Postgame Quotes

March 1, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 90, Missouri 65

March 1, 2009

Head Coach Bill Self

On Kansas’ overall performance:

“We were a pretty good basketball team that first half. That’s probably the best half of basketball we played since the North Carolina game last year. Of course, we were fortunate that they missed shots, but they missed their free throws and we missed our free throws. Other than that, it was a really solid first half. Defensively, we lost our intensity in the second half. I’m falling in love with this team. They try hard and they’re getting more and more aggressive all the time. That wasn’t even the same team that played in Columbia. In Columbia, we were trying not to lose and today we were in attack mode the whole time. Everybody played great. Tyshawn (Taylor) was terrific, Cole (Aldrich) was terrific and the bench was terrific. But Sherron (Collins) has been really good as of late. He really put us on his back and got us off to a great start again.”

On Cole Aldrich’s Performance:

“He does deliver. I actually did a decent job resting our guys in the first half. Usually, he and Sherron play 18 a game. The second half, I rested Sherron but I really didn’t rest Cole because other guys had some foul issues. But he played great. The whole team played great. Our first-shot defense was probably as good as it’s been all year. And what a great building today. Our fans were obviously ready for it. Then, to have Kirk’s (Hinrich) jersey hung in the rafters made it extra special. It was a good day for the Jayhawks.”

On the return of Nick Collison, Scot Pollard and Hinrich:

“There was a really good team behind the bench. It was fun. It was great to have those guys back because they love this place. They never played for us. They all played for Coach (Roy) Williams and his staff. It was a good day for us and it sets up a great week. Now we’ve got to go play the best road game we’ve played all year. Texas Tech’s played much better as of late, although they haven’t won. They played people really, really close and they can shoot the three. That will set up a big finale no matter what here next Saturday against Texas. We’ve had some season finales in this building against Texas before and they’ve been fabulous. I’m really proud of our guys. It’s just one game, but they did respond like champs today.”

Kansas Player Quotes

Former Jayhawk Kirk Hinrich

On today’s events:

“It was better than I expected. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the building and it’s definitely still electric. This is the greatest honor I could have, to have my jersey hung up there with all the tradition. It was so historic. It was a great day.”

On expecting to be emotional:

“I knew it was going to be an emotional day coming into it. I watched the video and it brought back the memories. I was nervous. It was a big deal and a huge honor. It was very emotional. There were a lot of good times and highlights.”

On picking the Kansas vs. Missouri game:

“I had an option of a couple of games and this one just worked out in the schedule. I definitely wanted to pick this game. I got to take part in the rivalry for four years and I know how big of a deal it is to come back and have my jersey retired. The fact that it was against Mizzou makes it a little better.”

Junior guard Sherron Collins

On expecting to win by 25 points:

“We expected to win. We didn’t know what the score was going to be, but today we attacked the pressure and that was a key thing. Tyshawn (Taylor) did some good things, getting in there and making things happen for us. I think today was just one of those days that went well for us. We had a tick in our ear after what happened in Columbia.”

On the team’s progression in the conference:

“I don’t think the Big 12 is weak. I think there are some good teams in our conference. I think we are better than everyone thought we would be. To me, it’s not surprising. That’s what you expect at Kansas. That’s what we do here, we win. I think we all make each other better.”

On today’s crowd in comparison to the past:

“I’ve heard them get loud a lot of times, but today felt different. Today was probably the loudest it’s been since I’ve been here. Last year it was loud, but we had a lot of big wins by big margins. People were into it, especially because we lost over there. They don’t like Mizzou. They let us know it early and I think they wanted it as much as we did. The crowd was great today.”

Sophomore Center Cole Aldrich

On if the team expected to win by such a large margin:

“We knew we were going to come out with a lot of energy. We knew we were going to be pumped for this game. We kind of gave one away in Columbia. It’s on our home court. Matt (Kleinmann) and Brennan (Bechard) have one more time that they will run through the tunnel. We really wanted to keep them back in the game. There have been only a few times this season to get them back in the game. Those are the guys that really make us good.”

