Postgame Notes

Dec. 8, 2007

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Kansas 84, DePaul 66
Dec. 8, 2007
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the game overall:
“We finished the first half great. They had 22 at half, and had put in three threes at the end of the shot clocks. They ended up making five like that where we actually defended the shot clock pretty well. I thought we played well until about the last six minutes when it was run, turn it over, run, they turn it over, but I thought our big guys played very, very well and Mario (Chalmers) and Russell (Robinson) were the best they’ve been all year. There were some good things that happened. I do think it’s coming together.”

On Chalmers’ overall activity and the game control:
“I told him, he played so much better today than he did when he scored 20 points against USC. He played like a complete guard today, which he is. We had 10 turnovers at halftime and if you take away that three-minute stretch where we turned it over three-straight possesion, we didn’t turn the ball over at all the second half. I thought we did a good job. I was pleased with how we played. Considering the fact that they (DePaul) threw in some shots late, I thought we controlled the game from start to finish.”

On Sasha Kaun’s play:
“This is the best game Sasha’s played in awhile. He got off to a miserable start, but it took some courage, to be honest with you, because he felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. We may say it’s not that big of a deal, but to him it is a big deal because he cares so much. He hears what people say. I thought he played pretty well and our guys did a good job of getting our big guys the ball again.”

On the big guys:
“I thought Shady (Darrell Arthur) was good, but once again, Shady reverted to last year by picking up that silly second foul. He plays 22 minutes and gets zero rebounds, so I thought he played well, but not anything close to what he’s capable of playing. I thought Darnell (Jackson) got us off to a great start. I thought Cole (Aldrich) was good because he played some important minutes for us, especially in the first half. Rod (Stewart) and Brandon (Rush) were solid and I was pleased with Sherron (Collins).”

On Sherron playing his first game since his injury:
“They told us he could play. He’s not 100 percent, not because of his foot, but just because he doesn’t have any conditioning and he’s got some atrophy in his leg. I thought he played okay considering he hasn’t been out there. We had a pretty good day. Bill called me last night and said he visited with the medical staff and Doc said Sherron was good to go, said they were comfortable with him playing- there was absolutely nothing. I told him, `we can’t play him if he’s going to look bad and we can’t play him if he’s not going to help the team.’ We had him do a workout this morning at 8 a.m. and the adrenaline started flowing and he moved really good. We watched him during warm-ups and he moved good, so I talked to him, told him that when he gets in there, `don’t try to be a hero, just go make easy plays and think big picture.’ He tried to make a couple moves there late, which was fine with me. Tyrell (Reed) wasn’t going to play with his bum ankle. He proably could have gimped around just like Sherron did, but there was more risk for Tyrell being reinjured because Sherron’s not hurt, it’s just his quads and everything aren’t firing just right yet.”

On the week off and finals:
“This week and the second week in May are the most important weeks of the school year, so we have to focus in on the books. We are going to practice and hopefully we’ll continue to make some improvements. We’ll cut down our practice times and hopefully keep their conditioning. About Wednesday or Thursday we’ll start getting ready for a very good Ohio team to play in Kansas City. We’ll be excited to go to Kansas City and play in the new arena (Sprint Center).”

Senior Guard Russell Robinson
His thoughts on the game:
“We played a pretty complete game today. As well as we played today, they scored 44 points in the second half and we could have cut that down a little bit. There were little breakdowns defensively but offensively we played pretty well. It is a great feeling to have all the guys out there playing. Sherron (Collins) is not at full speed but his presence was felt. It was good to get everyone playing well out there and we will continue to grow.”

On the 24-1 run in the first half:
“We pressured the ball and got some steals, got out in transition and got to the basket. We did a good job of getting the ball inside. These are all things that we wanted to do. We were able to do that during that stretch and I think that is what opened it up for us.”

On the return of Sherron Collins:
“Sherron got more reps in practice this week. We just felt that any day now he would be back out there. He got in there for a little bit and his presence was definitely felt. He is one of our leaders and one of our offensive powers. He knocked down some shots. He is another one of our pieces and when he is out there things are going pretty good.”

