Bill Self And The Kansas Players Preview The NCAA Tournament

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 12: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks looks on against the Texas Longhorns during the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament championship game at Sprint Center on March 12, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Head Coach Bill Self:

On his thoughts of Kansas' second round opponent, Boston University:

"They're really fast on the perimeter. They really have five guys that can shoot the three and four that make a lot of them. They're well coached, too. Coach (Patrick Chambers) worked under Jay (Wright) at Villanova and they do a lot of similar things with ball screens but they're just a good, solid team."

On Boston University's all-conference senior guard John Holland:

"He's really good. He's the best player in their league. He's got good size and they play him at the guard position but they can also play him at the four to create some match-up problems."

On putting reminders in his players' lockers of the second round Northern Iowa loss last season:

"There was a big Sports Illustrated article last year about Northern Iowa beating us. One of my coaches asked me if we should remind our guys and I said, ‘Yeah, remind them.' I'm sure they all read that."

On what tempo is easier to dictate in post-season play:

"I've always thought that it's easier to slow a team down than speed them up. Unless you play a certain style that warrants speeding a team up all the time such as Missouri, but we don't do that, we don't play that style. We're not going to change who we are but certainly would like to dictate some pace. We need to work on dictating some pace, because we'd like to have more possessions."

On junior Tyshawn Taylor's importance to the team's tournament success:

"We get faster with Tyshawn in the game. Without him in the game we're not as fast of a team. One guy changes the look of who we are with his speed, without question."

On who the players are on the team that keep the team loose:

"It's the twins (Marcus and Markieff Morris) and Brady (Morningstar). They do the best job of anybody keeping guys loose. Those are some goofy dudes. They do a good job with that. I like our team's make up. Last year, I liked it too, but maybe a couple times we were a little too serious. Maybe I created that. Maybe it was self imposed, I don't know. I just want us to go down there (Tulsa), be loose and have fun."

On his excitement for the NCAA tournament:

"The tournament never gets old. I don't think coach (Mike) Krzyzewski, or (Jim) Boeheim, or (Jim) Calhoun, or anybody that's been in as long as they have thinks it gets old either. It's why you do it, to put yourself in this position. I'll be excited, there's no question. I'll struggle sleeping. I'm sure our guys will feel the same way. The big thing is to enjoy it, but not at the expense of not working."

 

Junior Forward Marcus Morris

On playing with energy:

"We just need to build off last game. Build off everything we've been through. We know from last year that we can't take anyone lightly."

On the team's mental frame of mind:

"We weren't really relaxed against Texas, I think we were really into it and everyone was ready to play."

On the team's approach this year:

"It's not too different. We are just practicing hard and not overlooking anybody. We can't overlook anybody and we just have to go out and play. Everybody is capable of playing and game in and game out, you always have to be ready to go because every team has the capability of playing great."

 

Junior Forward Markieff Morris

On the team's mindset:

"We know that we've just got to play hard every game. We know that this Boston team is capable of beating us and we don't want to look past them."

On having pictures from the UNI game posted in the locker room:

"I wanted to take them out as soon as I saw them. But, we learned lessons from that game. You know, never take a team for granted. Just because you don't know who they are doesn't mean you can take them lightly."

On what he remembers from the UNI game:

"When I saw those pictures, I just closed my eyes because I don't even want to see that stuff. It just brings back a bad feeling but it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen again to us this year."

Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self and select players met with members of the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss the upcoming opening rounds of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

 

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor

On how Bill Self keeps control of the team during the NCAA Tournament:

"No outside distractions, just team focus. Chilling together and goofing off a little bit builds something between us as a team. That team focus - going over scouting reports two or three times before we play the team and team meals - are good for us. Games come back-to-back now, so a lot of rest is much needed. Staying in the hotel is good."

On how much last year's loss to Northern Iowa affects the team this year:

"We actually just finished talking about it. It's definitely a motivation for us. I just don't want us to come out and fear that will happen again. We have to be loose, play, have fun and enjoy this time. We don't get this time too many more times. We've been here, the last two years, in this position. We have to embrace it and enjoy it. We're not going to play scared at all or fear losing. We're going to go out there, have fun, play hard like we've been doing and stuff will work itself out after that."

 

Senior guard Mario Little

On why he took last year's loss to Northern Iowa so hard even though he was redshirting:

"The first year (at Kansas) I wasn't really bought in. I didn't play until late. I had so much stuff going on that I couldn't really focus. I was never really on the court with these guys from when I got here until December, so the first year I was mad (when KU lost to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament), but I knew I had another year. Last year I was really bought in because I was on the court with these guys during practice, trying to make them better and trying to be the player I could be. I think I was bought all the way in to the system. To see the guys fail like that and to see Sherron (Collins) go out like that, I was just mad. That's how I am when I lose, I take it hard."

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