probably because we took care of the basketball and got some key stops late. A lot of good things happened. We played our best ball with Thomas (Robinson) out of the game. That should give us confidence when he gets in foul trouble moving forward. That was great. Jeff (Withey) was great in the second half. Bad the first half, great the second half which has kind of become a trend for him that we need to get out of. Kevin (Young) gave us some decent minutes off of the bench. The way I see, when Conner (Teahan), Elijah (Johnson) and Tyshawn (Taylor), in a game with that many misses, combine for two rebounds, we’re not playing tough. We have to get in there and man up. We played our best ball against K-State and Elijah got eight (rebounds) and Travis (Releford) gets 11 (rebounds) and Tyshawn gets his four or five or whatever, and today we weren’t even factors on the glass. (There are) a lot of things we can improve on.”

On Tyshawn Taylor’s game-high 28 points:
“Offensively, he was hard to guard today. I told our team afterward, ‘I’m happy for everybody that scores points. Individually, I couldn’t care less who does. One thing about it, Thomas Robinson gets zero shot attempts the second half. Zero. He played around 15 minutes, that’s bad. Arguably as good a player as there is in America gets zero shot attempts. I was really proud of him. He came in and he passed the ball the best he’s passed it the whole game after he hasn’t gotten any touches. The pass he made to Jeff (Withey) for the three-point play may have been the biggest pass of the game, but when your point guard (Tyshawn Taylor) is getting 21 attempts and your best player is getting zero, that’s not a good combination. It bailed us out today, but that can’t become a habit and Ty knows that. It’s not on him. It’s on everybody else executing and doing things better. There a lot of things we can improve on. It was good to see Elijah (Johnson) make a couple of jumpers and we have to get Conner (Teahan) shooting the basketball. That’s a good basketball team we played today. Probably the hardest team we’ve had to guard this year.”

On Kansas’ upcoming game against Baylor on Monday night:
“They are really good. I guess they won by 40 today against Okie State and probably didn’t even break a sweat doing it. I love their length. If Kevin doesn’t hit somebody, they are just going to catch it, rebound and dunk it. They are going to play zone a lot of the game. I wish we had more than one day to prepare. Tomorrow, we put so much energy into this game, we probably can’t practice more than 30 or 40 minutes tomorrow. I wish we had more time, but our guys will be excited to play, there’s no question. You get a chance to play a top-5 team that may be a little underrated and they are really, really good. They are long and they have pros and it will be fun to see our guys match up against them.”

Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor
On leading the team during the 11-0 run to take the lead in the second half:
“We were down 10 (points), and Thomas (Robinson) was on the bench. I had to play. I had to do something. I had to make something happen. I made a couple of shots. They kept trying to go under the ball screens, so I stepped up. I made the first one, and they did the same thing the second time. I shot it confidently and it went in. That kind of sparked (the run) a little bit.”

On the emotions during the run in the second half:
“I felt good. I felt like I was playing good. I felt like my team was counting on me, and I stepped up. I heard my bench going crazy the entire time. The crowd was going crazy. It was just one of those feelings you get when you’re playing good and you know that the fans and your teammates are with you. I felt good at that moment.”

On how the team fell behind so quickly:
“Iowa State is good. Royce White is able to bring the ball up, and they have four guys who can stretch it. Tonight, their bigs stretched it a little bit, which we weren’t really expecting. They shot the ball really well. When a team’s shooting the ball really well, it’s hard to defend. When they have a guy who is 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8 that can penetrate, kick and make plays, it’s a tough matchup. I can’t say we were shellshocked because we knew that was what they did, but they came out and made good some open shots. We weren’t getting back in transition and they capitalized. We knew we just had to keep plugging, one possession at a time. That’s what we did. We just kept grinding. We came out in the second half, and they went up 10 (points) again. We just had to keep grinding and we did. We played well throughout that stretch, so that got us back. After that, we didn’t look back.”

On Monday’s game against Baylor:
“I think it’s going to be a good game. I’m excited for this game. They’re a really good team, really athletic. They have guys that can make plays. They have guys that can stretch the floor and do everything. I think it’s going to be a good challenge for us. I’m really excited. It’s a Big Monday game, and the Fieldhouse is going to be crazy. They’re going to come in with a lot of confidence, as they should. They’re an udefeated team with really good players, so it’s going to be a good game.”

Kansas junior Thomas Robinson
On Tyshawn Taylor’s performance:
“I thought it was amazing. He put the team on his back. He did what was expected. He played great during that stretch with us coming back. He hit some big shots.”

On getting 14 rebounds despite being double-teamed the entire game:
“We won, so it’s always going to be successful (game) as long as we get the ‘W.’ It’s nothing new, but a couple teams have guarded me better than others. This is kind of similar to what USC did. It was definitely tough, but we have a lot of good players on this team. Like Tyshawn said, that’s our style of play. It’s knowing that my team’s going to play well when I’m not performing at the highest level.”

Kansas junior Jeff Withey
On Iowa State playing back and challenging him to shoot jump shots:
“We shoot those shots every day in practice, but wide-open like that kind of messes with your head. I just need to get more confident shooting that. If teams play like that, it should be a field day for me. At halftime, Tyshawn (Taylor) was in my ear telling me to be more confident when I go up to shoot that. In the second half, I made the first one.”

On if his second half performance meant more because Robinson was on the bench:
“(Thomas) Robinson was out of the game, so I knew I had to rebound and guard the paint. I was just at the right place at the right time with all of those blocks. I knew I had to pick it up for the team because without Thomas in there, it’s really tough.”

