Game Quotes

Dec. 19, 2005

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Head Coach Bill Self Postgame Quotes
Kansas 63, Pepperdine 43
Dec. 19, 2005

Head Coach Bill Self
On the team’s play:

“We played great the first nine minutes. We really shared the ball and then we went through a stretch where we didn’t play selfish. We played like we were out on an island. The first nine minutes we shared the ball, but after that everyone wanted to do their own thing. When you have stretches like that (five minutes without a field goal), you just don’t turn around and get it right back. We didn’t get it back the rest of the game. We labored to score. We got the ball where we wanted to get it, but guys started pressing. We missed some easy shots and then we were miserable from the free throw line early on and that contributed to the problems. We should have had 45 points in the first half with as many free throws and easy shots as we missed and we continued that trend in the second half early. Our defense wasn’t bad. We did some good things, but we still have a ways to go. Freshmen have to become sophomores pretty quick. We need to have all four playing at a level doing things to help our team win instead of doing things to help themselves. I did not think that was the case in the first half.”

On the team’s rebounding:
“We rebounded the ball well. Christian (Moody) did a great job back-tapping the ball. He had five offensive rebounds. We killed them on the glass, and they haven’t been a poor rebounding team.”

On the guards’ play:
“When your starting guards have four assists and nine turnovers, that is a bad sign. (Jeff) Hawkins was sick and had the flu. He did not have as good a game, but I think that was because he probably didn’t feel good.”

On sophomore forward Sasha Kaun’s play:
“Sasha had a good ball game. He should have been able to get 20 points tonight based on the touches he got in tight. I thought he did some good things, especially stepping up and making his free throws.”

On the team’s transition play:
“We tried to run, and we had numerous opportunities based on the number of missed shots there were. However, we need Brandon (Rush) in the game more, and we need guys really understanding that with this team, we are not a one-on-one ballclub. We need to move the ball to make the defense break down and then attack. Coming down and not utilizing the court and our big guys led to some poor possessions for us offensively.”

On freshman guard Mario Chalmers:
“I thought Mario Chalmers did some good things and was aggressive. He was much better and had a good week of practice. The reason why he played so well tonight is because he has been practicing so well.”

On the upcoming conference schedule:
“We will get better. Defensively we are getting better. To win games on the road in our conference, there are going to be games where the score is going to be in the 50’s and 60’s. Those are the games you have to grind out, and maybe tonight will prepare us for those types of games.”

Sophomore Guard Russell Robinson
On the game:

“I think today we did a good job defensively. I think offensively we are struggling a little bit. We have some kinks that we need to work out. It was a little tough out there. First, we wanted to be aggressive, then we didn’t want to be aggressive. I thinks it’s going to work itself out in a little bit.”

On KU’s defense:
“I think defense is going to win us games. I think we need to work on our offensive aggressiveness a little bit, but I think that’s going to come back.”

On Kansas’ different lineups:
“That is one thing about our team, every day we play a different lineup. I think that is going to start to come together.”

Freshman Guard Brandon Rush
On his inconsistency:

“I don’t know why it is happening. I think that it is something that I am doing. My mind needs to stay focused on what’s going on. I just have to stay focused throughout the game.”

On the game:
“Offensively, I don’t think we did too well. But defensively, we stopped (Pepperdine’s) scorers. (Coach Self) felt the way I feel — that we didn’t play very well offensively.”

On Christmas Break:
“The break is nothing, because we are still going to work out. Workouts are still going to be tough for us. It’s going to be just like school.

Sophomore Forward Sasha Kaun
On KU’s defense:

“For most teams, defense has to be good to win. If you don’t get stops, then you are really in big trouble. When offense and defense is good, then teams become really good. We try to emphasize our defense getting stops and limiting possessions, and that wins games.”

On Kansas’ offense:
“We didn’t shoot great. It is frustrating a little, but if you don’t make a shot, then you can go get a stop. I guess that is the motivation to go play `D’. You need to try and not get frustrated and just go out and play.”

“When you get a break down the floor and then take a quick shot, we need to just slow things down and get a good shot. Quick shots are not a good thing, especially when your offensive game is not that good.”

Head Coach Paul Westphal
On the game:

“I thought we competed, and we got it close in the second half. We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot like we have all year. We would get close and then we would make a couple turnovers and they would capitilize on them. Kansas is clearly the better team. They outplayed us. I thought we defended them really well but we did not keep them from getting second-chance opportunities. Our shooting woes continued. We held them to 37 percent but we only shot 29 percent. People don’t like watching that too much. I thought guys were playing hard, but we have a long way to go. We have to execute better because some of the guys that are shooting poorly in the game, shoot really well in practice.”

On Kansas’ rebounding edge:
“When they missed, they got as many offensive rebounds as we got defensive rebounds. That catches up to you.”

On Jarrad Henry:
“We needed Jarrad to play a lot of minutes because we have two big players back home that would normally be playing a lot of minutes. He responded really well. He does not give away anything defensively. He is hard to score on, and he did a good job rebounding. Offensively, he just couldn’t get it going, though.”

Sophomore, PF Jarrad Henry
On the game:
“(Sasha) Kaun was really strong, as was (C.J.) Giles. Sasha has a real good knack for sealing in the lowpost and trying to get the ball. I just tried to keep the ball out of his hands. We did a decent job of that, but we did not do a good job offensively.”

On playing back in Kansas:
“It was nice to have a lot of people from high school and my family here to watch me play. It was not the outcome that I anticipated but it was good to be home. I had 50 people here watching me. KU’s a great place to play, with the tradition that Coach Williams left behind and that Coach Self is continuing here. It was not the experience we wanted, but hopefully in the end everything will begin to come together.”