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Kansas vs. Boston Postgame Presser

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Well, I thought BU played very, very well.  I thought they played great in the first half.  We tried hard.  We played tight the first half.  Second half I thought we loosened up a little bit offensively, but we really guarded them the second half and kind of wore them down a little bit.

            But it was a good win.  It certainly wasn't one of the typical 1-16 match-ups.  I thought they were much better than that.  I don't think it was a reflection of our poor play.  Maybe a little bit in the first half, but the second half we played pretty well.

            Q.  You had a nice hand in it.  Talk about the telling run you all started right after the 10 minute mark?

            Markieff Morris:  I think we finally just went out and started playing.  I think the first half we were tight and coach said we've just got to loosen up some and have fun out there.  When we were able to go on that run, I think that that broke the game open and they couldn't stop us after that.


            Q.  Could you comment on the shot that you took at the top of the key that was part of that run?

            Markieff Morris:  It was open and --

            COACH SELF:  It wasn't at the top of the key either.  It was a little deeper than that.

            Markieff Morris:  That's my shot, and coach let me shoot it.  Yeah, it was open, it was the right time to shoot it.


            Q.  Can you talk about the last few possessions of the first half when you switched on to Holland?  Was that coach's call?  Did you ask for that?  You looked like you had energy guarding him?

            Marcus Morris:  No, actually, he came at the four, so I had to guard him.  It was my assignment, but I mean he's a hell of a player.  For a team like that to come in and play the way they did, you've got to give them a lot of credit.  He's definitely a leader on that team, and I think that they have a great team.


            Q.  What was the biggest reason for your struggles in the first half?  Was it just being tight or anything else?

            Marcus Morris:  Yeah, it was definitely being tight.  We had on our ball screen defense wasn't that well, and we weren't really guarding the dribble drive.  Their guys were making shots, and I think that their freshman point guard is going to be a great player because he got into the lane and kind of dished it out for those guys and he knocked down shots.


            Q.  Coach put the Northern Iowa stuff I heard in your lockers this week.  What kind of affect did that have on you especially after that first half?

            Marcus Morris:  I didn't tell coach this, but I took it down out of my locker, because I really didn't want to read it because it was just things that we've been reminded of that for so long, watching ESPN highlights.  It's on every day.  We were just out there watching at the top of the screen and seeing it again.  I'm just tired of seeing it.

            We know what we need to do.  We know what we need to do to stop that from happening, and we've just got to move on.


            Q.  You can take turns.  Was there an emphasis at halftime because you had struggled in the first half to go to you guys and kind of ram it down inside and try to get something going easy inside?

            Markieff Morris:  I think the emphasis of our game plan is to go inside and play inside out.  But they were clogging the middle up.  They were playing the zone, and we were kicking out to our shooters.  In the first half we didn't make that many.  But I think in the second half we made them start guarding our shooters and then opened it up for us down low.

            Marcus Morris:  Yeah, basically to add on to what he said.  We were missing a lot of bunnies early, so we were kind of playing soft, so the emphasis was just to make easy shots.  And Markieff got going in the second half, and it really sparked us all.


            Q.  Can you just talk about the completeness of Brady's game and all the things that he did in addition to drawing a tough defensive assignment?

            COACH SELF:  Brady guarded Holland really well.  He got two threes when Brady wasn't in the game or when he wasn't on him because they went small and played at the four and we didn't get to him a couple of times.  But I thought he did a really nice job on him.  Tried to front him in the post and did a pretty good job on him.  He made shots.  He made a couple of bonehead plays throwing it away, trying to hit a home run.

            But Brady's dependable.  You know what you're getting with him, and certainly he was very, very good on both ends tonight.


            Q.  Having a game like this it was tied for the first 30 minutes and then you guys pull away.  Is this a good way to start, just the fact that it wasn't like a complete blowout?

            COACH SELF:  Well, since that's the way the game went, I'll say it was the best way to start (smiling).  If it had gone differently I would say that's the best way to start.  I don't know if there's a formula on the best way to start.  But I think this, I think it's good for your guys to sweat, because there are different pressures in this tournament.

            We were loose, loosey-goosey all that stuff.  You get in the locker room and run out there and all of a sudden it feels just a tinge different.  I really believe it was probably good for us to feel that.  And hopefully we'll relax a little bit more and be ready from jump street Sunday.

            But if you look at the Big 12 Tournament, every first round game we play in the Big 12 Tournament seems like we're stale offensively, and that was the certainly the case today.  But it was hard to get the ball inside early because they played zone, and we didn't attack it real well.

            But also, we shot the ball soft.  I don't know how many times we missed lay-ups underneath, particularly shots that we normally make.


