Postgame Quotes

Feb. 22, 2010

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 81, Oklahoma 68

February 22, 2010

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On freshman guard Xavier Henry:

“He was great. He didn’t get as many looks in the second half, but he was fantastic. He has played really well the last five games. I thought we played well in spurts; we never got Cole (Aldrich) or Sherron (Collins) going in the first half. We still went in up by 15 and then literally traded baskets in the second half, just some bad basketball. But Thomas (Robinson) came in and gave us some good minutes, it was a good win. It’s hard to be critical when you win a league and are 27-1 overall. But you’ve got to have a killer instinct and bury people. We didn’t bury them tonight and it should have been a game where everybody got to play. But to win six conference championships in a row and be undefeated is quite an accomplishment. We are really proud of our guys. For Sherron to become the winningest player ever and for Cole to be named basically the student-athlete of the year, it was a pretty good day for our basketball program.”

On KU’s defense tonight:

“I don’t believe (Tommy Mason-Griffin) made a field goal in the first half. He made three free throws. Second half, we didn’t guard him as well in large part because Tyshawn wasn’t in the game because of fouls. But he’s good; he got 17 and didn’t have a good night. Fitzgerald had the game of the year for him. Still though, our defense just traded baskets in the second half. So we’ve got to get better in that area, we’ve got to get better in a lot of areas. In the first half, I think they had about eight points with about eight or nine minutes left. That’s the same thing we did to Colorado. We got the big lead and took the foot off the gas.”

On junior center Cole Aldrich:

“He had to make a 4.0 to qualify for his award this semester. He did, he buckled down and he’s a fabulous kid. He can be close to getting his degree after this year. He still needs a semester or so to finish up going into his fourth year. But it’s a great story, great honor and great award. He didn’t have his best basketball night tonight, but if I was a parent of somebody that had the choice of being an All-American or winning an Academic All-America award, I would say win the Academic All-America award. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. We are really proud of him. This is something that he wanted and he went after it and got it.”

On Oklahoma State:

“It is a game in which you’re going to have to guard the perimeter. They make threes and they rebound the wall well. They’ve done a really nice job down there and their arena will be jumping. We know we’re going to have to be better than we were tonight in the second half. Our guys will be excited; we’re 13-0 and who would’ve ever thought that you could at least clinch a tie 13 games in. But three of the toughest games that we’ll play during the course of the conference season will be our last three. We need to buckle down and really be prepared to go down there and then to obviously face a great Kansas State team and Missouri team to end the season.”

Senior Guard Sherron Collins

On how he felt when he was given the Big 12 trophy:

“I think they know it means a lot to me, since it’s my last couple of games. My teammates and coaching staff have all been great. It is just sad that I have to leave.”

On how the trophy felt:

“Heavy. It was heavy, but it felt great to have it and to hold it up to the crowd. A great crowd again tonight – they helped us out. It has been great to win it four straight years. It has just been great, a lot of emotions going on right now. The hard work has paid off.”

On if it felt better to win it this year, as opposed to last year:

“I would probably say it’s better than last year. It was nice because we pretty much had control of it ourselves. It was great, especially since it was my senior year – to go out like this is pretty great.”

On if they knew the trophy was going to be in the building:

“We didn’t – we just thought we were probably going to get it later on. We didn’t win in outright yet, just a share; but we have a chance and we are in a pretty good position to clinch it outright.”

Junior Center Cole Aldrich

On winning the Big 12 Championship:

“It was nice. We went 14-2 last year, and being 13-0 right now is just a reflection of how good Coach (Self) is. He is a great coach and he has us buy into (his philosophy).

On why the team still lacks their “killer instinct”:

“We are still a young team – we are very talented, but we still have a lot of young guys on the team. We have two sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup. it’s just one of those things where we have to continue to grow as a team. I think it will continue (to click) throughout practice – one thing we can do in practice is work hard. Through our games, we’ll just continue to correlate it, and just put the other teams away.”

Freshman Guard Xavier Henry

On how much he thinks he has improved from the beginning of the season:

“I am a lot better. The coaches have helped me a lot in many ways – offense, defense and rebounding. I am just trying to become better overall and just keep improving.”

Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel

On the game:

“I thought that one thing we did all night was compete. It hurts us with the start we got off to. We got great looks we just started 0-for-9. When you come on the road against this caliber of opponent you have to be able to score the basketball. I thought that our defense in the first half was ok on everyone except Xavier Henry. He is a really good player coming off one of his best games. He certainly had a good first half. I thought the second half we did a better job defensively. Our ball screen defense let us down. We did not do a good job communicating the switch that we wanted to make in our ball screen defense until we got to a timeout. I thought after that we did a good job. I thought that it was one of the best nights as far as us executing. I thought everyone for the most part submitted to the team, because of that I think that we did some pretty good things out there. I am proud of our effort, but I would have liked to have seen us make some more shots.”

On coming back from a deficit:

“It is difficult anywhere on the road, but especially in a place like this. I thought that we were excited to play and we were a little tight early. That is what this place does to you, especially with all of the new faces that we have. We got some good looks we just missed some shots. Once we settled down we did a better job of executing. The second half we did a better job; we just dug a hole that is tough to get out of on the road especially in a place like this against an opponent like Kansas.”

On Kansas:

“I thought that we tried to battle with Kansas. I thought that we had a really good effort, but those stretches that we did not score really hurt us. They are a great basketball team. They are the best team in the country for a reason and they have a chance to win the whole thing.”

Freshman Forward Andrew Fitzgerald

On his performances as of late:

“I think I am playing very well. I am trying everyday to trim down and loose some more weight so I can try and help my team win games.”

On playing against Kansas’ Big Men:

Everyday I try to watch as many films as I can against these guys. It is tough to be these guys; they have multiple bigs off the bench, and it is just me, Tiny[Gallon], and Ryan[Wright]. It is really hard out there, but I gave it my all and I tried my best, and that is all that matters.”

On the team struggling early:

“I think it was the anxiety, at least I was kind of nervous at first just looking at the surroundings. This is historical Kansas so I was kind of nervous. After I hit my first shot, I just started to get rolling and played from there.”

Senior Guard Cade Davis

On Oklahoma’s comeback in the second half:

“The whole game I thought we did a good job executing on offense. We were getting shots and we were getting good looks. By the second half we started knocking down shots and playing well. We gave them a little bit of a scare, but they are a good team.”