Kansas Postgame Quotes

Nov. 21, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Head Coach Bill Self Postgame Quotes
Kansas 89, Tennessee State 54
November 21, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:

“I thought we played really well early. Sherron (Collins) was a big spark for us off the bench and made some big shots. Our defense was good the first half and we rebounded the ball better.”

On Sasha Kaun’s return:
“We got a huge spark by Sasha (Kaun) being in there. Yesterday’s practice was the best one we’ve had in a while because we had a guy in there who could finally beat the heck out of somebody. He did a great job tonight with limited minutes. He looked fairly comfortable, a little winded. He will be sore, but they told us to expect that.”

On Kansas’ zone offense:
“They (Tennessee State) played a loose zone. We missed open big guys a minimum of 10 times tonight, especially when we were in foul trouble the first half. Our guards did a poor job of getting the ball to them (post players) in the first half. We did some good things out of the zone offense; Sasha (Kaun) is a huge target. Still, we are not attacking and getting the ball moving like we should. Guys are still trying to make great plays. I see guys turn down players who are wide open trying to thread a needle to someone else, and we have to do a much better job with that.”

On the second half:
“We did not rebound the ball in the second half like I think we are capable of doing. We lost interest unfortunately and that should never happen, but our guys are human. Clearly, in the last five minutes, we got a little sloppy, but everyone got a chance to play and that was very positive.”

On upcoming opponents:
“Tonight was a good step. We are going to play a couple teams who are maybe more talented; nothing against Tennessee State, but Ball State will probably be the best team we play to date. Certainly we play a team (Florida) that is pretty good on Saturday. We’ve got a ways to go, but I think we are moving in the right direction.”

Kansas Player Quotes

Junior Center Sasha Kaun
On being back:

“It was great to get back out there with the guys. It was very nice to be back playing in Allen Fieldhouse in front of the fans. It was definitely a lot of fun.”

On the health of his injured knee:
“It’s sore but the pain isn’t like it was before. It’s getting better.”

On the game:
“I practiced yesterday for the first time with the team and was blessed to play today.”

On possibility of increased playing time:
“I think it depends upon how practice goes and how much I can do before it gets real sore. We’ll talk to the doctors and see how it goes. We don’t want to do anything to hurt it again.”

On playing nine minutes:
“It was good. It wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t walk. I thought it was just the right amount of time.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the court. I don’t think I played great and I don’t think I played horrible. My play was average tonight.”

Sophomore Guard Brandon Rush
On his rebounding:

“I thought I did pretty well. The ball just pretty much fell in my hands, so I had no choice but to go up there and grab it. I made a couple of good block-outs. Coach has been stressing blocking out.”

On recent practices:
“This last week of practice went really well. We have been having great intensity. We have been getting up and down the floor — playing that type of game. Coach Self has been emphasizing defense, ball pressure, and denying passes to posts.”

On Sasha Kaun:
“He came back yesterday and changed the whole practice by blocking shots, ducking in hard, going to the rim whenever possible and just making great plays. I think he was pretty confident after practice last night. He wasn’t running up and down (during practice), so he had a little more energy than everybody else.”

“It would be difficult (to play Florida without Kaun), because we would miss his length and strength inside, and his post presence. Other than that, though (Darrell Arthur) and Julian (Wright) have been playing well.”

Freshman Guard Sherron Collins
On building the big first-half lead:

“We just got defensive stops and got the ball through the zone by running our zone plays. We moved the ball and got (Tennessee State’s) zone off balance. My teammates got me open looks and I knocked down the big shots.”

On playing off the ball:
“In high school, I had the ball a lot, but this is helping me out a lot because I can play more positions and get my team in better positions. It is easier to shoot. You still have to make moves against the zone and be in certain spots, but I am not always dribbling around because everyone (at Kansas) is good. If we are playing against a zone, we have to move the ball, and if we are playing against a man (defense), we just have to execute our offense.”

Tennessee State Quotes

Head Coach Cy Alexander
On the game:

“Kansas is a very talented team. Their loss to Oral Roberts really has seemed to awaken them. We thought we would play matchup zone against them and force them to shoot from the outside. They did a really good job of shooting the ball. Our shooters are still not shooting the basketball. For us to be in ballgames we have to make our shots. We are undermanned because we have two potential starters that won’t be eligible until Dec. 19th. When Clarence Matthews and Larry Turner aren’t on the floor we just aren’t that good. I thought we competed and bounced back in the second half. Whether you win or lose you can still compete, and I thought our young men competed tonight.”

On the quick turnaround:
“It didn’t really have an effect because we are used to it from the league. Kansas is one of the top five teams in the country talent-wise. If they continue to play like this the whole season, they are going to be one of the top teams in the country. Losing to a team like Kansas is nothing to be embarrassed about. We just need to continue working on things that will make us better and help us win the Ohio Valley Conference. We are going to be a very good basketball team when we get all our pieces together. I am not going to get too down on these kids because it is only the middle of November and we have a long way to go.”

Senior Forward Clarence Matthews
On Kansas:

“I think they are a good team. There’s really nothing left to say about them. They’re just a great team to play.”

On the difference between the two teams:
“There was no difference. We were just making mental mistakes that we need to correct in tomorrow’s practice.”

On the ineligible players and injuries:
“It has something to do with it [effecting the game]. [We do have] people off the team right now, it would help a lot [if we had them] and [the freshman and transfers] are not ready for the Division-I level. If we had the rest of our teammates, it would have made a big difference.”