Kansas Postgame Quotes-San Jose State

Nov. 26, 2012

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas 70, San Jose State 57
Nov. 26, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Opening statement:

“(In the first half)we played like crap, but we’re still up by 15 with 2:30 left. They closed the half on a 7-0 run, and then we’re up 60-36 and we have one individual – I guess we had him on the wrong guy – his guy scored nine-straight points and the next thing you know, they think they can play. Our offense was just – I mean I’ve seen bad offense before, third and fourth grade YMCA basketball with no good ball reversal and bad handling – our offense surpassed that tonight the last 12 minutes of the game. In our building, we can’t make a field goal for 10 minutes. It was brutal, but we did hang on and win, which was the good thing. Good thing we got up 24, but to let a team in our building go on a 16-0 run in the second half when you have a chance to knock them out and let them go on a 7-0 run when you could have knocked them out in the first half coming out of a time out is very discouraging. They were so much faster than us. I don’t know, maybe we should play zone, because our guards can’t keep anybody in front of them.”

On Jeff Withey’s triple-double:
“Jeff was by far our best performer. I thought he played really well. He’s scoring the ball better. That’s not what his forte is obviously. His forte is blocking shots, but he was the only one down there really competing. We didn’t have any competitive juices out of our other big guys tonight. He did a good job. For that team to work us on the glass like that, granted when you’ve got a guy who blocks 12 shots, the other team gets more offensive rebounds. That’s how it works. Several of the blocked shots go out of bounds, so they get the ball back. Still, they were quicker to balls and things like that. I’m just concerned about our athleticism to be real honest with you. I just don’t see our perimeter guys doing anything athletically to create pace or force havoc on the other team.”

On trying to push the tempo in tonight’s game:
“It never happened tonight. Not one possession defensively where you picked up full (court) and make them run their offense up high, it didn’t happen one possession tonight. Now, when we go from defense to offense, I thought there was some pretty good pace involved there, but if we hadn’t figured it out, we’ve got a pretty good guy behind blocking shots, so why wouldn’t we get out and pressure our guy? That’s the thing that’s discouraging to me. We’re just not athletic enough to get out there and do some things that I’d like to do. Of course, Elijah (Johnson’s) knee is bothering him, and Naadir (Tharpe) has to create some pace, but we’re much better when we put Ben (McLemore) or Travis (Releford) on the ball.”

On what the team will focus on in practice before Oregon State:
“We really just have two practices. We’ll take tomorrow off and then we’ll practice Wednesday and Thursday. Oregon State’s big. They’re the biggest team we’ve played by far. They’ll play volleyball with it on the backboard if we can’t compete harder than that. Our 6-foot-7 guys play like they’re 6-5. That’s ridiculous. Those guys that are short have to play bigger than their standing height. We’re just not playing to our athletic ability at all right now. We’re so passive as far as being active and going after the ball. I don’t know, maybe I see it through different eyes. I don’t know how you see it, but I just think that we’re not a real aggressive group.”

On what the team needs to do to improve:
“It starts with the guard position. If you have a pit bull out there or an assassin, everybody will follow. We really are just out there playing station-to-station. If you make shots, you look good, but if you go 0-for-7 from three, you don’t look very good. Take away lobs to Ben, how did he score today? We have to figure some things out, but it was still a win. It’s early in the season, and we knew we’d have growing pains. We’re a long ways from being a good team right now, but win and learn. Win and learn. That’s not a bad formula. But to think that we were so much better three or four days ago than we are now, that’s the only thing that discourages me because we’re playing at home. We’re playing at home and we don’t do anything to create havoc at home in front of 16,300 the first 10 minutes of the game. It blows my mind. I don’t know if we can get guys with that passion to buy into playing a certain way like Kansas teams have always played in the past. I could care less about whether or not we make shots, but the mindset of letting a kid come in here and get 30 on you in our building. He’s a good player, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not Kevin Durant out there. To let the dude come in and get 30 in our building and like it, to me, is totally inexcusable.”

Kansas senior center Jeff Withey
On his triple double:

“I’ve been wanting that for a while now. It’s only me and Cole (Aldrich) that have it, so it’s pretty special to me.”

On his 12 blocks:
“I knew I was getting up there, but I didn’t know I had 12. Just after the game, our media guy, Chris Theisen, told me so I was pretty stoked.”

