KU Men's Hoops Previews Davidson

Dec. 18, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – On Sunday afternoon Kansas players, along with head coach Bill Self, met with members of the media in Allen Fieldhouse. As part of the weekly press conference, the Jayhawks’ discussed their upcoming opponent, Davidson. Self fielded questions about the availability of senior guard Tyshawn Taylor in Monday night’s game, as well as his memories of the Jayhawks’ last contest with Davidson in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Below are videos and a transcript of Coach Self’s and select players’ interviews.

  • T. Releford Interview
  • C. Teahan Interview
  • Coach Self Interview

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On his memories of the 2008 NCAA Tournament game versus Davidson:
“I am thinking of wide left because it looked like it was on line from where I was sitting. That was one of the toughest; grind it out games since we have been here. We were fortunate that it was a coin flip game and to come away with the win. It was a great memory but it was definitely one where we had to sweat. Once you get in that NCAA tournament, people and even coaches do not understand that it is all about match-ups and the team that Davidson had that year could match-up with anybody.”

On Davidson’s 2011-12 team:
“They run motion and play fast. They are physical and play some one-three-one, which we have not seen yet, but they play fast offensively. Motion is the hardest thing to guard if you know what you are doing and certainly I think they know what they are doing.”

On whether or not senior guard Tyshawn Taylor will play on Monday night following knee surgery
“I do think he will play unless something happens negative today. He is going to go up and down a just a few minutes but he won’t play 30 minutes or anything (Monday night). If he does not have a set back today than I think he will be okay to at least play a little bit tomorrow.”

On Taylor’s progress following his surgery:
“He shot Friday at pretty much full speed and then we waited to see if there was some swelling and there wasn’t, so he practiced yesterday but only half-court. We waited to see today if there was much swelling and there wasn’t so we are going to let him go up and down today a little bit. We will again wait and see if there is any swelling and if there’s not there is no reason why he can’t play some tomorrow.”

On the team’s nine day lay-off for finals week:
“You do not get better during finals week. What you do is hope to maintain and after finals week you try to get better, but I think it was about the longest break we have had so far this year from a game-to-game aspect. Usually we play the Saturday after finals and so we may be a little rusty but every team goes through it during finals week.”

Junior guard Travis Releford
On his thoughts of the upcoming opponent, Davidson:
“Coach (Self) says that they are a really hard working team and that they really get after it. They have been scoring a lot of points in most of their games.”

On playing during this time of the year:
“This is the best time to get better and come together as a team. We have all this time off from classes and all we get to do is just practice and play games, so it’s great time to have.”

On what the team has worked on over the last few days:
“Basically just cutting down on the turnovers, have better possessions on the offensive end and just continue to get better on the defensive end.”

On what the team can learn from the Ohio State game:
“We started out pretty good; we made shots early and we defended pretty well. We just need to have better possessions on the offensive end, control the ball and have fewer turnovers.”

On if the victory over Ohio State has been a confidence booster:
“I’m sure it can help going into the rest of season; but we still have a long season so we can’t be all giddy about that game.”

On availability of freshman forward Jamari Traylor and freshman guard Ben McLemore:
“There fitting in well; those guys having been wanting to play since they got here. It’s real good to have them and they can make our team better.”

On having to play without senior guard Tyshawn Taylor:
“It is going to change a bunch because that is our leader. It’s going to be a different feel without him out there and without that voice but he is going to be on the sideline and he has been doing that in practice. We all have to step up without Tyshawn (Taylor) because that is a big cutoff from the team because he scores and he defends too.”

On playing in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo.:
“It’s always fun to go back home because a lot of my family doesn’t get to come up here and watch me play; and there is so many of them. Playing at Sprint Center it’s only 10 minutes away so everybody will be there. I’ll have my own little family section.”

Senior guard Conner Teahan
On playing in Kansas City:
“I love playing in the Sprint Center. It’s a lot of fun to be able to go back there, but pretty much anybody I want to be at the games comes anyway. Everybody I want to see me play gets to see me play at every home game. Going back to Kansas City, I love doing it. I think the Sprint Center is awesome. I love playing there. The fans are great there, but in terms of going back home or anything like that, (Allen Fieldhouse) is just as good for me.”

On Davidson:
“We really haven’t gone over them too much. We’ll go over them a lot in practice today, but from what I understand, their big guys and their point guards are their primary contributors on the offensive end. They don’t get a ton of points from the two and three spots from what I understand, which means that anybody guarding the two or three needs to really help off and get the ball out of the scorer’s hands.”

On what he remembers from the Davidson game in the 2008 NCAA Tournament:
“I was always impressed with how good of a team they were. Obviously they had (Stephen) Curry, but everybody on their team understood their roles and were very good at executing what they had to do. They were a tough team. We struggled a lot that game. We definitely knew it would be a tough game because they had so much momentum going into it. They seem like they have a great coach over there.”

On how Naadir Tharpe has handled limited playing time the past two weeks:
“His attitude seems great. He’s always had a positive attitude. That’s one thing that’s always been great about him. He comes out always talkative and always encouraging people. It seems like he’s taking what coach (Bill Self) says and trying to get better every day. I think, in the end, he’ll be a good point guard here.”