Bill Self Press Conference Quotes, 3-13-05

March 13, 2005

Head Coach Bill Self
On being seeded number three:

“I don’t think there is a big difference between a No. 2 seed and a No. 3 seed. Not understanding totally how they do it (seeding), you could make a strong argument for several teams. I thought Louisville would be a two seed and Connecticut had a chance to be a two. Certainly, the fact that we were 5-5 in our last 10 games gives validation that we are a three seed. Once you get past the elation of being a high seed, it comes down to match ups and playing well. You are going to have to beat somebody good to get to where you want to go.”

On possible opponents:
“I don’t know as much about Bucknell today as I will tomorrow, but I do know they won at Pittsburgh and not too many people do that. I know Wisconsin like the back of my hand as far as style from my Illinois days and certainly Northern Iowa shoots it as well as anyone. When you look at Connecticut, North Carolina, Florida, Villanova, Wisconsin and Kansas, you have some pretty good teams in the top six seeds. That is a pretty strong field.”

On the day’s activities:
“I think this is a team day, not a media day as far as being involved. I think the big deal is explaining the bracket. I told the guys that the way I had it figured out, we were a three seed. I knew Oklahoma State was a two seed and they weren’t going to give our conference two number two seeds. I told them that you have been a one, a two and a four seed since you have been here and you haven’t won it all yet, so maybe the No. 3 seed is the one. Being a No. 3 seed isn’t disappointing. Certainly, no one gave this three seed any favors to get to where we want to go.”

On playing in Oklahoma City:
“We are happy we are going to Oklahoma City. Hopefully, it won’t be a distraction for our players who are around there. Certainly, it is good for our fans.”

On the possibility of facing North Carolina in the tournament:
“If it is a distraction we won’t get the chance to play in that game. This is a two game tournament. We have to go play well this particular weekend and when you win that two game tournament you have to go prepare for the next. If you don’t win, there is no reason to prepare anymore. North Carolina is not on my brain at all. We have Bucknell and then Wisconsin or Northern Iowa — if we are fortunate enough to beat Bucknell. The first game is all this team should be focused on and thinking about.”

On his team’s seed:
“If we would have beat Oklahoma State yesterday and won today, then you could have made a solid argument for us being a No. 1 seed. You could make a strong case for every team being where they are. I think the RPI is very important, but I also think there are other criteria, like us being 5-5 in our last 10 which carried a lot of weight.”

On Keith Langford:
“He had an individual workout today. Some people thought we said that he was okay just to get to the committee, but I said all along he would have played today. I am not worried about his ankle, he just needs to get his strength back. I said this jokingly yesterday, but a bowel movement would be nice because his stomach is messed up right now. That is what is bothering him more than anything else.”

On the team’s recent play:
“We had a good weekend in Kansas City. We played pretty well against Kansas State and Oklahoma State, even though we were short-handed. If you put all of the stock on winning and losing, you could say we are 3-5 in our last eight. But if you put stock on winning then you could say we are getting better.”

On the Big 12 Tournament:
“The Oklahoma State game in Kansas City was important, but it was more important for us to leave there with some confidence. I think we did that. I think we played much better over there. Offensively, we were much better than we have been the previous two weeks.”

On the seniors leading the freshmen into postseason play:
“I think when our seniors went to the tournament as freshmen, they had some pretty good guys to help pull them along. Certainly, our freshmen now have some pretty good guys to help drag them along as well. That is part of their responsibility (as seniors) and I think they will do it. Our seniors know this is it and I think they will play with a great sense of urgency. That doesn’t guarantee play that we will play well, but I think they will put themselves in a position to give them the best chance of victory.”

Kansas Senior Guard Michael Lee
On playing in North Carolina’s bracket:
“It put a little smile on my face. I would love to get a chance to play against my former coach. I think it would make for a great game. It would be a great atmosphere with the traditions of both schools being so great.”

On playing in the tournament:
“I feel like if any player understands the importance of playing well at this time of year, I do. This is when it really counts. Forget about all the losses, conference tournaments and seeding. It doesn’t really matter. You just have to match up and play well. We as a team understand that very well.”

Junior Forward Christian Moody
On the Syracuse bracket:

“It’s definitely a tough bracket. You have to win six games and you have to beat the best teams to do it. It’s all about the matchups. Coach Self did a good job of explaining to us that he likes how it (the bracket) looks. We are really excited about our first game against Bucknell. They have done well the last couple of games. They are excited about playing us and we are excited about playing them.”

Senior Guard Keith Langford
On Kansas’ seeding:
“Obviously, being the No. 1 seed is ideal. I think where we landed and our location for our first two games is huge.”

On Bucknell:
“They caught my attention at the beginning of the season when they upset Pittsburgh. I caught the Patriot League Championship when they beat Holy Cross. Obviously, that was a big win considering how we struggled against Holy Cross a couple of years ago. They are obviously a talented team, other than that I don’t know very much.”

Senior Guard Aaron Miles
On the bracket:
“I know our coaching staff will do a great job scouting them (Bucknell) and getting us prepared. When I look at the bracket I am excited. I think every region is real tough. Everyone is equal. Anyone can beat anyone on any given night.”

On preparing for the tournament:
“I think the last week of practice has been great. We played pretty well (in the Big 12 Tournament) even though we lost. I think we are heading in the right direction at the right time.”

On playing North Carolina:
“We were just looking for where our name was in the bracket. We are just worried about going out there and handling our business regardless of who we have to play. We are just going to get prepared and play to the best of our ability. It would be an exciting basketball game but we are not going to look at it like that. We have to take it one game at a time.”