Kansas senior guard Elijah Johnson
On what triggered the start of the second half:

“I think (the trigger) was something we needed to show the difference between our team and their team. That’s when we knuckle in and grind. Coach puts that in our head in the locker room all the time at the half, so we usually come out with that fresh in our minds. “

On what went wrong offensively in the second half:
“I think we just gave them momentum, and I think we made some bone-headed plays to give them extra energy like throwing them the ball and not taking care of the ball and just not being sound. Any team can take that momentum and turn it into something, and (San Jose State) did tonight.”

On Jeff Withey’s performance:
“Most of the time, and I’m guilty of it too, we got caught standing around watching Jeff like a fan. That’s when we need to snap back into it, because he can’t do everything on his own. Jeff saved us a lot of times. There was a lot of times where I caught myself looking at him like I wasn’t a part of the game and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening with the seniors or anybody on the court. I feel like we have to help Jeff, because he’s doing a lot out there and it’s heavy load on him. It’s a big help for us to know that even if a man beats us on the dribble he only completed half the task. We still have to help Jeff and take some pressure off of him when we can.”

Kansas senior guard Travis Releford
On San Jose’s guard James Kinney’s performance:

“He was all over the place. It wasn’t a single-man task. I really didn’t get a chance to be on him the whole game, so he got his chance with everybody out there. He put up 26 shots. We just got to do a better job at communicating as guards and just go from there.”

On the second half performance:
“The second half, I felt like we came out with a lot of energy. Like Elijah (Johnson) said, coach challenged us at halftime to see if we can come out and compete to show that we are a lot better than the team we’re playing against and to give our fans something to cheer about.”

San Jose State Head Coach George Nessman
Opening statement:

“I give a lot of credit to Kansas’ defense, they were just phenomenal around the rim. On the sidelines I thought a shot was going to go in, but then ‘bang’ we were going the other way and some of those blocks were like outlet passes for the fast-breaks. It was a very tough game for us to keep functioning but I was proud of our guys because we were able to keep functioning, we didn’t back down and we kept bucking up and sticking our chest out there, and we kept fighting them. As this is the hardest place it is to play probably in the country, I think we acquitted ourselves okay. But Kansas is obviously just an outstanding team, and their defense is just, really really good.”

On KU runs making the opponents fold:
“Well I just don’t think we have any folds in us. That’s just not who we are, we have a good group of kids who have a lot of character and we didn’t come here to play for awhile, we came here to play the full forty minutes and get the full forty minutes of the game. You should never fold in a game. If a team beats you and they beat you by thirty, make them beat you by thirty. Don’t surrender and make it worse than it is.”

On senior guard James Kinney’s big night:
“James can do that now. He sometimes comes out of the system and just sort of makes some things up but he was able to make a lot of plays for us when we needed some support. We were struggling to get baskets there for a long stretch and James kind of got us going and the other guys fed off his energy and it got us back in the game. James is a big scorer, he was last year for us, so we’re not surprised he could score. We were disappointed we couldn’t get enough scores around the rim.”

On Jeff Withey’s shot blocking:
“We tried to tell our guys to jump into the shot blockers but he is so good at staying down. It’s hard to get him (Withey) off his feet and he uses his length really well. But we are never going to say, ‘Back away from him.’ I know it seems stupid. You can accuse me of that. I’ll accept that, but you got to keep attacking, you got to keep doing what you do. We are trying to establish an inside game so we can’t say, ‘Well, we are just going to shoot jump shots now.’ That’s giving-up. We have to keep going at him and force him to make the plays he made and give him credit, he made a lot of them.”

San Jose State senior guard James Kinney
On being the main guy in the second half:

“Coach (Nessman) stresses me to just stay positive with my team. He’s got a lot of confidence in me and I got a lot of confidence in him that he’ll put me in the right spots to make good plays that’ll help us be successful. My teammates just kept looking for me and they kept screening for me, they saw I had the hot hand so they kept feeding me and I just kept delivering.”

On getting hot in the time of need:
“It feels good to carry your team like that. Knowing that you have the ability to do, that feels good when your team is struggling. We were down twenty-four points and we needed a spark somewhere. And with me being a senior and being the leader of this team, I had to do that.”

On being able to perform well in the Kansas environment:
“I never doubt my abilities. I will give Kansas credit, they are a great team; a great defensive team. They have size, athletes, everything. But if you stay focus and play within the system then you’ll be successful.”