Jan. 31, 2005

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:
“We told our guys the game was going to come down to the last three to five minutes. We played so bad in the first half, it was miserable. We made some serious mistakes and had about 10 turnovers. At halftime it was like we just flipped a switch. Keith (Langford) had a bad first half and Wayne (Simien) took too many jump shots in the first half. We just made so many mistakes. Then the second half came, and we really played well the entire 20 minutes. If you take away two silly fouls on free throws and the bad pass that led to the dunk, that was about as well as we could play. I am really happy with our guys. Even though it was only a 12-point win, it was still against Missouri. We shouldn’t have to apologize for beating Missouri by 12.”

On Missouri:
“Missouri was quicker to balls. They acted like they wanted the game more. They were really hungry tonight. To be honest with you, we gave them a reason for hope. They outplayed us for a stretch and had a chance to win the game if we hadn’t play so well in the second half. They shot a lot of three-point shots and we defended it well. They came in thinking they needed to take care of the ball and take good shots. They executed their game plan very, very well.”

On a possible let-down after the Texas win:
“We just didn’t feel the electricity like we did against Texas. We spent so much energy on Texas. That was a three to four day build-up with everything that happened prior to the game. I just kept thinking that we couldn’t have a let-down against Missouri, the team we arguably have the biggest rivalry against. I thought our crowd was great especially in the second half. We played like there was a bit of a hangover. Yesterday we didn’t practice, we just had a shoot-around for 15 minutes because I knew that we would have tired legs tonight. We certainly played like a tired team the first half, but in the second half, Aaron (Miles) and Keith got us going and we were good.”

On the break before the Nebraska game:
“I am going to go recruit and these guys need to have some time away from me. We just need some rest. We have been busy since Christmas. Maybe now we can catch our breath for a couple of days before we start preparing for Nebraska.”
Senior Guard Keith Langford
On the second half:
“We were disappointed with our play in the first half, but we knew the game wasn’t over. They (Missouri) were playing really excited. If anything we were going to make it tough for them to win the game.”

On the play of the starters:
“The starting five are the starting five for a reason. We have had lots of games where the bench has come in and helped us out and gave us a spark. It is the starters’ roles to score and carry the majority of the load.”

On J.R. Giddens:
“J.R. is out there to spot up and hit threes. He got a good lob from Aaron (Miles) when he saw him in the open floor. When Aaron and I are
penetrating and guys are sinking in on Wayne (Simien), J.R. is a deadly weapon. We know he is going to hit shots. We really need to get him going, his shots have not really been falling like we would like, but he has really come on in the last few games.”

Sophomore Guard J.R. Giddens
On the rivalry:
“Coach said early in the game that we were not going to come out here and blow these guys (Missouri) out. He said that it would come down to the last four minutes of the game, which I believe it did. Missouri is a great team, they have been having some struggles, so I think they came into the game worry-free. They came in and gave us their best. They played well.”

On Christian Moody:
“Moody is a blessing sent to us from God. He is a good teammate and a good person. It shows how good of a person he is and how hard he works everyday in practice. He gets it done day-in and day-out just like he does on the court. He is a great player.”

Junior Forward Christian Moody
On the team’s mood at halftime:
“We are the type of team that has to play a certain way and it is almost better playing when we are down. It’s almost like we were scared and I
think we really stepped it up. I wasn’t scared about how things would come out because I knew our seniors would come through for us.”

Missouri Head Coach Quin Snyder
On the game:
“I thought we really competed. I think some of the things that we have been fighting all year long at some crucial points in the game were exposed. You are always going to have some weaknesses, but we are playing more like a team. We are communicating better and guys are helping each other more. Sometimes I think playing in difficult environments reminds us how much we need each other. I thought we had some breakdowns defensively at some crucial times when we gave up some easy stuff. When they went zone, it’s no secret that we struggled. It is something that we have worked on day-in and day-out and for whatever reason there are times when our guys tend to freeze a little bit. We subbed tonight and tried to get different lineups in, and that’s one way to handle (the zone.) I think more than anything, it’s becoming a better thinking team, and zones make you think. I thought that our kids competed and played together.”

On Jason Conley:
“I told him after the game that we have to have that all the time. Everybody has to have that same focus. He was so much more aggressive than he is at times. I don’t think that it’s a lack of desire or will on Jason’s part. He was dialed in tonight, so I was obviously pleased with how he played.”

On the team:
“I do believe we have the makings of a good team, but it has not come as quickly as I had hoped, and I recognize that. We wanted this to be an unbelievable year, but it hasn’t played out that way and there are a lot of reasons for that. We just need to keep working and most things will take care of themselves, depending on how hard we work.”

On Missouri’s first half:
“It was nice to see the team perform so well in the first half. We got a lot of points in transition and a lot of points off of our defense. We had contributions from just about everybody in the first half. The first half showed some of the progress we have made and I think our guys are becoming better teammates. They are pulling harder for each other and they are helping each other more. I think for our younger guys, that is so important because it gives them confidence.”

Senior Guard Jason Conley
On the game:
“We let down on the defensive end. Kansas started to get a lot of points off transition and they were running the ball up the court quickly. As soon as the ball would go off the rim, they (Kansas) would get the rebound and push it up the court. We thought we did well playing defense in the half court set. When they started to run with the ball, that’s what got us.”

On Kansas’ zone defense:
“As soon as we came out in the second half, we knew Kansas was going to go zone on us. I don’t think it was the zone that killed us, but it was more their transition offense that got us.

On Missouri’s three-point shooting:
“We are a team that shoots three’s-that is what we do. There are a lot of guys on the team that can shoot three’s. There is not going to be a night when we stop shooting three’s. Every single night you are going to see us shoot three’s.”

Freshman Guard Jason Horton
On the team:
“We still have a lot of work to do this season. It’s either do or die time for us, but it’s been like that for us all season. It was tough on us because we had a lead the whole game, but then we had a couple bad breaks. We’ve just got to keep grinding and start doing the stuff we haven’t been able to do.”

On Kansas’s zone defense:
“We did a lot of work against the zone this week. It kind of caught us off guard because they (Kansas) had been playing man all game. Coach Self made a good move by going to the zone and mixing it up. We just have to learn to keep attacking like we do.”