Postgame Quotes

Feb. 1, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 84, Oklahoma 62
February 1, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We played really well in the second half. In the first half we didn’t play as bad as what the score was—we were up three. Thomas (Robinson) misses three layups that he got in there tight. Tyshawn (Taylor) has three unforced turnovers to end the half. He had three turnovers in the first four minutes. He’s been playing so well. We didn’t make shots and looked stagnant. We had one player that had an opportunity to go for six loose balls and went for zero. I mean made an effort for zero out of six. In the second half we were active and got after it and really did a good job out in transition. We got the ball to the rack and guys finished really well.”

On Kansas’ more effective offensive performance in the second half:
“We were 3-for-12 (on three-point attempts). We didn’t shoot it well at all. Elijah (Johnson) made two and Travis (Releford) made one in the first half. In the second half we got layups and attacked them inside. We knew (Oklahoma junior forward Andrew) Fitzgerald and (Oklahoma junior forward Romero) Osby (were in foul trouble), although Osby only had two, and Fitzgerald had three. We wanted to try to go at them. Jeff (Withey) gave them something to guard early and Thomas (Robinson) attacked the rim. It was just a much better team effort. It looked like we had a much better flow in the second half compared to the first half.”

On the play of Kansas junior Thomas Robinson:
“He looked like Thomas. I was really concerned about the game after how we performed at the shoot around and we weren’t that much better yesterday in practice. It’s not as if the guys aren’t trying. I just think we’ve been flat. In the second half we got energized. When we get out and run, the guys have fun and defend a little bit harder. I think they only had 18 points (in the second half) with about three minutes left in the second half so we did a real good job defensively.”

On Kansas’ upcoming game at Missouri:
“We gave one away in our estimation, that we could have won, maybe didn’t give it away, but we easily could have won the game in Ames. This will be as hard of an environment that we have played against—for a lot of reasons. There is some pent-up frustration with everybody with the rivalry and them going to a different league. This could be end of a long, long rivalry as far as home-and-home goes. They will want bragging rights in their place. Certainly, we would like nothing more than going over there and spoiling their party. They have a terrific team and we will have to play the best that we have played, but I think our guys will be fired up to do it.”

Kansas junior Thomas Robinson
On his focus and energy tonight:
“Coach (Self) just told me that I’m not playing like the player that I’m capable of being. He’s just been stressing all week, complaining to me why I’m not being aggressive anymore. I just wanted to be aggressive from the jump tonight. That’s what it was.”

On Jeff Withey’s improvement this season:
“He’s more aggressive. That’s something that was kind of a question mark for some people about Jeff. I definitely think he’s been doing more than enough for us this year.”

Kansas senior Tyshawn Taylor
On what the message was at halftime:
“I think it was just our defensive intensity and rebounding. I think in the first half they outrebounded us on the boards. I think we did a better job in the second half of rebounding and turning up our defensive pressure, getting some steals and creating offense off of our defense.”

On getting the ball inside in the second half:
“We took a lot of three-pointers in the first half, kind of playing into their hands and how they wanted us to play. When they got in that zone, I think that’s when we did it the most. Coach at halftime just told us you’ve got to attack, and we got a lot of fastbreak points in the paint because of our defensive pressure and getting fast breaks. That’s it really.”

On the importance of playing with energy defensively:
“If we come tuned in with defensive intensity and bring some energy on the defensive floor, I think it’s good. Our offense isn’t the best. It isn’t real fluid, but I think we have a pretty good offensive system (and) that we’re going to score points. I think if we stop the other team from scoring, which we’re capable of doing – we’ve shown that in spurts in each game and sometimes in stretches over periods of games – I think we’re capable of containing, if not stopping and slowing down, the other team. If we do that and rebound the ball, I think we can beat anybody.”

On focusing on this game with Missouri on Saturday:
“I don’t think it was difficult to focus on this game because of our last game. We wanted to bounce back. We knew we couldn’t look past OU. They played K-State and beat them. We knew they were going to come in and it was going to be a tough game. I think a lot of our focus, was not all the way on Saturday, but in the back of our heads, we were thinking about that game. It’s probably the biggest one we have on our schedule so far. Coach said in the locker room, it’s something we can start thinking about now because now that’s our focus.”

Kansas junior Travis Releford
On defending Steven Pledger:
“We knew coming into the game they were going to go to him. Before the game, coach (Self) told me and Elijah (Johnson) that we were going to have to switch off on him and give him different looks. Elijah started it off playing him real well. Then, we were just switching on and off.”

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger
Opening statement:
“I thought we battled pretty well for a half and then opened the second half not like we needed to. I thought offensively we were very careless with the ball and we did not get what we wanted, which translated into transition points for (Kansas), going the other way. They are a terrific ball club and (Kansas head coach) Bill (Self) does a great job, but we just can’t give them that opportunity to get up and get going like we did, because they took advantage of it and finished it up pretty early in the second half.”

On what led to KU’s second half run:
“We turned it over a couple times on our end and our offense created offense for them, which you can’t afford to do in a ballgame like this. Missed a shot there early in the second half, then we turned it over a couple times, which I thought gave them life and energy.”

On the play of KU down the stretch:

“Kansas was great execution-wise and I thought we hit a wall there for a little bit, emotionally and fatigue-wise in the second half. But Kansas is awfully good and they had a lot of transition opportunities that we cannot afford to give them. They are good enough without those, so we added fuel to what they wanted to do.”

On OU’s Romero Osby guarding Kansas forward Thomas Robinson:
“Taking on a guy like Robinson is a great opportunity and experience to grow from. He appreciates how good Robinson is and wants to go to the challenge, so he will keep doing that and get better as a result of it.”

On the use of his timeouts early in the second half:
“They (Kansas) got six quick points, which is not the way we wanted to open the half. So we just reminded our guys to stay with the basics and go back to the things you try to focus on every day in practice. I thought we tried but our sloppy play offensively just gave them too many opportunities and they are so good that they don’t need the extra help.”

Oklahoma junior Steven Pledger
On what Kansas junior Elijah Johnson was able to do to limit his game:
“It wasn’t really anything. It was just more that I wasn’t following through on my shot. It wasn’t him bothering me because I’m used to things like that. He was doing the same things in the first half and I was hitting. He kept it physical the whole night, and he and (Kansas junior Travis) Releford kept switching off which gave Elijah some time to rest on defense.”

Oklahoma junior Romero Osby
On the problems that Kansas junior Thomas Robinson poses:
“He’s an All-American Candidate for a reason. He’s big and strong. He does a good job of positioning down low and shielding people off with those shoulders that he has. He’s a great player. He causes a lot of matchup (problems) because he can do a little bit of everything with the ball in his hands.”