Postgame Quotes vs. Fort Hays State

Nov. 3, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Kansas vs. Fort Hays Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the new facility:

“It’s huge. It is unbelievable. Hopefully it hasn’t made us soft. Because the way we guarded out there was pretty soft. But it is a fabulous facility and we’re pretty proud of it. I think the guys will really take a lot of pride in having this facility. The only reason we got it is because of a lot of others’ hard work and some really generous boosters. We are definitely going to make the most of it.”

Overall thoughts on the game:

“Well I thought we started out pretty good. I thought we got really stale offensively in the first half. I thought we didn’t guard a lot of their action very well. The biggest thing to me was our carelessness with the ball and obviously we rebounded the ball poorly. That’s a team that shouldn’t get 20 offensive rebounds against us. We didn’t defend the three very well and didn’t do some other things very well. I thought our young kids played good. I think Elijah (Johnson) is going to be really good and Xavier (Henry) showed us that he can score the basketball. I thought Thomas (Robinson) played really well in the limited time that he was out there; he’s got energy and shoots the ball pretty well, so there were some good things that happened tonight. We forgot about Cole (Aldrich) in the first half which was something we talked about at halftime. When he gets it, he scores easy. We’d certainly like things to tighten up but we weren’t terrible.”

On the depth of his team:

“We have so many guys; we have three guys that didn’t play basically because we’re going to wait another week to evaluate the situation, I don’t think they’ll all redshirt. Who knows, they might. I think two of them probably will but we’ll wait and see how that goes. We only played nine really; we’ve still got Brady (Morningstar) and Jeff Withey coming. So there’s quite a bit of depth out there so it’s probably in the guys best interest to maybe think about the redshirt if they’re not going to be in that top seven or eight. But we will wait another week to determine who is.”

On the upcoming schedule:

“I haven’t studied it that close. I know we play next Tuesday, Friday and if I’m not mistaken, Monday or Tuesday in St. Louis. So we need to get a lot of stuff in. We didn’t trap the post; we’ve got to work on more in-game situations. I think practice is moving a little slower than what it has in the past. We need to definitely start doing some more things so we can get a lot of stuff in.”

Kansas Player Quotes vs. Fort Hays State

Freshman Guard Elijah Johnson

On the possibility of redshirting this year:

“The only thing that would make me think about redshirting would be my knee injuries. Right now my knee feels great, so I see no reason for me to redshirt.”

On the emotions of playing in his first college game:

“It felt great. It was unexplainable. Especially to have a breakout like that. I’ll never forget it. It was just adrenaline pumping 100 percent. The crowd going crazy, playing in front of that many people for the first time, it was great.”

On if the adrenaline makes him jump higher:

“Actually, I don’t know, I’m not sure how high I got. I’d like to see the replay. I think I could’ve gotten higher.”

On if he always imagined his first college basket being a dunk:

“I never imagine my first bucket. I always think about my first assist, just to be able to do something and actually watch with the crowd – with a point being scored, and seeing the crowd going crazy. I never envisioned my first point.”

On pregame butterflies:

“Oh yeah. I was going crazy at first – I couldn’t warm up right. So the sophomore class talked to me. They sent me back to memory lane, with what they went through last year, it helped a lot.”

On the most helpful thing the sophomores said:

“Marcus Morris just told me to think about something funny – I couldn’t. But he said something funny, and that was it, I was calm. He also told me that it was just another regular day, and to be calm. I can’t actually remember what he said.”

Senior Guard Sherron Collins

On how the freshmen fared in the game:

“I wish Thomas (Robinson) would’ve stayed in the game longer, he got in some foul trouble. I think Elijah (Johnson) is going to do a lot of good things, especially with picking up the up-tempo pace that we want to play. I think we showed some talent today.”

On if this year’s team will be a better rebounding team:

“Of course I think we should be a better rebounding team. We got a lot bigger, especially in the three spot. Putting a 6-6 guy in there, and taking Brady (Morningstar), who is 6-2 – not taking anything away from Brady – he played great last year, but we just got bigger, inside and from the three, so we should be a better rebounding team.

