Postgame Quotes

Dec. 6, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

­­Kansas 88, Long Beach State 80
December 6, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We shot the ball great and we shared it great early. Thomas (Robinson) was on fire. We actually defended them pretty well except for ball screen defense. We had so many mental breakdowns defensively that allowed them to score 39 in the first half. In the second half our defense was pretty good, but our offense sucks. We are the worst passing team I have ever seen. (We had) four assists and 16 turnovers in the second half. They scored 24 points off of our offense. It’s ridiculous to watch. That should have been an 18 or 20-point win against a good team. We were very fortunate late. It’s hard to put a finger on anything because you can look up and down the lineup and there is just nobody that values the ball at all. We won the game. We did some good things to win the game. We rebounded the ball great. Jeff Withey was tremendous. He was the best player in the game. (He had) 13 (points), 13 (rebounds) and 9 (blocks). Then again he tried to have three handoff plays in traffic—unbelievable. (We had) no guard play late. It was something to watch I’m sure. That was a game we had won several times, but our inability to think, pass, catch, or execute at all in late-game situations was the reason the game was close late.”

On the play of Kansas’ Conner Teahan:
“Conner made four shots to start the game. He and Thomas (Robinson) were on fire to start the game. The biggest play he made was when he got two offensive rebounds in one possession which led to a three-point play off of two terrible shots. Terrible shots. One of them was Thomas with 25 (seconds) on the shot clock which was a terrible shot and Conner ended up getting the rebound that allowed us to get a three-point play behind that. That was a huge play and Conner made some good plays, but he got picked for a layup late, too. Our ball handling is just atrocious.”

On Kansas’ upcoming game against Ohio State:
“If we handle that ball like that, they can pick the score. Let’s just call it like it is. They will pick the score in our own building if we handle the ball like that. We have to do a better job. Elijah (Johnson), unbelievable, the plays he made after he subbed back in after his sitting because of his fourth foul. Just incredible that he can make those plays when he’s sitting over there watching and knowing the score and the circumstances in which we need him to give us some minutes to win the game. We have to have a lot better guard play. We need to have everybody play better; there is no question about that. It will be a jailbreak if we turn the ball over against Ohio State. They won’t just be running out and scoring two points. They will be making plays that are ESPN Top 10 Plays. We certainly have to handle and pass it and maybe think the game a little bit better on Saturday.”

Junior forward Thomas Robinson
On if this is what he expected from Long Beach State:
“This is definitely what I expected, I’ve watched them play a couple of times, and we knew they were going to be a tough team. We definitely knew that they weren’t going to go away easy.”

On his jumpshot:
“It was just a confidence booster, and it is something I have been working on. I got to the point where I was thinking that the deeper we get into the season, the more comfortable I will get. I shot it pretty well tonight, and as much as I have worked on it, I am going to be honest, I won’t come out 7-for-7 to start the game again.”

On how they were able to handle the run that Long Beach State went on at the end of the game:
“We just got careless with the ball, but like I said, it is still early in the season. As much as we don’t want to turn it over, I’m glad that it’s happening now.”

Kansas Junior center Jeff Withey
On if he wanted one more block to get a triple-double:
“Of course, it would have been great to have. I didn’t realize I was that close to (a triple-double) until towards the end of the game. I guess I’ll just have to try for another one. I definitely wanted it, but it isn’t something that is always on my mind.”

On if Coach Self has been telling him that he needs to be more of a presence on the court:
“During practice, he definitely gets on me, just trying to get me more aggressive. He wants me to go after loose balls and rebounds. The ball was just flying my way today.”

Senior guard Conner Teahan
On the first half he had offensively:
“I just got a lot of open looks and I was able to knock them down. My teammates were able to find me, and it was pretty easy on my end.”

On the team’s offense in the first half:
“The 51 points is an impressive first half total. But we don’t like giving up 39 points in a half on defense either. Our defensive side of the ball is something we need to work on.”

Long Beach State Head Coach Dan Monson
On the first half:
“It is obviously disappointing from our end. We come in with four seniors and this is the second time – we kind of did the same thing at Louisville – we didn’t play like seniors. I thought T. J. (Robinson) did though. We had too many guys that were too tentative and we let them get into a flow. You come into an environment like this against a quality team and you fall down by 17 or 19 in the first half and you’re just battling uphill.”

On Kansas’ offense in the first half:
“Part of it was defensively; I probably made a mistake; I felt like we wanted (Thomas) Robinson to beat us from the perimeter and he certainly did that. He showed why he is a preseason All-American candidate. He really hurt us and got into a flow and so did (Conner) Teahan early on.”

On the Long Beach State performance in the second half:
“Once we got our defense shored up in the second half, we did a little bit better job but they just wore us out rebounding the ball. I just felt like our guys didn’t trust each other down the stretch enough, from the rebounding to shots. We were getting anything we wanted when we were patient and doing what we were trying to do. And we had a couple of guys go on their own and either take tough shots or our big guys got baited into taking shots. You can’t make all those mistakes I just named and win on the road, and that was the case today.”

On what worked on defense in the second half:
“The only adjustment we made was that we wanted to come out on (Thomas) Robinson and leave (Jeff) Withey one-on-one a little bit more; and we just played more standard. Maybe we tried too much on defense. We didn’t play one possession of zone in the second half, we just tried to get some solid stops. Again, I don’t know that all of that was us. I think even if we weren’t out there it would be hard to make every shot they made in the first half. They were on fire, so you have to give them some credit. I’m beating my guys down because we came in here expecting to win. But give Kansas some credit, they shot the ball well with confidence and they played with confidence. I don’t fault our energy. I’m not happy with how we played. I’m not happy that we lost, but I didn’t think that was an effort issue. These guys fought; they were down, that could have been a 30-point game too. I’ve seen that happen in this place. But there was no quit in them, so I don’t think that effort is an issue.”

On what was said between he and Coach Self at the end of the game:
“I just thanked him for the opportunity. He knew we were going to have a good team. It is hard to schedule games when you have four seniors back and after the year we had last year. We wanted to try and get our RPI and get in the conversation for an at-large bid. We (Coach Self and myself) were in the Big Ten Conference together for years and I just thanked him for the opportunity. Obviously, you don’t want to lose a game like this, but this is a class place to play and a lifetime experience for our guys to come in here to play and battle. I just told him that I appreciated it.”

On the toughness of the schedule Long Beach State has played:
“This is a group that is not going to lose confidence and I think they will get better. We have played this kind of schedule, and depending on where you look at the RPI, we have had the No. 1 strength of schedule RPI on Jan. 1 the last two years. This year will probably be three. These guys have been to Cameron Indoor, this is their second time to North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. In their four years they have pretty much been to every venue in the country besides this one. Our goal this year is not just to go play in these games, but it is to win and compete. We are not happy to just be in here. We expected to win today and we didn’t get it done today and we don’t feel like we played good enough. We’ve got to continue to get better. This game shows you a lot of things we need to work on, especially defensively.”

Long Beach State senior Larry Anderson
On how Kansas’ hot start:
“They were just knocking down shots. We left Conner (Teahan) open twice in that little run. (Thomas) Robinson hit two in a row, so they started off well.”