Nov. 11, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Postgame Quotes
Kansas 91, Northern Arizona 57
November 11, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On Kansas’ effort:

“We played well early, and even when they (Northern Arizona) missed shots they should have made, Brandon (Rush) had steals that went right through his hands on skip-passes. We did a good job. We need to tighten a lot of things up, and I thought our effort was excellent. You always look good when you shoot the ball well and certaintly we did that. When Brandon plays like that we’re a totally different team. We had good balance, and I thought Russell (Robinson) was terrific, even though he only had nine points, I thought he kind of keyed everything for us. Everybody did a lot of good things for the most part. I’ve said this before, I thought Mario (Chalmers) was the most valuable player of the game. If people saw his big toe, they would say `woo, he showed some toughness being out there.’ He only had 16 minutes, but that was by design. I’m sure he’ll continue to get better and hopefully be full speed in the next couple of days. One thing we benefitted from tonight was foul problems. It would look bad, with the team we have, with our depth situation, and if we had our three big guys with two fouls early. We were able to move our feet and stay out of foul trouble.”

On Northern Arizona:
“One thing about Northern Arizona, they are better players, but they did not have anybody near as quick as the little guy (DeAndre Townsend) from Emporia State. The guy from Emporia State broke us down just with his pure quickness. Where today, this was more of a conventional type team. They didn’t have the jet-quick perimeter and we were able to take advantage of that for the most part. We didn’t run great, we didn’t run bad, but I still think we can do a better job at transition and we can rebound better. For the most part, first game, I’m not going to complain about that. That was a good team, a team that will probably win their league and a team that will be a 13 or 14 seed in the NCAA tournament. Montana was a 12 seed last year, and ended up beating Nevada, if I’m not mistaken, in the first round. This team was capable, but we got after them pretty good.”

On Oral Roberts:
“Loyola Marymount, who is second in the West Coast Conference, beat ORU by three last night in L.A. I’m real curious to see that tape. They have a good of low post score that we will see, maybe this year, comparable to a Joseph Jones type. Caleb Green is a good kid and he’s from Tulsa. He asked senior year if he can play Kansas, so you know he’ll be fired up to play. We did a lot of good things tonight, but certaintly we have to do better things against ORU. ”

Brandon Rush, Sophomore, Guard
On the difference between this game and the exhibition games:

“Today I came out more aggressive. My teammates looked for me when I was open so I really got out to a good start in the first half and it just rolled over to the second half.”

On the flow of the game:
“We came out here more excited and loose than we ever did in an exhibition game. We played our type of game; got up and down the floor, rebounded, and outplayed our opponent.”

On putting Northern Arizona in a hole:
“We started picking up on defense, and getting easy baskets off of transitions. Our guards are doing a good job of stealing the ball and creating some easy baskets for us. Everyone on our team can get up and down the floor. No one gets tired, we can go all day long.”

Sherron Collins, Freshman, Guard
On being in the starting lineup:

“Mario was still a little hurt, even though he played well tonight. I was just going to be ready to roll, I really didn’t know [if I was going to be in the starting lineup]. Whether I come off the bench or I start, I’m always nervous. If I start I’m more nervous. My teammates joke around with me to get me going and by tip-off I’m ready to play.”

Russell Robinson, Junior, Guard
On the fast pace of the game:
“We have the bodies to do it, and it’s to our advantage. We like to wear teams down, so it makes our defense better. When you go out and get easy buckets it helps the morale of the team, and everyone just starts to feed off of that and bring energy to the game.”

On the team:
“We have a lot of good weapons. We just have to keep everyone going and we will do great this year.”

On the tempo of the game:
“Northern Arizona is good team, they came out and competed. They were a little nervous and I think we fed off of that. We kept pressuring them and didn’t let them get into a rhythm and I think we were able to open up the game that way.”

On the difference between regular season and exhibition games.
“There was definitely a difference. The first four minutes I could tell the difference, I was a little more tired. Defensively, it was more intense.”

On starting the season on the right foot:
“Definitely. Northern Arizona has some players who are very capable, great shooters, great drivers. So we just had to get out early and take their confidence away, and I think we did a great job of that.”


Senior Guard Stephen Sir
On Kansas:

“It’s not hard to see why they are picked in the top five. We knew what they were going to do, but there are just so many things involved. It’s an unbelievable crowd atmosphere. They are well coached, they are athletic and skilled at every position.”

On Brandon Rush:
“Even on film when everybody else looks short and stubby he looks long and athletic. He can shoot and can drive. He’s a really good ball player. On thing I was aware of going into the game was that he can play off me and still defend my shot because he has such long arms. I felt like I could have shot the ball a little better today, but a lot of that is because of him. He’s athletic and he disrupts you.”

Senior Forward Ruben Boykin, Jr.
On playing Kansas:

“This is a game that will help us out a lot. We are a team that is trying to get to the NCAA Tournament and we were one game short of that last year. The first couple of games we get to breakdown to see what we did right and what we did wrong. Our next game against Arizona should be a very hard game, but if we execute like we are supposed to execute we could come out on top.”

On Darnell Jackson and Julian Wright:
“They are going to be good players. They are strong, physical and real athletic. Coming in we knew that Darnell wants to shoot threes and Julian wants to get up and dunk on everybody. I think we just tried to be as physical as we could with them in the post and they still did a great job. We tried to contain them the best that we could.”

Northern Arizona Head Coach Mike Adras
On Kansas:
“They were every bit as good as I thought they would be. I watched their two exhibition games and I think maybe they just treated them like glorified practices, but they knew the lights were on tonight. They came out and put the pedal to the medal and went full blast the entire time. They kept delivering knockout punch after knockout punch and unfortunately we weren’t ready for that.”

On the atmosphere and the effect on the players?
“I don’t know [if it had an effect]. I liked our demeanor before the ballgame. The new guys played scared when they got into the ballgame and maybe the environment had something to do with it. That’s intimidating as all get-out. I don’t know many people who are playing in front of 16,300 people [in the] first game of the season. So perhaps that had something to do with it. You come into the game knowing that but they just keep coming and coming and it’s not like he’s the point guard, we need to stop him or he’s the shooter we have to slow down. Their posts are all interchangeable, their guards are completely interchangeable. So they just keep coming. You don’t know where you’re at and who’s hitting you next. That’s a pretty talented eight to nine guys. “

On which individuals impressed him?

“They all made plays in different times. I think Rush is phenomenal. I think Darrell Arthur is going to be a special player when it’s all said and done. Wright plays hard and Jackson is very capable of being physical. They played very big inside. If you worry about the inside, then the perimeter guys knock down open shots. You’re hoping to find guys who can’t make shots and then you look up and then Collins hits one, Rush hits one, Robinson hits one. They just keep coming and coming. They’re faster and more athletic than us so we’re already on our heels and now, you try to pick your poison.”