On how comfortable the team is about holding onto the number-one spot in the preseason rankings:

“I am very confident. Rankings don’t really matter, whether we lose or not. I think we’re going to lose one, we might lose one. It would be nice to keep the number-one ranking, and being on that stage.”

On the exhibition games:

“It’s fun. (Fort Hays State) was good, they had some quick guards that tested us, and let us know where we have to get better at. I think it was a learning experience for us. It’s just fun to play against someone who isn’t your teammates, and see another color jersey out there. The fans are great, and it’s always fun to play in front of them.”

Sophomore Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On why he wasn’t in the starting lineup:

“I haven’t been doing what I’m supposed to be doing. He started Tyrel (Reed) tonight – I’m just going to come to practice Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and just be ready for next Tuesday.”

On what he’s been doing wrong in practice:

“I just haven’t really been working that hard. Just little things that Coach (Bill) Self gets frustrated with me about. I just keep making the same mistakes. I don’t purposely do it, it’s just how I play. I’ll be alright.”

On the amount of talent on the team being an incentive to work harder:

“Coach Self is definitely a fair coach, he treats everyone the same. I haven’t been playing that well, so he didn’t start me. I feel that if someone else who should be starting isn’t playing that well, he won’t start you. If you play well two or three days before a game, he’s probably going to start you.”

Fort Hays State Head Coach Mark Johnson

On his team’s foul trouble:

“There was a size differential out there. I have to think that our guys were trying to do their best to battle down there.”

On the game:

“We gave up 107 points, but when you look at it a lot of those points were at the foul line. If I look at the game tonight I was pleased at one end of the floor. I thought that offensively we did some good things. The other end of the floor looks like it is hurting, we did not guard the way that we expected to, but KU had a lot to do with that. They are real impressive and have a lot of skill level with their size.”

On Kansas:

“I think that they have a lot of good players and I think that Coach Self will tell you that they have a lot of work to do, just like any team this time of year. I think that they have a lot of pieces to the puzzle and he will get them to play the way that he wants them to play, that is for sure.”

On how playing Kansas prepares them for the rest of the season:

“Like I told our guys before the game, we can play them really well and have a terrible year or we could play them very poorly and have a great year. I don’t know how much you put into that; it is more about the experience for our guys. What an experience it is for them to play in that situation, it is the only time that they get to play in front of that kind of crowd and environment. Playing against a couple of future pros; that is what this is about, 10 years from now talking about tonight.”

On what about KU impressed him:

“I think that they shoot the ball well and they have good size. The two most important positions on the court are the center and the point guard and I think they have that covered pretty well. I think the other guys on their team have a high skill level and once they put it all together they are going to have a successful season.”

Fort Hays State Player Quotes

Junior guard Corbin Kuntzsch

On facing Kansas’ full-court pressure:

“Our guards did a good job of taking care of the ball. We only lost it a couple of times and against their pressure that’s pretty good, especially in Allen Fieldhouse.”

On the experience of playing in Allen Fieldhouse:

“I’m not sure how the first-year guys handled it, but it’s just a fun experience. Any time you get to come in here and play the number one team in the nation it’s a great experience.”

On playing the number one team in the nation:

“Everybody had their jitters, especially being the first game. We had nothing to lose coming into this game. Coach told us to just go out there, have fun, and live in the moment, play as hard as you can and leave everything out on the court.”

Senior guard Willie Hassell

On facing Kansas guard Sherron Collins:

“Let’s just say it was what I expected. He’s a tough player. He’s definitely a top-five draft pick I think.”

On the experience of playing in Allen Fieldhouse:

“I thought we could have played a lot better. We came into the game, basically knowing what the outcome was going to be. The coaches wanted us to come in and just enjoy the experience. We won’t see this type of crowd again, but I enjoyed it. I think the whole team enjoyed it.”

On playing a team of Kansas’ caliber and helping their non-conference schedule:

“It helps us a lot because they expose a lot of the bad things we do. While we’re in practice, we don’t really get exposed by each other. They exposed the turnovers and all the bad passes, so it was positive for us.”