Postgame Quotes

Feb. 21, 2009

Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 70, Nebraska 53

February 21, 2009

Kansas Coach Bill Self

On his team’s overall performance:

“(Sherron Collins) was great. He got on a rool in the first half and they weren’t easy shots. The thing that is a little concerning to me is, even though I’m happy that he and Cole (Aldrich) are consistently putting up numbers, we’re not getting the production offensively that we were getting from other guys stepping up. That’s got to improve because if those guys (Cole and Sherron) have an off night and the other guys don’t produce, we could be in trouble. All-in-all, I thought we were not bad, except for the careless turnovers, especially from our big guys. Defensively, to hold a team to 53 with 30% shooting, you should be happy. But they scored 15 points on us just not being mentally alert. That’s frustrating because we knew what they were going to do and we knew how to guard them. So, even though we weren’t as good defensively, we’ll take it and look forward to going to Norman on Monday.”

On controlling their own destiny in Monday’s game against Oklahoma:

“We do, but you could say the same thing about Oklahoma. They are playing at home against us. Of course, there’s a huge game tonight. I don’t like Rick Barnes much more than Jeff Capel, but tonight I do. I’d love to see Texas win that game so we can go in there tied. We do have a great opportunity in front of us. We do play pretty good away from home, but we’ll have to play even better than we’ve played. They’re good and they’ve got a marvelous player. But on the flip side, I think we’ve shown up and been pretty consistent. We’ll have to have a pretty great performance, but I’m proud of our kids that 13 games into the conference we can say we’re playing for first place.”

On the progression of players:

“Guys have come a long way. I thought Marcus Morris was going to play great today. Not that he played poorly, but foul trouble kept him from getting in to it. He had some bad turnovers early. I thought Brady (Morningstar) was solid. He made a couple of shots. I thought Tyrel (Reed) was solid. Not great but not bad. To me, the best performer we had was Markieff (Morris). I thought he was active in rebounding the ball and he’s a good athlete. He showed everybody when he went up today and dunked that. He may have been a little surprised. He probably didn’t know he could jump that high because he’s never tried. Quintrell (Thomas) could be a guy that’s important against Oklahoma because it’s another big body. It will be interesting. Certainly I’m happy to win these two this week and it sets up a pretty big week next week against Oklahoma and then our next home game against Missouri.”

Kansas Player Quotes

Junior Guard Sherron Collins

On the difference between this game and the last game against Nebraska:

“We made a few mistakes defensively, but we guarded them better this time. Cole (Aldrich) was able to get a few blocked shots. It was our house this time. In a hostile environment like Nebraska you sometimes get a little tight, but this time we had the crowd in our favor and we guarded them better.”

On staying focused with Oklahoma coming up on Monday:

“We were focused. We weren’t going to look past (Nebraska) after the way we played in their house. We knew that we were going to get a good effort from them. They are a scrappy team, but now we get to face Oklahoma.”

On Oklahoma:

“They have Austin Johnson, who is a good three-point shooter. He has been really solid for them this year. They have a lot of good pieces on that team. We are just going to have to hold our own. It is going to be a man’s game with Blake (Griffin) and his brother (Taylor). We are going to have to come out ready to play. It is going to be one of those games where if you don’t show up ready to play then you will get blown out. But I think that Coach will get us ready and we will be pumped for a game like that.”

Sophomore Center Cole Aldrich

On not wearing his facemask:

“I decided it was time to try and get away from it. It’s been three and a half weeks now, and I felt fine. I didn’t get any whacks. The doctors have been saying for the past week that it was up to me, so I just thought it was time.”

On Oklahoma:

“They’re good. They are really good. I’ve known Blake (Griffin) for awhile, and he can do it all. He can dunk everything around the rim and grab every board.”

On whether the game against Oklahoma will determine the Big 12:

“It could. They have a really tough game tonight at Texas with College Gameday. It definitely could come down to that game.”

