Dec. 18, 2004

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Post-Game Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
On the game:
“We didn’t play very well, but you have to give South Carolina a lot of credit. They were more athletic and quicker to balls than we were. They were very ready to play and excited to play as evidenced by their quick start. We were not a very focused team at all. We stepped up and made some plays late. Tonight was one of those games like Richmond was last year. We made key free throws late, but overall we still need to work on our free throws. Their speed really bothered us and we never ran. We wanted to run but we were getting rebounds very cautiously. They got us on our heels with their aggressiveness and then we were nervous to make plays after that. We have to be a team that gets out and runs. A lot of our turnovers happened because we threw it right to them. We would wait until they trapped us and throw it right to them. When things don’t go well guys tighten up and that’s what happened tonight. We made enough plays, we came back and did some good things late. Our defense was pretty good late. I am proud of our guys that we hung on and won, but that was not a real good performance.”

On Wayne Simien:
“Wayne gets less respect than any good player that I have coached. They fouled him really hard and nothing was called. We’ll get X-rays and hopefully nothing is broken. If it is, he’ll be out for a long time. We’ll certainly hope and pray that it isn’t bad.”

On the upcoming game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
“Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a team that presses. We have been good in practice working against the press. We have a lot of things to work on before the game on Wednesday.”

Junior Forward Christian Moody
On the second half:
“Coach really challenged us defensively and we stepped up. We did a much better job in the second half. We also limited our turnovers in the second half because the first half was pretty ugly.”

On South Carolina’s defense:
“It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before, we had trouble because of a lack of focus. We had some big mental mistakes out there in the first half, but fortunately we were able to turn things around in the second half.”

On his basket giving Kansas its first lead of the game:
“Keith (Langford) made a great drive and I was in the right place at the right time. I was glad it went in. Keith played a great game and was penetrating at the end which was opening it up for a lot of guys.”

Senior Guard Keith Langford
On South Carolina’s defense:
“Coming into the game, I thought we would handle it very well, especially the way we played against UAB last year in the tournament. They were a lot faster than what they looked like on film. They came ready to play, but I am thankful we won. We have shown that we can handle the press in the past. We always have wanted teams to press us because we thought it would work in our favor. They did a good job of hitting us early and disguising their defenses. I am surprised that Aaron (Miles) and I did not handle it as well as we should have early in the game.”

On Russell Robinson:
“Russell had a big left handed layup in the lane and some big free throws at the end of the game. He is a big help defensively because he stays in front of his man as well as anyone on the team. He causes a lot of disruptions with the other team’s offense.”

Freshman Guard Russell Robinson
On playing late in the game:
“When coach had me in, I knew he was confident in me. I knew he wanted me to make something happen. Once I had an opening I went in to try to put a little pressure on the defense. They just let me go to the basket and I layed it in.”

On his free throws:
“It was tough late in the game. I went in 3-6 from the line and couldn’t knock two straight down. I felt I had to make it a two-possession game. I calmly went up to the line and went through my normal routine and knocked both of them down.”

South Carolina Head Coach Dave Odom:
On the game:
“We gave our team certain goals coming into the basketball game and we accomplished almost every one of those. The ultimate goal that we had was to win the basketball game. We felt we could win the game, but we knew we would have to play extremely hard and extremely well and I think we did both of those. The other goal that we still have to work on is playing smarter. We took a couple of ill-advised shots that I thought really hurt us. We are still prone to doing things at inopportune times that lead to disaster. That certainly was true tonight.”

On the technical foul:
“The technical foul really hurt us. We have to be smarter than that. I am not saying that play lost us the game but it certainly did not help us. I know Renaldo (Balkman) wants to play smarter, but he just fell prey to the wrong thing on that play. We have to be better than that.”

On Brandon Wallace’s missed three-point attempt in the last minute of the game :
“That was one of the shots that we had drawn up in the huddle, but I don’t think he got a good look at it. Wayne Simien, being a senior and a great All-American, took that shot away. Hopefully Brandon, in the next few years, will just learn to pump fake that shot and drive the ball. Since (Wayne) Simien had four fouls in this situation he wasn’t going to touch Brandon. Instead we gave into the jump shot there. I wanted him to take the jump shot if he was wide open, but he was not.”

On the second half:
“The beginning of the second half really hurt us. I really wanted us to come out strong in the second half. We knew that Kansas was going to put the pedal to the metal. We never got a handle defensively and we were just trading baskets. We did not want to get into a game where we were trading baskets with Kansas because that’s a game we knew we would eventually lose and we did.”

Senior Guard Josh Gonner
On the game:
“We are a good team and we came to play tonight. We also knew that Kansas would be ready to play especially with such a great crowd. They (Kansas) are the number two team in the nation and they finished it in the last minute. We thought that we could win from the beginning. After our early run, we knew that Kansas would make a run of their own. We made a statement that we didn’t just come to play the game, we came to win the game.”

On the team’s performance:
“We were aggressive on the defensive end. We know that we are not the biggest team, but we are one of the fastest. We were able to trap them and mix up our defense a little bit to keep them (Kansas) on their heels at all times. Kansas made some good plays against some of our traps, but we got some points off a lot of their turnovers.”

Senior Forward Carlos Powell
On South Carolina’s early run:
“Our goal was to play hard and get a quick start to take the crowd out of the game early. Kansas has great fans who feed off big plays at the beginning and we didn’t want them (the crowd) to be a factor.”

On the team’s performance:
“There a lot of things that we still need to work on as a team. We went toe to toe with Kansas the whole game but we are not satisfied with the loss. We need to go back to practice and play hard and see what we can do in the next game.”