Postgame Quotes

Feb. 25, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas senior guard Tyshawn Taylor
On how it feels to come back and win:
“I feel good. Words can’t even describe how I feel. I’m so proud of my teammates. They stuck it out and we just kept grinding.”

On what the team was thinking when down 19:
“We have to take it one possession at a time. Coach (Self) always says there’s no 10-point plays, so every possession at a time. We had to hunker down on defense and that’s what we did. They went for a stretch where they didn’t score for a while and we kept making plays and chipping away. We made free throws in the second half because we missed like five or six in the first half, so I think that was a big thing. We just kept grinding it out. We played a lot of that first half without T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) and Jeff (Withey). That contributed to us not playing as well, but when we had all our pieces out there we just kept fighting.”

On what he was thinking when he stepped to the free throw line at the end:
“I have to make them. I talked to one of my best friends after the last game and he told me, `next time you see them, you’re going to be in a bigger situation and it’s going to mean more.’ He was absolutely right. It was the same team again, but not the same circumstances and I came through this time. I’m actually glad I got to shoot those free throws.”

On his mindset after Missouri guard Marcus Denmon scored to go up by one at the end of overtime with no timeouts:
“We have to go score and get a good shot, but get it as fast as possible. I just put my head down and saw a little seam and just attacked. I got bumped a little earlier, but they called it on the shot. I got fouled and I made the free throws.”

On what Coach Self said about the first half free throw shooting:
“Actually nothing. He feels like he talks about it and stresses it to us. He never really talks much about free throws. We’re big-time players and he feels like we should be able to knock them down. We talked to ourselves about it and we made them (in the second half).

Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson
On what this win means:
“It was big. Revenge, payback, it definitely feels good. It felt like someone just jumped us and ran away and we finally caught up to them. Like Ty (Taylor) said, I can’t even put it into words. We’re never going to be a part of something as big as this game was tonight. Just when I thought we couldn’t get to another level, we stuck together and got better tonight.”

On if coming back from 19 down to win shows how good this team really is:
“After the game, we were talking and I don’t think you can put a team in a tougher situation at home. We were down 19 against a top-five team and we stuck to it and got through it. I’m definitely proud of everybody.”

On his block at the end of regulation:
“I think I had my eyes closed to be honest with you. I saw Elijah (Johnson) get beat at the free throw line and, if I recall, in the last game Denmon had the same type of play on the baseline. So, like Ty (Taylor) said, it was the same situation, but this time we learned from it. We learned from our mistakes and we capitalized on them this time.”

On having to sit out the final part of the first half with foul trouble:
“I was thinking all types of mixed thoughts. I was thinking that I let my team down and that we needed to find a way to stick it out. It was a lot of mixed emotions, but at the same time, in the back of my mind, I knew we still had 20 minutes left in the game. It was scary being over there.”

On the and-one play at the end of regulation:
“It was a big play; it was definitely huge. I just knew that I had to get the ball off the glass and that is all I tried to do. He came up from under me at the last second.”

Kansas senior guard Conner Teahan
On what this game meant to him:
“To be honest, I think the whole situation makes it one of the best victories that I have been a part of. Probably by default, I would have to say the National Championship game (was the best win). For a game that I have played in, this game was the most awesome experience I’ve had in my life. We were able to stick through it; at halftime, Thomas (Robinson) and Tyshawn (Taylor) were talking about that no matter what the situation is, we have to stick together as a team. We were able to do that, even when we got down 19 in the second half when things weren’t going our way. It was a great win.”

On if he knew this would be an important game since Missouri was playing a zone defense:
“I felt like it was going to be an important night for me regardless of what they were playing. The last game, I shot the ball terribly; I wanted to come out and prove that I was going to be able to make shots in big games and big situations. I wanted to do whatever it was that would help the team regardless. We were struggling with the zone in the first half, and then we were able to find a weaker spot in the second half.”

On being able to bounce back after struggling in the previous game:
“Like I try to say every game, I try to put the game or (my shooting performance) behind me. I felt like I played pretty terribly against Texas A&M in terms of shooting the ball. I’m not even sure to be honest; I’m all over the place with my emotions right now. I’m just happy we won.”

Missouri senior guard Marcus Denmon
On the last eight seconds of the game:
“We didn’t execute what we talked about. We ended up not being able to get a shot up when there was eight seconds left coming out of the free throw situation.”

On his advice for Michael Dixon:
“We just told him to keep his head up and continue to play. This was a really important game for us and it hurts, but we have a lot of basketball left and our best basketball is yet to be played.”

On how Kansas got back into the game:
“They shot 33 free throws and a lot of those came in the second half. When you are living at the free throw line, you are scoring while the clock is stopped; it is easy to chip a lead away. That’s what Kansas did and they hit free throws when they needed.”

On if this was the most intense game for him this season:
“You could say that. Just the fact that this one went overtime, every play was so big. We had ample opportunities to close this game.”

