Kansas Head Coach Bill Self and Players Preview Temple Game

Dec. 31, 2009


Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On the possibility that the Morris twins may be too amped up at the game:

“Worry is too strong, but I am a little concerned that they could go in there and not be at that magical level that gives them the best chance to perform. You include energy, enthusiasm, focus, concentration; you have to have all of those things. They can be wound pretty tight. But they have to go through this; other players will go through this in other situations, too.”

On the Morris twins’ improvement from last year to this year:

“Cole [Aldrich] made a considerable improvement from freshman year to sophomore year because he went from not playing to being a first team all-leaguer. I don’t think thais the case here but the twins are two of the most improved players on our team hands down. I think there are times when it would be very difficult for us to play without them. The thing about Marcus is he allows us to switch ball screens because he can guard the point. He allows us to do some things that our other big guys don’t allow us to play. And Markieff is a very cerebral player. He goes out and plays. They have both been great.”

On if the Temple contest is the hardest game so far this year:

“This is by far- by triple- the hardest game we have played. First of all, Fran [Dunphy, Temple head coach] is a great coach. He’s not a good coach, he is a great coach. And the other thing is the team is good. They remind me of [former Oklahoma State] coach Eddie Sutton because they just don’t beat themselves. You have to go beat them. They have had some impressive wins. They don’t panic under pressure. Villanova had them down by double figures and it didn’t rattle them one bit. It will be a great home crowd for them for sure so it will be a tough contest.”

On how he would like his team to respond at Temple:

” I don’t know if you could tell, but I wasn’t the most pleased guy after the Belmont game. I think we’re off to a good start. We haven’t done anything we shouldn’t have done up to this point. But we have to develop an identity, which we still haven’t done yet. We don’t know what we are going to hang our hat on when we are in more competitive types of situations. This is going to be one of those situations, so hopefully we will grow and become closer and become a better team from this.”

Sophomore Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On practices over the last two days leading up to Temple:

“Coach is making sure we play harder. We had an intense practice this morning, where we really got after it. There was a lot of talking going on and a lot of up and down running. The guys were more tuned in to everything also. It was a good practice.”

On his reactions to Coach Self calling their performance against Belmont `soft’ and `lackluster’:

“I did not disagree with him at all. Watching the tape, you see things that you probably didn’t notice during the game. During the game, I probably didn’t feel like we were playing `soft’, but after watching the tape, I realize there were some things that we didn’t do and things we should have done different. We just have to play tougher. Coach expects more from us, so we have to make sure we do it in this game.”

On preparing for a tough road game against a ranked team:

“Road games are tough. We are playing against the five people on the court, as well as the crowd. We have to be mentally tough and focused. I think on road games we have to focus more than when playing here. We have to make sure we understand our assignments and know the scouting report, because one possession on the road can loose a game.”

Sophomore Center Markieff Morris:

On Temple forward Lavoy Allen:

“I played against him in AAU a lot. We never lost to a team he was on, so that is something to look forward to. He is a talented player. He can hit the three and block a lot of shots.”

On playing back home in Philadelphia in front of family:

“Well I have 30 tickets, and if you can give me more, I could use more. I have not played at home since high school, so it is very exciting. A lot of my family will get to watch me in person, so it should be a great game.”

On the Temple fans chanting “we want Kansas” (after beating Villanova):

“Well, the Michigan fans chanted the same thing. Once we get there [Philadelphia], we will need to get a feel for the place. It is going to be a good game and it is going to be a tough game. Temple is a good team, and we will be playing in front of their home crowd, but it’s my home too, so it should be a good game.”

On leading the team in “floor burns”:

“Well I don’t like the actual burns at all, but Coach and I feel like I should be that type of player for our team; someone who can get a lot of the 50-50 balls, take charges and win all the hustle plays. So, that is what I try to do every game.”