Top-Seed Kansas Staying Loose in Des Moines
Photos Link Photo Gallery
DES MOINES, Iowa – All eyes were on No. 1 Kansas while final preparations for the first round of the NCAA Championship in Des Moines were in full swing on Wednesday.
As news spread of President Barack Obama picking top-seeded Kansas to win the whole thing during his annual ‘Barack-etogoly’ on ESPN, Coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks were hard at work during a closed practice at Drake University nearby.
“This is a unique year for us going into the tournament because I feel like we’re whole for the first time in a while, so I’m excited about it,” Bill Self said. “I’m fine with anybody picking us or not picking us. I know none of that matters at all, but I know our guys are chomping at the bit to go play.”
After its more-intensive closed practice, Kansas made its way to a full crowd at Wells Fargo Arena – the host site for the first and second rounds – for a 40-minute open practice.
All the media attention and pressure has been focused on the top-seeded Jayhawks, but the student-athletes dressed in crimson and blue were calm-and-collected during the media sessions and the open practice. KU dazzled the crowd during the light shoot-around which featured a dunk contest and half-court shot competition in addition to the team’s shoot-around routine.
Freshman Cheick Diallo weaved the ball between his legs in mid-air before flushing it down the rim to win the friendly dunk contest with authority. Sophomore Devonte’ Graham swished a half-court shot to mark the conclusion of practice.
“Our guys have been really, really loose for the last six or eight weeks,” Self explained during the media session. “They’ve really played at a level in which they were playing with freedom or they at least felt that. And I can’t see that changing. We’re not going to put any emphasis on it by talking about it, but I want our guys to be the way they have been.”
The Jayhawks commence play in the NCAA Championship First Round against No. 16 seed Austin Peay on Thursday at approximately 3 p.m. Central time on TNT. Calling the action on TNT and the NCAA March Madness app will be the network’s A-team of Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson – all of whom were in attendance during KU’s shoot-around.
The winner of Kansas-Austin Peay will advance to play the winner of (8) Colorado and (9) Connecticut on Saturday, March 19. Tipoff time and TV designation for Saturday has not been announced yet.
Below are complete transcripts of the KU and Austin Peay press conferences featuring Coach Self, junior forward Landen Lucas and junior guard Frank Mason III. Austin Peay features quotes from head coach Dave Loss, Khalil Davis, Chris Horton and Josh Robinson.
OPENING STATEMENT, BILL SELF: We’re happy to be in Des Moines and really excited about participating in the NCAA tournament again. Hopefully it will be a special experience for all our players.
Q. Coach, you guys are on a 14-game winning stream, it started against Kentucky at Allen Fieldhouse. When you look back on that night what do you feel your team has learned that enabled you to go on the run you have over the last month after?
BILL SELF: I don’t know that we learned anything new. Maybe we did. I know it was a really well played ball game, there were two good deamidize playing that night and we knew Kentucky was playing good. But I think they played at a high level that night, and I think it probably did give us confidence knowing that we could play against, you know, one of the nation’s best on a night when they were pretty good and still, you know, have a victory.
But, you know, playing at home you should win, the vast majority of the games. If anything, it probably gave us confidence that we got one under our belt going into the rest of the Big 12 play.
Q. Do you like the so-called pressure of being No. 1 overall seed? Are there ways that you work with that psychologically with your team or is this all a media creation of the pressure?
BILL SELF: I guess you could feel pressure. We have been the No. 1 overall before and haven’t performed great the time that we were. I think that was in ’10, if I’m not mistaken.
I don’t feel any extra pressure whether you’re a — what’s the difference between a 1 overall and a 1, I have no idea. I don’t know what the difference is, than in the twos. After you get seeded and placed on your line, it’s about preparing for match-ups and the team that’s in front of you.
Our guys have been really, really loose for the last six or eight weeks. They’ve really played at a level in which they were playing with freedom or they at least felt that. And I can’t see that changing. We’re not going to put any emphasis on it by talking about it, but I want our guys to be the way they have been.
Q. Bill, along the lines of the 1-16 thing, do you find yourself surprised that that upset has never happened with all the things that have happened in the tournament? Obviously you don’t aim to let yourself to be the first, but the tournament being known for all these crazy things that’s still out there to be had and why not if you think it through?
