Feb. 11, 2006

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Iowa State Postgame Head Coach Quotes
Kansas 88, Iowa State 75
Feb. 11, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:

“I was worried because I know that (Curtis) Stinson and (Will) Blalock love playing here, and we told our guys before the game that we would get a great effort today. During warm up, our assistant coaches said that was the most focused we could have been. We played miserable early and then got in a groove and went on a 46-24 run. I don’t think we played well the whole game, but we rebounded the ball well and we made our free throws. C.J. (Giles) did a good job coming in there. Our bench was really good, Darnell (Jackson) and (Jeff) Hawkins both did well. I thought Christian (Moody) and Jeremy (Case) gave us some good minutes with the few they played. Russell (Robinson) was solid. The whole thing is those freshman. They combine for 52 points, 23 rebounds, and 11 assists. And Mario (Chalmers) played great in the second half.”

On the near comeback:
“Iowa State is one of the most talented teams we’ve played and their perimeter is unbelievably talented, but we played well. Once we got our lead back to nine points, we could breathe a little easier. We had a good afternoon and it sets us up well for Monday in Stillwater.”

Freshman Guard Brandon Rush
On playing against Curtis Stinson:
“He wasn’t really talking at me. It was more at Mario (Chalmers) and Russell (Robinson). I didn’t really have to deal with him. Late in the game, I was trying to keep him from scoring.”

On the game:
“(Iowa State’s) guards played pretty good. They take most of the shots, so they have to play good. (Jiri) Hubalek stepped up and made some big shots. We took everyone else out of the game, like Rahshon (Clark). He wasn’t really into it. Defensively, we just picked it up.”

On Iowa State’s comeback:
“(Iowa State) was taking advantage of their pick-and-pop. We started making careless plays. The game started to fall their way.”

Freshman Guard Mario Chalmers
On playing against Curtis Stinson and Will Blaylock:

“Stinson and Blaylock are considered the best guards in the Big 12 Conference. It was a great opportunity to play against them.”

On his play in recent games:
“I think the biggest difference is when Coach (Self) moved me to the two and told me to score more. Coming out of high school, I was more of a scorer. It is really helping me out. I just want to do whatever I can do to help Kansas win.”

On his mental toughness:
“You just have to block things out. You can take what teams are saying and turn it into energy and play more aggressively and harder.”

On Iowa State’s comeback:
“We just had a lot of turnovers and were trying to rush things. When Coach called that timeout, it really settled us down and we started getting back to our game.”

Sophomore Guard Russell Robinson:
On the game:

“We tried to pick up the tempo and be the aggressor, and once we did that, we got out to a nice little lead. They made a run, but we were able to bounce back. I made some tough decisions defensively late in the game, but it didn’t hurt us too much because we had a little cushion.”

“Emotion-wise, it was probably the toughest game we have played in all season. That’s great. We didn’t back down. It shows some toughness on our part, and we were able to get the win.”

“Once we got the lead, they were going to come at us with everything they had. We just had to match their aggressiveness. When they cut it to four, that was a good thing. It put some pressure on us and made us respond.”

On playing teams with different styles:
“We are going to have those days where we aren’t shooting well and are going to have to rely on our defense. I don’t think we have seen everything, but I think we have seen a lot. We learn from it, and I think it will help us later.”

Head Coach Wayne Morgan
On the game:

“I thought we fought real hard, especially during the second half. Kansas is a very good team. They played well and made a lot of good plays. I feel proud that my guys never gave up and continued to fight the whole time, and if we can do that, then hopefully down the road we will like the results. We are two competitive teams and the game ended up okay. Nobody got hurt or thrown out of the game. The refs kept that under control when they had to. There is a bunch of kids that are highly competitive on both sides.”

On the second half near comeback:
“A couple of times they got out on a break, made some shots, and after that, we fouled them a lot. We put them to the line, and they made their free throws. This is not typical of us. We are No. 1 in the conference for free throw shooting. I think our free throw shooting will come back and we will do okay there.”

On Iowa State’s 4-6 conference record:
“We have a lot of games we have to win, but the way our schedule is, I think we will have a chance to win our share of those games.”

Senior Guard John Neal
On the game:
“You get frustrated when you give up so many easy baskets. I felt like we played hard. At the start of the second half we still felt like we could win once we got it close. We just couldn’t finish the game off.”

On Kansas:
“They pushed the ball up the floor very well. They played a good game. They did a good job of pushing the ball after a turnover and hitting a few threes.”

Sophomore Forward Rahshon Clark
On the game:

“The officials called a lot of fouls. We felt like we were getting fouled more than what they were calling. They [Kansas] did a good job of getting to the line and knocking down their free throws.”

On Iowa State’s performance:
“We came out and played hard. A lot of people expected us to lose so we wanted to make sure that we came out and played tough. It got out of hand because both teams were getting very aggressive.”

On Iowa State’s defense:
“If I had to give us a grade, I would give us a B because we missed on some rotations.”