Postgame Quotes

Dec. 19, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Davidson 80, Kansas 74
Postgame Quotes
December 19, 2011

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On his team’s performance:
“I thought that we had a good-spirited workout today and had a pretty decent practice yesterday, so I thought we would be somewhat ready to play. But we weren’t and they were. Even though we were only down one at halftime, it was an ugly one (point) because I feel like it could have been six or eight. If there was a positive, our defense kind of kept us in it because they had 12 turnovers and we had nine steals. In the second half, they played perfect and it is unbelievable how well you can do if you don’t turn the ball over.”

On his team’s ball handling and shot selection:
“Guys don’t understand that a possession early in the game still counts, and we wasted so many possessions early that it allowed them to be comfortable. When you allow teams to be comfortable they get confident, so we didn’t handle the ball great but on the flipside we had a lot of wide-open shots. It says we were 6-for-23 from three, but we weren’t because we were 3-for-20. We made three when the game was over and they (Davidson) made 11, which is basically the difference in the game.”

On his team’s preparation for USC on Thursday:
“There are a baker’s dozen of things we need to emphasize and work on, but we don’t have 40 hours of practice time between now and Thursday, so it is kind of a fine line. We looked tired, but I don’t know why but we did. So we have to be fresh to play, but we have to practice to get better so we will work hard and practice hard but we just won’t practice long in the next couple of days.”

On his team’s performance versus mid-major schools:
“We have not lost many games because this is our ninth loss in three years, so it’s not like people are just whipping us. I don’t know if you can take as much from this game as you can from other games because this team is not that good. In other games we were more talented and somebody could consider that an upset, but that was not an upset tonight. We have to be sharp every night we play because there is not much margin for error. In order to have great seasons you have to win games you are supposed to win, and the games that are more of a coin flip you have to win 70 percent of those.”

On taking away any positives from the loss:
“We can spin it into a positive that they exposed us and there are things we have to get better at. The reality check is that we have to be very focused, play really hard and smart, as well as play to our strengths in order to have a chance to beat anybody on our schedule. When we do that, we are pretty good but it (focus) is something we have struggled with since October 15th.”

Junior guard Elijah Johnson
On what Coach Self’s message was in the early, first half timeout:
“He just told us to focus because it seemed like there were a lot of times when one person would make a small mistake. He told us we need to have all five players on the court be on the same page.”

On if the flow of the game changes when they are playing from behind:
“Sometimes it can, but to us it doesn’t feel too bad because we play from behind a lot. I don’t look at the scoreboard too much, I just know that I need to keep playing.”

On how the team played against Davidson’s guards:
“I feel like we had an advantage over their guards, but I don’t think we used the advantage all the time. I feel like we used it only when it was convenient, but we shouldn’t have. They have some good guards that can shoot the ball, they take care of the ball and they didn’t turn it over too often, especially in the second half. They just seemed to be focused tonight.”

On when he thought they lost the momentum:
“I never felt like we lost a chance, I felt like we still had a chance with 52 seconds left. I never feel like we can’t come back until it is all said and done. We had a lot of chances to open the lead, but we would just make a small error.”

On what they need to do to fix the mistakes they had:
“We need to start the game with all five players on the same page every game. We need everybody 100 percent tuned in and focused. We usually are (all on the same page), but today we were a little sluggish. I don’t know if the nine days (in between games) took a toll on us or not, but we’ll fix it, we’ll figure it out, we definitely will.”

Junior guard Travis Releford
On what he thought went wrong for Kansas:
“We started off bad and we came out very sluggish. From the beginning of the game, we started off playing from behind, playing catch-up the whole game.”

On why Kansas has struggled on neutral courts in recent years:
“We come out and we aren’t ready to play as a team. That kind of hurts us because we are playing catch-up the whole game. We can’t come out and do that. We’ve got to come out and be ready to play every game.”

On how Kansas will fix its struggles:
“We’ll fix it as a team. It starts individually, we’ve got to know our roles, and come together as team.”

On if there is a mental game playing catch-up:
“When stuff like that happens in the game, you just really have to think ‘next play’ because they were shooting, putting up threes almost every time down. We’ll come back and make a big shot, but we’ve just got to let that go and think about the next play.”