On the team’s focus at halftime:

“Coach said, `We’re in the same predicament we were in in Columbia.’ We knew they were going to make some runs. We tried to limit their runs. I think we did a really good job today.”

On if there was a revenge factor after Kansas lost at Missouri earlier this season:

“It really bothered us. It stuck with us for a while. It’s kind of like the Oklahoma State game last year when we didn’t really play that well. Those are the things that we try to eliminate, those long stretches of time where we don’t play that well. We did a good job today of being aggressive and attacking them.”

Freshman Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On how it feels to beat Missouri:

“It feels good. I hated to lose last time. Especially the way we lost. I thought the (final) score was going to be like this the whole time. I felt like we were before than before. I knew we were going to come out with a different mindset than we did last time. We were making shots and attacking their pressure. Once we beat their first line of pressure there was nothing they could do.”

On his feelings after Kansas lost at Missouri:

“I was kind of upset. We didn’t play very well. I had a chip on my shoulder like we had to win. I think everyone was on the same page knowing that we had something to do.”

On the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri:

“It was crazy there and this is the loudest I have heard the Fieldhouse since I have been here. I understand it a little better now.”

Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson

On how Kansas was able to build the lead:

“We missed a lot of easy shots early in the game. When you miss easy opportunities and then Kansas came back in transition and did a good job of attacking us on the offensive end. They made shots and we didn’t. We shot twenty percent in the first half and made eight field goals. That is not typical of our team, but hats off to Kansas. They came in and played well and we didn’t quite meet the challenge.”

On his team’s reaction to the atmosphere:

“Emotion will also play a factor in games and I thought it probably did today. When you look at the guys coming off our bench, they are mostly young guys. We only had six bench points today. Also our starters and seniors have to try to step up and set the tone for us.”

On trying to get back into the game:

“Our guys are going to fight. Leo, DeMarre (Carroll) they are going to fight. It just wasn’t our day. We have played a lot of games this year and we have never gotten in a hole that deep. It seemed like no matter what we did we couldn’t get over the hump. We tried to come out in the second half with energy and we were trying to chip the lead away. When the lead got down to 19, I thought we may have a chance to get even closer during the next four minutes, but they hit some big shots and we turned it over. We kept fighting, but it was their day. We can sulk about this one until midnight and then we have to get ready to play again. The key to every game is just trying to get better.”

Missouri Player Quotes

Senior Forward DeMarre Carroll

On the game:

“I thought we came out of the gate pretty tentative. You have to give credit to Kansas for coming out more aggressive than us. We have a lot of basketball left this season so we can’t dwell on this loss. Give credit to Kansas for beating us, but we have a quick turnaround with Oklahoma on Wednesday.

On the cause of Missouri’s loss:

“I didn’t think we were aggressive on defensive today and we also did a poor job of getting back on defense. In the first game I am not sure we gave up more than one dunk and they had a lot of dunks on us today. Hopefully we can bounce back.”

Junior Guard Zaire Taylor

On the game:

“I felt really confident that we could win the game when we came out for the second half. Obviously it didn’t work that way and when we cut the lead back down to 19, I thought that this was our game. You have to give them credit for making plays. I know that (Sherron) Collins hit two threes to put us right back in the same hole that we started from. Their guards really outplayed us all around. Maybe it was the fans, maybe it was the fight for first place, but for whatever reason they came out harder than we did.”

On the atmosphere:

“I thought it was fun. Initially before the game started I thought this was the most fun place that I have ever played, except for Mizzou Arena of course. Once the ball was tipped and the score starting swinging in their favor I am not sure that I enjoyed it as much.”

Senior Forward Leo Lyons

On guarding Cole Aldrich:

“I felt like I did a pretty good job guarding during the times when I was guarding Cole Aldrich. It wasn’t necessarily defending the big guys that killed us, it was the team defense as a whole. Our help side defense wasn’t there and we did a poor job of rebounding. We tried to make adjustments at halftime to fix our problems, but it didn’t work.

On his plan offensively:

“I wasn’t trying to get him (Cole Aldrich) in foul trouble, I was just trying to keep him on his heels. When you have a great shot blocker you have to try to keep him on his heels and moving. That is what I tried to do.”