            Q.  It seems when you guys are not comfortable early there are some things you can tolerate, maybe missed shots or something.  But are there some things that you just can't tolerate that you see that maybe that a coach sees?

            COACH SELF:  Well, from my vantage point it's hard to tolerate carelessness or mental mistakes regardless of situation.  It's hard to tolerate effort.  You know, our effort was good the whole night.  We actually defended them not as poorly as what it may appear in the first half, because they made some shots.

            They made some -- you know, a guy that's made 6 threes the entire league season pops out and makes two.  That was the scouting report more than anything else.  You can put that on the coaches.

            I think mainly mental mistakes, scouting report mistakes, or them beating us to loose balls and things like that are probably the thing that's irritate me the most.


            Q.  I think their third possession of the second half their point guard drove past Tyshawn and you had a fairly pointed message about waking up.  Was that just for him or the whole team?  Did you feel at that time you still hadn't gotten into the game?

            COACH SELF:  No, that wasn't for the whole team.  That was for him.  The thing about it is he's looking around to see where a ball screen's coming, and there wasn't one.  You can't do that.  It's hard enough to guard your man.  You can't have your head on a swivel worrying about where everybody else is.  I thought that was a very poor play by him.

            And their best offense in the second half was him getting in the lane or getting fouled or whatever.  So I thought we defended everything else pretty well.

            But Tyshawn played well.  He's going to make some mistakes, but I thought he played well.  He shot it good, obviously.  He had 7 dimes and three turnovers.  That's a pretty good performance, I think because their point guard was good.


            Q.  I was just going to touch on the Morrises and touch on that a little bit.  But their freshman point guard Irving, what can you say about his composure at this stage as a freshman?

            COACH SELF:  I think he's good.  He's a good player.  You watch tape on him and the thing that you know by watching tape was their perimeter speed was excellent.  Holland is as athletic as any two or three that will play.  I think Partin is definitely an above average athlete, and Irving is as fast as anybody we go against in our league.  I think we have good speed, but our starters aren't the quickest on the perimeter compared to some.  That's a hard guard to keep guys in front of you.

            We didn't do a good job the first 20 minutes, in the second half, but other than Irving getting in the paint, I thought we did a good job.  But he's a nice player.  He'll be an all-league player, I would think, for sure in the league.


            Q.  Can you just talk about how the twins impacted the game in the second half?

            COACH SELF:  Well, Markieff got off to a rough start the first half.  Marcus scored, but wasn't really as effective as what he could have been in the first half.  But the second half we do it all the time.  You make an emphasis, get it in tight, get it in tight, play through those guys.  We did a much better job getting the ball into them and playing behind their touches.

            They got some easy baskets and we got on the offensive glass a little bit, but that's who they are.  They're good players.  They can impact the game because they can do a lot of good things.  Certainly I think both of them show versatility there in the second half.


            Q.  With all the hype that surrounded Josh Selby coming into the season, he got a few nice baskets coming in the second half.  Would you have expected when he was signed that the depth of your guard play that you would have expected such little contribution and have your guards thrive so much?

            COACH SELF:  Well, that's not fair to say that.  If a guy's got a bad wheel and he's 80% at this level, and you've got to wear a brace that doesn't allow him that much movement, he's not going to play as well.  If you saw us play much up until he got hurt, hey, he's for sure a starter.  He's impacting our team.  He's averaging 12 a game.  So it's not fair to judge somebody when they're injured.

            Today was a game in which he gave us a boost.  It was positive.  The ball still didn't go in the hole for him, and I believe it will and the lid's going to come off.  But he was certainly a boost for us in the second half.


            Q.  You've seen your share of 16 seeds, and who knows if it will ever happen --

            COACH SELF:  Oh, it's going to happen.


            Q.  Do you think it will be a team like Boston when it does happen?

            COACH SELF:  I'm not sure how the committee does it.  But the 16 seeds aren't exactly true 16s as they were in past years because there are six on the line, so that means two of them have to be 15s the way it used to be done.  I did not see them as a 16 seed, and I told our guys that.  But it's going to happen.  If the tournament goes on another hundred years, it's going to happen.

            It's one of those things that when it does happen, whoever it happens to, will be an NCAA highlight for a long time.  So you don't want to play to prevent that, but you certainly don't want to be a part of that.  But that team today, I don't see them as a 16 seed.  I see them just as a really good, solid team, well-coached.


            Q.  Touching on the Northern Iowa thing again.  The way Marcus reacted, is that the kind of response you wanted him to have?