Davidson head coach Bob McKillop
Opening statement:
“A month ago we had a one point lead against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Duke knocked us out in the first five minutes of the second half. Saturday night, we had a one-point lead against North Carolina Charlotte. Then they knocked us out in the first five minutes. I thought we came out in the second half and scored two baskets, which at least put us in the center ring for the rest of the half. I thought our resiliency was a great statement about our team maturing and showing poise and taking a week of practice after a tough loss and really capitalizing on it.”

On what was different tonight from the Duke game:
In the Duke game, as well as Saturday night, when they hit us back on our heels, we fought backing up rather than going forward. The game of basketball is like a boxing match. You have to be in the center ring and fight going forward. The Duke game, they hit us, and we backed up. We were on the ropes, and when you’re on the ropes, you can’t win.”

On Kansas’ team:
“Kansas is going to be terrific this year. They’re quick and they play the passing lanes so well. Bill (Self)’s offense is very difficult to defend. (Thomas) Robinson is a man. (Tyshawn) Taylor was probably still rusty from the surgery. Give him credit for sticking out and playing tonight. I’d like to get a hold of that doctor and have him do my knee, too.”

On doubling Thomas Robinson:
“Bill has mentioned on a number of occasions how he’s concerned about turnovers, and we wanted to try to put them in positions where they had to make passes. We felt that three-point shooters were very good ones but very streaky ones. If we could get them to move their feet a little bit, I thought our guys did a pretty good job of running at the shooters and making them move their feet. I also thought they did a pretty good job of being there on the catch and making them make passes out of double teams or at least not getting a clear look. Every time they got a clear look, they would dunk it, whether they threw the alley-oop or penetrated and threw it up on the rim. I thought we did a pretty good job defensively. That’s the mark of becoming a good team. We struggled to shoot. We missed shot after shot, but we didn’t hang our heads and carry it to the defensive end. That’s the joy for me as the coach tonight.”

On what the victory means for the team:
“It’s a statement about a team that has shown some resiliency. When you play a storied program, and this is one of the storied programs in America, and you play them on a neutral site but a home court and you get a taste of a great city like Kansas City, you get to see the great crowd that they have here. They were an honorable crowd from the standpoint of being great basketball fans. There was no abusive (comments). It was just a basketball atmosphere. This is as pure as it gets. To win in this environment is very special.”

Davidson junior guard Nik Cochran
On aggressive mindset coming into the game:
“We know playing a great team like Kansas that we have to come out and be aggressive right away. Coach (Bob McKillop) preaches that, not just this game, but every game we play to try and put them on their heels and attack them. We try to play like that every game, but we knew that was going to be big, especially today.”

On watching NCAA tournament game from four years ago against Kansas:
“I’m sure we have all seen that. We didn’t watch it in preparation for this game, but we’ve all seen that game a bunch of times.”

On impact of that game on tonight:
“That’s a little extra motivation and knowing that we can play at this level.”

On doubling Thomas Robinson:
“He’s such a great player and so big and strong. He’s a tough matchup so we tried to put him in some tough situations. (We tried to) get him to try out of a double-team and maybe turn the ball over. We know we can try and recover to have a good rotation to cover their three-point shooters.”

On playing against Tyshawn Taylor after he had knee surgery:
“I don’t think you change the way you play coming in knowing something like that. It’s hard to gauge that. We weren’t even sure if he was playing or not until yesterday or last night. They said he was going to play. You have to play him the same way you would anyways.”

On De’Mon Brooks playing limited minutes due to foul trouble:
“When someone like De’Mon goes down – he’s a great scorer and great player – we know someone else has to come in and pick us up. I think that’s one of the big strengths of our team. We have a good, big rotation. We have guys who can come in and play well and make up for that.”

Davidson junior guard JP Kuhlman
On being able to score in the paint:
“Going in, we knew that we had to play inside-out to beat (Kansas). Our bigs did a great job limiting their big boys’ easy shots. The biggest thing was attacking. That was the game plan the whole time, to be the aggressor for 40 minutes. That’s what we did.”

On preventing Kansas from getting second-chance shots:
“One of the biggest things was guards sneaking in and putting two bodies on their big guys. That’s the biggest thing to limiting their second shots; all five guys getting in the paint every shot.”

On not letting Jeff Withey affect game plan to be aggressive:
“To beat a team like Kansas, you have to play for 40 minutes and be the aggressor the entire game. That was what coach was harping on the entire game in every timeout. He was saying one rep at a time. We have to play the whole game for 40 minutes, and I think that was the biggest thing with just being consistent.”