BILL SELF: I think it will happen, you know, just hopefully not in 2016. But I do think that it’s coming. Also, there’s been, you know, more than one close call with the 1-16 that was just a possession away from going the other way. I really don’t look at it like that, that there is extra pressure or this is going to happen eventually, I don’t look at it. Once the brackets came out all I really do and all our team really has done is just focus in on who the next game would be. So we’re not looking at it as 1 versus 16. We’re looking at it as, hey, we get an opportunity to play Austin Peay.
Q. Coach, Wayne has played some of his best games against your best opponents, but it hasn’t necessarily translated to the NCAA Tournament. Is that a small sample size thing? How confident are you that he can turn it around?
BILL SELF: I think he can turn it around. It probably is a small sample size because in his particular career we’re only talking about four games. So I hope it is a small sample size and you’re right, the stats don’t lie. He hasn’t scored the ball or probably played as well as what he obviously is potentially able to play to the level to, but I’m confident. I like where his game is right now. I thought he was very efficient and good in Kansas City, and I think he’s on an uptick right now.
Q. You said your team has been playing with freedom the last six, eight weeks. I’m wondering if that’s something a coach tries to instill or something that evolves?
BILL SELF: Probably a little bit of both. I think we probably started playing — even when we played Kentucky and Jerry, you were there, even when we played Kentucky I thought there was pressure to win that game. Our players felt it and, you know, coaches probably felt it and everything because we lost, if I’m not mistaken, 3 out of 5 and we needed to kinda turn the tide.
Getting through that game, I think, gave us some confidence and then we were able to get on a mini run with a couple of games. And then all of the sudden the smiles got bigger. The practices got shorter, you know. The jokes got better. Regardless of what it was, I just felt like our guys totally loosened up. The other thing probably roles were defined better.
So they probably weren’t uptight thinking about what is my role. I think that everybody had a complete understanding of kinda how they could best help our team and what role they would have. Guys bought in. Of course, it doesn’t guarantee success moving forward but these guys are about as bought in as any group I’ve ever had.
Q. Coach, your program is a model of consistency. Landen said this is the team that pushed forward. This wasn’t a team that settled in and stayed in one place towards the end of the season. Have you done anything with this group in particular?
BILL SELF: I think this group has been easier because we’ve been healthy. Regardless of who your team is and when you lose one of your best two or three players off your team going into postseason or week before postseason, you know, you’re not whole and sometimes you try to piece it together trying to buy time as opposed to this is who we are, this is what we do and go attack it that way.
The last couple years we haven’t been whole. You lose the No. 3 pick in the draft and you lose Cliff Alexander last year and Perry Ellis last year for the most part due to a knee injury, your team takes a totally different look. And this has been probably an easier group to push forward as you said because we haven’t had to change midstream on what we were doing. We’re tweaking as opposed to kind of revamping.
Q. Coach, does this feel like a home game and are there some advantages to playing this close to home?
BILL SELF: I don’t know. I hope our fans travel. I hope our fans were probably — I know they’re smart enough, but probably aggressive enough to get the tickets before you see Kentucky and Indiana in the field because I know they’re going to work hard on getting a lot of those.
I would think we will have a great following. I don’t know if it will feel like a home game or not, but certainly it is nice to go get on a bus and play rather than having to go get on a plane.
Q. Coach, could you comment on what Landen has done for you, for this team since he got the starting role?
BILL SELF: He’s been our best low-post defender and our best rebounder on both ends and probably the smartest player we have. You look at his stats and offensively he’s given us some stuff but it’s not double figures or anything like that, consistently but he’s been there to anchor us on both ends and the guys really enjoy playing with him because he is so smart.
I think he’s probably been as big of a reason why we have played better of late as anybody, just because the guys trust him and enjoy playing with him a lot.
Q. Diallo came in with such a high profile high school player how has he adjusted in the learning role?
BILL SELF: Cheick is as good as any kid in our program. He works hard and he’s been a 10 as far as adjusting to a role that obviously he did not anticipate having, and to be candid with you, we didn’t anticipate it either. But the other guys have probably played a little bit more consistently due to the fact that he’s so young to the game. I mean, he’s just raw. He’s going to be great! He’s just a year or two away and I know that’s — it’s hard for a guy to be patient, but if he is patient and keeps working hard then he’s going to get the last laugh on everybody.
But right now he’s just a little raw and you could see so much improvement with him even in the last six weeks. So much improvement, but you’ve also seen so much improvement with the team with the way we’re playing and who we’re playing that he probably hasn’t had the opportunity to be inserted as much because the team is probably performing — is performing better than it was earlier.