            COACH SELF:  It doesn't matter.  I didn't put it in their locker.  It was another coach.  But that to me doesn't matter.  The thing about it is when you talk about the past, and it's not positive, you bring in negative thoughts.  I don't want that.  I don't care if they read that stuff.  I don't care.  I just want them in the back of their mind, which I know they feel, is why would this happen?  A, Northern Iowa's good.  They were an 8 or a 9.  I can't remember which one they were, I believe an 8.             Playing a Top 20-type team that we saw play and we knew they were good and well-coached.  We didn't play our best, but they had a big part in that.  In basketball, things happen.  I mean fans and outside people see it as this is awful.  A monumental upset.  That wasn't a monumental upset.  That was another good team that beat another good team.  We weren't our best that night.

            If we played them five times home at home each, we wouldn't go 10-0.  We'd like to think we would, but that's not reality.  So that was a good team we played.  But I do think there were things that led up to that that maybe didn't allow us to be as good as what we could have been, which may have been the difference or could have been the difference in the game, not guaranteed, but could have been.

            So we've reminded our guys whatever happened last year that didn't give us the best opportunity, we're not going to let that happen this year.  That is the biggest reason for it.


            Q.  Talking to Coach Chambers, he just said you guys wore them out in the second half.  Was that the plan to "wear them out" in the second half when you went on that run?

            COACH SELF:  Well, you hope so.  But you don't wear people out in the first half.  They had guys play a lot of minutes.  We actually had guys play more minutes than normal in the first half.  In the NCAA Tournament, the minutes aren't as big a factor in my opinion because the timeouts are so long.  And there is one more of them.  So unless you have foul problems or injuries, to me the depth deal is not as big as it is during the regular season.

            But we did continually get the ball inside.  Usually size, when you're able to do that, size does take advantage of the offensive rebounds, the kind of back-breaking type points, and we got several of those.  It helps when your big guys can step out and make a shot, too.

    Kansas Postgame Quotes

March 18, 2011

Kansas Senior Guard Tyrel Reed

On the first half of the game...

"Yeah, there were some jitters early on.  I think it was kind of both ways.  They came out and hit some shots.  The game got a little tight.  We came in here at halftime and regrouped.  Then we came out and played our game."

On halftime and the performance in the second half...

"He was upset, but he wasn't screaming and yelling.  We knew what we had to do.  We just had to get going.  I thought we played looser.  Thomas Robinson and Josh Selby gave us some really good looks.  I thought we definitely took control in the second half and played better defense and just got in a groove.  It felt good."


Kansas Junior Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On trying to contain Boston Senior Forward John Holland...

"We just had to keep fresh guys on him and put pressure on him.  That's what coach's plan was to do.  He put different guys on him.  Brady Morningstar, Travis Releford, Mario Little, Marcus Morris, and Josh Selby each guarded him some.  I'm sure we wore him down a little bit.  But he was hot in the first half."

On Boston and thoughts on the game...

"They're a good team.  They're missing one of their best players, too.  That game could have been a little bit different if they had him.  But they're a good team, and we knew that.  I think we learned from last year that we can't take any team lightly.  Once they got off to the hot start and we were missing the easy shots, we just had to keep playing and keep defending.  That's what we tried to do."

Kansas Senior Guard Brady Morningstar

What kind of impact did Boston Senior Forward John Holland have on the game?

"The first half he played a heck of a half. He was hitting tough shots. In the second half, it was the combination of better defense and he wasn't hitting those tough shots."

How much confidence did you guys have in the second half?

"It's a game of runs. When we make runs like that it gives us a little momentum and we start knocking down shots and start defending better. I think that was the biggest part of the game."

Did you guys come out a little nervous in the first half?

"We were going back in forth. We weren't hitting shots and they were. We weren't defending so if you come out like that that is how it is going to be. Don't get me wrong, they are a good team. They are very capable and they showed that in the first half.

Kansas Freshman Guard Josh Selby

What kind of impact did you have on the game?

"Second half my team told me that they needed me to bring energy and do what I do: play defense, make easy layups. So I tried to come out and play with a lot of intensity, stop my man from scoring and make buckets I usually make. Actually, that gave us a spark and I'm happy I could do that for the team"

What kind of impact did Junior Markieff Morris have on the second half?

"We need Markieff to win. He is one of our best scorers. When he is scoring everyone feeds off of him and everyone can play well."

Did you have any nerves playing in your first NCAA game?

"I'm nervous every game. No matter if it is a street-ball game. I am always nervous. It is a natural habit. I get nervous because my mother always told me if you aren't nervous you aren't ready to play. That is my way of calming down."

How do you think the second half was different from the first half?

"We came out there with more energy. We played defense and turn up the intensity. We made shots that we usually make. Everyone was just focused the second half and that helped us out and we got the victory."

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