Postgame Quotes

March 3, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 73, Texas 63
March 3, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On how the game played out:
I thought we played better than the score. I thought our defense was actually good the first half. We didn’t guard J’Covan (Brown) the second half, but we got anything we wanted in the second half offensively shooting 63% the second half. We rebounded the ball better in the second half, but we just didn’t guard very well. We had some individuals play well and some not play well. Thomas (Robinson) and Tyshawn (Taylor) played well. It was a good night, no question and fans stuck around to listen and recognize Jordan (Juenemann), Conner (Teahan) and Tyshawn. (And to) recognize Thomas the way they did was pretty special.”

On Thomas Robinson’s last game in Allen Fieldhouse:
“I don’t know if it really hit him until fans recognized him at the very end. We didn’t play very well, we made some bonehead plays but we shared the ball well tonight. We have to guard better, but it was a pretty fitting way to finish the season. Now we have to make it a special season in postseason play.”

On if anything surprises him at this point in the season (Big 12 Champions eight-times in a row):
“This team has won one in a row and focused on this year. They have had an unbelievable year; win the league by 16-2, in a league that has three teams that have been in the top 10 the majority of the season. It has been a remarkable run and a remarkable year. I look out there and it’s exciting because we haven’t played our best ball and when Kevin (Young) comes in and give us energy, and guarding like he did tonight. We haven’t got him where we have all been on the same page. I think this team can play a lot better, without question, but it’s still pretty good the way they have played up until this point.”

On the NCAA Tournament:
“We won the league and the league is more important than the postseason tournament, I don’t care what anybody says. But we might as well go validate it and our guys are excited to play.”

Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor
On his senior speech:
“I was definitely not looking forward to that part (the speech). I really didn’t want to be up there, unlike my man (Conner) Teahan. It was good though. I just wanted to thank a lot of people and get some stuff off my chest about things. Just let everyone know how I felt about them. Like Coach (Self) said, ‘we really don’t tell people what they mean to you, too much’. I just had to let everyone know.”

On enjoying this win before focusing on the next game:
“We have to get right back to work. We will probably get the day off tomorrow and then get right back at it on Monday. This is the last home game, but it’s not the last game. I think we all have that understanding. We just want to try and keep it rolling and do something special.”

On his focus during the game:
“The focus was definitely on that speech. I was thinking about that speech a lot more than I should have during the game. I think with everything going on and the emotions in the air, it was a little tougher to get up and be excited about this game. Knowing it’s the last one for a lot of us. We did pretty well. It was a slow first half, but then we picked it up and played better.”

On Thomas Robinson’s play in the second half:
“He played better. I think he knew that he got off to a slow start. Coach wanted him to do different things. He picked it up and played like the player of the year.”

On what he has learned from previous years for the postseason:
“I think we just need to be more prepared and focused. Those last two teams, we thought that if we showed up, we were going to win. When we were on the court with any team, they were going to lose. That’s how we felt. I think this team has a little bit more of an edge because we feel even being a number one seed, we definitely had to earn it and no one was going to give it to us. The last couple years, I felt like we were Kansas and a number one seed. We played a pretty good schedule, but this year our schedule was a lot better. It made us tougher for conference. Once we got in conference, we grinded it all the way out. We ended up winning. I think we’re going to get a number one seed, but once you get to the tournament, it really doesn’t matter. We have to come to play every team, and have to be ready to play all those days. This team is a little hungrier than those other two teams. I feel like we have a lot more to prove than those other two teams. I think that’s why T-Rob (Robinson) feels more comfortable with this team than the last two. We understand it’s not going to be easy. We have to go out and play. We have guys that are willing to do that.”

Junior forward Thomas Robinson
On Coach Self calling him onto the court after the game:
“It was shocking. I was looking around to see if anybody else knew about it. Then, I was thinking that I had to speak, and I was going crazy at that point. It was special. I knew Coach (Self) hadn’t ever done anything like that before. There have been many great players before me. I’m thankful for that.”

On KU’s postseason chances:
“I like our chances. I actually feel more comfortable about this team than previous years. We’re just right. We don’t have too much or too little. I know everybody here is on the same page. We want to win. We’re happy for overachieving in conference play, but that’s not enough. There’s still a bigger trophy out there.”

On the depth going into postseason play:
“We go into the tournament with an edge. Previous years, if someone wasn’t playing good, we still had another person. When you know that you have to fight every night, I’m more comfortable with that. We’ve been thrown in situations before. Previous years we had a good schedule, but this year, we’ve been in battles that I know for sure when things get rough, I have people to fight with me. I’ll live with that any day.”