But I think he’s going to be great. Who knows, you know, if that will be with us or if he’ll take a jump, I don’t know, but his future is very bright.
Q. What’s your thought on the president picking you to win it all in the bracket?
BILL SELF: I did not know that until this morning, and I will be excited. I wasn’t that giddy about it at all! He’s done that before and then he will blame me for ruining his pool if things don’t work out. I think it’s fine. This is a unique year for us going into the tournament because I feel like we’re whole for the first time in a while, so I’m excited about it. I’m fine with anybody picking us or not picking us. I know none of that matters at all, but I know our guys are chomping at the bit to go play.
Junior guard Frank Mason III and junior forward Landen Lucas
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the student-athletes from Kansas. Joining us on the podium are Frank Mason III and Landen Lucas. Questions for our student-athletes.
Q. Guys, does this feel almost like a home game with how many fans are coming over and how close you are to home?
FRANK MASON: Most definitely. It’s three hours away from Lawrence. We know we have a lot of fans here to support us and we can’t wait.
LANDEN LUCAS: I think so. Our fans travel very well, and this is a close destination. So I’m looking forward to seeing them out in full affect.
Q. Landen, the team taking off and coming together, has the team coincided with you being the starter. How did that process work? Did the guys come to you? Did Coach come to you and how did it feel different to have people sort of relying on you?
LANDEN LUCAS: You know, we have a very smart and mature team and I feel like those guys really just knew what was kind of missing and what our team needed. And to break it down, they just came up to me and just said, you know, just focus on what you do best and that’s playing defense and rebounding and that could help the team out.
They came up to me with that, and, you know, I just wanted to help the team win. So I was willing to, you know, focus on those things. I like to do those things, too. So it ended up working out pretty well and we’ve gone on runs since then. That’s just a small part of it, but I’m just trying to play my part and do what they asked.
Q. Frank, could you address that topic? How the team dynamic changed once Landen got the starting job for good?
FRANK MASON: Landen is a great presence on the defensive end for us. He played good defense down in the paint, hedges ball screens well. He’s very smart, one of the smartest players on the team. So I think Coach did a good job of, you know, putting Landen out there as a starter and it worked out well for us.
Q. Frank, this is probably the most veteran team that you have had since you’ve been here heading into the tournament. How do you think that experience is going to help you guys navigate as you hopefully go on?
FRANK MASON: It will help us a lot. We’ve been through a lot of different scenarios. It’s great to have older guys. They know what to expect from Coach and from each other. I think, like I said, just going through different scenarios will help us with this tournament.
Q. Frank, I know a few of you guys are friends with guys from Iowa State and they played here a lot. Have you talked to them at all about Wells Fargo Arena?
FRANK MASON: I haven’t talked to them about it. But, you know, just talking to the guys on the team, you know, we heard a little bit about it, but I think Wayne may have talked to George about it. And as far as I know he said it wasn’t great or something like that, but other than that I haven’t heard anything.
LANDEN LUCAS: I haven’t heard much. I got a friend on Iowa State. I should probably ask him about it tonight, but I mean, we will adapt to wherever we play and I think we’ll be just fine.
Q. Guys, do you sense any different kind of pressure in a 1-16 game seeing how the No. 1 team has never lost that game?
FRANK MASON: Yes, every game we play has pressure and we just want to focus on one game at a time, you know. Definitely coming into this tournament, we feel like every game is pressure and we just want to go out and do the things we did to get us here at this point. We obviously don’t want to be that team to make history and lose to a 16 seed. So we just have to focus in on the game plan and give ourselves the best chance to win.
LANDEN LUCAS: Seeding is big and all, but it gives you the easiest route. But as soon as the game starts, that all goes away and we’re just playing a team. We will be focused and ready to go, and once the ball is tipped I feel like most of that pressure that might be going into the game, it will go away and we’ll just be playing basketball after that.
Q. Guys, another year, another Big 12 title, but now it’s all about this tournament. Can you help us shed light on Coach Self’s consistency and the methods he uses to push you guys and put expectations on yourselves?
LANDEN LUCAS: You know, he knows what he’s doing. He’s been here. He’s been through it before, and we just have such a respect for them that I think that every year a team eventually has a point where they buy into what his methods are and what he wants us to do and we did that. He knows what it takes to win and we all bought in and did what we needed to do to get another Big 12 Championship.
