Kansas vs. Richmond Postgame Quotes

March 25, 2011

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Kansas Postgame Press Conference

Kansas – 77 Richmond – 57

THE MODERATOR: At this time we’d like to welcome the University of Kansas to the dais. Start off with an opening statement from Coach Self.

COACH SELF: I thought we played very well and sound in the first half. They missed shots, which we benefited from. But for the most start, we took away easy points and layups. We also made some shots in the first half that got the lead out there pretty good. But second half we didn’t play as well. But it was still a really good win, and one that I’m glad that it’s behind us so we can look forward to the next one.

Q. You had 12 points and 14 rebounds in 16 minutes. How were you able to be so dominant?

THOMAS ROBINSON: I just wanted to come off the bench and use my energy and go after every ball and it happened to go in my favor tonight.

Q. The last two cities you guys played in you came out flat in the first game, OklahomaState and BostonU. Today total opposite. How do you explain you guys being so keyed up when you came out today?

Brady Morningstar: I give credit to our scout team. They prepared us real well and our coaching staff. I think coming out and defending first of all gives us a lot of energy, and then on the offensive end we were hitting shots. It makes it better.

Q. Brady, there is some talk about some jostling or something like that before the game. Did any of that carry over on to the court?

Brady Morningstar: No, I mean it’s just a lot of energy, getting ready to play a big game. Both teams were excited. So that’s just how sports are sometimes. And I respect Richmond a lot. They’re a heck of a team, and I’m glad we got a good win tonight.

Q. Brady, could you talk about your shooting tonight? Did you feel like you had the good shot early and wanted to stick with it?

BRADY MORNINGSTAR: I feel like a couple of us were open, me and Tyrel hit some open shots, and when they started to fall, they did a good job penetrating and kicking it, and our shots were falling. So I think that’s a key for us. If our bigs are in foul trouble or anything like that, my team gave me the ball and I was knocking them down.

Q. Brady, can you discuss the technical foul you got after you made the shot against the guy?

BRADY MORNINGSTAR: I got ahead of myself and I’m not good enough to run my mouth after I make a shot (laughter). That’s basically what it is. A mistake on my part, I apologize for that. Sorry, coach. COACH SELF: Too late. (Laughter.) Q. Bill, I’m interested in defense. Why was it so effective tonight? This is a team that shoots so well from the perimeter and you shut that off completely. COACH SELF: I thought our guys for the most part followed the scout report great. Our ball screen defense was good. And they usually can score behind their ball screens or behind their dribble handoffs and that wasn’t the case tonight. And also, you know, our goal was to take away layups and threes, and they got the one back or maybe two. And that was late. We did a good job with that. Brady is right. Our scout team is pretty good. And I think that was a big reason why our guys felt comfortable with their actions. It is different. We don’t guard anybody else like that. We’re going to go back regardless of who we play next, forget about that, get back to guarding how we were. But certainly preparation was pretty good in a large part due to our scout team.

Q. Was part of the defensive strategy, seemed like you guys were switching everything and just trying to make or –

COACH SELF: No, we really didn’t switch that much. The bigs can switch with each other, but the perimeters don’t switch. We changed how we guard ball screens from time to time and dribble handoffs if we’re small or they’re small, we may switch more of those. But for the most part we didn’t really switch a lot. We will more in late game situations. But I thought our guys did a pretty good job of playing to the scout report.

Q. Yesterday one of the players was quoted as saying we try to get in their heads. There apparently was some talk between the teams yesterday. Apparently some more today.

COACH SELF: That’s not true. Our media made a big deal out of nothing yesterday. But that’s not true, at all. Today what happened was that, you know, I don’t know if you guys know this, but both teams walk down the same hallway. So both teams came out at the same time to go on the court. So typical stuff, but it wasn’t anything. And I didn’t think there was any trash talking at all. I thought Brady said that after, you know, after he kind of got into it with him on the other end, said that, and that was very immature, undisciplined. But I don’t buy into all that stuff that the media makes it out to be a lot more than what it is.

Q. What do your players have to change their mind when they’re playing defense against a team like this, their mindset. Is it less reacting to the ball?

