Postgame Quotes

Dec. 29, 2007

Recap | Final Stats | Notes

Kansas 78, Miami University 54
Saturday, Dec. 22, 2007
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

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“I thought we played well for the most part. I thought for the first eight minutes of the game that we had great energy. I was excited about how we played. We gave up some easy baskets, but I hope we can correct that. We didn’t rebound the ball well, but that’s a little misleading; they had 27 turnovers so they had 14 less possessions than us where the shoot the ball. Our team is good when we play unselfishly and share the ball.”

On Senior Darnell Jackson’s play:

“He’s played great. I’m excited for him. He’s a really talented kid and he’s playing to his talent level. The individual play he made where he stole the ball he didn’t dive for it, but some how kept possession and dribbled it and then and made a three point play that was absolutely fabulous. That’s a big time play. I’m excited for him.”

On the team:

“We’re doing some good things, but looking at it stat-wise you can’t go 12 of 25 from the free throw line. Obviously our best free throw shooters are shooting the worst. Darnell (Jackson) is a good free throw shooter. Mario (Chalmers) misses, Brandon (Rush) misses, and Rodrick (Stewart) who is a better free throw shooter, but he and Sasha (Kaun) combined to go 0-for-4. We’ve got to do better than that because we’re better shooters than that. I just wish our big guys went after the ball like Cole (Aldrich). Cole has become our best rebounder or close to our best rebounder. We have to get the rest of our bigs, especially Sasha, going after that ball like that.”

On play of the guards and the ways to improve:

“Russel (Robinson) could have set the school record for steals tonight if those guys play 32-34 minutes. He was good. Mario was good. I thought <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Brandon defended pretty well. If we’re going to nitpick though I would say Brandon, Darrell, Darnell, and Sasha are not rebounding the ball to their capabilities especially on the offensive end. We played well. Our guys seemed excited to play. There were a lot of people here. Probably the biggest crowd we have seen from a numbers stand point. I know our players appreciated that.”

“We have to get to where we can defend flex action. Last year we played 3-2 zone for the last 25 minutes of the game. I hope we don’t have to go out there and play a lot of zone sinse we’ve played zero possessions so far this year. We need to put in a couple of things too and get our conditioning back a little bit. For the most part, just tweak a couple of things, and maybe add a couple of things for conference. I’d like to get our secondary defense down, but I really feel comfortable we can play.”

Senior Guard Russell Robinson

On his eight steals:
“I didn’t know that I was close to the record but I was just trying to get one more (steal) before I went out. I knew I was close to doing something because I had a good game today. I just tried to pressure them. I just felt like I had a lot of steals.”

On the team’s game plan for Yale:
“We just wanted to emphasize setting the tone and getting out and running. This was the first game after Christmas break and we didn’t want to come out lackadaisical. We were playing well going into the break and we just wanted pick up from there.”

On his defense:
“There is a thin line between good pressure and fouling. You just have to play your cards right and see how the ref is calling the game. I love the steal, especially against the opposing point guard when it leads to a transition play. You might not get them (a steal) every time and it might take a while to get them but you have to keep pressuring.”

Junior Guard Mario Chalmers

On scoring his 1,000th point at Kansas:
“It is just another milestone. I am happy for myself and my teammates are happy for me. I couldn’t have scored 1,000 points without my teammates so I dedicate all of that to them.”

On Russell Robinson’s eight steals:
“That is what Russell does, Russell gets steals. I was hoping he would get that last one so he would break the record, but we have a lot more games for him to do that.”

On his defense:
“Most of my steals come off of Russell (Robinson’s) defense and from him pressuring the ball. Whoever he is guarding wants to get rid of the ball and I just try to read the passing lanes. That’s basically how I get most of my steals, off of anticipation.”

Senior Forward Darnell Jackson

On his offensive performance:
“I am really comfortable out there. We came back from Christmas break and we were having really tough practices every day. I was excited to play today because I get tired of playing against my teammates every day and them beating me up. I just took that energy into the game tonight.”

On his energy:
“I get my energy from my teammates. When they do something like get a layup or and `and-one’ or make a three pointer then I get really pumped off of that. I just try to bring something to the team, like dive on the floor or get a good trap or make a good pass. That is where I get my energy from.”

On the seniors:

“When we got here our freshman year we had to learn and now we are seniors and we know what to expect. We know what to expect down the road and we know what to expect from coach Self.”

On the upcoming game against Boston College:

“Like we always say when we go on the road, we have to get closer as a team. We have to make less turnovers and mental mistakes. When we go out there to Boston we will have to play and execute plays. It will always come down to the last possession, but you try not to give teams second opportunities.”

Yale Head Coach James Jones
On the game:
“I’ve watched all 12 games or so that Kansas have played this year and anyone who came to play in their gym, they have done pretty much the same thing to. It is just pretty much par for the course for them. I thought we had some opportunities in the second half, but obviously, defensively, they do a great job.”

On Russell Robinson’s eight steals:
“He is quick, strong, and athletic. He is quicker, stronger, and more athletic than the guys he was playing. He obviously did a great job and had a very good game.”

On getting their weaknesses exposed:
“That is the point. I told the kids in the locker room. We hardly go to the free-throw line at all and we took some of the worst shots that I have ever seen. So if we were able to relax and get more confidence we probably would have had a better chance at scoring the ball better. If we would have played offensively in the first half we may have gotten to 70 points. There was also a stretch in the first half where we didn’t play any defense. Out of eight possessions, I think they had six dunks. It was a tough environment.”

On Caleb and Nick Holmes:
“It is very difficult for them to come and play here. They have played better during the course of the year, especially Caleb. It is difficult for them because of all the emotions they have going on. It is just a tough environment for them to play in.”

Yale Forward Caleb Holmes

On possibly being nervous:
“I really don’t get nervous. We knew they were a good team. It is always fun to be able to play in an atmosphere like this with such a large crowd. Some of the gyms that we go into only have 300-400 people in them.”

On KU’s defense:
“They picked us up full-court the whole game. Their guards are very quick and athletic and they play very good defense.”

On the game helping them get ready for Ivy League play:
“It just exposes us a little bit. We know that we have to take care of the ball better and get into our offense better. We need to work on those things before conference play gets started.”

Yale Forward Nick Holmes
On the game:
“We played one of the best teams in the country, if not the best. The place was loud. We have played at UCLA and UMass, so I am not sure how much the crowd affected us. The quality of team that Kansas is probably had more to do with the game than the atmosphere.

On KU’s defense:
“We have now played two of the best pressure defenses in the country in UCLA and Kansas. Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers are both very quick, long guards. It is tough when you are playing against guards like that. We knew they were going to pressure us, but our main problem tonight was that we couldn’t get into our offense. We couldn’t execute anything.”