Kansas Basketball Addresses Media

March 5, 2010


Pre-Practice Quotes

Prior to the Missouri Game

Friday, March 05, 2010

Head Coach Bill Self

On if he has received any calls from Missouri fans, like the players have been:

“No, I still get them periodically, but if it’s a 573 or 314 (area code) I usually don’t pick up this time of year.”

On how The Twins (Marcus and Markieff Morris) being such good passers opens things up offensively for the team:

“You’re right, they are good passers. They’re probably, I would say, two of our best four passers on the team, without question. I’d probably put Brady (Morningstar) and Sherron (Collins) as the other two. But they see the game pretty well. Against a team that traps and where you’re forced to play four-on-three or three-on-two sometimes behind the traps, it’s nice to have guys that can get in there and make some plays.”

On how the Missouri team really feeds off playing at home:

“I think that’s the way it is with everybody. You could say we’re a better home team; (our) record definitely dictates that. I’m not sure we’ve been a better home team this year than we have been on the road, but I do think certain teams thrive in certain situations. And the way they play, I think it definitely gives their defense energy, from the crowd. Look at their home record over the last few years. It’s been stellar. So this will be a very difficult game because they’re good, and also because they’re better at home.”

On how KU was able to take advantage of the inside size in the previous meeting against Missouri:

“I think if you really study the game tape, we got the ball inside, but we got the ball inside because we weren’t driving it as much as we were passing it. When you’re able to do that, it forces rotations and that’s how you can play behind those rotations. And they’re a very good rotating team, so we need to be able to throw the ball to our bigs, but just as importantly, get the ball in the paint of the bounce so it forces help and gives us better second-shot opportunities because it forces rotating in rebounding.”

On how the loss of (Justin) Safford changes things for MU:

“I’m really a fan of his because he’s played well against us. I don’t want to say positively, but he was as good as anybody they had against us the first time. I think he had like 18, 19 (19 points scored). I mean, he was really good. So if you look at it that way, that’s a big loss. And it is a loss; it probably hurts them more from a depth standpoint than anything else because Missouri’s not the biggest team, although their bigs play big. They’re not physically as big and he’s probably as a physical a guy as they have. One thing I’ve always said about Mike’s (Anderson) teams is it doesn’t matter who they have out there. Whoever they put out there always delivers the plays within the scheme to which he wants them to. So I’m not sure it’s going to be a huge difference other than a depth standpoint.”

On if this is the ultimate pride game for KU since there’s not much else at stake:

“I think that’s probably right. I talked to our guys yesterday. We were hammered yesterday from a fatigue standpoint. So we just let them rest yesterday because they were spent. But we talked about that. And I really believe we could play shirts and skins on an outdoor court and let guys who can play hard and compete when these two teams play each other.”

Junior center Cole Aldrich

On the Missouri game:

“I definitely think that it is going to be one of those games, as you guys saw, a little more than a month ago when we played them here was that our bigs really stepped up that game. They do not have the size advantage that we do, but one thing we have to do that we haven’t had the advantage lately in, is rebounding. That was a huge factor when we played them here so we have to be aggressive on the boards.”

On the atmosphere at Missouri:

“Any hostile environment is obviously a fun one, especially when it is a huge rivalry game. It is the last game for them at home and it is also the last game for the Big 12 for us. “

On the Missouri rivalry:

“Both Kansas State and Missouri are huge games, for not only us, but also the fan base, so we just try to go out there and play really hard.”

Junior guard Brady Morningstar

On opponent transition three-point shooting:

“You have to stop the ball in transition. Especially teams like Kansas State that like to jump out, and especially (Denny) Clemente does a good job of shooting threes in transition. I think playing Kansas State helps us a lot for other teams.”

On the Missouri game:

“It is big, it’s big for pride and for the rivalry because it is Missouri and you do not want to lose. We are going to go out there with a mindset of that; we are playing for a lot of things.”

On establishing an inside presence early:

“It is always a key; to play inside out is a huge key. Especially when we have bigs like ours, to get them involved early is important.”