COACH SELF: No. The whole thing is with defense, the way that most people play it is you want to be up the floor or up the line. If there’s penetration you’re in better help, better position to help or force the pitch or whatever, or start in really strong help. This team, whenever they dribble at you or screen away, it’s an automatic back cut. So you play underneath them. The whole deal is you play underneath them so they don’t get the layups, but you don’t play up the line. That’s what we have to get back to doing, is playing up the line, that’s the biggest difference.

Q. I think I’ll change my line of questioning. You went more than ten minutes in the first half without the twins scoring, yet built the lead up over 20. How gratifying was that to see?

COACH SELF: I thought Thomas was great. And Markieff struggled basically the whole night and got two quick ones early and took him out of it, and wasn’t a major factor offensively. But Marcus is still going to be the guy that most teams key on to stop. And he can pass, and of course Markieff can pass, and Thomas was effective and Josh made two threes, Tyrel and Brady I think combined for four the first half. And that was a great start for us, when we see the ball go in the hole. I thought Tyshawn was great, I thought his dribble penetration set up a lot of things for us.

Q. I was going to ask you about that, is how you handle their match-up zone and what was key to that, in making those threes early, do you think that took some pressure off you guys? It seemed like you weren’t getting the ball inside that much. Was that because the shots were –

COACH SELF: We did get it inside, but we got it inside off the bounce. And the whole goal was to get paint touches either off the bounce or off the catch or off the pass. And off the pass wasn’t as available, so we did a good job of getting in there and making some plays for teammates. It is a match-up zone, but we just told our guys, don’t think of it as zone, think of it as switching man. They bump out and do some different things. But we did create some mismatches inside off of ball screens and stuff like that, which turned out to be pretty effective for us.

Q. How reliable a threat is Brady now, offensively, and how good was he on both ends?

COACH SELF: We didn’t rebound the ball at all tonight. That was the thing, if you look at it negatively. They whipped us on the offensive glass, a couple of strange bounces or whatever that they got and a couple of air balls that they got points out of. But still they whipped us on the offensive glass. And Brady didn’t rebound like he could have, but he is so sound defensively and we don’t expect him to go 4-7 from deep every game. But the thing is he did lead the league in three-point field goal percentage. He’s played pretty consistently well shooting the basketball. It’s not a surprise, but it is something this team needs for us to be as good as we can be, because it opens up passing lanes on the post.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Josh’s two threes in the first half and kind of breaking out of his slump to give a lift off the bench?

COACH SELF: Josh was really good. He guarded well, too. He’s really labored with his shot. It looks the same to me, it just hasn’t been going in. I thought that was big for us tonight for him to get a couple down early. And really I didn’t think that there was any drop off at all. It may have been a boost when our bench was in the game in the first half. Maybe our bench was even better than our starters. I thought Josh played a big role in that. I thought Rio was good, too. And of course Thomas was terrific.

Q. There was a little bit of a slow start to the second half, Richmond got off to a 6-0 run, cut it down to 14, 15. Had a timeout, a little bit of gut check, talk from you, coach, next play, really got you guys going again.

COACH SELF: I didn’t think the second half — we had four turnovers and Thomas had three of them, because he got sped up. The second half we were a lot more careless. And that’s been a trade of this team, as much as I dislike it, is focus, no matter how much we talk about it and stress it. It can be a little off at times. But tonight when we did lose focus a little bit we were able to regroup. And the reason why they cut the lead was, in my opinion, I don’t want to say total effort points, but it was off loose balls that we totally controlled the first half and just wasn’t getting it done the second half.

Q. Bill, is it somewhat odd that both teams come in on the same place in a football stadium. You’re playing in a football stadium, shouldn’t there be two separate ways into a basketball court?

COACH SELF: Maybe, I don’t know. Those are things that I don’t really think about a lot of that stuff. Maybe a little odd, but certainly not a big deal. There was nothing. And my guys said, Coach, that was nothing. And I know what happened yesterday was nothing. A big a deal was made out of that by some. But still, though, that’s the way it goes. And certainly I thought both teams were, other than Brady saying that, I thought both teams played with great respect for each other the entire night.

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