Kansas vs. Idaho State

Nov. 18, 2005

Kansas Postgame Quotes<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Kansas 90, Idaho State 66

November 18, 2005

Head Coach Bill Self

On the game:

“We did some good things. We forced 18 turnovers in the first half, and only scored 42 points. I thought our guys played hard. We got a little stale there in the second half, but Sasha (Kaun) was fabulous. He has really improved. His free throws improved. We need to have Brandon (Rush), Russell (Robinson), C.J. (Giles) and (Jeff Hawkins) play more aggressive offensively. Sasha carried us tonight, no doubt about that.”

“We don’t want to get too excited, but there were a lot of good things that happened tonight. We need to make our perimeter shooting better, and we have to be thinking attack the whole time. We have to get our big guys posting up strong, especially C.J. But all-in-all, there were some good things that happened tonight.”

On Kansas’ conditioning:

“We weren’t tired tonight. We got after them in the first half. We only forced six turnovers in the second half, so obviously, that wasn’t very good. (Idaho State) got comfortable a little bit in the second half and started raining in some shots. They made some hard shots. They have a pretty good team with three good players. They are going to be a lot better this year.”

On Kansas’ perimeter shooting:

“Some things you can control, and some things you can’t. I think our shot selection on long range shooting was above average, but not great. But our guys are good enough shooters to make shots. You can’t expect guys to come in cold and drill shots. I am disappointed that Brandon wasn’t aggressive offensively. He didn’t even put himself in position to shoot a three. But we’ll get better.”

On his team:

“Brandon can make the athletic plays, and sometimes he is not near as aggressive as he should be. But we’re going to be better. I am excited about our team. I love our guys. Certainly, we are not where we need to be yet. We are going to have to grow up fast before we play the (Arizona) Wildcats.”

On the Maui Invitational:

It’s a business trip. We practice (Saturday) morning at 7 a.m. We will shower and eat breakfast, and then leave at 9:30, because if we don’t, we won’t get to practice at all tomorrow. We at least need to get through Arizona’s scouting report. But I know Arizona is looking forward to this, and has been for a while. We were able to get through tonight’s game and not show anything, so hopefully, we can steal a couple of baskets against the Wildcats because they haven’t seen what we are going to do offensively.”

Senior guard Jeff Hawkins

On Sasha Kaun’s performance:

“25 points and 16 rebounds. That’s an unbelievable effort. He was just dominating and he was a beast in the post. He made some great plays and some great catches. He was just ready to play today.”

On the game:

“Last game we didn’t have enough energy on the defensive end and coach really emphasized that before the game. I talked to the guards before the game to try and pump them up. I try to have unbelievable energy to get everyone to feed off of my energy and play hard. As long as we pressure and force turnovers and force bad shots it helps us run. We are starting to understand that more. Against Pittsburg State we didn’t have enough energy on the defensive end which didn’t allow us to run as much. Everyone was active tonight, even the big men got out and ran.”

On looking ahead to the Maui:

“I’m sure a lot of people were thinking about beaches and the girls that put the leis around you but as far as that goes we didn’t want to look past Idaho State. We just came in prepared and listened to the scouting report. We just did what coach wanted us to do before the game. I think we are prepared and anxious to play against Arizona. We aren’t going to back down from them because we are a good team just like they are. I think our mental state is that we will be ready and prepared for them.”

On being a leader:

“I feel it’s my job to get the young guys to where they need to be. When they are in the right spots they are pretty good at making plays.”

On the team identity:

“I think it’s a little to early too say that we have found our team identity but everyday we are beginning to find it by just a little bit. I don’t think we have found it yet but it is getting there.”

Sophomore forward Sasha Kaun

On his play:

“I always give great respect to our guards because they are the ones who deliver the ball down low and give me a chance to score. I just always try to play a little harder.”

On the game tempo:

“Before I came to Kansas I was a player that liked to run and this year I got a little stronger, more athletic and faster so running just comes natural now because the game has slowed down some and I’m able to get up and down the floor. Running the floor and scoring easy baskets are easy ways to score my points.”

Freshman forward Brandon Rush

On any nervousness before the game:

“I wasn’t nervous at all. The game just came to me. I was nervous the first exhibition game versus Fort Hays.”

On playing against better competition in Maui:

“We will just come out and play hard and try to win games.”

Freshman guard Mario Chalmers

On the game tempo:

“The key tonight was to just get out and pressure. Jeff Hawkins set the way and we just had to follow his pace. Coach was telling that they were a good team but that they like to penetrate so it was pretty easy to get out and pressure them.”

On passing the ball to Sasha:

“Sasha was just getting great position tonight and he was finishing on every shot.”

Idaho State Quotes

Senior forward Antoine “Slim” Millien

On the game:

“I knew Kansas was more experienced, even though they are a very young team. We competed with Kansas, giving our all, but the better team came out on top. The crowd had nothing to do with our intensity; they just made us play better. Kansas is the best team on our schedule and we have nothing else to fear in the future.”

On his performance:

“I could have played better. I did not let the crowd get to me, they just made me play harder. I am very satisfied with our play tonight. We played very hard, crashing the boards and never letting up.”

Senior guard David Schroeder

On the team’s performance:

“We competed well, but we did not play great all the time. We made a lot of mistakes. For a lot of us this is the first big-stage venue we have ever played in; that is an experience in itself. We still feel good about our performance and the level of effort we maintained. It was a great experience.”

On Antoine “Slim” Millien:

“Slim is an amazing offensive weapon. Despite him being undersized, he is long, athletic, and full of confidence. His confidence is key for his play in the post. He put up points whenever he wanted to.”

On the biggest challenge Kansas brought:

“We had a lot of problems with the pressure on the perimeter. Also, we had problems with being undersized, especially in the blocks. With that said, we rebounded well against Kansas.”