Postgame Quotes

Dec. 2, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Kansas 98, Alcorn State 31

December 2, 2009

Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the team’s slow start:

“We got some easy baskets in transition off of steals. We shot the ball poorly from behind the arc. We shot too many threes. Shots were wide open and guys took shots too quick in the clock. We didn’t get the ball inside enough. You can’t do that against a good team in a zone. You have to be able to get the ball inside. This is a hard game to play. I thought the guys did pretty well considering the lopsided margin. We practiced twice yesterday and literally wore them out. They came out with decent energy considering I know they had heavy legs today.”

On the team offensively:

“We’re not going to average 90 points for the year, but hopefully we can average in that 80 to 83 range. I shouldn’t say that. Maybe we can average 83 or 85, I don’t know. The real game we played [Memphis] we hung 59 or 58. We’ve shown that we can be stale offensively. I do think that we have more weapons. We have as good a low post offensive weapon as anybody and we have well above average perimeter shooting. We have some guys that can naturally get the ball in the basket. If we could score in the low 80s over the course of the year and get our defense to the point that we’re plus seven to eight rebounding against quality competition and the other team’s field goal percentage is 30 percent or under that, you’re looking at a pretty good team.”

On preparations for Sunday’s game at UCLA:

“That program has so much pride. They’ll come out and play hard. They have good players they’re just young. They’ve been so beat up and haven’t had a chance to practice and haven’t had their full compliment of guys during the entire preseason. We know [head coach] Ben [Howland] is one of the best coaches in the country. Nobody has experienced more success, maybe a team that’s won a national championship, than them because they went to back-to-back-to-back final fours. We have total respect for them. Hopefully beginning tomorrow we can start honing in on what they will do. They will do some different things to us. They’re not very big and they’re not very deep so maybe they’ll play some zone. We need to be prepared.”

Kansas junior guard Conner Teahan

On the team performance:

“We were just playing good defense and knocking down shots. We knew they were going to try and play the zone, so we got a lot of reps yesterday in practice; we just did a good job of executing. We shot a lot of threes, that’s the one thing coach said at halftime, that we shot too many threes. Before the game, our keys were trying to get Cole (Aldrich) involved – he’s had a good season, don’t get me wrong, we were just trying to get him more shots. Sherron (Collins) got some shots today, but we were trying to get both Cole and Sherron involved more. So we just started executing, and that’s kind of what happened.”

On the 36-0 run in the first half:

“It felt like we couldn’t do anything wrong; we were just playing good defense and getting steals, we had good ball screens. Coach (Self) always says that defense leads to exciting plays. We had that going for us today. I was on the bench for most of the run, so I was thinking ‘they started off 4-0, and they haven’t scored since.’ So it was one of those things where we didn’t miss it; but at the same time, the crowd was getting into it and it was a lot of fun.”

On the three-pointers being because of Alcorn State’s zone defense:

“It’s one of those things where it’s hard to resist shooting when you’re getting that many open looks. We were getting the ball and it was almost like we had one pass and we’d have an open look. You try to pass up on those shots, but if you’re feeling it, you’re going to take it a lot of the time.”

Kansas freshman guard Elijah Johnson

On his performance:

“I had nine assists and no points; I wasn’t looking to shoot the ball. That’s what coach kept saying, and I didn’t want to make him mad – I threw up a couple of shots, but we were worried about the team and not individuals.”

On his pass-first mentality:

“I feel like that’s a point guard’s job to set the pace and have everybody on the court comfortable. You can’t be comfortable if you don’t have the ball. I feel like it takes maybe two or three shots to get into the feel of the game – and it’s my job to get (my teammates) into the flow of the game.”

On if he feels like he’s being groomed to be a point guard:

“I think so. At the next level, I would definitely have to be a point guard, and with my mentality, I think that’s what I enjoy most about the game – just setting everything up for everybody.”

On if he’s looking forward to heading to the West Coast:

“I’m really looking forward to heading back home, it’s going to be fun to see a lot of family and play a big game. I’ve got a couple people coming to the game; it’s going to be nice.”

Alcorn State Head Coach Larry Smith

On the game tonight:

“It’s disheartening. We’re happy to be here though. The hospitality is fantastic, but we just came in at the wrong time. They’re a good team. They were clicking on all cylinders and they were a good team.”

On whether he expected Kansas to be as good as advertised:

“Absolutely. To come here and beat that kind of team, you have to play flawless basketball. They were clicking on all cylinders. They controlled every aspect of the game. They controlled the glass, they got every shot they wanted to. It was just a long night. Unfortunately we were the culprits tonight.”

On the status of his program:

“It’s always a process that you have to go through. We’re trying to improve in every area and we are at the ground work right now. We are starting from the ground and building our way up. It’s going to take awhile but we’re headed in the right direction. We’re trying to get some quality kids in here and build this program back up to where it needs to be. It takes some time but we’re excited about where we are right now. I like my guys. We’re young, but we’re going to get better. Hopefully these games can be a learning experience for us. This is what D-I basketball is all about. You’re going to play powerhouses, you’re going to get hammered, but you’ve always got to come back and bounce back.”

Sophomore center JaMarkus Holt

On the experience of playing Kansas:

“It was a great experience playing great players on the number one team in the nation. I just wanted to show our team that I could play with the best. I just wanted to come out and not play scared and play to my ability.”

On Kansas:

“Kansas is a great team. They have an excellent coach. They went to the Final Four a bunch of times and have won five national championships. They have great credentials. They are a big time team.”

On giving maximum effort even when they were down by a large sum:

“We have got to fight regardless. No matter how much we lose by, we still have got to fight. Kansas is a great team, but I just kept playing hard and playing my best.”

On how much playing Kansas helps their team:

“I think that by playing tough teams like this, we will be alright by the time conference play comes around.”