KU Postgame Quotes

March 3, 2007

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Kansas Postgame Quotes
Kansas 90, Texas 86
March 3, 2007

Head Coach Bill Self
On being down at halftime:

“I thought they had us on our heels the whole half. That was as good a half of offensive ball I think I’ve ever had a team play on us. With 11-for-14 on three-pointers, they were killing us. We forced a few turnovers and had one steal at half time. We didn’t do anything. If you go back and watch the tape, of the 11 threes that they made, I guarantee eight of them were pretty well guarded. We tried everything to guard (Kevin) Durant. We put Julian (Wright) on him, we put Shady (Darrell Arthur) on him, we put Brandon (Rush) on him, we put Rod (Stewart) on him. He’s one of the best players that’s ever played on this court and his performance today was incredible. (A.J.) Abrams made shots and still at halftime we were only down 12. Twelve points in this game is two minutes because there were no shot clock violations today. We did go out better in the second half. Who would have thought that at the end of the game we shot the ball better than they did from the three-point line. I thought Mario (Chalmers) was great and set the tone and Julian (Wright) had great passes. It couldn’t have worked out better for us the way we had to win the game. Today was really good. We got an early wake-up call.”

On the mentality of the team going into the second half:
“We needed something good to happen early. If it goes the other way, you’re down 17 or 18 opposed to five. In two minutes, we had cut their lead from 12 to three. That was the difference. Mario (Chalmers) got hot and on a roll and we were just good. We were good and they were good. It was a high level basketball game, the way it should be to decide the league. I thought for a minute in the first half (Kevin) Durant could get 60. He had 20 in the first 10 minutes. It was a great game. They’ve got some really good players, but don’t sleep on our guys either, Julian (Wright), Brandon (Rush), Mario (Chalmers), Shady (Darrell Arthur), Sasha (Kaun), Sherron (Collins) and Darnell (Jackson) gave us great minutes off the bench. Russell (Robinson) played very well. There was some playing going on today.”

Kansas Player Quotes
Sophomore Guard Brandon Rush
On Texas’ hot shooting in the first half:
“We weren’t concerned at all because there were still 20 minutes left in the game. We knew we were going to try and make a come back.

On Kevin Durant:
“I didn’t think he was going to miss at all. In the second half he started going a little cold. He wasn’t taking as many shots as he did in the first half, but I think we did a pretty good job on him in the second half. He’s the best I’ve ever faced in my life. He’s the best by far. I wasn’t really trying to be physical with him, I just was trying to not let him get the ball.”

Sophomore Guard Mario Chalmers:
On guarding D.J. Augustin:
“I think that was big. He is the heart of their team. He did a good job in the first half and I think we did a better defensive job on him in the second half.”

On Julian Wright’s block towards the end of the game:
“That was a key block because I think he would have hit that if he would have got it off. Julian did an excellent job and he secured the ball and we hit some free throws.”

Sophomore Forward Julian Wright:
On the second half:

“Coach wanted us to attack the basket and put a lot of pressure on them (Texas). Coach told us we can get a lot of rebounds and a lot of easy baskets inside, so that was our point of emphasis in the second half. We knew we couldn’t out-shoot them though because they were on fire in the first half.”

On Kevin Durant:
“He’s long and he’s tall. All you can do is contest. Coach was telling us to make him put it on the ground and stay on him. We threw a lot of guys on him to try to give him some different looks. He’s a great player and has a bright future. Just knowing that he’s a freshman and has everything thrown at him and he still manages to lead the league in scoring and rebounding and he’s top 5 in the nation as well.”

On the team:
“I think we are pretty solid in terms of not getting rattled when we are down. This starts from the coaching staff, they have a calm demeanor, knowing that we have seen a lot of different looks in terms of being up and almost losing the lead and being down and coming back. We just have to keep playing.”

On getting a number one seed at the Big 12 Tournament:
It’s huge, just knowing that we worked so hard. We still have to make a point to not look past anyone. We still have to play the games and take it a game at a time. We need to try to simulate how the NCAA Tournament is and get some different looks from teams and play through it. I think this is big in terms of our confidence. All these team will be focused and are trying to play towards a Big 12 Championship.”

Texas Coach and Player Quotes
Head Coach Rick Barnes
On the second half:

“We came out, turned the ball over and (gave up) offensive rebounds. Those two things changed the whole complexion of the game. Stops when we needed to get it done we didn’t get it done. We just didn’t move. We didn’t do what we’ve been done. Moving the ball and getting movement.”

Were you surprised you still had a chance at the end:
“No. We got a heck of a basketball team. With the schedule we play, we’ve been in big, tough arenas. I never had any doubt that our guys wouldn’t go out there and go at it.They’ve done it all year long. You saw what we did in the first half. We did what we wanted to do, but in the second we didn’t. Turnovers were unforced, but the offensive rebounding really turned the game around.”

On Kansas’ second half adjustments:
“I don’t think they did anything different. We didn’t think they were going to go away. You got to play 40 minutes and we didn’t.

Freshman Guard D.J. Augustin
On the first half offense:

“Guys were moving and screening and they couldn’t really stop us on offense. We played hard on offense and defense in the first half. We didn’t bring in like the first half in the second half.”

On what the coaches said in the second half:
“We got to get defensive stops. There game plan coming out in the second half was to drive us and we didn’t stop them.”

On maybe playing Kansas again:
“We want to play them again. No matter who we play we got to finish games.”

Freshman Forward Kevin Durant
On the firsh half:

“They came and doubled me every time so I was throwing it out to my teammates for open shots. It was a good half of basketball for us but we just have to finish. I’m always pumped up to play basketball, coming in here is a great atmosphere.”

On the second half:
“They came out tough. We were going right back at them. They did a great job and I congratulate them for a Big 12 Championship.”

On his injury:
“As I was going through the lane I twisted it. I twisted it in practice before.”