Kansas Postgame Quotes

Nov. 7, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Head Coach Bill Self Postgame Quotes
Kansas 90, Emporia State 55
November 7, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:

“I didn’t think we played well at all in the first half. Did I expect us to play well, no I didn’t. Darrell (Arthur) played six minutes in the first half and had fouls. Number 31 (DeAndre Townsend) was the best player in the first half by far. He was a lot better than anyone in the game. I didn’t think it was bad for us to start that way. I don’t think anything happened tonight that was negative for us. If we do not come out at that magic level, we allow a team that we should be better than to hang around and if a team hangs around, it gets confidence. When a team has confidence they think they can win. This was a great lesson for our guys.”

On Emporia State:
“I thought in the first half they were good. They did not look like a Division II team. They made shots and made hard shots and we missed shots. They had better energy. We picked two good teams to play this year in Washburn and Emporia State. I like their team. Now in the second half they weren’t as good as they were in the first half and we played better. So it kind of balanced out. I think that they are going to have a fun season.”

On Mario Chalmers:
“He has a sprained toe. He hurt it in the game against Washburn. He tried practicing a couple of times and he just couldn’t. So we decided to shut him down for a couple of days. If he had to play tonight he could have, but there was no reason to. We think he’ll be fine for this Thursday and for sure this weekend.”

On Sherron Collins:
“I thought he was pretty good. Most people equate good with points — coaches do too, to an extent. But he didn’t guard his man away from the ball. There are a lot of things he can learn. We won’t dwell on the 20 points, although if he goes 4-for-7 most nights I’m going to think he’s playing pretty good. He had a nice game, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should be setting off fireworks because defensively he has to be better.”

Brandon Rush, Sophomore, Forward
On being an All-American:

“I didn’t know that until halftime. At halftime coach told the whole team. He thought that was the reason I came out and played the way I did. I thought I played terribly the first half. I think it’s a great honor to have but I still have to play the season out. As a team we have to go far. I didn’t expect it at all.”

On the play in the second half:
“We picked up the defense more. We pressured the ball, ran on the floor, everybody started going to the offensive boards and getting rebounds. I slowed down and started to take my time. I was going a little too fast.”

On improving his individual play:
“I think we still need to work on our defense, transitions, blocking out, and helping our team. I think we’ll go hard this next week in practice.”

On the loss of C.J. Giles:
“It hurts the team because he’s a great shot-blocker. We’re going to work around it. I think it’s a shock for the whole university to see what he’s going through.”

On the different mindset in the regular season:
“Yeah, it’s a whole different mindset, we have to come out and take everything more seriously.”

On playing exhibition games:
“It’s tough because you don’t know what to expect from the team. They’re going to come in hot like they did in the first half. But we slowed them down in the second half.”

On the injured players:
“I think we played pretty decent without them today. When we get them back we’re going to be an even better team. I think we’ll still feel comfortable with everybody back.”

Sherron Collins, Freshman, Guard
On the game:
“I think I was more nervous because I found out I was starting yesterday.”

On the loss of Mario Chalmers:
“Yeah, I felt I had to do a little more. Coach said everyone had to pitch in a little more because we were short of guys. So I just did what I had to do to help the team as much as I could.”

On the difference between college and high school basketball:
“Speed, getting up and down the floor, playing every play. In high school you can get away and fall asleep but in college you have to be alert and work every pass and every play.”

On C.J. Giles:
“I didn’t know him that well, I knew him from this summer but he was fun to be around and he was a great teammate when he was on the team. Coach just did what he had to do. C.J. knew the deal. We’re [the team] all we have now so we just have to go on.”

Darnell Jackson, Junior, Forward
On getting started in the second half:

“Coach Self thought we were playing soft, so he made sure he got into us and told us to play stronger and attack the basket. So that’s how we changed the game around.”

Head Coach Dave Moe
On the game:

“You always expect to do a little better than you actually do. What I wanted to do was make sure we could pass for 40 minutes. Our focus in the first half was just on being able to move the ball, and I know we are good enough that if we can pass and screen, then (defenders) will start breaking down. You gain a little confidence when you move the ball, and then your shots start falling. In the second half (Kansas’) pressure probably turned up a little bit. We had success individually because of how we played as a team in the first half. Then the second half comes around, and we are not playing as a team anymore. We were just standing and waiting. It’s sad for me because I would have like to have seen when (KU) upped their pressure whether or not we could continue to pass. When you stand around, even when you get shots, you don’t make shots. We just wanted to work the ball and make them work defensively, and we stopped working the ball. I thought in the first half, we were able to make them guard, because we have no chance of guarding KU individually. But we have a chance if we frustrate them. Instead, Kansas just bullied up on us and we didn’t respond by doing what we needed to do.”

On ESU’s play in the first half:
“Against Wichita State, we passed and didn’t make shots. We knew that if we could get looks that we could make some shots. Guys were open and we were just good offensively in the first half by not doing anything more than passing. Kansas was still pressuring and denying. It was just a tale of two halves. In the second half, they upped their pressure. That is what happens. It will happen to us no matter who we are playing. If our individuals don’t make each other better, we are not going to be a good team against anybody, because we don’t have the most talent. But what we do have is a very coachable group that knows how to play the way I want to coach, and when they play together, they can have success.”

Junior Guard DeAndre Towsend
On the game:

“We took care of the ball (in the first half). We wanted to come out here and prove that we can play with anybody in the country. We did a great job in the first half and we had fun.”

On trouble scoring in the second half:
“I think the problem with the second half was that we came out and played like it was already over. We didn’t take care of the ball in the second half at all and we will do a better job of that in the next game.”

On what was taken from the game:
“We played pretty well against the No. 3 team in the nation. They’re good. They’re really good. They’re going to be outstanding, and we’re going to be outstanding, too. We’re going to take it one day at a time in practice and we’ll get better.”

Junior Forward Jordan Fithian
On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:

“We’ve played at Michigan and Oklahoma. This is obviously a step up. I never imagined we could come out and play like this. You come into Kansas, everybody watches them growing up, come to games, cheer for them, and all of a sudden, you’re up. And then you come in (to Allen Fieldhouse), and suddenly, you’re up, especially early, you want to keep playing hard and keep doing what you’re doing.”

On the game:
“If we played well in the second half, we would have been right there, too. The first half was good, and this was like stepping stones for us. Everybody was loosened up (in the first half), and we starting hitting shots and it was go time from there.”