Weekly Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 23, 2006


Head Coach Bill Self
On Texas’ 2-3 zone defense:

“I don’t know if I like it or dislike it. I like it if we make shots. I think they will play a lot of zone, they played a lot of zone last night against Kansas State. But, I anticipate them playing some man too. When we played them last year they came in here and tried to play zone from the start. We shot it pretty well and then they went man-to-man for a good bit after that. “

On matching up with Texas’ P.J. Tucker:
“It’s a pretty natural matchup the way it falls. It would have to be Brandon (Rush), but P.J. plays the four some too, so if he is in at the four, it will have to be whoever our four man is at the time.”

On Texas slipping over the last two games:
“I think every team goes through phases where they don’t play quite as well, especially away from home. They probably haven’t played as well as they had been playing the last two games, but we’ve had numerous games like that too. I do think this — they found a way to win last night. I don’t know if the most recent performances by either team will have much bearing on the game Saturday.”

On the team’s mindset:
“I haven’t seen our guys since we played Baylor. I was gone all day yesterday recruiting. I don’t think our mindset will be much different than it was a week ago. I think they will be very excited to play, but I think the focus will be the same. I don’t want them to be too excited, I think that can be counter-productive.”

On Kansas’ improvement against the zone:
“We were bad against K-State’s zone, and since the K-State game we have gotten significantly better against the zone because we have had numerous opportunities to go against it.”

On Julian Wright being a weapon against the zone:
“He is good in the high-post area. I think that is one of the reasons we have been better against the zone, because Julian has been in the game a lot more.”

On what he thinks the crowd will be like compared to Missouri:
“I thought the crowd at Missouri was a great crowd. I don’t know if you can get a lot better than that, but I think it will be at least that. Just going back to last year when Texas came here and it was (ESPN) Gameday, with the buildup of the game they were pretty anxious and ready to go. I would anticipate much of the same on Saturday.”

On how to keep the team shielded from the spotlight before the game:
“I am not sure it’s bad because it is preparation for the NCAA Tournament, so I am not going to try to shield them from everything. They just have to grow up and understand that this is how it is in the NCAA Tournament and not think that it is a big deal. Of course, it is a big deal, but they don’t need to go in thinking that this is our chance or this a big bright stage or anything like that. They just need to go in thinking about the same things they have been thinking about the last couple of months.”

On comparing the team from the beginning of conference play until now:
“We were a pretty good team when we started conference play. I think we are better now, we just had a couple disappointing losses early, but they have certainly grown up and gotten tougher as time has passed. We’ve shot the ball better because we are taking better shots, and we are certainly a confident team in the attack mode a lot more than we were back in November and December.”

On LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He is a tough matchup because he is so long. He is the best prospect in our league hands down. He is a guy who plays with the ball above his chin at all times and his release point is high. At 6’10”, he plays taller than that and he can also play on the wing of a 2-3 (zone), so he is tough to shoot over. He is a great prospect and a great player.”

On whether this game will determine the Big 12 Champion:
“That may be a little bit premature, but I think it is fair to say that winner of this game has a serious leg up on the other team. The winner of this game, if you are able to win a home game, is guaranteed at least a piece of it. There is not much margin for error.”

On whether this team is still flying under the radar:
“That’s done. We don’t need to be under the radar anymore, we need to be out there. It worked out really well. We didn’t get too much too soon, and it made us earn everything. Now, you have to learn how to operate with all the attention you are receiving from the media in a way that is conducive to playing good ball in March.”