Postgame Quotes

Dec. 30, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes |

Postgame Quotes

Kansas 79, Albany 43

Dec. 30, 2008

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the atmosphere:

“It was a great crowd. It’s probably the most people we’ve had in here this year. Or at least it felt that way walking out there. I was really pleased with the crowd and I was pretty pleased with how we played for the most part. We did some good things and we guarded, but the one thing that was negative in the first half was that we didn’t rebound the ball. They got 11 offensive rebounds the first half. I think six of them went out-of-bounds or were deflections, but still, we have to do a better job with that. We made many bone-headed plays, but we did some really good things tonight. We made shots and were fairly efficient.”

On low-scoring performances by starters:

“Brady [Morningstar] made a couple of shots there late, and Tyshawn [Taylor] made one early. We need them to be sharper and more aggressive. Tyrel [Reed], Travis [Releford] and Quintrell [Thomas] were probably as good of performers as we had in the game and they came off the bench. The starters didn’t play nearly as many minutes tonight, other than Sherron [Collins], and he only took five shots. So there were some good things that happened.”

On the identity of this team:

“I want it to be toughness, defense and rebounding—that’s what I want our identity to be. We’re not to that point. We do a lot of things pretty well, but we need to come up with something that we can hang our hat on. Statistically, if you look at our stuff, you’ll see that our first shot defense is something you can really hang your hat on, although I’m not as pleased with it as what the stats say. You’ll say our shot selection for the most part has been pretty good. We’re shooting a good percentage with a bunch of inexperienced guys. We just go through stretches where we labor to score and we get kind of stale. But we did a much better job of executing tonight.”

Kansas Players

Sophomore Center Cole Aldrich

On getting a win after one week off:

“It feels really nice because we had a tough Christmas break. It was tough because we didn’t play well in Arizona and then we had to try and go back home and have high spirits. We came back and had some good practices. Now we have Tennessee on Saturday, then Siena and then we go to Michigan State. We know that we have a tough schedule. We knew that we needed to have some good practices and we did.”

On his performance coming off of last week’s loss to Arizona:

“It was really tough for me because I didn’t play well and that hurt the team. I still have a lot of things to work on. I had three fouls that probably weren’t the smartest fouls.”

On the mindset of the team coming into tonight:

“The whole team came out more determined tonight. We all gathered in the locker room a few days ago and said that we wouldn’t let what happened at Arizona happen again. We know that we have four of five really tough games coming up and we really need to be focused and have good practices.”

On last week’s practices:

“We kind of got our swagger back. We had a lot of energy. We got rested over Christmas break and we all came back with the mindset that we wanted to get better. We need to take those baby steps to continue to get better.”

Sophomore Guard Tyrel Reed

On the performance of Cole Aldrich:

“I thought that Cole bounced back and played really well. The guards did a better job of getting him the ball tonight. We have really been stressing getting the ball to Cole inside because he is our best player in the paint. Whenever he gets a touch good things usually happen.”

On the importance of Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins:

“They are our two main guys and we have to get them in a position where they can score and make plays. Everyone else on the team has a role but we need to get those two going because if they can get easy baskets then it gets everyone else going.”

On Brady Morningstar:

“Brady has been our stopper this year. He has stepped up and done a great job knocking down shots and defending the other team’s best player. I have been very impressed with Brady’s play.”

On the upcoming schedule:

“We have some games coming up that are great opportunities to showcase our talent and prove that we belong. Tennessee is a great team and Siena is really good. Going to Michigan State will be a really tough test going into conference play.”

Albany Head Coach Will Brown

On the game:

“We missed a couple of open shots early in the game. We had a couple of shots at the rim that (Cole) Aldrich altered. We were tentative. We are not a jump-shooting team, and (KU) clogs up the lane and pressures the ball. They play off the four other guys and do not really give you any driving angles. (KU) is big. We panicked a little bit too early with some of our drives because of the Aldrich factor. You also don’t realize how long the Morris twins are. They are long and they are big.”

“I thought our effort was okay. I think the right terminology was lack of focus and consistent energy. In this environment, every time (KU) scores, the place goes nuts. A simple basket by them is like they won a championship, and that can become very demoralizing, especially for a team that was struggling on defense as much as we were. We had some good opportunities at the basket and had some good cuts, but we were hesitant because of their size. When you can make some jump shots, it can stretch out the defense. (KU) shot the ball fairly well from three, but they really hurt us on the interior.”

On how to approach the loss:

“We were the lucky recipient of (KU’s) post-Arizona game. (KU) doesn’t lose (in Allen Fieldhouse), and they are good. This is just one of those games where you have to remember that we finished the non-conference 8-5, which is better than our teams that went to the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years.”

Albany Players

Center Brett Gifford

On receiving the loudest boos from the Kansas fans:

“I expected it. It’s a big rivalry out here (Kansas and Missouri). I’ve always been an MU fan most of my life, so I expected it. I was a pretty big MU fan as a kid, so I kind of felt a little rivalry within myself.”

On how he felt his Allen Fieldhouse debut went:

“We didn’t win, so it was disappointing, that’s the bottom line. We got killed.”

On his feelings for KU:

“It’s a very heated rivalry, so I’ve never been a huge fan of KU, but it’s Albany basketball now.”

Forward Brian Connelly

His thoughts on the game:

“If we have a lack of effort in any game we go into, we’re going to lose. They’re going to wipe the floor with us. Right now our team isn’t good enough to just show up. We have to get to the gym and work our butts off. That’s the only way we can win.”

On the lack of effort in front of a national television audience:

“A TV game, in front of all these people, you would think we would come out and play hard, but we just didn’t. I don’t know what the deal was.”

On Cole Aldrich:

“I always thought he was a good player. He’s tough to guard. He does everything. He’s very fundamentally sound. He’s a good player, and I think he’s going to have a bright future.”

On how he felt when the game was still close in the first half:

“I looked up at the scoreboard and it was 12-6 for I don’t know how long. We didn’t score for a while. When it was 12-6, I thought it was worse than it was. I thought that we were good, survived the initial knockdown punch. But then they just came with another one. I thought that after we had survived their run that maybe we could come with a run of our own and keep ourselves in the game, but we just couldn’t.”