On the play of Sasha Kaun:
“We need Sasha (Kaun) to play like that every game. His has a big body. He is 6-foot-11 and it is easy for me to find him down low. If we play like this it will be hard for any team to get a basket inside on us.”

On Robinson’s dunk in the second half:
“I was surprised to get that one. It definitely felt good to get one and hopefully I will get a couple more. I have had a couple of dunks like that in practice but not as clean as that one. That was definitely a good one.”

Senior Forward Sasha Kaun
On moving his feet:
“I need to be more active and more energetic when I’m moving out on the court and that’s what happened today.”

On having extra motivation by coming off the bench:
“There is a little pressure when you’re in the starting lineup. When you’re coming off the bench, you get to see what the game is going like.”

On whether he’s frustrated when he was benched in the first half:
“I didn’t know what was going on with me. I had two bad moves. I just had to calm myself down and relax.”

Sophomore Guard Sherron Collins
On getting the fans into the game:
“It was great. They were jumping the whole game. They don’t get quiet even though it’s a blowout or a close game. We appreciate our fans. We just try to give them something for camping out and waiting in the line in the cold weather.”

On playing DePaul:
“It was good just to get out there and be a part of it. Just to get out there and enjoy some of the plays and get some reps. It feels good beating a team from Chicago to get bragging rights. It’s a gratifying win.”

On the play of Sasha Kaun:
“We know Sasha; we knew it was coming from him. He deserves it. Sasha works hard and has a good attitude. He wasn’t playing too well and now that he broke out, I think we are going to be even better.”

DePaul Head Coach Jerry Wainwright
On the game:
“They’re obviously a very powerful team and well-coached. This is a wonderful place to play. We were a little bit undersized for this game, but really there’s no negatives for me to say about my team. The only thing I would say is that they’re (Kansas) deserving of their No. 3 ranking. They’ll make a great run for the national title, if they’re able and fortunate enough to stay healthy. I like their mix of kids. I know a couple of them and was fortunate enough to coach a couple of them. Bill Self is a good friend and a great coach and we got beat by a better team today.”

On Kansas’ lead in the first half:
“I think we turned over three straight possessions for either lay-ups or dunks and kind of lost our berring from there. That’s what good teams are capable of; they can rachet it up and can body-punch you really quick and that’s what they did. They got out ten and then got out another ten and were able to play and run their stuff comfortably throughout the game.”

On Kansas’ advantages:
“We have limited options on our bench right now, especially when it comes to size. We were trying to utilize size on the one end and by and large we were hanging. We made some awful mistakes in terms of them being able to run out and get ahead. The thing that they are really underrated at is that Russell (Robinson) is a terrific defender and (Mario) Chalmers really understands passing lanes. No matter what tape you watch of them, they get steals for baskets. We really practiced against that, but they lull you into comfort and then all of a sudden they strike. Those kids are good. They’re strong and experienced. I think, today, in a lot of ways they exposed our youth today, especially out on the perimeter.”

On the absence of Wesely Green:
“Wesely (Green) missed the bus to the airport and he was not going to play. He was suspended for the game and we’ll see what else happens when we get back home.”

DePaul senior guard Draelon Burns
On the game:
“They played their game today. They took us out of a lot of our stuff. They have great (defense). They played a good game today. We take our hats off.”

On KU’s perimeter defense:
“They played very good. Hats off to those guys. Once I would get past one guy, they sent a big guy at me, and then a little guy was jumping in from the side, so I had to pass up a lot of shots or shoot with high arch. I think they switched off so many guys.”

On being a target:
“We knew coming into the game that I was going to be a target. They were going to look to come after me a lot, so I had to just play my game and try to score.”

DePaul freshman forward Mac Koshwal
On Kansas:
“They play together. They have been playing together for a couple of years now. This is a crazy gym. I have never been in this kind of hostile environment, so that helped them too. It is a good lesson for our team.”

On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:
“For me, being a new player — a freshman — I have never played in this type of game. I am not saying I was scared, but it was just a different feeling. I think I missed a lot of free-throws because of (the crowd), but I am going to learn from my mistakes and get better.”

On KU’s defense:
“I think they were more intense than us, and that is where I think we went wrong. They played in the lane and just played us man-to-man and played hard defense. That is what killed us in this game.”