Postgame Quotes

Nov. 16, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 71, UMKC 56

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the team’s overall performance:

It was a struggle. Somehow Travis (Releford) sparked us at the end of the half and we went on a 6-0 run and got it tied. We shot a ton of free throws and didn’t make them. It was pretty frustrating, but we hung in there. We need to play a game like this, a grind it out game where we don’t make shots. When we got Cole (Aldrich) in the second half, we actually looked a lot better and we defended a little bit better. I thought that Cole obviously makes a huge difference but how about the three fouls that he had. I know that he is just a sophomore but he can’t do that. They were all just silly fouls.”

On the team’s quick shooting:

“Playing fast means that you push it. You look to score early. The ball moves quickly and everything moves quickly. The first half they did not guard us. So what did we do, we just stepped up and shot the ball as soon as we had a look and didn’t make anything. That was frustrating. We have got to be smarter but we are young so we are going to make some mistakes.

On guarding the UMKC (Princeton) offense:

“Well, we did not steal the ball. We didn’t create any havoc but we didn’t give up any layups. That was kind of the give and take. We didn’t we were sound enough to put pressure on them. We thought they could make us look pretty silly if we did that. We will get to that point but we are not there yet.

On the short turnaround:

“We probably can’t go long tomorrow. That game took a lot of energy. We will go light tomorrow and tighten up a lot of things that we do.”

Freshman Forward Markieff Morris

On his rebounding:

“Coach Manning just told me to keep going. He didn’t tell me until the end of the game. I could have had more, but I fell like five times.”

On his nerves:

“I was nervous at the beginning. My teammates were telling me that it was going to be alright.”

Junior Guard Sherron Collins

On the overall performance of the team:

“It’s the first game of the official season. A lot of people have to adjust, especially the freshmen. They’ve got sweaty hands. They’re scared a little bit. But we just didn’t make shots today. We were one of 13 from the three-point line. Things didn’t fall our way, but I think we did a pretty good job.”

On bringing out the best in each opponent:

“We know we’re going to take everybody’s best shot. We’re still defending the National Championship last year, so we’ve got a bull’s eye on our back. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot. Especially because we beat a lot of people pretty bad last year, and this is their chance to get back at us. We’re rebuilding, but I think we’ve got some great pieces, and when we put it all together, we’ll be alright.”

On the differences between the performances in each half:

“I think in the first half, we played a little bit conservative. We got into foul trouble. When Cole came back out, he gave us a better inside presence. Then we got a few easy buckets and we got a little bit more confidence and a little bit more energy. The second half, we came out and pressured a little bit more and got some easy turnovers.”

Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor

On a pivotal steal:

“I was waiting for him to take it out, but he lost it. It came right to me and I just laid it up. It seemed like a change of momentum a little bit. Everybody got hyped, and we started rolling from there.”

On the differences between the performances in each half:

“I think in the first half, we shot a lot of threes. In the second half, we came out and just let the game come to us. We got a lot of easy buckets off of turnovers. Markieff had a bunch of outlet passes that that led to lay-ups.”

Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor

On playing wit out Cole Aldrich in the first half:

“It was tough playing without Cole in the first half. Markieff (Morris) came in and helped with a lot of rebounds, and usually those are rebounds that Cole grabs. He picked up the pieces for Cole and I think that helped us a lot. We went down and at the end of the half we tied it up, possibly because we got a lot of rebounds on defense. Losing Cole in the first half was tough, but all together we ground it out. When he (Cole) came back he played his tail off in the second half.”

On halftime adjustments:

“Coach told us to keep playing defense. We missed a lot of shots that we usually make and they made a lot of shots, so we had to keep playing and grinding it out. I think we knew that because if we continued playing hard, kept rebounding and getting easy buckets, we were going to come out with a win eventually.”

Freshman forward Markieff Morris

On being a consistent rebounder:

“Cole’s so tall, and I usually rely on him to get the rebounds, but today I just had to go get them myself because he was out a majority of the first half. I knew I was the other big, so all the coaches told me I needed to go rebound.”

On missing his first shot of the game:

“I’m usually pretty efficient, but I had to get the jitters out. It never really came back to me, but that was okay, because we got the win.”

UMKC Head Coach Matt Brown

On the game:

“After Friday night in our first division-one game we had six guys who were playing their first college game. In the first half of that game our kids were very nervous. In the second half we were down by 17 points and came back and took the lead, but couldn’t finish down the stretch. When we came back and watched the film Saturday we were embarrassed how we played. I continue to tell them to have a great attitude and great effort and we will eventually start winning games. I am not sure when that will be, but it is going to happen for a young team.”

On the first half:

“I told our kids this morning that our goal was to win every four minutes. I thought our kids never got too excited and they felt as if they had a right to be here. We were just trying to win the game. In the second half we missed a couple of easy shots and the kids hung their heads a little bit and they got some easy layups. That was probably the difference in the game.”

On the 31 UMKC three-point attempts:

“We wanted to actually drive the ball a little more. When you are not hitting your jump shots you have to try something else. You have to try to drive and get to the foul line. Latreze Mushatt got in there and grabbed 10 rebounds for us tonight. Femi (Akinpetide) got a nice hook in the lane for us. The guys are really starting to figure out their roles.”

On KU’s roster differences from last year:

“I told our kids that KU is just like we are. They have eight new kids and four returners. We are both in the same situation, it doesn’t matter if you are KU or UMKC it is still a first-time thing.”

Guard Reggie Hamilton

His thoughts on the game:

“We came here to play the game and win. We looked at it as a game that we could win, and we came prepared. A couple of shots here and there are probably what decided the game. I thought that the effort we gave in the first half was great.”

On playing the defending National Champions:

“I was just focused on trying to get the win. This Kansas team is totally new from last year. A lot of the guys that helped them win the title last year are gone now, so I wasn’t thinking about their accomplishments from last year.”

On the difference between this game and UMKC’s first game:

“I think that we had more energy, gave more effort and we were more locked in. We were really ready to come in here and compete. In the first game we had some jitters, but tonight we came out ready to go.”

Forward Spencer Johnson

On playing at Allen Fieldhouse:

“It is a big difference (playing at Allen Fieldhouse compared to playing at home). Obviously coming to KU, you are playing at one of the toughest places to play in Division I basketball. We just had to prepare ourselves mentally and try and block everything out. We just came in here with one thing in mind, and that was to win.”

On losing their first half lead:

“I feel that we missed a lot of open jump shots that could have built our lead. We got in foul trouble early. If we could have made more shots and not gotten in foul trouble, then we would have had a better opportunity to win the game.”