On the team’s defensive adjustments on Royce White in the second half:
“He’s definitely a great player. It’s tough guarding him, but in the second half we were more locked in. We (played) the scouting report more. Coach (Self) told us we weren’t doing everything right in the first half. After halftime, coach got into us. We knew we had to step it up on the defensive end. We didn’t let them get easy shots like they were in the first half. We cut down on them driving and forced them to shoot the ball where they didn’t really want to. We kind of took them out of their comfort zone in that stretch.”

Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg
On the decrease in production his team had in the second half:
“We talked a lot about that the last two days; if you come in this building and have that type of drought and let it bother you and you lose your mental focus it is going to be tough to win. That is when they go on their 10-nothing, 15-nothing runs and I’ve been seeing those runs in this building for years. It is a very tough place to play. It is as loud a building as we’ll play in, besides Hilton Coliseum. It’s a tough atmosphere. I felt the things we did that got us our lead, we didn’t do during that drought. Our pick and roll coverage was outstanding early with the game prep that we had and we couldn’t get to that same type of thing that we were doing late in that game; and that is when Tyshawn Taylor came off and hit a bunch of shots and that is a determining factor in that game.”

On shooting just 27 percent in the second half:
“I thought we had some very good looks that didn’t go. Chris Babb had some very good shots, open shots, and had one of those nights where the ball just didn’t go in the basket. I thought he played hard; it didn’t have anything to do with his effort. It was just one of those games that shooters have; he had been shooting the ball extremely well. Chris missed a couple that he normally makes. Scotty (Scott Christopherson) came off wide open on a few things. I thought we did a solid job executing our offense and getting shots that we had early in the game, but we just didn’t make them late and Kansas did.”

On how ready Iowa State was for the early-game atmosphere:
“That is the big thing that we talked about is getting off to a good start. They come out of that locker room and in the first five minutes it sometimes feels like they have six players on the floor. I thought we did a very good job getting the game in our tempo; doing a great job on the glass, limiting them to one shot. To outrebound this team is something we need to build on. We got outrebounded by Missouri and I thought that cost us the game. To outrebound these guys by eight, as big and physical as they are, on the road, was a great feat for us. We are not about moral victories here though. We played hard, gave great effort, but you have to find a way to win these; so we’ll get back at it, watch a lot of film and see what we need to work on and try again on Wednesday against Oklahoma State.”

On utilizing a number of Cyclone defenders to guard Thomas Robinson:
“I thought we battled the heck out of him. He is a big time player, as good of a big as there is in the country. He is going to have a very long career, playing at the top level. I thought Melvin (Ejim), who gives up a couple inches to him, fought the heck out of him early. I thought everybody we put in there did a nice job, (Anthony) Booker executed the game plan and with Royce (White) sitting in his lap for most the game. But you miss a couple of assignments and it ends up costing you in the end. Jordan Railey went in there and gave us very good minutes and Percy (Gibson), for being a freshman and coming into this building for the first time. I thought we battled; we didn’t lose this game because of lack of effort. Our effort was outstanding out there for this entire game. We lost it because we lost our focus there for a stretch.”

On Jeff Withey’s production in the second half:
“We read the stats and look at all that stuff and he hadn’t hit a shot outside of the paint this year, so we backed off and made him step up and shoot. When Thomas Robinson is in the post we felt like we needed a couple of guys in there. Withey hit a few and then he got loose inside on a few as well; a couple rebounds a couple dump-offs and he went up and finished. He is a long dude; that is a tough front line to play against.”

On Tyshawn Taylor’s second-half outburst:
“I thought our pick and roll coverage wasn’t nearly as good as it was in the first half; we got caught up on it and we didn’t show up and he knocked down shots and made us pay for it. He is a nice player; shooting the ball much better, obviously, this season. Coming into conference play, he only made one out of eight (three-pointers) in their three conference games. He stepped up and made big plays when they needed them.”

Iowa State Sophomore forward Royce White
On how they lost the game:
“It’s tough to say; there are a lot of variables that go into a basketball game. We knew that (Kansas) is one of the best teams in the country and we knew they were going to make a run. This is one of the hardest places to play and you know as soon as they make a run, the crowd gets even more into it. We were having lapses in communication at times and in the coverages we were supposed to be in.”

On their gameplan heading into the game:
“We wanted to win it on the glass and play defense the way we’ve been playing defense. (In our last game versus Missouri), we guarded them as well as you could guard them and we had the lead in that game. It is frustrating, but you have to look at the positives; if Missouri is (ranked) ninth, and Kansas is 10th, then we might be 11th. We need to keep building and we are still growing as a team.”

On Kansas’ defense:
“We went to a new offense today and I’m sure they hadn’t scouted it since it was our first game running it. The point of the offense is to keep the spacing wide and high – and I think we did a pretty good job of that throughout the whole game.”

On Jeff Withey:
“He is the tallest guy we have played, so that was different for us. That was something we had to think about when we were going into the lane; he is a big-time shot-blocker and a big-time presence on the defensive end and it showed.”

On Tyshawn Taylor:
“He hit some big-time shots down the stretch and I congratulate him for the way he performed tonight. Some of it was because of our blown defense, but he had a big game – especially down the stretch. He is probably the reason why they won the game.”

On if they are looking forward to playing Kansas again:
“You have to look forward to that if you are a competitor. Anytime you take a loss, you definitely have to look forward to the rematch later in the season.”