Postgame Quotes

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Feb. 2, 2013

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Kansas 80, Oklahoma State 85
Feb. 2, 2013
Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Bill Self
On Oklahoma State pulling away late:
“We helped them. They were better than us, they deserved to beat us. We were awful and they were good. Markel Brown was terrific. We didn’t have an answer for him and of course Marcus Smart just beasted our little guards in the second half. They deserved it. They were tougher than us, they beat us to loose balls and they just kicked our (butt) on the glass in the second half. We still had a wide open three to end it and he didn’t shoot it. It is a frustrating deal. We thought they would foul, but they backed off to give him the shot and he was going to get two. What in the world could we be thinking? It is a frustrating deal. When your head’s not in it, usually you don’t perform well and you don’t execute. I’m disappointed because I hate to lose our home court streak, but we have been living on borrowed time the last three weeks. We have been getting unbelievably poor play from some individuals and we have got to do a better job teaching them. We are better than what we played today, but today the best team did win the game.”

On second chance points:
“You have a six-three guard that is a man playing against boys. Let’s just put it how it is. That’s what it is and he kicked our butt. He is good and we knew it. We didn’t compete for loose balls and felt sorry for ourselves and acted like little babies. At least when we put Andrew (White III) in there at the end, he got us six points in a minute; nobody else on the team was doing that. We definitely need to tweak some things. When you are winning it kind of camouflages some things. I’ve known all along that we haven’t played as well as what our record indicated that we were. The game today was a primary example of a team coming out and getting comfortable. Oklahoma State hadn’t won on the road in a long time. They came out and got comfortable and they wanted to beat us so bad. We didn’t have the same desire to play them. Jeff (Withey) got off to a horrendous start and didn’t recover. We let them think that they could play with us and they did. We are up four with the ball, 66-62, twice and we can’t even get a shot because of poor play and soft play. That’s what is frustrating. Our guard play and our ball handling has been terrible all year and certainly today was no exception.”

On fixing the guard play:
“We have got to do some things. The thing about it is we play so slow. We play with no pace offensively; we don’t put any pressure on anybody defensively. I wish we could play without guards to be honest with you, but that would be kind of an ugly game if you have five big guys playing out there at all times. But we have got to do something. We are better than what we played today and we will get it back. With this league race, all we did was invite everybody right back into it. It’s a joke what we did today. Hopefully we can regroup. It’s not panic mode or anything like that, but I know our staff feels the same. We are just so frustrated with the toughness. Let’s just call it like it is: we are mentally tough in some ways, but physically this is our softest group of all time. We have never had a team like this. We get by and fake it sometimes, but we aren’t real thick and we aren’t real strong. Not to compete at game point though, is beyond belief and I’m sure this was an embarrassment, the way they kicked our (butt) in a late-game situation, to everybody that has played here because we didn’t compete when we needed to compete.”

Kansas senior Jeff Withey
On the overview of the game:
“I wouldn’t say we were relaxed during the game. They made some big plays and we got into foul trouble. They were getting a lot of offensive rebounds and scoring off of them. We were a little too overconfident once we started getting the lead back.”

On the loss:
“This one hurts, definitely. We don’t really lose at home. We wanted to pull this one off for Coach (Self) just because Oklahoma State is his alma mater. This one hurts a lot, but we can spin this into a positive just like we have in the pass with losses. We’re going to get a lot better from this loss. We thought we were a lot better than we actually are, and a loss like this will bring us back to the reality of getting in the gym and getting better.”

On the focus of getting better:
“We can focus on rebounding. They had way too many offensive rebounds. Our offense was very smooth when they switched to a two-three (zone). There is so much that we can work on like late-game situations. We just have to get more mentally tough, and this will definitely help.”

Kansas senior forward Kevin Young
On if a loss could be beneficial for the team:
“I think we can learn from it. We’ve been cutting it close a lot in the past games and it was bound to happen. Now that it did, we just have to spin it into a positive and come out and get better tomorrow in practice.”

On the last play:
“I think that Elijah (Johnson) was going to drive it and then pitch it back to Ben (McLemore). At the same time I think he (Johnson) was looking for them to foul him, and they didn’t.”

On what he said to Johnson after the game:
“I just told him to keep his head up. This isn’t a one person loss, it’s on the whole team. Throughout the whole game we all made some mistakes that we could have changed.”

Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore
On the team’s performance in the second half:
“In the second half we just told ourselves that we have to go out there and be aggressive. We just had to play Kansas basketball, and that’s what we were trying to do.

On Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart’s performance:
“I think as a team they started making big plays, and we were trying to make big plays ourselves. I wouldn’t say that he took on the whole team, but they worked well as a team together.”

Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford
Opening Statement:
“(This was) Good win for our team, we have a lot of respect for Kansas and their basketball team and this place here, it’s one of the greatest environments in college basketball against a great basketball team. We figured a way out to score a few points and I’m really proud of our effort. I liked how we started the game; that was obviously big for us. I’m proud of our basketball team. It was a good win for our basketball team.”

On if it was an emotional locker room postgame:
“They were excited. It was a good win no question, but it’s one win. We’ve got Baylor on Wednesday. They were excited, but I think you should get excited with any win; they are all hard to get. This was a good win for our team, definitely.”

On the impact of the team’s offensive rebounding:
“I thought you were going to talk about them (Kansas). The first half they just annihilated us, the last three or four minutes of the first half. I think we counted eight offensive rebounds in two minutes for them in in the first half. My talk at half time was ‘Let’s fight; get in there. Be aggressive, play this game like this is the beginning.’ So many people would be hesitant, you’ve got a little bit of a lead. I told my guys ‘Go after offensive rebounds. Go to the hole. If you’ve got a fast break, take it. If they go up, try to block a shot. Let’s not be hesitant with the lead. What got you the lead is being aggressive.’ I thought that was a little bit of our mindset as well as, if you’d have told me at halftime that we’d have more offensive rebounds than them, I’d just be shocked because they were killing us. That was something else we talked about at halftime.”

On what the defensive plan was at the end of the game:
“Obviously everyone is wondering whether we are going to foul or not. I didn’t want to foul here. We had our rebounders out of the game, so if you go to the free throw line you don’t have our main rebounders in the game so I told our guys ‘We are going to switch everything and protect the three-point line, but if you get beat then we can foul and take our chances. I told them ‘Let’s “D” up, let’s make them miss.’ At home, we might foul in a situation like that, if you’re up three; but we had our rebounders out, we wanted to switch and they made a great run at it in the last two minutes. They made some incredible shots, had some steals. But we made our free throws down the stretch, which obviously, was very, very key. But we just wanted to make them miss.”

Junior guard Markel Brown
On his play in the first half:
“I came out and missed the first shot and kind of got down on myself. The coaches told me to keep shooting. After I made my first shot, a three-pointer, I just kept shooting it and it kept going in. I think it took a lot of pressure off of Le’Bryan (Nash) and Marcus (Smart) and it worked out well.

On if he’s ever had another offensive performance like that:
“Yeah, I’ve had days like that but for me to do it against this team was even more special. To go out here and get a win with this team, it’s very big.”

On Marcus Smart being a rebounding force for OSU:
“I wasn’t surprised. He gets in there and gets those types of rebounds all the time. For him to do it at that crucial moment of the game with two offensive rebounds and put backs, I wasn’t surprised at all. That’s why we put him at the bottom when we box out at the free throw line, because we know he’s a great rebounder.”

Freshman guard Marcus Smart
On what this win means:
“Like he said, this is a big win. Much respect to Kansas and their coaching staff. They have a great team you know, a great tradition here. It’s a big win to come into their place and come out with a victory. t was a battle out there with two good teams going at it and much respect to them. This is just a start for us and kind of gave us momentum.”

On his two offensive rebounds off of missed free throws:
“Coach just told me to do what I can to help lead this team, so I just went out there and my teammates told me that I’m one of the best rebounders so ‘do what you do and go in there and try to make a play.’ That’s kind of what happened. I just went in there and kept fighting. Like I said it was a battleground in there so I just kept on fighting and I came up with the rebounds.”

On his mindset at the end of the game:
“Well the possession arrow was in our favor, they kind of trapped me there and then I glanced over and saw that Markel was open; I didn’t see the other defender and I tried to make a pass but he got bumped. They came up and fouled Markel (Brown) and through my mind I just made a crucial turnover for my team, especially against a team like this in Kansas. They strive on turnovers like that and momentum changers like that. That was momentum for them with that much time left.”

Redshirt sophomore guard/forward Le’Bryan Nash
On what this win means:
“It’s a big win, a win at Kansas. It’s one of the biggest wins of the season right now. These two did a great job of carrying this team when I was in foul trouble. This was a good win, but we’re still starving for more.”

On playing with a four-guard lineup:
“We’re used to playing in the four-guard line up a lot, with me at the four, but they played big with Jeff Withey we just tried to manage the game with the rebounds and Marcus (Smart) did a great job. Everybody was contributing to rebounding and that’s what we need because we do play four guards a lot. We just try to help each other rebound the ball. That’s the biggest key with this team, just rebounding.”