FRANK MASON: Just agreeing with Landen, Coach Self knows what it takes to win the Big 12 regular season and we all just wanted to buy into what he tells us because we know it will work and we just want to be focused and, you know, just pay attention to details and just listen to everything he says because he’s been through it.
Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos
THE MODERATOR: At this time we will get an opening statement from Coach Loos. Welcome to Des Moines.
DAVE LOOS: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. It’s great to be here. It’s been a thrilling experience for our players, coaches, fans, university personnel. We’re really excited about this, and I told our guys to make sure they enjoy this experience. That they will be talking about this even at my ripe age. So we’re excited about it. Glad to be here.
Q. At 12-17, how do you inspire your team, tell them that there still are dreams out there that you were actually able to realize? But how tough of a sell is that at this point?
DAVE LOOS: We’re 18-17 right now. We had some bumps in the road. We had some young guys. We had a lot of new guys, so it was mid-conference season when we really started bringing it together and pulling it together, when I saw that we really had a pulse and started moving forward.
We’re playing our best basketball right now. Playing with a lot of confidence. We won four games in four nights in our conference tournament. So they’re believing in themselves. We just need to rekindle that now in this tournament.
Q. Coach Loos, when you got the opportunity to finally dissect Kansas and study tape, what immediately jumped out at you?
DAVE LOOS: About Kansas? They’re a terrific transition team. They’ve always really thrived on getting the easy baskets, so we know that we’re going to have to get back, make sure that we limit easy baskets against them because they are very, very good in transition.
The other thing that I think they do really well is look for what they call the side lob, where they walk you up the lane in their offense and lob to the corner of the backboard. So we’ve got to make sure that we keep people in front of us, don’t give ’em angles, don’t give ’em easy baskets. That’s paramount.
Q. Coach, what are you expecting out of Chris Horton in this game with his ankle, and what have you kinda done to make sure he’s good to go leading up to this?
DAVE LOOS: Well, you know, we had an extra week off that really benefited us, so Chris was able to get some time off as were the rest of our players.
We didn’t have to reconvene with practices until last Wednesday evening, so we had some time to rest. Chris has — the extra time I think has really benefited him, and I think he will be close to normal.
Q. Khalil Davis mentioned he was excited to play KU having his connections. Have you noticed a difference, a little more upbeat in his attitude or how he’s approaching this? Can you tell he’s excited?
DAVE LOOS: Khalil is a guy that brings it every day anyway. He’s kinda the glue to our team in some ways so he brings a good effort every day, but I know he’s excited about this. His dad was a terrific player at Kansas State, and I think he’s pretty fired up about this opportunity for sure, but he gives us a good effort every day.
Q. Coach Loos, the odds are not in Austin Peay’s favor. How did you get your team to make sure they had the right mentality coming into this game?
DAVE LOOS: You know, I think the right mentality is first of all, make sure that you soak this up and you enjoy this, get out there and have a good time, play hard, we gotta make sure that we don’t play reckless. But I only know one way to do this thing and that’s aggressively. That’s what I want to your guys to do. I want them to be aggressive. I want them to enjoy it. I want them to go for it. We’ve really got nothing to lose.
So this is a great experience, and I want our guys to take advantage of it, make sure we play hard but be aggressive.
Q. Coach, first of all, when is the last time that you saw your granddaughter and what has her story, combined with what your team has been able to do, what’s that been like for you as both a coach and as a grandfather?
DAVE LOOS: Last time I saw her was on TV during an interview on Saturday, which was a thrill. I had no idea that was going to happen. As a matter of fact, when I saw my son’s image on the screen and then Rhyan’s, I thought I was going to have a tough time making it through that. But we made it, and it was terrific to see them. The whole thing has been tough, but inspiring, because, first of all, the way they have approached this thing and dealt with it, very positively. My son said from the beginning anybody that’s going to be around here better have a smile on their face, and that’s the way it’s been. They’ve moved forward and they’ve been positive with it.
The other thing that’s been so inspiring is the support that they’ve gotten and our entire family has gotten, not only in the University of Missouri community but in Tennessee and with the Austin Peay community.
Now this thing, because of people like yourselves has caught on somewhat nationally, so that’s comforting to know that you’ve got the positive thoughts, prayers, contributions. The other thing is it’s raised a lot of awareness about pediatric cancer and the need for more research in those areas, so it’s been good.
Q. Coach Loos, about that perimeter play at the OVC Tournament, are you expecting to see that here? It was uncharacteristic of Austin Peay.
