Feb. 21, 2006

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Postgame Quotes
No. 16 Kansas 76, Baylor 61
February 21, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On Kansas’ performance:

“We played very poorly the last five minutes of the first half. We didn’t play with any energy all night long. This is the worst outing that we’ve had from an energy stand-point in quite some time; but I expected it. It was a sandwich game and we really didn’t get after them like we could have. But all and all it was a win and there were some good things that happened tonight.”

On the play of KU’s forwards:
“Julian (Wright) was good, and C.J. (Giles) and Darnell (Jackson) were also good. We need some big guys to get some confidence. Julian got us some easy baskets and scored the ball well, scoring his career high tonight. C.J. and Darnell gave us some good minutes.”

On Baylor in the second half:
“When you’re behind by 20 or 25, the basket gets a little bigger, and they made a lot of threes late in the game. Some of them were defended fairly well, but a couple of them were not. If I’m not mistaken, they had about 35 points with about eight minutes left; they scored about 20 in those last eight minutes because they just started shooting threes.”

On Texas:
“It’s a big game for both teams. I told our guys that it’s not a win-or-take-all game, but the winner is definitely going to be in the seat to have a chance to win it out-right, or at least have a chance to share it. Both teams still have two tough games left. It’s game day though, and we’re going to have to recharge these next few days and go down there and play with poise. This will be our young guys’ first time playing in this kind of atmosphere. They need to go down there with poise and have the mindset that we have a job to do. But for the most part, these guys have responded well to the challenges that they’ve had.”

Freshman Guard Brandon Rush
On the game:

“I think we did a pretty good job. We were a little shaky though. The offense wasn’t flowing right. Other than that, we played pretty good defense.”

On Texas:
“I think they are a really good team. They have all kinds of offense weapons and rebound pretty well. They also have P.J. Tucker, leading the league in rebounds. We’re just going to go down there and focus. We haven’t had a big game like this on the road. We have played in some hostile environments previously and we’ve been through a lot. We put ourselves in big game situations during practice. Coach (Self) has really been putting the emphasis on defense and we’ll be ready and prepared.”

On Julian Wright’s career-high 20 points:
“I knew he was going to get it sometime. He’s a great offensive player and he likes to rebound. He runs the floor pretty well for a big man.”

On matching up with P.J. Tucker:
“I know for sure that I am. All I have to do is keep him away from the boards, but he’ll be very strong. (Tim) Bush today was kind of strong, he’s like Tucker. Probably bigger than Tucker.”

Sophomore Forward C.J. Giles
On Texas:

“I think we are ready for them. I also think there are little things we need to do to get to that level. Every day we have to take it another step. Whether we win or lose against Texas, we still have to step up for the other two games we have left in the conference. We have to focus a little more and we have to do all the little things to get a good win against Texas.”

On Kansas’ potential:
“We are a humble team. We’re real young and don’t know any better. We still talk about it sometimes (the ability to beat the best in the country), but we try and stay humble.”

On matching up with LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He’s a player like me. He’s long and he’s more offensive-minded. He can score a little bit more than me, but the one thing I think I have is defense.”

On playing with Sasha Kaun:
“We were good. When Darnell and I are in there we can play little bit of both. We have a lot more mix and matches.”

Freshman Forward Julian Wright
On his career-high 20 points:

“I was just trying to run the floor. Mario (Chalmers) gave me a few good feeds early. I thought Russell (Robinson) was really aggressive today, either going to the basket, getting fouled or kicking it back out.”

Head Coach Scott Drew
On the game:

“KU did a great job on the boards. (They had) Sixteen offensive rebounds and they converted a lot of them. They executed really well. Early in the game, the guards hit some threes and that opened up some things for the big guys. They made a conscious effort to get it inside and they responded well and hit their free throws as well. We didn’t expect Jackson to hit that long-range jumper, but that is what happens when a guy gets going with some confidence. I credit KU with their defense. Compared to OU and Texas, at least we were in the game this time. In the second half, they had a cushion, but it wasn’t a 30-point game. I think we did a good job competing for 40 minutes, rather than 30 or 20, like we have done previously.”

On second half:
“You know the first five minutes are going to be critical and KU made the plays the first five minutes, we didn’t. It took us so much energy to get back into the game. I was very proud that our guys didn’t give up. Young guys tend to get down and roll over, but they fought the whole way.”

On KU being one of the top teams in the Big 12:
“Most definitely. They have the talent, the athleticism, and the depth. They are right there.”

Sophomore Guard Aaron Bruce
On the game:

“We shot the ball consistently, and that has been a strength of ours. Tonight, turnovers and rebounding hurt us. Kansas did a great job of blocking us out and forcing us into plays that we didn’t want to be running. We have a weakness inside at the moment. We have a lot of talented guards. We are working on blocking out in each practice. Tonight it was a weakness and they exploited it. We are starting to string patches together, we just need to string a half together and then a full game, 40 minutes. To play in this league that is what you have to do.”

On the Kansas vs. Texas matchup on Saturday:
“I think if Kansas can neutralize Texas inside they will have a great chance to win. Texas is very multidimensional and that is the thing that Kansas needs to combat. They are both very talented teams. The home court advantage is with Texas and it is certainly a tough place to play.”

Freshman Guard Curtis Jerrells
On the game:

“We have to do more than shoot threes against them. They did a good job of rebounding defensively. They put together a full game and we didn’t. We knew what they could do but we just did a bad job of matching their intensity. We stopped executing and got out of sync.”

On the mood at halftime, following a Baylor 10-0 run:
“We all felt good. I think that was kind of a downfall for us. We got excited, and I wouldn’t say satisfied but we knew we were in the game. Then, we just relaxed.”