Postgame Quotes

Dec. 29, 2005

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Postgame Quotes
Kansas 73, New Orleans 56
December 29, 2005

Head Coach Bill Self
On Kansas’ different lineups:
“We were going to play ten guys. Christian (Moody) didn’t play as much. He got off to a bad start and then dislocated his finger, so that made it really easy to play ten. Our bench was a lot better than our starters tonight. There is no doubt about that. I think it is good for our bench. I thought Mario (Chalmers) had his best game of the season. I thought Jeremy (Case) was terrific. Julian (Wright) had his best game offensively of the season. He did a lot of good things. I thought Darnell (Jackson) was solid, and I thought Stephen (Vinson) was excellent. You are talking about five guys that deserved every minute they got and probably should have played more.”

On KU’s perimeter shooting:
“It was better and more balanced, and a lot of that is because of Jeremy (Case). He had a good attitude when he wasn’t playing and he came in and made shots. But he does more than just make shots. If Jeremy is only concerned with making shots, he won’t make as many. He is concerned with being well-rounded and he is doing better defensively. He is stepping up and making shots because he is feeling good about how he is playing. Stephen (Vinson) made a couple of big shots for us, but we still need to get some low post play. We didn’t have much post play at all tonight.”

On Mario Chalmers:
“He didn’t practice yesterday. Some guys play a little better when they are ill. I think (Michael) Jordan did that once or twice, and I think that is how Mario was today. Maybe the game slowed down for him a little bit. He was active defensively and got his hand on a lot of balls. He made some plays that sparked us and really changed the game. We looked really good in spurts tonight, but we had 18 turnovers. Of our 18 turnovers, probably ten were wasted possessions. The game should have been cracked open earlier than it was, but we have a way of making things interesting.”

On Kansas’ post play:
“Our big guys played really soft tonight. There is no other way to describe that. They didn’t have their best outing. I thought New Orleans was quicker to the ball, primarily with our big guys. Sasha (Kaun) and C.J. (Giles), without going into much detail, need to do better. I believe they can. They have shown that they can, but tonight wasn’t their night.”

Sophomore, Russell Robinson
On bench production:

“I think that they did a great job of keeping us in the game. (Jeremy) Case and Julian (Wright) did a good job of coming in off the bench and scoring. I think it helped us win this game.”

On different players contributing:
“Depth is one of our biggest strengths on this team, and I am just happy to see guys like (Jeremy) Case, Julian (Wright) and Darnell (Jackson) getting in.”

On his shooting:
“I think the team is doing a good job of giving me open looks and moving the ball, doing a lot of things coach wanted us to do. I’m just playing. We just have to go out there and make plays and hopefully stay on the court.”

On Kentucky:
“Well we definitely need a good game against Yale so we can carry it over to the Kentucky game. I just think we need to stress working on defense and ball pressuring full court to get us flowing and get us in transition.”

Freshman Mario Chalmers
On starting:

“I’m not really worried about it. I just want what is best for the team.”

On being able to take care of the ball:
“I just try to slow down and let the game process. I try to look for openings and try to be patient.”

On the opponent guards backing off:
“The guards from New Orleans weren’t pressuring as much so that gives you more time to see the court and slow your mind down.”

On Coach Self’s substitution patterns:
“He is just going with the toughest players and the players that are going to produce the most.”

Freshman, Julian Wright
On playing time:

“In practice, if we get tired, we go hard. We build chemistry by coach pushing us and us pushing eachother.”

Head Coach Monte Towe
On the game:

“I am impressed with Kansas and their defense. I think they guard as good as anyone we have played this year and we have played some pretty good people. They have some young talent. They are going to be good this year and get better and better. I thought that in the first half we had an oppourtunity, but we missed some shots that would have made the game closer. The end of the first half was just a disaster for us. It continued into the second half for the first few minutes, but I think we got back into it and we didn’t embarass ourselves. Give Kansas credit, they have been awfully nice to us, but I knew that would stop once the game started. Turned out they are a good basketball team and Bill (Self) is doing a good job.”

On the 17-0 run:
“I think our guys got a little bit fatigued. I think their defense didn’t take its toll immediatly, but if you keep the pressure up and a team lets down for a few possesions like we did you see what happens. We made a defensive mistake allowing a three to get it started. Then we missed a dunk and two free throws to help ignite the run. It was a combination of our turnovers and bad plays with their good plays and defense.”

On the difficulty to get the ball inside:
“It was difficult at the beginning of the game, but later I thought we were able to get it inside more. Their (Kansas’) pressure on the wings is really good. I thought it was good on the inside too. They are just a good defensive team. We won’t be the last team they beat this year.”

Junior Guard Jamie McNeilly
On the Kansas 17-0 run:

“That run at the end of the half really hurt us. We tried to come back in the second half and play our butts off. We tried to make up the deficit, but it just didn’t happen for us. Coach wants us to play 40 minutes and we are almost there. We are playing about 36 minutes every game. We need to translate the last four minutes into positive stuff and I think we will be okay. We had a lot of turnovers. We had two or three in a row that they capitalized on.”

On Kansas:
“They are very hard-nosed and they play hard defense. They are up in your face for 40 minutes. They are relentless when they go after rebounds. They are a very good team.”

On playing at Allen Fieldhouse:
“It was exciting. It was packed. This is probably the biggest crowd we have played in front of all year. It is a fun atmosphere to play in.”

Junior Guard Wayne Williams
On UNO’s play:

“I think a lot of guys are tired and drained. We just have to get in there and practice and keep working hard. Kansas is a really good team.”