Jayhawk Basketball Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 28, 2005


Head Coach Bill Self

On match up problems when facing K-State
“I think they are at tough team for us to match-up against. It makes the match-up tougher, depending on who you put on Jeremiah Massey. The other guy will have to get out and guard Cartier Martin on the perimeter. I thought Lance Harris played very well against us the first time. We really didn’t guard him very well at all. I’m sure they are thinking how they are going to guard us. They have been playing quite a bit of zone and it was effective against us the first time. We certainly expect they will use that zone against us.”

On the emotion of senior day
“It is possible that you could be too emotional. You have four guys worried about what they are going to say after the game, and they have to be a little prepared for that. But it’s different — as opposed to the no distraction bid — because those types of things are distractions. Yesterday was a fabulous day, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t take care of business on Wednesday. I think it can be a very emotional, tense and worrisome day if you allow it to be.”

On overlooking K-State
“I don’t think we have to worry about that. They are still our in-state rival and we didn’t overlook them the first time and I can’t imagine us overlooking them this time. Just because we are playing at home, that does not guarantee success. Yesterday we had to play our tails off and have a great home court advantage to win. We need to have a great home court, but we can not count on the home court being enough to pull us through. We have to go play. K-State has played well of late and they are a hard team to guard.”

On the OSU game
“I think that the offense was better, than the defense was bad. This team is certainly different in that we don’t get as much pressure as I feel we should, because we are not a great pressure team. I think what we did real well yesterday was that we were able to handle their pressure and get open one pass away and let Wayne (Simien) get open.”

On the possibility of being a No. 1 Seed
“I think that it puts us in position, especially with our RPI rating. The winner of our league is going to have a great chance to be a one seed if you win the league outright. It doesn’t guarantee it, but I think that certainly we have a great chance. We are not there yet, but I think that we are one of about six or seven schools that have a shot at it if we finish strong. Saturday’s win gives us a chance because without that win, I don’t think that we have a chance.”

On the senior class
“As far as winning, this senior class will have to go down as good a senior class that has played here. Statistically, Keith’s points, Aaron’s assists and Wayne’s points are big. Wayne would have had a chance to be a top five scorer if he had not have gotten hurt, but his performance when he’s been healthy has been outstanding. Certainly, those three have put up great numbers, but I don’t think that is what they should be remembered for. I think that all four should be defined by winning. If you define a class by winning, than this class has to be one of the best that they have ever had here.”

“All of the seniors will graduate in May, and Hawkins will graduate in May as well but he will have a fifth year to come back and work on his master’s. All five of those guys who came in at the same time will have their degrees in May. The guys have done a real good job in the classroom.”

On Langford’s clutch performances this season
“I think that you could certainly say that he has made a lot of big plays for us this season. I think that Keith has had a very good senior year, maybe not as good statistically as he would have liked. Before he hurt his elbow, he was shooting the ball very well from beyond the arc and at the free throw line. I think yesterday he was 6-of-8 and I think he has had a really good senior year. Certainly, however he plays, he is always better in the last five minutes.”

On sophomore J.R. Giddens
“He acts like a pretty confident kid shooting the basketball. He just has not played as well has he is capable of playing and he will be the first to tell you that. I still believe that he is going to get it going. He needs to get it going, because people are going to be throwing zone at us. But yesterday, we were very fortunate to have Mike (Lee). He gave us the boost when he was in the game that J.R. normally would. I still think that J.R. is a huge part of our team and he needs to make shots for us to win. Right now, he is probably in one of those droughts, but he will get out.”

“I have always thought that he thinks too much. He is worried about what people think he should be doing instead of worrying about what he can do. It is not anything intentional. His attitude had been good, but he just has not played as well as he is capable of playing.”

On senior Michael Lee
“I think Mike is a fabulous person. He is bright and has a unique way about him. Everybody looks at Mike as a leader, he is very vocal. He is our locker room lawyer because he will win every argument that there is. Anybody that thinks that they can beat him is nuts, because they can’t. He has a unique way of leading people and being positive, and that is sometimes hard to do when you are not playing a lot. He has been every bit as valuable as the other guys. People on the outside will not see that because he doesn’t score as much or get a lot of rebounds, but he does some intangible things that give us a chance to be good. If everybody worked as hard as Mike, this team would be very good. I don’t remember very many days where I have had to get on him about his effort.”

On Oklahoma State not playing a zone defense
“Playing zone is not Coach Sutton. We talked about it and we wanted to play zone early to see how they would attack it, but if the perimeter is making shots then there is no way we are going to a zone. If we go down we’re going to go down the way we believe in doing it and Coach Sutton is the same way. He is not a zone coach. They went to the Final Four last year and they are not going to have a chance to win the national championship this year because they play good zone. They may sprinkle it in from time to time but I’m sure that he felt the best way to guard us was the way he did. You have to play the way you practice in big games. You don’t just go out and say `We’re going to play 1-3-1 today,’ that is not how it works. If you’re not well-drilled in it as a coach, you would second guess yourself forever if you did something in a big game that cost you two big possessions. I just don’t think that coaches would do that.”

On what he will remember about the seniors
“I think Aaron is ornery, fun and tough and even when he is not playing his best he tries hard. That’s what I will remember about Aaron. Keith I will remember as clutch and cool. He is a dynamic personality and he has some great attractive things about himself. Keith is cool, they call him Freeze, that’s his nickname and he lives by it. Wayne is balanced. I don’t know if I have ever been around a young kid as balanced as he is.”

On what the Jayhawks need to do to be successful
“We need J.R. to step up. Obviously, we are a better team when Christian is healthy. We need a couple of freshmen to step up. Hawkins gave us some good minutes yesterday. We need to get about nine guys that are all playing well. Even if they are not doing it from a points standpoint, because the seniors are going to carry us in points and rebounds, but we have to get those other guys stepping up and doing what they can do. Yesterday, we had about everybody playing well. J.R. did not have his best game but we had about everybody else playing well. I think that Oklahoma State can say the same thing. They had just about everybody playing well also.”

K-State’s Jeremiah Massey’s All-Big 12 chances
“I do think he deserves to be. When I got my ballot I think that we had eight guys that we felt deserved to be first team and of course you can only pick five. He is right there and I think certainly deserves consideration. When you look at his numbers and how he carries a team, how the team is centered around him and defenses are designed to stop him first, I certainly think he deserves plenty of recognition for that.”