Jayhawk Basketball Weekly Press Conference Quotes

March 15, 2005


Head Coach Bill Self
On the status of Keith Langford:
“He practiced some yesterday and got tired. But the doctors seem to think by Friday his stamina will be okay from the sickness. But his conditioning might not be great. The fact of the matter is if he was just dealing with the flu his stamina would be fine. However, he has missed something like eight consecutive days from his ankle injury. I think from that standpoint he will be okay but his ankle is just average. He worked out Sunday and yesterday and his ankle looked good. He kind of tweaked it there at the end yesterday which set him back for the rest of the day. He was moving pretty well on his ankle, but not great.”

On Christian Moody:
“Christian had a good day yesterday. His whole deal is not getting it (his knee) hit. I don’t know anything about medicine, but with a staph infection you can’t put any pressure on the infected area, so it hurts to touch. He can’t put a pad on it because that it too much pressure. So if he can just keep from getting hit that will be the best thing for him.”

On the legacy of the seniors:
“I hope this is not their legacy. They all played roles in getting there (to two Final Fours) before. They no longer have Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison, Drew Gooden or Jeff Bosche to bail them out. I told them this is your team. In a lot of ways it is still yet to be written what their legacy will be. I have told them numerous times about it. I spoke with them about it after we lost three in a row. There is a chapter left to be written about their legacy that has not been written and I hope it is one that is positive from their standpoint. This is their team and certainly everyone plays a significant role in their team’s success, but I think these four guys hold the key to most of ours.”

On Bucknell:
“I think that every coach will tell you that they are good. They are very good defensively with a sound man-to-man. They also run a very aggressive match-up zone. They run a pure form of true motion. They are very tall, 6-11 and 6-9. They have three very good guards that you would not normally anticipate seeing in the Patriot League. I think that they are a very good team. With their type of speed and quickness it was not a fluke that they beat Pittsburgh. Nor was it a fluke that they won at St. Joseph’s. The respective schools might have said that they had off days, but I guarantee that there was a reason they had off days.”

On Kansas’ recent first-round struggles:
“Last year was actually the first year that we didn’t struggle in the first round, but didn’t go as far. This will be a grind it out game.”

On his team’s energy entering tournament play:
“I don’t think that will be a problem at all. Sometimes I think when you have veteran teams that occurs but I don’t think that will be an issue at all with this team. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is over. This is the finale of it all.”

On expecting zone defense from Bucknell:
“I would say they don’t play it 50% of the time, but against us I would expect to see it 50% or more. They hang their hat on being a good man-to-man team. They will play zone, there is no doubt. I think it is a lot like Iowa State’s zone. They don’t have the same rule but I think it is one of those that is a pressure man-to-man or a zone defense with pressure man-to-man principles. They will definately pass guys off to other guys and try to deny one pass away, which is similar to Iowa State’s. It has not been a benefit to how we have played against it but I would say it is a benefit to us that we have seen it. Zones are all just a little bit different and certainly we have had our chance to play against our fair share lately.”

On the freshman big men:
“I can see Sasha Kaun being a factor in this game because they are big up front. I can also see C.J Giles maybe both of them. A lot will depend on what the other team is doing offensively to us. Right now it is hit or miss with our big guys.”

On the possibility of playing Wisconsin in the second round:
“I think it is an advantage because we have all our notes on when we played them before (at Illinois). Their personnel is different and we are playing a lot different than we were playing at Illinois. I don’t think it would be a disadvantage at all. If anything, it would be an advantage.”

On playing with confidence going into the post season:
“I think that Russell (Robinson), C.J (Giles), and Alex (Galindo) played quite a few minutes. I think that those are all positives with us going into the post season. I think from an individual standpoint, we should go into the post season pretty confident. Aaron (Miles) has played well. Wayne (Simien) has obviously been great. Jeff (Hawkins), Mike (Lee), and J.R. (Giddens) have made key plays to get us back into games. I see a lot of positives, especially how we have shared the ball. I think we are sharing the ball the best we have in awhile.”

Selected Player Quotes

Senior Guard Michael Lee
On the legacy of the four seniors:
“Winning the championship would be the icing on the cake. We came to school to graduate and that is something that all four of us will do together. You play to ultimately win the national championship and to cover those two things, you couldn’t ask for much more in a college career.”

On his last NCAA Tournament:
“I am going to approach it as this is it for me, because it really is. Now a loss to me means the end of everything, so that is how I am going to approach it every day. I am going to play until that final buzzer sounds.”

On Bucknell:
“I think they will be a good challenge. I have not seen them on tape, but I understand that they are a good team. In the tournament they are playing to win just like everyone else is. They are not going to lay down just because we are Kansas.”

Senior Guard Aaron Miles
On all four seniors graduating at the same time:
“I am very proud of that. It took a lot of hard work. We can credit our academic advisors. They have done a great job of keeping us on track. We are all good students. When we found out that we were all graduating on time it made everybody happy.”

On the last go round:
“We can’t write the last chapter until everything is done and I believe we have a while before that. When I watched the selections on Sunday my heart was pounding. I was excited and emotional because it is our last chance and our last opportunity. We have to make the most of it.”

On Bucknell:
“I am excited to play them, they are a good team. They have good players and they are coached well.”

Senior Forward Wayne Simien
On his last NCAA Tournament:
“Freshmen, sophomores and juniors all have one more to look forward to but this is our last chance. We will have to take care of it the best we know how and that is to go out on a winning streak.”

On Bucknell:
“I don’t know what to expect from them. We have been trying to fine tune some things of our own. I’m sure we will start adjusting to what Bucknell does today and tomorrow.”