Bill Self And Kansas Preview The Sweet Sixteen In San Antonio

TULSA, OK - MARCH 20: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks walks off the court after their 59-73 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

For those requesting Kansas travel information the team will practice today at Allen Fieldhouse and then board a bus for Topeka's Forbes Field at 2 p.m. today. 

Kansas head coach Bill Self

On how gratifying it is to see Tyshawn Taylor playing well recently:

"It's good. He's always had the talent, and he has his confidence back. He was terrific in Tulsa. The second half against Illinois, I thought he controlled the whole game. (Marcus and Markieff Morris) got a lot of credit for getting the ball in tight, but who got it to them? He played very well."

On if he was worried about Taylor's reaction to the two-game suspension:

"No, because he cares. He cares a lot. He's a good kid, and his heart is in the right place. Sometimes he makes some immature decisions that come back to bite him, but it's not because he doesn't care. I know how much it means to him. I thought (the suspension) would be something that would get his attention, and it has in a very positive way."

On holding both opponents to less than 60 points in Tulsa:

"Well, I think the number of points a team scores is so misleading. Low-possession games you don't score as much, and high-possession games you score more. I do think we're guarding better, and I thought we defended the two halves of both games. I think guys are more focused and paying attention to detail a little better. It means a lot to them, and they know defense is important for us to have a chance to advance."

On the team's post defense in recent games:

"It's actually gotten a lot better. We haven't played a lot of teams lately that throw the ball to the post. We did a good job fronting Texas. Boston didn't throw it to the post a lot, and Illinois' guys were face-up guys, so we haven't played a lot of back-to-the-basket guys. Richmond's the same way. A lot of their guys play outside-in, but I think (our post defense) has gotten better."

On how the 2008 NCAA National Championship affected this year's roster:

"Well, if Mario (Chalmers) hadn't left, we wouldn't have gotten Tyshawn (Taylor). We had already signed the twins, if I'm not mistaken, and I believe we had already signed Mario (Little). Winning is the best tool as far as recruiting, there's no question about that. That's probably helped us with future guys. It played a role, but I don't know if it played a huge role except for the Tyshawn factor where the timing was just right."

On Richmond's ability to shoot the three-pointer:

"Not very often do all five starters shoot over 40 percent from three-point land in league play for the entire conference season. They can shoot it and stretch it, and they play to that. They want their bigs to shoot threes. They're well coached and their pieces fit very, very well. We have to defend all five spots, a lot like Illinois."

On going back to San Antonio:

"None of our guys except for Brady (Morningstar), Tyrel (Reed) and Conner (Teahan) were there, but I'd say there will be a sense of excitement. We'll be proud going back there. There's no question about that because we are proud of what took place there three years ago, but we already have those memories. It would be nice to play really well this weekend and have a chance to move to Houston. If we're able to do that, then San Antonio has officially become my second-favorite place behind Lawrence."

On if they should play the Final Four in San Antonio more:

"Selfishly, from our standpoint, it would be great if it was. I think people across America would be happy if it was there every-other year or whatever. It's kind of like having the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City; it's the best place. I don't think very many people would argue that the weather, the amenities, the Riverwalk, all of that stuff makes it a pretty special place for fans to hang out."

On the other three teams in the region being seeded 10th or higher:

"After the selection show, it's not about seeds. It's about matchups. Everybody worries about their seed, and then that goes away and you worry about the teams. Before we played Memphis in 2008, the best game we had was against an 11 seed. How cool is it for the city of Richmond to have VCU and Richmond both in the same regional? For a town that size, that's amazing. Florida State is a BCS name, but those are all high-major players regardless of the name on the front of the shirt. All of the schools have great basketball tradition. Richmond's won big and been to the Sweet 16 before. It's about players now, and our guys know their guys can play."

On Richmond upsetting Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse in 2004:

"Jerry Wainwright was coaching them. We didn't have the game won, but we were up two (points) and one of our veteran players went and double teamed the ball and left his man open for a three-pointer that put them up one late. I still have that play (in my memory). They weren't nervous about playing us in Allen Fieldhouse; they aren't going to be nervous about playing us in San Antonio."

 

Senior guard Brady Morningstar

On the other three teams remaining in the Southwest region being 10 seeds or higher:

"Seeding right now doesn't matter. It's just whoever's playing the best and who's playing well. Obviously the three teams that are (in San Antonio) with us are playing as well as anybody in the country because they've shown it the past two games."

On what he remembers about the team's Final Four trip to San Antonio in 2008:

"Those are the best memories of my life, the last time we were there. I hope we can have a good time this year also."

On the difference between last year and this year getting ready for the Sweet 16:

"It's a big difference. We're in the second weekend and last year we were at home watching everybody else play on TV. That's a terrible feeling. The teams that went home early this time, I understand how they feel. I'm just glad we're not in that position."

 

Senior guard Tyrel Reed

On how Richmond matches up with Kansas:

"They can stretch the floor. Coach Self said all five of their guys shot over 40 percent (for) three-pointers during the conference season. They're a really capable team, so we have to come out and respect them."

On Richmond's history of upsetting teams in the NCAA Tournament:

"We haven't talked about that. We just look at them as another team that is in the Sweet 16. They're in front of us, so we have to face them. Regardless of whether they've upset teams in the past, we have to respect our opponent, go out and play well."

On the team's trip to San Antonio for the 2008 Final Four:

"I remember coming home late and having a national championship. (I remember) great weather, great people, great food on the Riverwalk. I had a good time."

On if he was at the game when Richmond upset Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse:

"I wasn't at the game, but I do remember when they upset us in the Fieldhouse. I remember how tough of a loss it was."

 

Junior forward Marcus Morris

On what he did yesterday on his day off:

"I slept a lot yesterday. I was thinking about playing against Richmond and the things we need to do and about practice today."

On the biggest challenge Richmond presents:

"Guarding them. It starts with defense. Kevin Anderson is a great point guard, a the leader of their team, so we if we can lock him in and get him to start doing some things that he doesn't want to do then we have a great chance to win."

On what makes Richmond so difficult to defend:

"It's very difficult when your four-man and five-man can shoot three's. But we have great coaches so it is going to be something that we're going to adjust to. I think we're a little bit quicker, a little bit more versatile, so it may be a little easier for us to guard them."

On how to play against Richmond's zone defense:

"I just need to pick my spots out. We're normally real good against zones. Hopefully we'll be able to knock down three's from the outside because we have great shooters. Me and Markieff are going to pick our spots out. One thing about zones is that they are not very effective on rebounding. If we can get in there and get some offensive rebounds and steal some extra possessions that will be good for us."

 

Junior forward Markieff Morris

On what he knows about Richmond:

"They're very skilled. They play a match-up zone and they have versatile bigs like us. They have a point guard who is a great player and controls the game."

On if he feels like there is more pressure on Kansas since Richmond is a lower seed:

"I feel like the pressure is always on us. Anybody can be beat. Seeding doesn't matter in the NCAA Tournament, especially with how well Richmond has been playing and the teams those guys have beaten. I think the pressure is always on us and its going to be a powerful game."

On if the team's confidence has been a major factor in its success:

"You could say that. We're very confident and we've been having a lot of fun and I think that's been a big key to our success."

On how the team needs to prepare for a mid-major team like Richmond:

"Just knowing what's at stake and knowing what we can accomplish by beating those teams. We definitely don't want to overlook a team. We definitely don't want to play down to their level of competition. We just want to execute and try to win every game."

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