Bill Self and Players' Press Conference Quotes (Jan. 28th)

Jan. 28, 2008

Head Coach Bill Self:<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>KansasState:

“We need to do a good job of making sure the (guards) don’t have easy vision to the post. (Michael Beasley) is going to get open. He is going to catch the ball. He’s just going to go where he needs to, to catch it. He has enough offensive repertoire that he can put the defense in a difficult situation either off the catch or off the bounce. He’s just a really good player. He’s very, very efficient and unselfish, but he’s not the only guy they have. We could focus in on him and other guys can have big nights. Primarily Bill (Walker). Bill is a terrific player.”

On the comparisons of Bill Walker and Michael Beasley:

“Well, they are both really good. They are comparable there. I thought you would never see a freshman dominate college basketball as (Kevin) Durant did as the unanimous National Player of the Year as a freshman. Michael has that same opportunity in front of him, if he finishes the season strong, to be the National Player of the Year also.”

On Michael Beasley:

“He’s strong, he’s long and he’s got great balance. But some guys just know how to score. Some guys know how to use their bodies better than others, initiating contact and getting to the free throw line. He’s really good with either hand around the basket. He’s a terrific prospect. He’s one the best prospects that college basketball has seen in many, many years.”

On the rest of the K-State freshmen class:

“I saw (Jacob) Pullen play a little bit on the AAU circuit and I think he’s had a fabulous freshman year. He’s scoring in almost double-figures and he’s handling the ball. They have thrown him out there and he’s handled it very well. (Dominique) Sutton gives them a slash and athletic guy that really gives them a presence about them. All of their freshmen have contributed, but those two stand out in addition to (Michael) Beasley and (Bill) Walker.”

On Kansas State head coach Frank Martin:

“I think he is handling them great. I think there were a lot of Kansas fans that were unhappy when I got the job here, too. I think that just goes with the territory. His team rebounds, they really, really guard and he’s gotten guys to buy in, so I think K-State fans should feel very good about who’s in charge of their program. They have their best players playing better and I think that is a compliment toward their staff.”

On Darnell Jackson’s chances of sustaining an NBA career:

“I think he could. We talk so much about, and rightfully so, K-State’s two guys, (Michael) Beasley and (Bill) Walker. We have some good guys, too. Darnell has really played into a very solid prospect. There are a lot of solid guys out there and he has a lot of work to do to position himself better, but I think he’s a really good player. He’s one of the elite power forwards out there.”

On whether his players have been overshadowed this year:

“I think our players are underrated because their stat lines aren’t as impressive. I think the reason their stat lines aren’t impressive is because of the way we play and the balance of the minutes and the shot attempts and that kind of stuff. You have a guy that leads our team in shot attempts and they take 10 or 11 a game. Our guys may be overshadowed a little bit, but in our world we know. But maybe that is good motivation for them, too. Here are a couple freshmen that we are getting asked a lot of questions about, rightfully so, but these guys have been in the trenches before, too and they are pretty good. So maybe that will be motivation for them.”

On when Brandon Rush will take off the brace:

“Whenever he chooses not to (wear it). There is no medical personnel saying that he has to wear it to this date or that he dosen’t have to wear it. It may come off, but it’s not a hindrance. It’s not keeping him from being explosive or anything. I’m not encouraging him to take it off. I think he should do whatever he feels most comfortable with.”

On what he says to the players about Kansas’ winning streak in Manhattan:

“I don’t need to address that because they don’t have anything to do with it. They could care less about it. It’s something that the media and fans make a big deal about it.”

Senior Guard Russell Robinson:

On guarding Michael Beasley:

“I think the main point of not getting the ball inside is pressuring their guards. We don’t want to make it easy for them to get it into the post.”

On Kansas’ winning streak in Manhattan:

“We are aware of it, but the streak doesn’t mean anything to us. We just try to maintain it. That’s all we can do. We are just taking it one game at a time.”

On whether they are being overshadowed by K-State’s freshmen duo:

“They are two talented guys, but we are the number two team in the country. I don’t think we are being overshadowed by any means. We just have to go out there and play.”

Junior Guard Brandon Rush:

On the taunting from the Bramlage Coliseum crowd:

“You hear it, but you try not to pay too much attention to it. But you’re still going to hear it. I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to try to not pay much attention to it, but I know I’m going to get it.”

On Bill Walker:

“He is a power player. He can post up. I think he’s a good player. He can rebound the ball and shoot the ball pretty well.”

Sophomore Forward Darrell Arthur:

On Michael Beasley:

“He’s pretty good. He has a lot of talent in him. He’s a pretty good player. He plays physical down low. He makes some good post moves and has some pretty good muscle. We have to keep a body on him and keep him away from the goal. We’ll have to keep a lot of bodies on him.”

Senior Forward Darnell Jackson:

On trying to avoid being the class to end Kansas’ winning streak in Manhattan:

“There is no pressure at all. We are not worried about anything like that. We’re just worrying about the next day, the next game. I don’t think there is pressure on anybody. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I know (K-State) is really excited to play against us, especially (Bill) Walker and (Michael) Beasley.”

On blocking out Michael Beasley as a key to the game:

“The key is to block everybody out. He is not a one-man team. Beasley can’t beat one team by himself. It takes five guys. It maybe even takes seven guys, so we’ll concentrate on everybody and not just him.”