Postgame Quotes

Nov. 1, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 84, Pittsburg State 55
November 1, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the team’s performance:
“It was ugly. The first half was hard to watch, but I thought we tried hard. Our on-the-ball defense on the perimeter from our big guys was just horrific. We did some good things. We didn’t have any low-post presence at all the first half. We got it inside a little bit to Jeff (Withey) in the second half. Naadir (Tharpe) did some good things, and you usually don’t say that about a point guard that has nine turnovers, but he only had two in the second half. He made a couple of shots and did some good things. Of course, Conner (Teahan) was really good. Jeff was a presence blocking shots. I told him not to get too excited. They’re 6-foot-4; you should block shots if you’re seven foot. Still, though, he’s got great timing. He’s a good shot blocker. I think he can be one of the best in our league, so there were some good things that happened, but certainly it’s really hard to evaluate because you had 100 minutes that didn’t play. When you really look at it, I think there were some good things. Teahan and Withey I think were two really bright spots.”

On other guys who haven’t played as much in their career having a chance to play a lot:
“Travis (Releford) labored tonight. We have to get his confidence back with doing some things with the ball, but he usually guards and steals you extra possessions. He can get out and run, and Jordan (Juenemann), I don’t know if he’s going to play much, but he needed to get out there. You look out there, and one time in the first half we had Jordan and Niko (Roberts) out there to end the half. That’s still good, but it’s a shame we didn’t have our full complement of players. It’s also probably better in the long run that these guys get their minutes.”

On what the team will work on in the next week:
“We’ll rebound better when those other three (Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor) play, and we’ll take better care of the ball when those other three play, but there are a lot of things that we can do a lot better. We’ll look a lot better when they play. If Naadir’s playing 10 or 12 minutes a game, I think he can be very effective; I really do. If Conner’s playing 25 minutes a game and keeps his legs fresh, I think he can shoot as well as anybody in the country. I think he’s a great shooter, but we have to get something from that four spot. Jeff Withey, Justin Wesley and Kevin Young have to be able to do some things for us that are really positive from an active standpoint. Tonight we didn’t get that done. It’s also their first game. Justin Wesley played at Lamar and didn’t play a lot. Now he’s starting at Kansas tonight, so it’s a lot different. I thought those guys in the second half calmed down and played a lot better.”

Kansas Junior Jeff Withey
On how he felt about starting and taking on a leadership role:
“I didn’t really worry too much about starting. I was more worried about the game plan. That’s what I focused on. We did some good things tonight and we did some things that we’ll have to work on a lot. The first half was pretty ugly. We came out the second half and played a lot better, but we have a lot to work on. We have to get more consistent. It’s just an exhibition game so we can’t look too much into it.”

On if he has ever had 10 blocks before in one game:
“I did in high school. (The most I got) was around 15.”

On how his ankle feels:
“It’s pretty sore and I’m sure it will be sore for the next couple of days. I can play on it obviously, so it’s not that big of a deal.”

On if he knew during the game that he had a triple-double:
“No, I didn’t know until I came out of the game and Coach (Bill) Self told me.”

Kansas Senior Conner Teahan
On how he felt about starting and taking on a leadership role:
“It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t look too much more into it than that. I was focused more on the game and didn’t really think outside of game-play. It was a great experience. It’s just an exhibition game, though, so we’re just focused on getting better. There were a lot of flaws there tonight, but we’re constantly improving.”

On Pittsburg State:
“There are definitely some talented players on that team. There were guys out there that could definitely play and shoot the ball. We needed to respect them. There were some strong, physical guys which was good for our post men. We’ve had some trouble in practice because we’re a smaller team. They’re a smaller team, too, but we don’t have some of the muscle that they have so they were able to push on us a lot. They were a good team. They obviously gave us trouble in the first half so we definitely had to respect them.”

On if he planned to come out firing:
“Yes, I just wanted to get us off to the right start. I haven’t really played very much, but I just wanted to take shots if I was open. I got a lot of open looks early on, so I was able to capitalize on those.”

Kansas Freshman Naadir Tharpe
On the differences in his play between the first and second halves:
“At first, I wouldn’t say I was trying to do too much, but I was trying to get everyone involved because that’s what I’m used to doing. I felt that I should’ve been more aggressive in the first half and took my time. I was a little antsy. As soon as I came out for the second half, Coach (Self) and the team talked to me and I just settled down.”

Pittsburg State Head Coach Kevin Muff
Opening statement:
“It was a great opportunity for Pittsburg State University and our basketball team to come play in this kind of atmosphere. The biggest statement I can make about this opportunity is that both (Kansas State head coach Frank Martin) and (Kansas head coach Bill Self) have included the Division-II schools in Kansas and kept it in Kansas. We are very appreciative for that. It helps our team and gives these guys an opportunity to play in a great environment and get better. We learned some things about ourselves tonight.”

On Kansas pulling away in the second half:
“Their defense did a better job of taking away what we wanted to do and that’s get to the lane. You saw us settle for three pointers and we’re not a very good three point shooting team right now. We have some guys that can shoot it, but when we settled–I think we settled for three or four in a row–in that stretch, they were very aggressive inside. They did a good job with (Jeff) Withey inside and caused some problems. Our guys really played hard and I loved our effort. I don’t have any doubts about that. We showed that we’re trying to run some things and do some things that should be done in December and we were trying to do them this early.”

On Kansas playing without Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson:
“For me as a coach we prepared for Tyshawn (Taylor), Elijah (Johnson) and (Thomas) Robinson. I thought they were playing so we focused on them–especially Robinson–once we found out about Tyshawn and Elijah. We were going to guard ball screens a little bit different. Obviously, we expected a lot more pressure so we had some pressure release type things in. They came out and did a pretty good job. We were kind of sloppy with the ball early and that’s to be expected in this type of situation. It did change our mindset. It took us a little bit to get going offensively and get it inside.”

Pittsburg State Sophomore JaVon McGee
On not being able to play against Thomas Robinson:
“For me it was a little bit disappointing because we thought (Thomas) Robinson was going to play. Some of us looked on Twitter and he said he was going to come back this week so we prepared for him. We didn’t find out until minutes before the game that he wasn’t going to play. I wish I could have seen what I could have done against him, but other than that we are happy with how we played.”

On if he had faced a shot blocker as good as Jeff Withey:
“My freshman year (2009-10) we played KU here. I played against someone better than him (former Kansas player Cole Aldrich). I wasn’t expecting him to keep blocking my shot like that. I was expecting to get some calls, but that’s home court advantage.”

On if he was surprised by Conner Teahan’s shooting:
“I’m from the Kansas City area so I knew he could shoot lights out like that.”

Pittsburg State Junior Drake Green
On if he was disappointed that Kansas did not play Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson:
“There is some disappointment as a player because you want to go against a top prospect from a major Division-I program; but at the same time, we still had to go in and give it our best effort.”