Head Coach Bill Self and Players Preview Iowa State Game

Jan. 22, 2010


Coach Bill Self

On the stretch of games coming up:

“They’re all big games. But if I’m not mistaking, we have three of our next four on the road – so we certainly would like to get off to a good start in Ames [against Iowa State]. Of course we are going to have a quick turnaround on Monday against Mizzou. After that, we will have a little more time to prepare for K-State. Right now, our focus is definitely to try and win in Ames.”

On how to keep from overlooking Iowa State with Missouri on Big Monday:

“I don’t think that it will register with our players, we won’t even mention Monday’s game to the players at all. They will come out, and obviously see the groups of campers out here [in Allen Fieldhouse concourses] and, of course, will know what the students are waiting for, but our focus is going to Ames, and playing the Cyclones. We have been successful up there the last few years, but we also have labored the last few games. We know it will be tough, and all we have to do is put on the Texas tape, and know how [Hilton Coliseum] can rock, and how Iowa State can play.”

On what he remembers from the game in Ames last year:

“I remember that Sherron [Collins] got us off to a great start, and he and [Craig] Brackins were trying to match each other all game. I thought we played pretty efficiently offensively, although we held Brackins to 42 points, so defensively, we did a decent job – but we just didn’t guard [Brackins]. Fortunately, [Iowa State’s] other players did not score enough to affect the outcome.”

On how to stop Craig Brackins this year:

“Well, you are not going to be able to stop him. Maybe we can slow him down, and limit his good touches, maybe we can make him run – which we did not do a good job of last year. So we will wait and see how the game goes this year. They are a little more balanced, in large part because [Marquis] Gilstrap is a really good player.”

On how much pressure Marquis Gilstrap takes off of Craig Brackins:

“It is just like we have with Sherron [Collins] and Cole [Aldrich]. Last year, if Sherron didn’t have Cole’s back, all of the pressure would be on [Aldrich]. I don’t want to call [Marquis] Gilstrap a secondary scorer, because he is a guy that can go for 30 every night. So, Iowa State has two guys now that defenses have to decide how they’re going to guard, and Gilstrap is such a good athlete that he can make plays you don’t coach. That is something that Iowa State probably has not had as much of, with a very athletic wing like this.”

Junior Center Cole Aldrich

On if the team is ready for the big games coming up:

“Well, it’s going to be a fun one; this is going to be really fun. The main thing we have to do is take one game at a time. We have some really important games, especially this one [against Iowa State]. It is going to be tough to win the conference if you do not win on the road. That is one thing that we have learned over the past few years – to win the conference, you have to win the road games. So these next few games are going to be tough and fun.”

On what makes Hilton so tough to play in:

“Yeah, Iowa State had Texas down by double figures in the first half. I don’t know if it necessarily is a tough arena, but it is just a tough team. The coaches obviously have their guys ready for whoever comes in their building. And Saturday is going to be another game like that.”

On if Craig Brackins 42-point performance last year was the best he has seen:

“It is definitely up there. He was throwing up shots that I think he could have gotten it inbounded and threw it up, and I think it would have gone in. It was just one of those games for him. It’s fun just to see a good player like that play really hard – but it is going to be a tough challenge for Marcus [Morris] and all the other guys on the team; just because Brackins is good. At the same time we have to box out [Marquis] Gilstrap, and make sure they do not get second opportunities.”

Senior Guard Sherron Collins

On if he is ready for the big stretch of games coming up:

“We have been waiting on this – for the schedule to pick up [into Big 12 play]. So we’re very ready for it.

On if they will find out a lot about themselves playing back-to-back games like this:

“We are going to find out a lot about ourselves with how we respond and how to take care of our bodies. We need to ice a lot, and sit in the cold tubs with all these games.”

On why it is always tough to play Iowa State in Ames:

“It’s always been a tough atmosphere; it is always going to be hard playing there. Especially when Iowa State is going to give everybody its best shot. It is always tough when you go out there in their atmosphere, regardless of the outcome; the crowd never gets out of the game.”

On Craig Brackins and his back and forth performance last year in Ames:

“That was crazy. He got the best of me, but we got the win.”