Postgame Quotes

Dec. 12, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 90, LaSalle 65

Dec. 12, 2009

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the Jayhawks’ energy level early in the game:

“I thought it was bad; I didn’t think Elijah (Johnson) had any juice today from an energy standpoint. He said his ankle was bothering him. For me, that (energy) is what he really has to give us. He didn’t have it today because of health reasons. I thought it was average at best. They killed us on 50-50 balls and rebounding (in) the first half. So, for us to be plus 10 after being dominated early, that is pretty good. That is one of the better rebounding team we will face all year.”

On the performance of Xavier Henry:

“He was good. He was really good. When Sherron (Collins) has a game like that, I mean, statistically that may be the worst game Sherron has had shooting the basketball maybe since he has been here. He could not get anything to go and never got in a rhythm. Tyshawn (Taylor) has been laboring, but he came in and played well. Markieff (Morris) was really, really good, but X just scored so easy. Getting 31 points on 15 shots is pretty good, especially for a freshman. He didn’t take bad looks and he shared the ball also. So, I think he played great.”

On keeping the team motivated after so many double-digit wins:

“I don’t think you look at the score. We do not talk about wins and losses or say ‘we have to win this game’. We talk about how we played. Sometimes winning games is misleading and the scores can be misleading. Today, in the last 28 minutes, I thought we looked like a pretty good basketball team. For Sherron to go 1-for-20 and us still hang 90 is probably a pretty positive thing.”

“It is my job to instill that sense of urgency. From my vantage point, we can miss shots. For instance, against Radford, that was the best we have played in the first half against Radford and we shot 37 percent. So, if we do those three things, we have done what we are supposed to do. The outside public may view it differently, but I thought today we were unselfish for the most part, but we did not play as hard as I what I thought we should early and we did not make the toughness plays.”

On the return of Brady Morningstar:

“I think it is going to help us. I think no matter what, after a couple weeks, Brady should be our best perimeter defender. He should be our best defender, period. He can make open shots and he is a good ball-mover. Even though his minutes won’t be what they were last year, because the kid in number one (Xavier Henry) will play a lot of minutes. But still in those minutes that he (Morningstar) is in there, which could be substantial once he gets in a flow, I think it will obviously make our team better. When I watch us play, I think we are a pretty versatile team. We can play big, we can play small and we can do a bunch of different things. But, we really don’t have one guy on the perimeter that you can say to, ‘hey, go guard him’. He will at least be able to do that for the time that he is in the game for us.”

Kansas freshman guard Xavier Henry

On how he felt today:

“I was alright, I played with the team, and I did what Coach Self told me to do. I’m not sure what will happen (when I’m really good); it will be a good day though. Better than average.”

On if he knew his point total towards the end of the game:

“I did – but then Coach told me just to take the shots, so I just kept going to the hole and scoring easy layups – as soon as (Coach Self) told me to take them, that’s all I needed to hear. Coach told me when I had about 27 points, so it was towards the end.”

On if he “holds back” unless he’s told otherwise:

“No, I just play within whatever our team does. We’ve got great big men, so we hope to get easy points when we throw it inside. I just try to find (Cole Aldrich) inside. Whenever they tell me to take it to the hole, I just do it.”

On if he had fun:

“Yeah, I always do. Even throwing it inside is fun.”

On the adjustments they made in the first half:

“We just played harder. Coach Self got us in the huddle and told us to play tough, rebound the ball and play defense. On offense he told us to just run our stuff. When we did that, they couldn’t stop us.”

On if his inside game is an underrated part of his game:

“Yeah, I’m just a good all-around player. Most of the time when they throw it inside I’m wide open (outside), so people just say I shoot the three. When I’m shooting wide open three-pointers, there’s no need to drive it inside. It’s probably overlooked just because I can make three’s – I just take a lot because I’m wide open.”

On if Cole Aldrich’s first half opened the scoring for others:

“Absolutely, all the big men did. I could throw it to Marcus (Morris) and Cole. When the other team is scoring, they are looking to drive on them to help and double team, so I just find an open spot on the court and they’re always looking.”

On if they were surprised that Sherron Collins wasn’t getting the ball too often:

“I was very surprised. Just look for the next game, he’ll come out banging.”

Kansas sophomore forward Markieff Morris

On the pass he got from Tyshawn Taylor that led to his dunk:

“He was just running, and I called his name – I didn’t even think he was going to pass it back, but then he just turned around and I caught it.”

On how it compared to his brother, Marcus’ dunk against Pittsburg State:

“Nothing, it was nowhere near his dunk. I didn’t think it was as good.”

On why La Salle got so many offense rebounds:

“They just boxed us out. Their three man was really big. He could have been a four. So they just took everyone to the boards. We were in a 2-3 defense at the time, and they just outrebounded us.”

On how the team is playing:

“At times, I feel like we’re playing to our potential; then at other times, it feels like when we’re not hitting our shots, we’re not playing to our potential. But when we’re hitting shots I don’t think we can be stopped. We are getting Jeff (Whithey) and Brady (Morningstar) back next week, so we should be even deeper.”

LaSalle Head Coach John Gianni:

On the team’s poor rebounding:

“(It’s) the thing that I am most disappointed with, because that is our pride.”

On Kansas:

“Kansas is really good. I mean can they lose? Absolutely. No one has gone undefeated since 1976. They probably will lose at some point. But they are really good. Watching them on tape, I do not think that they have any weaknesses. They have a point guard who can make plays, they have guys that can shoot it, they have guys that can score inside, and guys that defend hard. I think that they are really good. We played two final four teams last year, we played Villanova this year, and I think they are the best team we have played.”

On holding Collins to 1-for-12:

“That is going to happen. Someday (Xavier) Henry is going to shoot 1-for-10. That is what having a really good team is all about.”

On playing a team that has so many threats:

“I am telling you that they are really good. If I am coaching them I don’t want them to think that they are that good. I want to keep them driven, point out their shortcomings, and make them feel like they need to do everything possible well to win the next game. As an opposing coach, I am telling you that they are really good.”

La Salle Junior Forward Jerrell Williams

On having a career high on a national stage:

“It was a great game. We didn’t get the win as the team, but I had to step it up and do as much I could to get a win. I wasn’t really worried about personal stats, I just wanted to help the team win.”

On the teams rebounding woes:

“We were focused more the first half on rebounding. I guess that we just slipped up the second half. We went out with the intentions to outrebound them, we usually outrebound every team that we play. I don’t know I guess we just did not show up today.”

On Kansas:

They are a great team. Coach (John Giannini) told us after we were done that he had never seen a team play better. They have a lot of great players.”