Postgame Quotes

March 2, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 64, Texas A&M 52
March 2, 2011

Head Coach Bill Self

On winning seven straight Big 12 Championships:

“The thing about it is we clinched a tie this year, but hopefully we can win it outright on Saturday. There have been so many turnovers in different teamS which is a testimony to guys recruiting great players. Isn’t it amazing that regardless of who you recruit you have to have a guy from Lawrence and Burlington (Kansas) in order to look good? Brady (Morningstar) and Tyrel (Reed) certainly played well tonight.”

On clinching the Big 12 Conference championship this year:

“It didn’t feel great tonight for a couple of reasons. The game had no rhyme and that is how Texas A&M had to play to give them the best chance. I thought that we guarded them very well and I thought that we did a good job mudding up. We have been a pretty good team and I thought we did well today playing in a game with no rhyme. I do not think that we should celebrate because we tied it and have a chance to win it outright; we would rather do it ourselves than hope for help from someone else. We did not celebrate in the locker room even though the Big 12 trophy was there. Regardless of where we are ranked preseason, that is our goal every year. It probably feels a little different now from the previous games going two games down.”

On the play of guards Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson:

“Elijah Johnson is going to start at point guard for us on Saturday. I thought that Elijah played great down the stretch. I thought that Tyshawn played really well the first half; he was our leading scorer and did some really good things. I feel comfortable playing them both. I think that Elijah, as long as he keeps doing what he is, deserves to start.”

On playing Missouri:

“Most teams are better playing at home. I think for us, we are more active at home than when we are away from home. It is a natural phenomenon; that is why they call it home court advantage.”

On his message to the team about winning the Big 12 Championship:

“The message was after the K-State game: this is not over and they are not going to run the table. We say ‘Big 12 Champs’ everyday, it does matter the situation.”

Senior Guard Brady Morningstar:

On how it feels to win KU’s seventh straight Big 12 Championship:

“It’s a pretty good accomplishment, but we still have business to take care of Saturday because we don’t like sharing championships. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very exciting to be a part of a streak like this.

On what the key has been for KU’s streak of Big 12 Championships:

“Not looking past our conference season, because if you win your conference, you’re going to have a much easier time in the conference tournament and a pretty good road in the NCAA tournament. So winning a regular season conference championship is one of our goals so that’s what we look at until we get that taken care of.”

On what he believes sets KU’s program apart from the other Big 12 schools:

“I think it’s our home court advantage and our fans. This is the best place to play in the world, believe it or not. I’ve heard Cameron Indoor is pretty cool. I haven’t been there for a game. I don’t think there’s another place in the country that’s a better venue to play in. We’re spoiled with that. It’s the way our coaches prepare us.

Junior Forward Marcus Morris:

On having to grind out a tough win against Texas A&M:

“I thought that we really buckled down at the end. We started guarding when we really needed it and we got stops and rebounds. You have to give (Texas) A&M a lot of credit. They are a good team but I think that we wanted it a little bit more down the stretch.”

On the difference between the first and second half for KU:

“Shots fell; Markieff (Morris) told me that he felt like there was something on top of the rim. Normal shots that he usually makes from two feet in the lane and his normal jumper wasn’t going in. I got two early fouls that kind of got me out of the game a little bit. I just had to wait until the second half to be more aggressive. I think by just getting those two fouls I was less aggressive than normal.”

Senior Guard Tyrel Reed:

On if this game will help KU moving forward toward the postseason;

“I think that it’s going to help us out down the road. This was a tournament type game. Where our shots aren’t falling and you have to grind it out and can’t get in a rhythm. It was probably a good game for us. It was amazing. Shots that Markieff and Marcus usually hit just weren’t falling. Credit them though. They kept playing hard. In a way though, it was probably a good thing that we had to grind it out.”

On what he believes sets KU’s program apart from other Big 12 programs:

“That’s a good question. One thing is we really focus on winning the Big 12 every year. Some teams put more focus on winning certain games or bigger games, or getting to the national championship, or getting in the NCAA tournament. Our main goal every year is to win the Big 12. We say it after every practice. The coaches have instilled it in the players that that’s our goal every year and that’s what we want. Anything less is sub-par and below standards. You have to give credit to our coaches. They have us prepared every year and (they) recruit players that work in their system. It comes down to a lot of coaching, but ultimately it comes down to guys that have played before us, and will play after us, that are really good.”

Texas A&M Head Coach Mark Turgeon:

On the recap of the game:

“I thought we were pretty good for about 30 minutes, especially defensively, and then our turnovers did us in. We had too many turnovers that turned into bad transition baskets. They had about four open looks in the second half and they made every one of them. A lot of teams aren’t capable of doing that, and they drained them. We didn’t play smart in a couple stretches, and a team like Kansas will make you pay. We just didn’t take care of the ball and that was the defense.”

On the low scoring first half:

“There is no really easy way to guard KU. We just tried to change it up. I thought our post guys did a really good job not letting them in for layups. Then they missed some shots that they normally make. Sometimes you want Senior Night to go so well that they don’t play as well as they’re capable of playing. I thought we were very physical and the refs really let us play, which helped us.”

On the second half:

“We only had two free throws in the first half and 10 for the game. We just talked about getting to the foul line, which we couldn’t do. A lot of it is because of their length. That was the whole key to the game, to get David (Loubeau) going. We just tried to take advantage when the Morris twins got into foul trouble, and go at them a little bit.”

On the atmosphere:

“I thought we were going to get a K-State or Missouri crowd and we did. The start of the game is electric. They couldn’t hit a shot and neither could we. The tempo was in our favor. I just told the guys to embrace the crowd. If it’s going to intimidate you we’re going to get our tails kicked. If you embrace it and love being out there playing in that environment then we’re going to compete, which I thought we did.”

On the things learned from the game:

“I think to get where we want to be, we eventually need to beat a team like Kansas. We haven’t been able to do it. We can’t play for 30 minutes and expect to beat a good team. You have to stay focused for 40. Hopefully we can learn from it and get better. I was proud of our guys.”

Texas A&M Freshman Forward Kourtney Roberson

On getting the ball inside:
“We just tried to stop (the Morris twins) mainly and make the guards shoot.”

On rebounding against Kansas:
“It’s very difficult, but we just have to hold our box-outs, and get the rebound like Coach (Turgeon) says every day. You have to hit the man and then grab it.”

On what he learned from the game:
“Just keep working, and don’t play for 30 minutes, you have to play for all 40.”