Postgame Quotes

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Jan. 14, 2013

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On what he knows about the injury to Ben McLemore:

“I know he played well and had 17 points and eight rebounds. He sprained an ankle. I think it scared him as much as anything else. He said he heard a pop, but (Kansas athletic trainer) Bill (Cowgill) said he checked it out and he probably just has a sprained ankle and with a few days off he should be ok.”

On Kansas’ defensive effort:
“We played terrific. If we had just gotten back in transition, it says they only got seven transition points, but it seemed like we challenged way too much in the back court and they got behind us. (Pierre Jackson) is so good and he puts so much pressure on you, but he kind of deferred in the second half. I thought we did a good job guarding them. We were so aggressive. We had 10 blocked shots at half and several strips. In the second half, we kind of played a little more contained. I know they missed some good looks, but they didn’t get as many as maybe some other teams have gotten on us. That’s probably about as well as we’ve guarded in a while.”

On Kansas’ ability to force turnovers:
“That’s one thing that we talked about with our team. You can play with your hands and not foul defensively. We did a really good job of stripping and raking and trying to do those kinds of things. Now, they did a good job of that on us too. They got some loose balls that way as well. I was real pleased with our defensive effort. I was very pleased with how we rebounded the ball in the first half to create a margin. Offensively, we’ve been a poor rebounding team all year and we really went and got them tonight. We missed some bunnies. Kevin (Young) missed three bunnies early in the second half off of great plays. We had a couple of careless turnovers, but all in all, considering Elijah (Johnson) got two fouls in the first four or five minutes, I thought that was a really good effort by our group.”

On Ben scoring 17 points after struggling against Texas Tech:
“Offensively, the ball is sticking a little bit more than it was. We just don’t look quite as fluid. People are guarding us a little bit differently which we aren’t adjusting to well. We still got some good looks tonight and just didn’t knock them down. This team has to learn how to win ugly games and be tough and win games. That’s what last year’s team was so good at. I’m leaving out of here feeling better than if it was 81-67. I love the fact that we guarded them and really can figure out a way to win when we don’t play great.”

On the play of Elijah Johnson:
“He played well. Naadir (Tharpe) has struggled the last couple of games. He hasn’t played as well, but he was so good early (in the season). We’ll get him back. Perry (Ellis) was as aggressive as he’s been all year long and still yet, he’s a terrific shooter, and didn’t shoot it well tonight. There are so many things that we can do to improve, but guys were locked in defensively and if the other team can’t score, you’re probably going to be pretty successful.”

On Kansas’ upcoming game against Texas:
“We’ll look forward to it. They are off to a rough start, but they have good players. Last year, we totally dominated the game and we look up and we’re down four at the under four-minute timeout. G­­­uys stepped up and made some plays. I’d like to say we need to tinker and do some different things, but I don’t think we need to. We just need to execute better what we do. This was a toughness game and I thought we showed some toughness.”

Senior Jeff Withey
On tonight’s defensive performance:

“The key to tonight’s game was defense. Our defense definitely carried us well because there was a stretch where we weren’t shooting very well. We guarded their point guard well because he didn’t score at all in the second half. We just played really good defense and that saved us.”

On playing against Isaiah Austin:
“He’s good. He got a double-double tonight. I like playing against guys my size. I’ve said that from day one. It was a fun game for me. We tried trapping him a couple times, but he likes to play on the outside so that’s why Kevin guarded him. Kevin did a great job and I was there to help out whenever Austin would drive it. We did a great job altogether defensively.”

Senior Elijah Johnson
On Ben McLemore’s injury in the second half:

“My heart dropped to see someone like that who works hard get injured. He always tries to do everything right and he just doesn’t deserve to be hurt right now or be cheated out of playing. I feel like he’s been cheated out of playing long enough. In the locker room after the game he seemed alright, I think he just panicked more than anything. Ben will bounce back, I’m sure.”

On tonight’s performance:
“I think this game can give us some good momentum. I’m happy with my team for getting through this streak of games we’ve had in the past eight days. For this to be the end of it and us still playing the way we played says a lot. We handled it well. I’m proud of my team for being able to stand up and play and not pay attention to the fatigue in our bodies.

Senior Travis Releford
On controlling Baylor offensively:

“I have to give credit to the assistant coaches for doing a great job on the scouting reports and their play calling. We did a lot of work on that in practice. Once they called a play we were all in tune. We knew who was going to get the ball on certain plays. I think that helped out a lot.”

Baylor head coach Scott Drew
Opening statement:

“With our veteran guards, we have to take better care of the ball. That gets us more shots, keeps teams out of transition and that’s where we got exploited today. For both teams to hold opponents to 37 percent and 23 percent shooting, that’s good defense.”

On Kansas’ post presence:
“I was surprised by that because with our size and length, we block a lot of shots and we practice against good shot blockers. Normally, when we play against shot blockers, it’s not that big of an adjustment. It surprised me that (Kansas) had as many blocks as they did. That’s a credit to them.”

On his impression of Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore:
“It’s pretty easy to see how good a player he is. I think Coach (Bill) Self and his staff have done a great job with him. We saw him out of high school and knew then that he was going to be good. For him to do as much as he’s done early in his career is really impressive.”

On if he’s concerned about his team’s offensive play:
“Give credit to the defense, but offensively, we have to figure some things out. We can’t struggle all year long. Defense wasn’t played at the free throw line, but we still shot 60 percent there. We’ve got to do a better job shooting the ball.”

Baylor senior guard A.J. Walton
On if he thought his team would get back into the game after a slow start:

“Basketball is a game of runs. We knew coming in that (Kansas) was going to go on a run. Even in past games, we have been up and they would go on a run near the end of the first half and into the second half. We just knew that when they went on their run, we were going to have to slow it down and try to play better basketball and get easy shots. We just didn’t do that tonight and kind of played into their hand. We had quick shots and didn’t really take care of the ball at all. For myself especially, four turnovers, that can’t happen. It won’t happen again.”

Baylor freshman center Isaiah Austin
On the game’s physical play:

“Tonight was very physical. It’s the Big 12: the most physical conference out there. That’s what we expected when we came here.”

Baylor freshman forward Rico Gathers
On Kansas’ home court advantage:

“We knew that the home court was going to be to the advantage of Kansas. I knew it’s one of the toughest places to play in college basketball and all of basketball. I already knew what to expect. Defensively, I felt the home court advantage plays to their side, but we didn’t make plays.”