Post Game Quotes

Nov. 19, 2004

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Postgame Quotes


Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:
“Vermont is a good team. They played great and we didn’t play very smart at times. We played too fast offensively, we were so impatient. We were too anxious and nervous in the first half. In the second half we executed a lot better and got Wayne (Simien) involved with the offense more. It was a big win. Those are the games that we have to win. We had to figure out a way to win and we did that. There are a lot of things we need to be concerned with but what I will take from this game is that we were down two with four or five minutes left and we went on a 12-3 run to finish the game. That was the difference in the game, guys stepped up and made plays down the stretch to win. We didn’t play our bench very much tonight, but our bench still wasn’t very effective. We have to get the young guys to be ready to come in and give us positive contribution and know what we are doing and hopefully that will happen soon.”

On the offensive play:
“We were trying to score too fast on the offensive end. Guys were marginally open and were still shooting it, which is not a good formula for success when we weren’t shooting very well. In the first half we took a ton of shots with no rebounders in position. We didn’t have anything going. This was about as bad as we could have been offensively, but we still hung in there and rebounded the ball pretty well. I am happy to get out of here with a win. This was definitely not midseason form tonight, but it was still a win.”

On the upcoming game:
“We will be more loose on Tuesday against Saint Joseph’s. We played tight tonight. I think that is to be expected with what these guys have gone through, but we have got to get a lot better between now and then.”

Junior Forward Christian Moody
On his first career start:
“It was really exciting and it was good to get the first game jitters out. I got into foul trouble early, but coach gave me a second chance in the second half.”

On the game:
“We knew that Vermont was good coming in, and they really brought it. Fortunately, at the end we had some clutch plays by our seniors. Every rebound was a struggle. The seniors led us and that boosted my confidence. This was a great test for us. It was a little close for comfort, but we needed this. Even though it was a close game we should be happy, because Vermont is a great team.”

Sophomore Guard J.R. Giddens
On the game:
“We need to work on executing. We are at home, we need to relax and feed off the crowd. I guess we had the `number one (ranked) jitters.’ This was a nice early test. I am proud of my teammates because when coach asked us to buckle down, we buckled down.”

On Saint Joseph’s:
“I am happy for the opportunity to get to play them. We are not going to underestimate them and hopefully we can come out and get another win.”

Senior Guard Keith Langford
On the game:
“It is very important to get that first win. I don’t know if a lot of outsiders expected us to be challenged, but we certainly expected a fight from (Vermont). Those guys played tough and they are competitors. I feel really fortunate to win this game. I don’t think this is a game we would have won last year. We have a quick turnaround. The next couple of days will be a lot of mental preparation. Vermont disrupted a lot of what we wanted to do. When everybody isn’t running, jumping, dunking and having fun, it is a lot tougher to play. It was a good effort by everybody, especially on defense.”

Senior Forward Wayne Simien
On the game:
“That was a great team and we knew they were going to come out and play us tough. When it came down to it, we stepped up. We knew that Vermont wasn’t going to be a pushover. We were pretty energized coming out. We were fortunate to get the win.”

On Vermont’s Taylor Coppenrath:
“He is a great player, one of the best that I have faced. It was great to face a quality player like him.”


Vermont Head Coach Tom Brennan

On Vermont’s performance:
“I am very proud of my team. Everything we came here to do we did, except for winning the game. I am thankful that Kansas played us and I think we gave the fans a good game. I love my team to death, but we were playing the number one team in the country on their floor, and they did what they were supposed to do. I thought we really competed and we did what we came here for. All in all I could not be happier. I have had a lot of losses in my day and there are not any of them that are as exciting as this one. Our boy T.J. (Sorrentine) could not make many shots out there and you have to attribute that to Kansas’ defense. We shot 33 percent and almost won the game. I am just real proud of our effort and composure – I am proud of everything. They never let me down and they always give everything they’ve got. As a coach you cannot ask for much more than that. Our program has come so far that a television station bought the game in Vermont. I just kept thinking how proud they (the state of Vermont) must be of our players.”

On Kansas:
“When you get a group of great players like they have who play as a team then they are tough to beat. When you have great players like that you have more of a chance to be successful.”

On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:
“Our guys did not seem to intimidated. When the fans started roaring and singing, I was thinking that part of playing here is intimidation. They have won 33 home-openers in a row and they are number one. The last team we played was Connecticut in front of 18,000 fans. I knew we would not get shaken and we did.. There were a couple close calls at the end that did not go our way, but we were still in the game with two minutes left to go. I tip my hat to Coach Self for playing us. It really helps us and is a great feather in our cap. The fans here are so classy. On my way out it seemed like I had a hundred people tell me how good my team played. That is a class act and I will root for Kansas all year long. It was not meant to be, but it is a great springboard for us.”

On Wayne Simien:
“Every time he needed to get one he got it. He is tremendous, but our guys were right there with him tonight.”

Senior Forward Taylor Coppenrath

On playing the number one team:
“We came out playing really hard and unfortunately our shots were not falling. They went in and then out and they (Kansas) did a great job rebounding. We could not get second opportunities and we knew it was going to be a war with them (Kansas). They have tough, great players and when you put that all into a team they are tough to beat, especially at home. The fans were going crazy there for a while and you could not hear anything, but that is what you live for. It would have been nice to come out on top, but unfortunately we were a little behind.”

On intimidation:
“You can not worry about intimidation because if you do you are already one step behind. You just have to come out focused and ready to go. You try to get good looks and hope that they fall for you, and play good defense. I think our defense was really tough and that is what kept us in the game.”

On his performance:
“In the first half I was floating around and I could not find much of a rhythm. I had to take it upon myself to make something happen and that opened up opportunities for other people.”