On whether surviving this week would determine the Oklahoma game:

“That was everybody’s biggest fear when looking over the games. We didn’t really do that as a team at all. We just said we need to take every game as it is and get ready for each game. When we play Oklahoma, we’ll worry about it then.”

On Blake Griffin:

“There are very few people that have played ball in the last few years like that. There’s DeJuan Blair out at Pittsburgh. He’s a beast. That’s one thing that makes Blake (Griffin) so good, is knowing where the ball is coming and going to the hole strong and dunking it.”

On Blake Griffin last season:

“He was similar to what he’s doing now. When Last year when we played them, it was unfortunate that he screwed up his knee a little bit at our place. It’s going to be a whole new game down there because it’s on the road for us. It’s a really big game.”

Freshman Forward Markieff Morris

On defending Blake Griffin:

“I think we might trap him. I haven’t seen him make a jump-shot all year, so I think that’s the key to stopping him.”

On his dunk:

“I was waiting for the opportunity to show that I could do it and that was it. It was a great time.”

On what his brother told him:

“He said I played okay. He told me to do this or that and I told him what to do. I’m happy for him. He’s starting to play better defense. He got in a little foul trouble today. But we need people in the post and not in foul trouble. I was happy for him. He was playing well and I was just waiting for my turn and whenever Coach would put me in. I was just going to try and mimic him.”

Nebraska Head Coach Doc Sadler

On the game:

“Obviously we knew coming in here that it was going to a tough game to win, but for the first time since I have been here we knew that if we played well we had a chance to win. We made way too many mental mistakes and they are way too good to make mental mistakes against, particularly on defensive assignments like we did in the first half. I think 15 of their 34 points they scored in the first half came out mental mistakes by us. They made the shots, but we made a mistake in the process. I knew (Sherron) Collins had to have a game like he did against Iowa State where he didn’t shoot well for us to have a chance to win, but he didn’t do that. He hit some timely shots. With 11 minutes to go when we cut the lead back to 10 he hit a huge three for them. We just could never get back over the hump. We didn’t get some of the easy baskets that we normally get tonight either. Again, we are just having a tough time scoring points.”

On several offensive draughts:

“That has been our problem all year. During some of the period we got some easy shots, but we just didn’t hit them. Its not like our offense isn’t creating good shots, we just aren’t hitting them. On the road, you are not going to give up 70 points and expect to win, especially at Kansas.”

On the rebounding difference:

“Cole Aldrich made a big difference for them. Bill (Self) had to make a decision to send all five guys to the offensive glass tonight and they hurt us on the offensive boards as bad as anyone has all year. We weren’t able to make them pay at the other end.”

On having only scored five points nearly 10 minutes into the game:

“You are always going to have that problem here. Guys, they have won 38, 39 wins in a row for a reason. Their defense is good and you just have to try and hang in there. I thought we did hang in there. Kansas is Kansas and this is a tough place to play. I thought we handled the atmosphere fine, much better than they did at Missouri.”

Nebraska Player Quotes

Senior Forward Ade Dagunduro

On Nebraska’s defensive lapses:
“Mainly with Sherron (Collins) coming off single screens. We were supposed to switch those, and a lot of times our guys that were supposed to switch got caught in the paint, leaving Collins wide open coming off the screen.”

On going through a scoring drought in the first half:
“It’s extremely difficult. Knowing how we’re keeping them from scoring but we’re not scoring ourselves. I’ve said all year, when we’re going through droughts, somebody has to make plays. It has to be our seniors in particular, and we didn’t make plays so they got up big in the first half.”

On the Allen Fieldhouse atmosphere:
“I don’t think it was particularly the atmosphere. It’s tough to play Kansas, period. Year in and year out, they’re a good team. They’re well-coached.”

Senior Guard Steve Harley

On his shooting performance:
“I still don’t think I shot the ball well today. There were a couple shots I should have made. Hopefully it comes around.”

On Sherron Collins:
“He was on fire. I don’t know how many points he had, but it seemed like he couldn’t miss. When they needed a basket, he hit the big basket when it really counted. “