KU Postgame Quotes

Dec. 30, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

Kansas Postgame Quotes
Kansas 80, Rhode Island 69
December 30, 2006

Head Coach Bill Self
On team’s performance:

“We played very well, but our killer instinct still needs to improve when we have the chance to bury people. The injury bug is hitting us as Russell (Robinson) caught the flu that Brandon (Rush) had. We had some individuals that played very well for us. Julian was terrific. He did a great job of making shots and getting rebounds. If you take away their free throws, offensive rebounds and our lack our killer instinct, that was as good as we have played in a long time. They would have scored 11 points in the first half if not for our mistakes and offensive rebounds in the first half. We played a very good game outside of a few things, but we still need to create more of a killer instinct.”

On some bench players getting more minutes:
“We thought Jeremy (Case) would get some good looks against their zone. He played well. Sherron (Collins) was great outside of one or two plays. This was as good as he has played all season. Mario (Chalmers) was tremendous in the first half for us.”

On what still needs improvement:
“We need to get better in every aspect of the game, especially playing the entire 40 minutes. If you don’t play the entire 40 minutes on the road, it only takes two poor minutes to lose a game. We need to develop the mindset to jump all over people when we have the chance.”

Kansas Player Quotes
Julian Wright

On what Coach Self told the team after the game:
“He said we need to be more focused and to communicate better. He said that we need to have an identity and focus on defense, which has to be constant. We need to do a better job of guarding our men and we need to start making shots.”

On his performance:
“I ran the floor well and got a lot of transition baskets. They shot a lot of threes, so the court was spread out for open-court opportunities. My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball in transition.”

Brandon Rush
On the game:

“I think we came out the right way and got up and down the floor. We missed a couple of open shots, but other that, I felt we played pretty well. The second half we didn’t defend very well; they shot 50% (18-of-32 in the second half) in our house and that is not good.”

On the non-conference opponents:
“Florida was a good matchup for us, but I don’t think they were physically stronger than us. They had a better mindset than us in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half and we were more aggressive. I don’t think we were ever physically overmatched by our opponents.”

Rhode Island Coach and Player Quotes
Head Coach Jim Baron
On the game:

“They (Kansas) are a good team. They can really defend. I think we dug ourselves into a hole. I was really pleased going in at half time down eight, shooting only 20 percent. Being in that situation I thought our kids played with tremendous tenacity and fought hard. We out-rebounded them by 12 in the first half, and I thought we were in great shape going into the second half. They are a very good team. They can score a lot of different ways from the inside and the outside, they have great size and play physically. I thought our kids played very aggressive and very smart.”

On being down by eight at half time:
“Our kids showed a lot of character and maturity for a younger squad. In this kind of atmosphere I was really proud of how we stepped up together.”

On the atmosphere:
“It’s a great basketball environment. Lew Perkins, Larry Keating, Jim Marchiony — you are talking about a class organization. You have great people, great fans and great support. It’s a class environment for college basketball. It feels great to be a part of it.”

Junior Forward Will Daniels
On the Rams’ poor shooting:

“They are good defenders. They played us solid. They are big and strong and altered our shots. They have a lot of shot blockers. We knew coming in it would be tough and it was.”

On keeping the game close at half:
“We thought we had played a solid game so far. We had not played our best, but the sky is the limit for this team. We have a lot of good players and we were all playing pretty well. So I was not surprised to be only down by eight at the half.”