DAVE LOOS: I guess you’re referring to the 16 three-point makes, I certainly hope so. I hope to see that again and as I mentioned to you before, I was afraid that we were kinda falling in glove with the three-point jump shot and I wanted to terribly say would you stop that, but they kept going in. So seemed like the smart thing to do to just let ’em go and I hope they keep going in. We could use some of that early certainly against Kansas.
Q. Coach, when we talked the other day you told me that you and Coach Self came from the same school of coaching, could you elaborate on that?
DAVE LOOS: Coach Self and I met when he was an assistant at Oklahoma State and I was an assistant at University of Memphis, working for Larry Finch, and the two teams played and I knew going into that that there was a connection, because I had played for Moe Iba, the son of Mr. Henry Iba. I have always been interested in hearing Bill talk about Mr. Iba coming to their practices there at Oklahoma State and talking basketball. That’s how and when our relationship started and since then it’s — I’ve always admired the work he does. I think he’s one of the best in the business. We’ve even copied many of the things that they do, so it’s been positive, and now it’s a matter of seeing him at basketball events, the Final Four or recruiting, things like that.
Q. Going back to Rhyan, are you able to talk to your son or her much? I know she is still going through treatment in New York. How did you balance the emotions of that over the season?
DAVE LOOS: Well, I do talk to him a lot. My wife talks to them a lot, either over the phone or text, you know, whatever. My conversations with Brad are not only about Rhyan and what’s going on there, but I think it helps him occasionally to talk basketball. So I think sometimes my wife might get a little jealous because I might get an extra call here and there, but it’s usually about basketball, and I think that’s helpful.
Basketball has helped me. Rhyan’s situation is the last thing you think about at night before you go to bed and the first thing you think about in the morning. Being able to coach and be involved with these guys is somewhat of an escape now and then from it. It’s probably benefited, and I think I really tip my cap to Jen, his wife, because she has probably not been more than 10 yards away from Rhyan through this whole ordeal and really doesn’t have that escape that we have, for lack of a better term, I guess.
Q. I was just wondering out of all of the times that you have been to this Tournament, has this been more of like a magical ride, breaking all this history, just being here?
DAVE LOOS: Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to downplay the three previous trips with Austin Peay teams, but this is special because of where this team was and where they are now.
I mean, in January it didn’t look like we were going anywhere, and this team took off and made history as you said by winning four games in four nights against four teams that had beaten us earlier. So it’s been fun to watch, for sure, and we have really enjoyed it.
Austin Peay’s Khalil Davis, Chris Horton and Josh Robinson:
Q. Khalil, I guess all your team was excited during the Selection Show and when you saw the opponent. I imagine you had some additional emotions. Talk about what did you feel when you saw it was Kansas and take us through your background growing up in Kansas City and your thoughts about Kansas?
KHALIL DAVIS: When I was growing up my dad was at Kansas State and he played against KU and that was a big rival to Kansas State, so when I found out we were playing KU, it was like a dream come true.
So for my family to see that we was playing KU was a blessing because it’s something that we always wanted.
Q. How did you guys manage to prepare a team that has as much history as Kansas does as well as being the number one overall? What do you go to get yourself in that mind-set?
JOSH ROBINSON: We just prepared the same way. We looked at it as any other team, I know I did. We just prepared the same way as we do for any other team. We went through each player and what they do best and what they don’t do best and we prepared as if it was any other team.
CHRIS HORTON: What Josh said. We went over the normal scouting report. We know it’s the No. 1 team in the nation, No. 1 seed, but we got to prepare for it like a regular game, not a regular game but a regular scouting report, regular routine because that’s what got us here so we wanted to focus on doing what we always do.
KHALIL DAVIS: I feel the same. All year we prepared for every team no matter who it was just the same, just because we playing a ranked team doesn’t mean we switch anything up. We go through the same scouting report and everything because we look at every team as they every team. We don’t base the statistics or nothing. We just do everything regular.
Q. Chris, how’s the ankle doing right now?
CHRIS HORTON: It’s doing better right now. I’m getting better day by day, still sore. I’m still getting treatment. I’ll be all right, though.
Q. I heard taping it up bothered you. What’s the game plan for you during the game?
CHRIS HORTON: I’m going to try not to focus on it so much because that will affect how I play. But I’m definitely going to have it taped and cushion on it, but I’ll be fine.
