Postgame Quotes

Nov. 8, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 101, Fort Hayes State 52
November 8, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the season debut of junior forward Thomas Robinson:
“I thought he played really well. He still needs to get down in his stance on defense and guard his man before he catches the ball, but I thought he was pretty good.”

On the team’s performances:
“I thought Naadir (Tharpe) was obviously good offensively. And Conner (Teahan) has really been good shooting the ball. He goes five-for-five in the first half and all of them are deep except one. I thought we were pretty efficient; we took care of the basketball and guarded a little bit better. Still we can’t get too excited, we have to do better. That was a better team effort than what we had last week.”

On freshman guard Naadir Tharpe:
“He’s a cocky guy and if you are 5-foot-11 at this level you better be pretty cocky and tough. He has to improve on guarding his man and not looking for where the screen is coming from. But the little guy can shoot the basketball and he has been doing that since he’s been here. He gives us the chance to play small with Elijah (Johnson) and Tyshawn (Taylor) and put the pressure on. But mostly he gives us confidence that we will be able to give Tyshawn and Elijah a three to four minute rest each half.”

Kansas junior Thomas Robinson
On how he felt playing in his first game this season:
“It was good, I was a little more nervous than I thought I was going to be before the game. Once I got out there though, I felt at home.”

On if he feels like a different player from the last time he played Fort Hays State:
“Definitely, I would say I’m a lot different. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m a better player than two years ago. It’s been two years since (Fort Hays State head) coach Mark Johnson has seen me play and I appreciate the compliment but there’s a lot more to be done.”

On if Naadir Tharpe shot the ball this good at Brewster Academy:
“Definitely, this is the point guard I played with at Brewster. He’s always been a great shooter and passer. He’s a great point guard all around.”

Kansas freshman Naadir Tharpe
On if he felt more comfortable tonight:
“I felt like it had to do a lot with practice, because we really got into it at practice. Plus, practicing against Tyshawn (Taylor) and Elijah (Johnson), they really got after me, so I felt like I was really hungry to play in this game because of practice.”

On how much easier the game was with Thomas Robinson playing:
“It made it a lot easier because all of the focus was on him this week, so it gave Justin (Wesley) and Conner (Teahan) (a chance) to show up and knock down shots. Everybody put in a lot so, Thomas being out there makes the game much easier for us and you can see that we played a lot better than last week (against Pittsburg State).”

Kansas redshirt sophomore Justin Wesley
On if this is the effort he expects from himself every game:
“I felt like tonight I did a better job of using my athleticism as far as running the floor and being all over the place defensively. I wanted to focus on setting better screens on offense because when we watched the film the other day, I saw a lot of stuff I wanted to work on in order to play better this game and I felt like I did that.”

Fort Hays State head coach Mark Johnson
Opening statement:
“Obviously a very impressive performance by KU. Their inside-outside presence was very good tonight. We’re trying to teach our guys a little bit of toughness and we came up a little short on that. We were trying to get more physical in the post. At our level, we probably would have doubled more. Conner Teahan and the freshmen really shoot the ball well. That’s a tough decision. (You have to) pick your poison. We are just a struggling team right now. We have a lot of new guys and a lot of young guys. When you play a team like this, they exploit your weaknesses and right now we have a lot of weaknesses—too many to point out.”

On if Thomas Robinson appeared to be affected by his knee injury:
“He really didn’t. Maybe our guys need to get injured like that. He looks like a different player than when we were here two years ago. His body looks even bouncier and his confidence level, more than anything, he’s just so confident now and wants the ball and expects great things. That’s what makes great players. He has the confidence to be a great player.”

On preparing to play a team like Kansas:
“You can talk about it all you want. You can’t simulate that in practice. We’re just not a real big team this year and we’re not real physical at all positions. It was going to be a challenge for us to handle those guys inside. If it was our level, we would have doubled more, but we are just trying to figure out what we need to do.”

Fort Hays State senior Matt Simmons
On comparing Kansas and Kansas State:
“They are both extremely physical and extremely athletic. They are going to be battling just like every other team in the Big 12. It’s going to be a good show.”

On playing against KU’s Thomas Robinson:
“He is a heck of a player. He’s great, obviously. We have known that for years. He has been here and I’ve watched him. It’s exciting playing against someone of that caliber. It made me better today playing against him.”

On what is so hard about guarding Thomas Robinson:
“His athleticism and quickness. He elevates over you and shoots. His first step is pretty hard to guard. He is pretty quick and athletic.”

On if anything about playing against KU surprised him:
“If you are just not used to playing against that athleticism it surprises you in the beginning. It’s just basketball when it comes down to it. You still have to move your feet and go straight up and try not to foul.”

On playing against an athletic team like Kansas:
“It’s tough. It was tough against K-State. Big 12 schools are always athletic and they are always good defensively. It’s hard to get into things when they are playing that hard. They go out every possession and play as hard as they can.”