March 2, 2005

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:
“We didn’t play great. I didn’t think that we would play that great coming into the game. I thought that we would be a little tight and I knew that they (Kansas State) would play zone the whole time. I thought it was important that we make shots early. We made some shots and got off to a bit of a lead, but the game pretty much went as scripted. I knew it would be a grind-it-out game. All of our seniors played well. You are not going to look very good unless you shoot the ball well and we only shot 43 percent tonight. I was proud though. For the most part our guys did a pretty good job. I thought we moved the ball pretty well. We shot pretty well from behind the arc. We played all right and got the win. I though K-State played really well. We are not going to apologize for this game, but we can play better.”

On Kansas State:
“I thought we did an average job on Jeremiah Massey. Our first-shot defense was fine, but we didn’t keep him off the free throw line. I thought we did a good job on everybody except Justin Williams. He got six offensive rebounds and scored 10 points. We certainly could have done a better job on him. I think that Jim (Wooldridge) is doing a really good job. They have good young players. They will lose a stud in Massey, but they have nice pieces around him. They are going to continue to get better and better.”

On winning a share of the Big 12 title:
“I think our guys are excited because this year will be put on the banner hanging in the Fieldhouse. All it really means is that we tied and we still have a chance to win it outright against our bitter rival Missouri. I don’t think that we are content on just getting a piece of it. We want sole possession of the title so that we can get a higher seed (in the NCAA Tournament). There is still a lot to be determined. We could be anywhere from a No. 1 to a No. 4 seed (in the NCAA Tournament). I think we have a shot at a No. 1 seed, but we have to take care of business on Sunday.”

On filling the void left by the seniors:
“As a recruiter, we think about that all the time. There is going to be a big void to fill. The young guys have a night like this to look forward to, but there is a lot of responsibility that comes with it. I think our young players are going to be great players and I hope that the recruits will be outstanding. Losing these players will leave a big void. Certainly the program will go on and continue to be good. This is a special group. You don’t have guys like this year-in and year-out. We need to treasure the time we have with them and understand that next year this will be a totally different deal. Every year is challenging, but next year it will be especially challenging to live up to the expectations this team has set.”

Senior Guard Michael Lee
On the game:
“The night went as expected in the fact that we won the game. It wasn’t a beautiful game but we got it done tonight. Wayne played exceptionally well. I couldn’t ask for more. We share a peice of the Big 12 title now, which was a goal at the beginning of the season. When the game started I was tired. I was so amped up that one time up and down the court and I was already gasping for air. Coach Self said, `If we focus on Senior Night it will be a bad game, but if we focus on the game Senior Night will be a good night.’ So that’s what we tried to go out there and do.”

On Kansas State’s zone defense:
“They play so high. They really extended the zone out which made us stand around a little too much. We didn’t know how to attack it at first. At first, we weren’t making our shots. When our shots aren’t falling everything looks bad.”

On the upcoming game against Missouri:
“I always look forward to playing Missouri. They always give us the best game and we always give them our best shot. Every year since I have been here we have played them in the last game of the season, so it is always a good one to play. I don’t like going to Missouri, truthfully. I don’t like the arena but it is a new one so maybe it will seem a little different. The fans are rowdy and they really make it an intimidating envrionment to play in.”

Senior Forward Wayne Simien
On the game:
“Once we started attacking the zone better, we started to create opportunities to get some rebounds and we moved the ball a lot better. Everyone was great tonight. J.R. (Giddens) stepped up tonight and made some threes.”

On clinching a share of the Big 12 title:
“The conference title was the main focus going into the game tonight. Winning the game was our goal, first and foremost, and then Senior Night came afterwards. The conference title was on our mind first.”

On the upcoming game against Missouri:
“Obviously the game is a big rivalry. With us being on the road, they are going to give us their best shot. Anytime someone can knock one of the top teams in the league off makes them have a better year. I don’t know if they are in the tournament race, but we don’t want to help them out at all. Hopefully, we will finish off the right way.”

On having 20 rebounds in the game:
“It is pretty cool. Sometimes it’s an effort thing. You can’t control getting the ball or this and that. You just have to work hard and haveing a career high is a great way to go out.”

Senior Guard Keith Langford
On Senior Night:
“It is hard to focus on the game when you know what is going on around you. It’s the last game, but I was glad to get over that hump. Now you don’t have to worry about everything else and you can just let the rest of the season ride out.”

On the conference title:
“We want the title out-right. We don’t want to share it at all, and we have the opportunity to do that. These next few days we will prepare our best to do that.”

Kansas State Head Coach Jim Wooldridge
On the game:
“I thought that we really dug in defensively. Certainly the zone helped us because our game plan was to take away the paint and guard the interior part of the floor. (Kansas) had some guys make shots. We can live with that. Offensively, we had pockets of play where we lacked some poise. Our shot selection really hurt us in both halves. Our execution or lack-there-of hurt us in both halves. We couldn’t make up for not being able to stop Kansas from putting the ball in the basket. You have to score they ball, and we did not have enough poise on the offensive end.”

On Justin Williams:
“He gave us some real energy out there. He made hustle plays and rebounded. I thought that he did a great job of guarding the interior part of the floor in the zone.”

On Wayne Simien:
“He is a great player. We have to answer him with a good shot, good execution, or a free-throw. You can’t make many mistakes against these guys. He is just a great player.”

On Kansas State’s performance:
“Our tempo was right. The defense for the most part was pretty good. Our team has really been changing as we move through the season. I thought that we did a good job of getting back (in transition) and making them play in front of our defense. We did not play well enough to beat them. We played hard and did some good things. Offensively, we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. Our guard play was good sometimes and at other times we struggled.”

On playing zone defense:
“You have to know where Simien is in that zone. They had him in the high post, then they had him in the short corner, and then they tried to screen our weak-side forward with him or the other forward that was in. They made some shots. But considering what we were trying to do, we can live with three-point shooting. We were able to rebound effectively and were able to take layups away in transition.”

Senior Forward Jeremiah Massey
On Kansas State’s Defense:
“Our defense worked O.K. It worked as good as it could have. Wayne Simien is a great basketball player. He hit a lot of tough shots. They (Kansas) found a way to hit shots so we have to give them credit. They are a good basketball team.”

On Wayne Simien:
“He is a great player. He found a way to get the ball and he found a way to score.”

On the game:
“There was a lot of frustration. I couldn’t hit any shots. I totally take this loss on my back. I came out missing easy shots, shots that should have went in.”

On Kansas State’s outside shooting:
“They (our perimeter players) were probably frustrated because the ball wasn’t going in the hole. But they are good basketball players and they kept playing through it. Guys like Lance Harris will find ways to make shots at home this weekend against Nebraska. I am not worried about it.”

On Kansas State’s next game:
“Hopefully we can come out and have a better performance than we did tonight. It is my last game at home, so hopefully we can get this one under our belt.”

On playing on Kansas’ senior night:
“I was hyped like everyone else was, but I didn’t get anything extra from playing in this game. We were playing against a great bunch of guys, and I knew that, but we couldn’t get it to go.”