Postgame Quotes

Jan. 23, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 64, Texas A&M 54
January 23, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We didn’t play that great early. Defensively we did, but offensively we were never good all night. We got off to a good start and then I thought we played soft and selfish and dumb for the entire first half. Those would be the kindest words I have used tonight. In the second half, we actually did some things better. We had some individuals play pretty well and then we had some individuals play very poorly. We don’t have enough depth to have guys not be solid and we had way too much of that tonight.”

On the play of Thomas Robinson:
“He didn’t make any baskets tonight except bunnies. He got to the free throw line and made his free throws and rebounded the ball pretty well. Still, that was the worst game he has played in a while. I thought Jeff (Withey) played well. I thought Tyshawn (Taylor) played great. He got his second foul early and I should have put put him back in and played him more the first half. Travis (Releford) was okay. That wasn’t a very good basketball team that played tonight. We are fortunate to have won and fortunate that the game was at home. We have to get a lot better going to Ames, (Iowa).”

On how Kansas can prepare for Saturday’s game at Iowa State:
“If I remember correctly, they kicked us on the glass pretty good. I think Royce (White) had 17 boards against us. He kind of wore us out. We actually defended them pretty well in the second half, but in the first half we let them get comfortable and they can make shots. We have to do a much better job defensively and play more aggressively. Tonight, we were up 11-2 (to start the game) and we only get eight assists on the night. That’s not very good. We have to do a better job passing and finishing plays and not get frustrated. I thought we acted like a bunch of babies in the first half.”

Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor
On playing so well offensively of late:
“I’m trying not to think about it. I just want to play. That’s it. I feel like if I think about it, I’ll start messing up. I’m just playing. My teammates are putting me in positions to be effective. My coaches are, too. I think we’re just playing good basketball and I’m making shots. That helps. I’m taking good shots – not that many – and I’m making them.”

On letting Texas A&M catch up after KU’s 11-0 run to begin the game:
“I think we just had some mental lapses on defense. They had some open looks and they knocked them down. They made a couple threes and got some offensive rebounds. They just made big plays. At halftime, we stress to ourselves that we can’t have any mental lapses defensively. We can’t let up. They got a lot of their points under 10 seconds on the shot clock, which makes Coach (Self) really mad when that happens. It happened a lot today. I think defensively, we have to be tuned in for the whole 35 seconds.”

On Coach Self liking grind-it-out games:
“(He likes it) sometimes, not so much today. He just felt like our effort wasn’t there. We could have played harder. I feel like in conference, a win like this is ugly, but all the wins in conference count. It wasn’t pretty, and we have to work on getting better this week because we have a tough game Saturday. Tomorrow we have a day off. If we come back this week, we’ll be fine.”

On Jeff Withey’s defense and shot-blocking ability:
“I think extra possessions are what make it so big. We get more opportunities to score if we recover those blocks. Just him being the presence in there makes guys change their shots, and think twice before coming in there. Just him being a presence makes us a better defensively. It helps us. Our guards feel like we can pressure the ball more because we have help back there who can contest the rim. I think him putting up the numbers on basically a regular basis, getting three or four blocks every game almost. That’s big for us as a team and him individually.”

On Texas A&M’s game plan:
“Percentage-wise, I believe they are one of the best defensive teams in the conference. We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew we weren’t going to be able to score on the first shot. We had to work our offense. (There were fewer) possessions today than usual. They are a good defensive team. We really didn’t take that many shots. Thomas (Robinson) didn’t get too many good looks in the first half. When he’s not getting looks, that makes our offense a little different because we’re an inside-out offense. When he’s not getting looks, it looks ugly. I don’t think they did anything special. They just played how they play. They played their principles. As Jeff (Withey) said, they had a good scouting report on us. That helps. Once we got up, they focused in more on their defense, and that slowed us down more.”

On Kyle Keller being on the Texas A&M staff:
“I’m sure that helped a little bit. Every time I called a play or Coach Self called a play, they called it right out after us and pretty much knew what we were doing. I think that helped, but every team is going to have a pretty good scouting report on us. It’s just part of the game. We get scouting reports on other teams as well so we know their stuff pretty well too, usually.”

Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson
On shooting 10-for-10 from the free throw line tonight:
“The defense was trying to not let me touch it, so I had to knock my free throws down.”

On how hard he had to work to get the ball:
“Just as hard as I work every other game. Every team is going to try and take me out of the game. I am more used to it now, but I realize the deeper we get into conference play the harder the teams are going to defend me.”