On if they played some of their best basketball of the year:
“We did some things well. We built a lead. Kansas is a good team. We knew that they would come out with a better effort. We just wanted to win the second half and couldn’t do it.”

On if they are still learning what’s working for them:
“You do that throughout the season. We are 29 games in. We understand what we can do well. We have intelligent ball players, we understand.

On the last play of regulation:
“Phil [Pressey] got in the lane. We are on the road so we knew we probably wouldn’t get a call. We were just trying to get a good look at the basket. I thought that Phil might have been getting bumped into the lane and then Thomas [Robinson] came and he got the block to send it into overtime.”

Missouri senior guard Kim English
On their drought in the second half:
“We didn’t make shots that we had been making. Those stretches happen in games but you really have to get stops to stop the bleeding a little bit. They made plays down the stretch and we had the game in our hands, just like they apparently had the game in their hands in Columbia. We had the game in our hands. We gave them a gift.”

On getting past a devastating loss like this:
“The atmosphere had nothing to do with it. We lost the game. We fought hard to win, but this loss doesn’t define our season. It is a loss that we really wanted; we really wanted to win the league. We came out and competed and fought hard, we just weren’t fortunate enough to come up with the win. This isn’t football. We are not out of the national championship running with a regular season loss. We will learn from this and watch film tomorrow or Monday and fix what we need to do down the stretch to finish games and grow. We grew today from the Kansas State game. That was just another step in our growth to get to where we want to be.”

On their growth since the Kansas State game:
“We came out and performed a lot better than we did against Kansas State, so we grew from our last performance.”

On possibly playing Kansas in the Big 12 tournament:
“I don’t care who we play. We could play Fort Hays State to win the Big 12; we are going to win the Big 12 tournament. We want to win three games and win the Big 12 tournament, I don’t care who we play.”

On how this rivalry should be remembered:
“The players on the court played their hearts out. Let the fans have fun, I don’t care. We played our hearts out, they played their hearts out, they won the game. We have no control over the prior hundred and whatever years. We have control over these past four seasons. Our players played their hearts out, their players played their hearts out, our coaches gave it their all, I don’t care how you remember it.”

On why they didn’t get the last shot off in overtime:
“We didn’t execute what we drew up.”

Missouri senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe
On Kansas going to Robinson in the second half:
“That’s what coach preached at half time. He is their best player, he is a pro. Coach made a good call.

Missouri head coach Frank Haith
Opening statement:
“It was a great ball game. I thought our guys played their hearts out, competed and we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win the game. Unfortunately in the second half we knew Kansas would make a run, and they did. Some plays didn’t go our way; some bang-bang plays didn’t go our way. Give Kansas credit they made plays and they made free throws.”

On the zone defense Missouri used against Kansas:
“It’s something we have done at Miami. I spent some time with coach (Rick) Pitino who taught me a lot about zone. We haven’t run it a whole lot this year but it was good for us tonight, it really was.”

On the effort of his Missouri players:
“These guys played their hearts out. We left it on the court. I read everything that said that we weren’t supposed to be in the game today. These guys came out and competed.”

On Missouri’s final possession, the last play of overtime:
“It was a handoff ball screen; Marcus (Denmon) was supposed to get it and we just didn’t get him the ball.”

On the last possession of regulation:
“It was a pick and roll option; Phil (Pressey) probably got hit their I don’t know. I think he was off balance after he got into the lane but it was all pick and roll stuff.”

On if this is the best he has seen his Missouri team perform this season:
“We have played pretty good all year. This team has been pretty resilient. I thought our defense was good in the first half; I thought we executed. Looking at the numbers, we made more field goals tonight and outrebounded them; I thought we played pretty well tonight there is no question about that.”

On the relevance of today’s contest:
“This game meant a lot to both schools and both teams. This maybe the last time we play; I think that would be sad. You saw the atmosphere out here today and the atmosphere at our place, it’d be sad if we don’t play. I just don’t understand it and hopefully we can continue to play. This is too good of a game and too good of a rivalry to not play.”

On why Missouri’s offense suffered in the second half:
“We took some quick shots in that stretch. I think we took a couple of contested threes when we didn’t have to. All we had to do was continue to run our offense; and I thought our offense’s execution was outstanding. And Phil (Pressey) got in foul trouble; he had to sit during that stretch. And when he is off the floor it hurts us a little bit in our offense. We had a lot of guys in foul trouble. That made us not be as aggressive as we needed to be.”

On what he hopes his players take from this game:
“This is a high level game; Kansas is one of the best teams in the country. We came in here and competed and it went down to the wire. We had every chance to win the game and probably should have the game; as Kansas probably feels they should have won it at our place.”

On Missouri playing against the size of Kansas:
“It is a tough matchup to guard us with our four guards. When we are on our game and we are making shots it is just tough to play those two guys (Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson) together. We did a nice job with him (Jeff Withey) early in keeping him off the rebounds because he is a good rebounder; and we wanted to keep him away from the basket because he (Withey) is a great shot-blocker.”