Postgame Quotes

Dec. 29, 2009

Recap | Box Score |

Kansas 81, Belmont 51

Postgame Quotes

December 29, 2009

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On Belmont’s run to take the lead after KU opened with an 11-0 lead:

“We played awful. It was a poor job by me of getting us ready to play. We got off to a good start, but we didn’t guard them well. They just missed open shots. We didn’t guard them the whole game. Obviously, we did not rebound the ball. We had a size advantage and I have a guy coming out of the game saying ‘Coach I am not that big’ and I am saying, it’s Belmont, they aren’t either. It was a very soft effort by us. I thought we played very poorly. I thought we executed some things well late. I thought Elijah (Johnson) sparked us. I should have had him in the game sooner. There were very few good moments for us. I thought it was a very lackluster performance and the thing about it is we played so soft. That has been the tune all year long. Going into the season I thought we would be tougher going after balls and things like that, but this is a group that obviously needs to make shots to play well and that is embarrassing because there are going to be a lot of nights where you have to grind it out, especially away from home. We are going to run into one of those opponents on Saturday.”

On playing at Temple:

“They have lost two games and they were both basically last possession games. They are good. They play a style that will be great for us to go against because they want to muddy it up and have it be an ugly game and right now our guys definitely prefer a pretty game. So it will be good for us to go in there because they will punch us in the mouth and we have to find out if we are going to take it or if we are going to be the first lay the first lick. Hopefully we will be more ready to go. It is sold out and it will be a raucous atmosphere.”

On tonight’s game:

“I have very little sympathy for our team tonight. I thought collectively we were poor. We certainly have to get better. I am glad that we won. I would rather win by 10 and play the right way than have a lackluster deal like that tonight. Hopefully we will get better.”

Freshman Center Jeff Withey

On playing his first collegiate game:

“I was just nervous. I haven’t played a game in two years. When I finally got my name called, I was really nervous – kind of shocked, too. My parents were here, too, so that was nice.”

On if getting a rebound within the first five seconds of playing helped ease his nerves:

“I wasn’t really thinking about that. It was nice though, the fans liked it, I guess. It was really cool, and a good way to start my career.”

On where he thinks he’ll get his minutes, with Kansas being a deep team:

“We do have such a great team – such a deep team. I have no idea. Coach (Self) has his schemes, and every game is different. If we are playing a bigger team, I will probably get more time. Right now, I’m just finally starting to get my feet wet.”

Sophomore Forward Marcus Morris

On if they have the best home court advantage in the country:

“Definitely. There’s no place like Allen Fieldhouse. That basically sums it up. There is no other place where you can get this vibe – and get chills before the game. I feel like no other place can beat it.”

On what areas the team needs to work on before Big 12 play:

“Rebounding. There is no way Cole (Aldrich) should be the only one in double-figures. I speak for myself, too. I had two rebounds in 21 minutes, it’s unacceptable. I talked to Coach (Self) about it and I need to find more things to help me rebound better because someone needs to help Cole (Aldrich).”

On what their mindset is going into Big 12 season:

“The teams in the Big 12 are going to come right at us. We are No. 1 and we have something to prove, I think. We still have to prove our self to every other team. If we come out and play like we’re not supposed to, we will get beat by any team.”

Junior Center Cole Aldrich

On the home court advantage:

“It works to our advantage so much – but at the same time, we’re really trying to win games, whether it’s at home, or on the road. We have a really good Temple team coming up in Philly.”

On what he thinks they need to do to have a complete game:

“We just need to continue to move the ball – we really have to rebound. Tonight, we couldn’t rebound worth anything. We just need to play hard-nosed basketball. We really played hard last year, and I think we are going to continue to get that mold, and play that way again this year.”

On if the a’re ready to take on a No. 18 team in Temple:

“It’s going to be a fun game. I’m really excited. We have had a few days with just practicing, and we had a game tonight. Now were going to have a few more days to prepare for a great road game.”

Belmont Head Coach Rick Byrd

On how Kansas took away their post game:

“At the mid-major level, our big guys are usually able to score and we generally try to go to them. That was taken away tonight by Cole Aldrich. He is strong, big, and long. I’m encouraged because we played without our strength offensively. This same thing happened to us in our first two NCAA Tournament appearances against UCLA and Georgetown as well. They had the size so we couldn’t score inside. We used a hybrid offense tonight and tried to fool them a little bit. I think this game will bode well for us in the Atlantic Sun. He (Aldrich) is a really good player and not just a big guy.”

On how Cole Aldrich completely changed the game:

“He (Cole Aldrich) was my biggest concern coming into the game. I thought when anybody else was in the game we at least had a chance to get some angles and scores. You just can’t move Aldrich where you want too.”

On Aldrich’s four blocks in the first four minutes:

“I tried to be nice to our post players before the game when I told them that they were not going to be able to score against Aldrich. At the same time I didn’t take away the option to try. They figured out pretty early that it wasn’t a good idea. We actually were trying to use our post players as passers so we would throw them the ball and cut off the ball. Because we haven’t done it very much were weren’t very good at it.”

Belmont Senior Forward Keaton Belcher

On facing Cole Aldrich:

“It was tough. I think it said on the scouting report that he has a seven-foot, four-inch wing span. He is tough to shoot over and he blocked quite a few shots. When we were able to get the ball over him we were lucky and got a few to drop. It definitely took a big part of our offense away because we have a few good post players ourselves that weren’t able to get flowing offensively. We had to rely on the three-pointer more than we usually do. It makes you not to want to drive into him because you are either going to miss or he is going to block you. That makes you rely on jump shooting more and unfortunately we didn’t shoot it as well as we usually do.”