Postgame Quotes

Feb. 21, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 92, OklahomaState 65

February 21, 2011

Kansas head coach Bill Self

On the offensive outburst in the first half:

“We scored 24 points in the first eight minutes. Unfortunately, they had 19. Then, we actually guarded them. We held them to nine points in the last 12 minutes of the first half and did a better job. Then, the first eight minutes of the second half, we didn’t guard anybody. We were going to set an all-time record for points given up in the Fieldhouse in a half. But we guarded them pretty well after that. We did some really good things offensively and it’s good to get Thomas (Robinson) back. I thought he gave us a lift even though I only played him 10 minutes. The doctor said 10 minutes, so that’s one of the few times where we actually stayed on schedule. Brady (Morningstar) was not a factor offensively; it wasn’t his night. From a shooting standpoint, it also wasn’t really Tyrel’s (Reed). Look at how Elijah Johnson stepped up. You talk about making the most of an opportunity. I’m hoping he can bottle that. He’s not always going to make shots, but that was the best defense without gambling that anybody has played on the other team’s point guard in a long time. He did a lot of good things. I thought Rio (Mario Little) affected the game without scoring. He got 10 rebounds and did some good things. Those two guys down low, though (Marcus and Markieff Morris), they shared the ball and can pass it and we certainly look good when they make shots.”

On the defense:

“They (Marcus and Markieff Morris) said, ‘Coach, you said that team would get 75 points on us the way we were guarding.’ I said, ‘Well, the only reason they didn’t is because we took you out.’ They were definitely contributing to it. (Marshall) Moses is a good player. He gets a lot out of his ability and I really respect him. We did a good job on Keaton (Page) and (Matt) Pilgrim killed us last year, but he played out of foul problems the whole night. But it was a good win.”

On the play of Johnson:

“Elijah has been a good player since he’s been here, but he still hasn’t played like we think he can play. I think he’s a little hesitant. He plays not to screw up. He has a tendency to get in his own way sometimes. He’s been good, though. Even at K-State when he got the technical for screaming after his dunk, he was by far the best perimeter player in that game. I thought he did a pretty good job this past Saturday and he was obviously good tonight. Making shots covers up a lot of ills, but I thought he was good, even if the ball didn’t go in the hole tonight.”

On the upcoming game at Oklahoma:

“This is a must-win for us. OU is playing a lot better, and that’s not coach speak. They are playing everybody tough. It was a five-point game in Manhattan before Jacob Pullen went nuts for about a two-minute stretch late in the second half. We’ve got to be ready. I don’t think I will play Tyshawn (Taylor) and we’ll see how these other guys react and make the most of their opportunities. I could’ve started Josh (Selby) tonight, but he left his insole at his mother’s for shootaround, so he didn’t get a chance to go through the live part of shootaround. It’s unbelievable when guys get opportunities and they get a chance to make the most of it and I thought Elijah really made the most of it tonight.”

Kansas sophomore Elijah Johnson

On starting:

“It was a challenge and I was ready for it. I tried not to think about starting, I just wanted to be ready when my number was called. I knew it would probably get called more often because we needed somebody to fill Tyshawn’s (Taylor) spot.”

On how he thought he played:

“I think I did well. There are still some things that I need to improve on. I went 3-3 on turnovers and assists but I think it definitely could have been better than that. I threw the ball away two times on force. I felt like that could have been four more points right there.”

On preparing differently knowing Tyshawn Taylor wouldn’t be playing:

“I prepare the same way every game no matter how many minutes I play – from two to 35 – I’m just ready to play.”

Kansas junior Marcus Morris

On how much better the team is with Thomas Robinson on the floor:

“It’s just his presence. His presence is always felt when he’s out there and I think he brings a lot of the focus of other teams on offensive and defensive rebounding, so it opens up spots for other guys. There are going to be times when him, Markieff (Morris) and I are out there and that is a very big team. I think we are very effective when all three of us are on the court.”

On OklahomaState forward Matt Pilgrim trying to rattle him with physical play:

“I didn’t ignore him. In the beginning of the game, he just gave me a little bump to show me that he was there and I gave him 27 shoulder knobs back.”

On if the team had done anything differently leading up to the Colorado and OklahomaState games:

“We just started practicing harder. Honestly, you have to give a lot of credit to Markieff because I think that he is really starting to step up and becoming a leader of this team. He’s been pushing everybody these past couple of weeks since the K-State loss. You can tell after that game that he’s a different player, and I think that is motivating everybody to do extra.”

Kansas sophomore Thomas Robinson

On how it feels to get back on the court:

“It felt great. I’ve only been out about a week and a half, but sitting out that long, for me, was annoying. I couldn’t wait to get out on the court, so it was a great feeling.”

On if he was rusty at all today:

“Was I rusty? Did I look rusty?”

Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford

Opening Statement:

“It’s one of those nights. Keiton Page missed two back-to-back free throws. That pretty much sums it up for us. Marshall (Moses) played a really good game after being sick the last two days. I didn’t even think he was going to play but five-to-ten minutes tonight. They have a young man on that team, Elijah Johnson, who I thought was terrific. They are as good as offensive team as I’ve seen in a very, very long time.”

On what his team can take away from the game:

“I’m proud of our team. I thought we competed that second half. I don’t think the score is indicative of how hard we competed. I thought our guys played hard. I thought everyone got an opportunity to play tonight. We had an opportunity to look at some different combinations and I saw a little bit better chemistry in some combinations. Believe it or not I told our team I saw some things we can actually build on. We got spanked, no question, but I thought we competed to the end.”

On the play of Reger Dowell:

“He played a good game again. I thought he had a good game overall. He didn’t shoot the ball from three very well, but he made some good one-on-one plays and we’ve always known he was a good one-on-one player. Now I think he’s fully grasping what to do to stay on the court. He doesn’t need to go out and try to prove something.”

Oklahoma State Senior Marshall Moses

On how ill he has been the last two days:

“I was just really dehydrated. The doctor told me I had some kind of viral infection. It made it really hard to breathe. I knew I was sick going into the Texas A&M game, but I didn’t know I was dehydrated.”

On what challenges the Morris twins present:

“They are really good defensively. They can guard. I didn’t even know a lot of times which one was guarding me, whether it was Marcus or Markieff. Kansas as a whole is a really good defensive team. If you make a mistake offensively, they make you pay for it. The Morris twins were both really good offensively and defensively.”

On whether Kansas is the No. 1 team in the country:

“They are so efficient. Texas is a really good team and I know there are really good teams out there, but if you make a mistake they make you pay. If you leave them open, they make it. They are just a really efficient team and that’s the best way I can describe it. You have to really be on your P’s and Q’s to try and get a win, especially in their own gym.”