On if Coach Self was telling him to attack the rim:
“No, I just realized that’s what I should have been doing instead of shooting jump shots. I decided that was working for me after my jump shot wasn’t falling in the first half.”

Kansas junior center Jeff Withey
On playing more aggressive in the second half of games:
“He expects a lot out of us and a lot out of me. A lot of times I come out pretty slow, so I just need to get my energy level up. I need to get in the flow of the game quicker.”

On why the offense went cold after the 11-0 start:
“They knew our game plan pretty well, but that’s never an excuse. They got us uncomfortable and it was a tough game. They scouted us very well. They were all over Thomas (Robinson) and being physical.”

Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy
Opening statement:
“I’m proud of the way our guys competed. I thought we gave ourselves an opportunity to win, but Thomas Robinson and their length and their free throw shooting was a big key in them getting a win. I’m really proud of the effort that our guys gave. I thought we executed our game plan as well as we could have tonight.”

On calling a timeout after his team committed a shot clock violation:
“I thought we needed to settle down some. We attacked the rim a couple times and didn’t get to the free throw line, and we got rattled a little bit. We had timeouts to use, so we wanted to set something up and see if we could get a basket.”

On the team’s struggles offensively on the road:
“Look at how limited we are. You lose Khris Middleton, and that puts a lot of pressure on our team. We really struggled offensively off the bench. We had six points today, and that’s six more than we’ve had a couple of games during the year. Unfortunately, we were trying to get to the free throw line, but with their length and their size we weren’t able to get to the free throw line. Kansas is very aggressive and very good defensively. We have to do a better job of being a little more physical. The difference in the second half was we really doubled and helped on Robinson a lot better. They made a more conscious effort to get him the ball. It’s hard to keep him out of the paint. I thought he was in the paint a long time. We couldn’t move him, and then we stopped digging and helping like we wanted to. Fortunately it worked for a number of minutes and we forced him to shoot jump shots, but that’s why he’s player of the year. This is who they are because they’re a great system team. They played to their system, and it worked.”

On Dash Harris playing 38 minutes and how that affected him penetrating the defense:
“It probably was good and bad in some ways. We wanted to make it a half-court game, but we weren’t able to get any easy baskets. Dash did a really good job of managing the game. It was our tempo. Any time you hold Kansas to 64 points on the road (it’s a good night defensively). Unfortunately, 20-for-23 from the line; I don’t know what Robinson’s shooting from the free-throw line, but I didn’t think he’s shooting 90 to 100 percent – they made big free throws. They’re a very good team, but it helped us in some ways because we never got out of control offensively. There wasn’t a lot of transition buckets in the second half. I think we only gave up four points in transition in the second half.

“Dash is a warrior. He’s been a four-year player here and he had a great game against Oklahoma. For him to do what he did, hopefully it’s not bad. He just stretched his arch, and they said he couldn’t hurt it any worse. Hopefully, we’ll give him a couple days off and get him back ready, because we don’t have anybody else.”

On Allen Fieldhouse:
“This is an incredible place. I’ve been blessed to coach at a lot of different places and I’ve always felt like this was one of the most special places in college basketball. I have great respect for Bill Self. He’s a guy I’ve looked up to for a long time. We want to build our system kind of like Kansas has their system. Unfortunately we’re in year one. It will take time, but I’m looking forward to the future.”

Texas A&M junior Elston Turner
On the key to coming back when they were down 11-0:
“Just staying composed; we just trusted each other and competed. When you do that, you’re giving yourself a great chance to win.”

On what Kansas did to get to the free throw line:
“They were just being aggressive and forcing the refs to make the call.”

On senior guard Dash Harris:
“He had a little injury towards the end of the first half and he battled. When you don’t really have that much depth as you should have or as we did at the beginning of the season, then it’s going to take a toll on you. He’s a fighter – our whole team is – we’re going to have injuries and we’ll have to handle it.”

On if the team felt they needed to shoulder some of Harris’ load:
“A little bit. Not as much as me and Dave (Loubeau), but the whole team had to step up and we showed glimpses of that. Daniel Alexander hit a couple of shots, Naji (Hibbert) is contributing and Dash is doing his thing, so it’s pretty much an all around team effort.”

Texas A&M senior David Loubeau
On the fight they showed to come back after being down early:
“We know it’s a crazy atmosphere coming to Allen Fieldhouse so the crowd is going to get into it and Kansas got off to a good start. We just kept our poise and played hard.”

On the strategy against Thomas (Robinson):
“We wanted to try and push him off the block and just keep him off the boards. I think he ran hard in transition and used his legs to post up and he was able to score.”