OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16: Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks drives inside in the second half against Eli Holman #32 of the Detroit Titans during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Friday night the Jayhawks avoided the upset bug by upending 15th seeded Detroit. Kansas used a solid defensive effort and their inside presence to win big. After the game Bill Self, Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson met with the media to talk about Detroit and look ahead to the next round matchup with Purdue.
Q. Thomas, did you guys talk at all about the two No. 2's, Missouri and Duke gettin' knocked out, did you think about that at all?
We didn't talk about it at all or make it a big deal but it did wake us up a little more and gave us energy for the game, and realizing that this is Marchand anybody is capable of beating anybody right now.
Q. Guys, Coach said both of you needed to play above the rim tonight, and as well as they score the ball inside and inside the 3‑point line did you feel like you needed to be a factor in the paint defensively?
Definitely, their big guys are really good and they crash the boards really well and they got a lot of offensive rebounds and me and Thomas take it to heart to try to beat out the other team's bigs on the rebound and we didn't do that today, but we hustled and we got a lot of steals and dunks and that hurt them by getting them in foul trouble and it helped us out.
I would just like to say of course we were going into the game wanting to out rebound, and that's the key to winning is we've got to do a better job of rebounding.
Q. The first 10 minutes when they took the lead and I think they punctuated it with Doug Anderson's jam, and it was 21‑19, were you surprised at all? What were you thinking?
I don't think we were surprised, coming into this game we just been through a tough game and that dunk I wasn't surprised at all, I watched the tape and that guy is good. We kept our composure and eventually we woke up and decided to play.
Thomas hit it on the nail. We knew that they could play and he could jump and he had the ability to run up and down and get easy plays like that. We have been down before, it was early in the game, we didn't want to put too much pressure on ourselves off one play and them getting the lead.
We kept our composure and fought back.
Q. Coach, can you give us a Tyshawn update?
I didn't know what was going on but he told me the first half he was starting to cramp and that's a bad sign when you're cramping in the first half. All they did was went back and put IVs in him and he didn't respond very well. He's been sick, under the weather, and then I guess dehydrated which led to cramps, so doc said he should be fine by Sunday without any problem.
Q. Bill, were you aware of Duke as well as Missouri and if so, what, if anything, goes through your mind going into your game?
Well, I was aware obviously of both games. I didn't make a big deal‑‑ I don't know if I even said anything to our team about Missouri at all, because I didn't need to, they knew. Then the Duke game was going on, I think there was 5 seconds left or 20 seconds left and when I had finished doing our pregame talk because we were trying to time it with the moving clock and it's not easy to time so there was a little bit of time‑‑ I had finished and there was time left in that game and the Purdue game so I told 'em then, Duke is getting ready to get beat, too, and I told them in our bracket, you have Michigan, if I'm not mistaken going down, so 15‑2, 15‑2, 13‑4, 11‑6, if I'm not mistaken, all today. I didn't make a point of that, because sometimes when you do that I think it could add pressure saying it's possible but I did say, hey, the one thing about it is we got to make sure that Detroit doesn't play well because it seems like to me when upsets occur at least in our past and we have had a couple you let teams get comfortable, so when they do that you're in trouble. We didn't let Detroit get comfortable and we didn't do a good job early but we did after the first 10 minutes.
Q. Coach, people talk about the lack of depth this team has yet you have Conner, Naadir, and Kevin come in and play big minutes. What does that say about your bench?
I think our bench is getting better, Naadir played well, the 9 minutes in the first half were terrific, the 4 minutes he gave us in the second half were one reason we saw a walking highlight tape, because he turned if over to them but he's capable in giving us good minutes.
Kevin has played well of late, he's been a good player for us and Conner has had 37 minute in a game, and that's a lot of minutes. They responded well. Detroit is a good free‑throw‑shooting team and they didn't make free‑throws tonight but we're a better free‑throw shooting team than we showed, too, and we didn't shoot it well from beyond the arc, our turnovers led to dunks and that's not a good thing.
Q. Coach, when you are talking about not letting Detroit get comfortable, they did look comfortable at the beginning of the game you called a time‑out and then you went on a 34‑7 run. What did you tell them, were you worried at that point?
We really didn't make much of an adjustment. The thing about it is, they had‑‑ I could be off on this but they had 24 points at halftime and 10 of them were off of turnovers that led to transition and I believe four or five of their points were off second shots.
Our first‑shot defense when we got our defense set was good. The whole deal was don't give up easy baskets. I don't think our offense‑‑ we made a couple of shots and got the ball in tight to Thomas a couple of times but for the most part we didn't do anything special other than not allow them to get baskets. It was a methodical run, it wasn't just a quick spurt deal, it took a long time to get and I don't know but to hold a team to seven points‑‑ I didn't know if that was the case in about a 20‑minute period that's pretty good defense, usually.