Q. Khalil, your dad being a K-State guy, what was his first message to you when he found out you guys were playing KU?
KHALIL DAVIS: He told me throughout the whole revealing he wanted us to play KU because it’s somebody that we’ve been watching and somebody close, so he said when he saw that he was excited because that’s something that he always wanted. And for us to play KU, all my family will be down here because it’s a big game for us.
Q. Are we going to see the same kind of perimeter play that we saw in the Tournament?
KHALIL DAVIS: Yes, because Horton is a big focus down there, so if we get good guard play on the perimeter it makes us harder to guard.
JOSH ROBINSON: He answered it.
Q. Nothing else?
JOSH ROBINSON: That’s it.
Q. Obviously the goal of the game tomorrow is to win. Do you have any personal goals that are involved with the play tomorrow?
KHALIL DAVIS: You know, of course our goal is to win. But, you know, another goal is just to come in the game and always give it our all and just leave everything on the court just like we come into every game. We have nothing to lose, so if we come in there ready and motivated, the win is up for anybody.
CHRIS HORTON: Yeah, just like KD said, we want to come in as a team and play hard and show we belong here and hopefully pull out this upset.
JOSH ROBINSON: I don’t think we have any personal goals we just want to get the win and that’s it, get the win.
Q. For Khalil, can you talk about the ride you had through the conference tournament and the how the momentum picked up through each round?
KHALIL DAVIS: We barely made the tournament. We had to wait for Eastern Kentucky to lose and we sat back and they finally lost. So we knew we had to come in as an 8th seed and play four games in four days, and we just played every game and we didn’t worry about the future. We started off with Tennessee Tech, and once we started winning more and more we got closer to the championship. As we got closer, the momentum started building even more. And once we got to the Championship we all just looked at each other like, we didn’t get here for no reason. Let’s make history, and that’s what we did.
Q. Chris, what have you seen watching the tape of Landen Lucas? He was impressed by your stat line when he talked about you on Sunday.
CHRIS HORTON: He’s a good player, you know, big body, real mobile. I like how he gets off his rebounds and how he sets himself up into position to get those, and I like how he sets himself up for side lobs during the high-low, so he’s a good player.
Q. Chris, no secret that a 16-seed has never beaten a No. 1 in this tournament. Why do you think you guys can be the first?
CHRIS HORTON: Passion, play together as a team. We have a great bond, and we running off a wave that already made history. So we just want to continue that and just keep bringing the positive vibes toward us and pull off the upset.
JOSH ROBINSON: I think passion and another thing with this team is we just love playing with each other. When I’m on the floor I play hard for them, and, yeah, that’s it.
KHALIL DAVIS: I feel the same. It’s just more about passion and pride, you know, we don’t look at it as the No. 1 seed because we brothers and we’re family. We was the underdogs coming into the OVC Tournament, and we feel coming in here. We made history as the OVC Tournament. Who says we can’t make history as the 16-seed.
Q. Your team has gotten attention because of the rally for Rhyan, and I’m wondering if you can describe what that has meant to each of you and what it was like winning last weekend with your coach?
CHRIS HORTON: For me, it was special, you know. Her story is just real special to me, and it just proves that when you are put in a situation where you have to fight and when you fight you just come out victorious, you know, and it’s just really special because we was put in a situation where we weren’t supposed to win, nobody counted us to do anything regarding the OVC Tournament and we was put in a position where we had to fight and we fought and we won. With her it’s the same thing, her story just really affected us in that way, where people counted us out and we fought and we won.
KHALIL DAVIS: Yeah, I can just remember the first day we all found out about Rhyan and, you know, we all felt for Coach Loos because he was down, and for us to pull him through and rally for Rhyan it was a blessing because it will make you not take anything for granted, make you want to live every day like it’s you’re last. And for us to win while this tremendous thing is going on it’s just a blessing. And for us to see Coach Loos happy and for Rhyan doing better and her family it’s just a blessing for all this to happen while she is going through her treatment and everything.
JOSH ROBINSON: I think that was the biggest thing for me. I wanted to make Coach Loos happy. After the game, I saw Coach Loos was really happy, and I just wanted to make Coach happy. That he all I wanted to do, and I think we did that.
Q. Chris, how much did the ankle bother you in the Championship game there?
CHRIS HORTON: A lot. Really I felt like I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t jump how I wanted to jump, couldn’t run how I wanted to run. So I was just trying to set myself up in positions where I wouldn’t have to use as much off that foot. So it just really affected me, and it hurt I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to do. But they helped me out. So, I mean, it just — it was just real bad with that right now.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.