Kansas Men's Basketball Quotes from Feb. 28

Feb. 28, 2008

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On stopping Michael Beasley and Kansas State:

“The first time we defended them we did a very poor job, but we actually did a decent job on (Michael) Beasley. At one time he was four of 12 or four of 13 and then he makes his last five and ends up with 25 or 27 (points) or whatever it was. Obviously, we did a decent job and that was man (defense). I have seen teams play box and one and he still gets 30. I have seen teams play primarily man and he gets 44. What you have to do is what is best for your team. If you put too much emphasis on one or two things, you take away from what you do best… I do think there are different things you have to look at before you make a final determination on exactly how you want to try to limit his good touches and still not let other guys have big nights.”

On playing zone:

“We are not a zone team… Will we play some zone? Yes, but if we do, we are still not a zone team. We have got to do a better job of what we do. Even if you play a zone, there is a guy with the ball in front of you that you have got to keep in front of. There are a lot of the same principles even when you are playing zone.”

On Jacob Pullen:

“Against Texas he had a big game shooting the basketball. Against us he had a big game, I think it was a career high if I am not mistaken. I think he is a key, but I think they are all keys. I think Clent (Stewart) is a key. Blake Young is positively a key because he is a great loose ball, extra possession guy. (Dominique) Sutton and (Andre) Gilbert are long athletes, who can make life tough on you and are great offensive rebounders. The biggest thing is you have to find a way to definitely slow down Beasley and Walker and very few people have done that. They may have slowed one down, but they haven’t been able to corral both of them regardless of what kind of defense has been played against them. You could win the battle and lose the war. The battle is limiting those guys’ touches, but opening it up for everybody else that is not exactly playing to your strengths either.”

On the team being excited to play:

“I do think we will be excited to play. We should be excited to play just about every night. We will be geeked up for this one and I am sure they will be also.”

On the team being more relaxed without the pressure of a 24-game winning streak at Manhattan the first time KU played Kansas State:

“I think the motivation that they beat us the last time certainly adds to the anticipation of the game. Could be, could not be. I have no idea. The way I look at it, is you have a couple of teams that really feel like they need a win. Both teams should be anxious to play.”

On being part of ESPN’s College Gameday:

“They have been here twice and this will be three times. We have been a part of Gameday on the road once (at Texas, two years ago). It is great, great exposure for your school, but it is also a very long day. I think the more our players can keep a normal routine and the more K-State players can keep a normal routine will probably bode well for performance that night, because you can get too hyped up. It is kind of like the NCAA Tournament. You play a 9 p.m. game and all you want to do is watch games all day long. I am not sure that is the best thing you can do. We are going to try to keep a normal routine and hopefully our guys won’t get too hyped up until game time.”

Kansas guard Russell Robinson

On Kansas’ recent struggles:

“It’s a progression game, you have to keep the ball moving in the right direction. We took a step forward last game and now we have to keep going. We just have to focus in on the next few games. It’s a good team we’re playing and it’s going to be a great crowd.”

On a second chance at Kansas State:

“We have to be more aggressive, play a lot smarter than we did last time. We just have to continue to go out there and execute our game plan. We have to have an all-around team defensive game. This is one I’ve had circled and looked forward to for a long time and it’s come at the most important week of our season thus far. We just have to go out and play hard and be aggressive.”

On Kansas’ need to win:

“We definitely need to win. Especially at this point in time, this late in the season, we need everything to be positive. We can’t have any losses set us back right now. We just have to move on and continue to work hard.”

Kansas Center Sasha Kaun

On how he feels about playing K-State after the loss in Manhattan:

“They are a great team, with two great players in (Michael) Beasley and (Bill) Walker. We just have to come out hard from the start, change some things around and play aggressive this time.”

On stopping Beasley and Walker:

“We need to make them earn their shots and not foul. We know that they are going to make a few shots. We just need to get in front of them to make their shots harder. We have to make sure they earn their points.”

On Kansas State’s big men playing outside:

“It is a little bit harder for us big guys, we are not really used to playing defense on the outside. Guarding the perimeter is something we have been practicing and hopefully it will payoff in the game.”