Postgame Quotes

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Dec. 18, 2012

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No. 9/8 Kansas 87, Richmond 59
Dec. 18, 2012
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Opening statement:
“We played good defensively in the first half. We held them to 18 points, and they made four threes. We said take away threes and layups. Of course we didn’t take away threes, but they’re averaging about nine makes a game. They had to take 32 to make them, but we didn’t give up one back-door layup so that was good. We didn’t turn them over, but we didn’t give up any back-door layups. Our defense was good. We weren’t great offensively, but we were pretty efficient and had a good, balanced effort.”

On Elijah Johnson’s performance:
“I thought Elijah was not nearly as aggressive as what he should be. They switched everything, so he had a big guy on him a lot of times and didn’t put pressure on them by driving it. He has to get where he drives it more. He did there in the second half, but I’d like to see him do that more – he and Naadir (Tharpe) both. He, Travis (Releford), Ben (McLemore) and Naadir, they were solid. Naadir made shots. Of course Kevin (Young) was good, and Perry (Ellis) and Jamari (Traylor) gave us good minutes. There’s no question who the best player of the game was – Withey was terrific, denying elbow passes and leading the break. He did a lot of nice things for us.”

On beating Colorado, Belmont and Richmond by large margins the last three games:
“We controlled the game pretty well from start to finish tonight. Our biggest lead was 37, so that’s pretty good. Our biggest lead against Belmont was 41, and our biggest lead against Colorado was in the 40s. We’ve done a good job holding serve at home and playing with energy. Now we’ll find out how good we are, though. Let’s be serious. The season starts Saturday. Now we can go up there and hopefully take a real enthusiastic team up there, hunker down, see how tough we are and find out a lot about ourselves.”

On the Ohio State victory last season:
“It was a big win, but you should have success playing at home. I’ve been to their building three times when I was at Illinois. It’s a good building. It’ll be juiced and ready. It’ll be a great challenge for Elijah. There will be some great challenges for us. They’ve got a guy who can really defend on the perimeter on the wing, and that will be a great challenge for Ben. It should be fun. We need to have a good three days of preparation and go up there feeling good about ourselves but understanding that this is going to be a true test of where we are right now. Right now, even though we played better, I still don’t know. This will clear some things up for us.”

On playing on the road:
“Our guys have so much confidence playing at home, but to me it’s obviously much tougher on the road. You don’t play at home during the NCAA Tournament, so we need to figure out how to do it.”

Kansas Senior Center Jeff Withey
On Kansas defensive performance:
“We played pretty well. Our scout team did a great job to prepare us for this game. We knew that they could shoot and we keyed in on that. We knew exactly what they were going to run just because our scout team did such a great job.”

On the offensive performance:
“Richmond played a weird defense because sometimes I got matched up with a guard on the post. So, that made it a lot easier for us.”

Kansas Sophomore Guard Naadir Tharpe
On his ability to score:
“It feels really good to score, but more importantly my teammates encourage me in practice to keep shooting. I know that I’m going to miss shots because that’s just basketball, but if my team is encouraging me I know there is going to be a time when my shots will fall.”

On his confidence this year compared to last year:
“I am much more confident. It starts off in practice. I just have a different mindset than last year. With the encouragement of my teammates it’s kind of hard not to be prepared to play.”

Kansas Senior Guard Elijah Johnson
On the defensive performance of the Kansas guards:
“I think that we are getting there, but I still do not think we are doing a good job. I think that we are doing better, and I think that Naadir and I look better at practice. We come after each other in practice way more than we do with other players in games. I don’t understand why we are doing that, so that is something that we are trying to fix.”

On Naadir Tharpe’s performance:
“I hope Naadir keeps playing like this, and I hope he gets better because he can actually pull some weight for us. He is the type of person that won’t shoot too much, but he will shoot four in a row and make them. He strikes when you least expect him.”

On the progression of the chemistry of the team:
“I feel like in some areas we are ahead of schedule, and in some areas we are not. I look at us as being the overall Kansas team from what we have seen in the past and I think we are getting better. We really just show other teams what the Fieldhouse feels like.”

On preparing for Ohio State:
“The next couple days are going to be real important. We are actually going to Ohio State, and I definitely think right now we are not as prepared as we can be. Starting tomorrow when we wake up, it’s a different mindset. I feel like what we haven’t done yet is go to someone else’s house and try to bring the pain.”

Richmond Head Coach Chris Mooney
Opening statement:
“Hats off to Kansas. They are every bit as good as advertised. We were unable to compete as well as we would have liked. We needed to make some three-point shots. We only had eight turnovers in the game, which is great. We missed some shots at the beginning and that made it difficult for us to defend in the transition and find other ways to score”

On Jeff Withey:
“He is a great player. How much he has improved over his career is really impressive. It’s a credit to him and a credit to the coaches and the program. It’s really impressive to see how good he has been. He has really developed a great low-post game and was able to score a little bit too easily.”

Richmond Senior Guard Darien Brothers
On what the team would do differently (knowing what they know now):
“Just come out with more energy in the beginning. We let them come out with (scoring) runs and we let that get to us.”

On Jeff Withey’s impact:
“He was really a defensive presence. He blocked some shots and got some rebounds. I think we really did a good job guarding him on defense.”

On KU’s first half scoring runs:
“We just had some defensive slip-ups. We let some guys get lobs. We weren’t talking or communicating.”

Richmond Junior Forward Derrick Williams
On how the team moves on from the loss:
“The most important thing is that we stay together. The season isn’t over. Kansas is a really good team. We are still a really good team. There is a long way to go.”