Senior guard Conner Teahan
On the differences between the beginning of the year and now:
“I think people understand their role more. People knew their role coming into it. Also, we had some guys, like myself, that hadn’t been playing very much, and didn’t really understand what it took to compete against teams like that (Kentucky and Duke). We hadn’t really been in big games. T-Rob (Robinson) hadn’t even played (that much). Compared to what he does now, it’s totally different jumping that many minutes. I think that was a big thing. I think we have accepted our roles and just want to win. We don’t care how it happens.”

Texas head coach Rick Barnes
On the first half:
“We missed some shots that we needed to make, but the first half we were where we needed to be. We obviously don’t have a way to go inside and make Thomas (Robinson) and (Jeff) Withey guard down there. We were trying to get them out and away from the basket. In the second half, (Alexis Wangmene) went down and our two young post guys had some fouls when we needed them in the game. Thomas was terrific; we just didn’t have an answer for him. At some point in time, you have to put some pressure around the basket and throw it to somebody that can go at them a little bit. We just made some really poor shot selection decisions in the second half when we needed to make them guard longer. Even in the first half, we had two shot clock violations where we went in and lost the ball – and we didn’t get to do what we wanted to do at the end of the shot clock. Again, Thomas Robinson – I told him after the game, that if I had a vote, he would be my vote for player of the year. I know he has been through a lot the last couple of years, but the way he carries himself, and he is just a terrific player. He causes problems, and he has just improved; I love guys that improve – even Tyshawn (Taylor), watching him over four years, it has been fun competing against him. We just did not have an answer for (Robinson) tonight and there is no way to win when a team shoots (62.5) percent in the second half.”

On J’Covan Brown:
“I think he has been terrific all year. What happens with our team, I think our guys were looking at J’Covan to go down in the post and do something. I like the demeanor of our freshmen coming in here for the first time, the way they handled themselves. We just did not make some very good decisions when we needed to make some good ones. We couldn’t guard Thomas Robinson, that is the bottom line.”

On if playing Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament is a must-win game:
“I can tell you for a fact that when we were in New Jersey getting ready to play NC State, and there were about five minutes before the game, I could have counted everybody in the stands – there was not much atmosphere. I told the guys that if they do not think this game is important, then they should wait until March. I told them that if you do not think these games are important, then they are not. I have always believed that your (NCAA Tournament hopes) are based on your entire body of work. I also have confidence in our league; if we are the second-best league in the country, I don’t know how we can’t have six teams in the NCAA Tournament. I am not going to sit here and politic, because I don’t believe in that, I believe in that committee – I believe that they will do what they think is right. I don’t want to win just one game, I want to win another one and another one and another, and I know our team has fought hard all year long. I am not going to say that our season is down to one more game – we have one more game guaranteed in the tournament and when we are done there, we will wait and see what happens. I truly believe in the basketball committee, and I believe they will do the best that they can to put (the best) at-large teams in the tournament.”

Texas junior guard J’Covan Brown
On the start Texas had in the game:
“I think we came out in the first half ready to play. Some of the shots weren’t going in and coach wanted us to drive. Some of the shots we took were threes that they were giving to us; but I felt we were right there in the beginning. In the second half we just made some mistakes to break the lead open (for Kansas).”

On Texas’ defensive performance in the second half:
“We have to step up on defense. We can’t let teams shoot 63 percent, or whatever they shot, to end the game. We have to find a way to limit teams.”

On if Texas needs a win in the Big 12 Championship to ensure further postseason play:
“I feel like we have to win every game we play; every time we step on that court. It doesn’t matter who we play. But if we go in and not execute for 40 minutes, we’ll be home early. So we have to go in there and fight for 40 minutes with whatever we got.”

Texas senior forward Clint Chapman
On the play in which Texas senior forward Alexis Wangmene got injured:
“Well Tyshawn (Taylor) was trying to drive down the lane and put up a floater. I stepped up and thought I took the charge, but no it was a no call. And I think Alexis jumped in for a rebound and all I remember was that he came right down on top of my head. I couldn’t see it because I was on the floor, beneath him. The defensive presence he brings was noticeably missed the rest of the game.”

On the play of Kansas’ Thomas Robinson in the second half:
“I will give him all the credit; he is the best player in the country. He took advantage of every opportunity that we gave him with offensive rebounds and driving by guys; it definitely opened some opportunities for him.”