March 22, 2009

 

KANSAS QUOTES

MODERATOR: We are joined on the dais by Kansas student athletes from my far left, Tyrel Reed, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Head Coach Bill Self. We will begin with an opening statement from Coach Self, followed by questions to the student athletes first. Coach?

 COACH SELF: You know, I'm very pleased, obviously, that we won. But also, because I thought that it was a toughness game, loose ball game and I think Dayton is about as good as anybody we play in that area, and I thought we did a pretty good job with that.

 And I know they didn't make shots at all. You look at us, 11 22 and
3 16 from the 3, and we didn't make shots either. And for us to hang in there and play like we did the second half, I'm really proud of these guys.

 Q. Cole, just your thoughts on the triple double here in your hometown.

 COLE ALDRICH: I think it's great. You know, I just try to, you know, help out those guys. If they get beat off the dribble or, you know, if my guy catches it in the post, I just try to block their shot. I have been trying to do that all year, and that's just part of my game.

 Q. Tyrel, can you express what you think of Cole's performance?

 TYREL REED: I'm just so proud of him. He has been playing this way all year. And for him to get this on the biggest stage, I think it's just awesome for him. Especially in his hometown.

 Q. Cole, you might have heard some of the names being talked about with the records, but this is the first triple double that included more than 10 blocks since Shaq in '92. Can you just talk about having a record setting performance, too, on such a large stage?

 COLE ALDRICH: I think it's fun just because, I mean, I wouldn't have had it anywhere else than being at home. I think that's kind of one things that got me amped up more was just seeing familiar faces in the crowd.

 And I know these guys really wanted to come out of Minneapolis with big smiles on their face. Not only for me, but for the whole team.
Because that means that we're going to the Sweet 16. So we are just going to go out and continue to play and have fun.

 Q. Cole, what did you think of the way Sherron came out, just broke the defense down and was setting everybody up right away off the bat today?

 TYREL REED: Oh, it was great. That's one thing that he's really good at, is just, you know, if we set a high pick and roll, you know, he's able to just get into the lane. If he doesn't have a shot, you know, he's unselfish and he'll hit Tyrel in the corner or dish it to the big guys for dunks.

 Q. Cole, can you talk about how far you've progressed in being able to block shots and not commit fouls?

 COLE ALDRICH: I would say I struggled a little bit at the very beginning of the season, just, you know, having probably a second off of going up and being able to block the shot.

 But, you know, I've been blocking shots since I was a little kid. I was six foot in fifth grade, so I had a little height advantage and whatnot. So it's just one thing to do. If the guys get beat, I just try to go out there and block it.

 Q. Question for Sherron. Coach Self called it a toughness game.
Where does your toughness come from?

 SHERRON COLLINS: That's just me. I think I just grew up that way, just being from Chicago and playing against bigger guys all the time.
You know, they knock you down and you have to get up or you can't play with them. This is my mind state and I ain't gonna let nobody punk me or my teammates.

 Q. Sherron, can you talk about what the key was to the offensive performance in the second half? You guys had the shooting percentage jump way up. What was the key to that?

 SHERRON COLLINS: I think we just didn't make shots in the first half. I mean, shots that we normally make. Just keep doing the same thing. Tyrel hit a big shot and the shots started falling and we just started running offense. And I think we executed down the stretch.

 But I think the whole key to the game is just driving their pressure and penetrating and getting in the lane, you know. That's what we like to do. Especially against team that like to pressure us, we like to absorb it and play behind it.

 Q. For any of the players. When did you sense the frustrations set in for Dayton in not being able to make any shots?

 TYREL REED: You know, I just say somewhere in the second half. I am not really for sure. Once we started hitting shots, I felt like our offense was going a little bit better and we just attacked them in the second half, which really helped us and got them frustrated.

 SHERRON COLLINS: I agree with Tyrel. I think it was difficult for them to get shots. I thought their defense was pretty good, even in the first half. We just didn't take care of the ball offensively in the first half and that gave them chances to run, and then get back in transition.

 Other than that, I think we guarded them well, and when big fella started blocking the shots, I think he was the whole key to the game.
He changed us around and we got a lot of blocks down there. So I guess the flight team or whatever they call them went flying tonight.

 Q. Cole, talk about your condition. What did you weigh in high school at your top? And what are you now?

 COLE ALDRICH: Well, I would say probably junior year of high school I think the most I weighed was about 263. I came in as freshman in the very beginning of the summer weighing about 254, 55ish and I think I had 14.9 percent body fat and now I am down to about 235, 240 with 6.5 percent body fat.

 COACH SELF: Anything else that you want to tell them (laughter)?

 Q. This is for Cole. This seems to be a big, big step for you in your college career. The matchups are going to get, you know, twice as difficult, if not more so in the next round regardless of who you play here. But what does this do for you from here forward?

 COLE ALDRICH: It just gives our whole team the confidence. Because we struggled towards the end of the conference season. I think we lost
2 3 and, you know, we kind of really didn't guard very much in the Baylor game in the first game of the Big 12 tournament, you know.

 We were all kind frustrated with ourselves because we knew we could do so much better. And Coach really got on us for the week that we had off and we kind of came together and this is it. It's one and done and we all just want to go home with big smiles on our face.

 Q. Question for Sherron. You know, if anybody would have a pretty good handle on what a championship team is going to look like, probably you do. Do you think that this team has the makings of one?

 SHERRON COLLINS: I think we got the potential. And we just got to put all the things together and play good. I think we can make a run in the tournament. We started one already, so going to Indianapolis and trying to take it one game at a time. Anything happens in March, and that's why they call it March Madness.

 So I think possibly we can go there. And some things have to happen and we just have to play good. And, you know, we keep performing like this, we have to be the right way and we have to focus and be energized and we will be all right.

 Q. Cole, were you aware of the blocks, just where were you and surprised that they kept attacking the middle the way you were playing inside?

 COLE ALDRICH: I didn't have any tally or anything. I just kind of I knew every time they came in. And, you know, I definitely had a height advantage and a length advantage.

 But I just try to block everything. You know, I was able to stay out of foul trouble that way. You know, I was able to just alter shots even if I wasn't able to block the shot, which is really helpful for us, because that means, you know, that they might miss a few more.

 MODERATOR: All right, gentlemen. Thank you very much. We will excuse the student athletes back to the locker room. Congratulations to advancing to next week.

 Q. The evolution of Cole and Sherron as a duo in college basketball history, how do you think they might shape up in that? And could you update us on your body fat, please.

 COACH SELF: Probably a little bit more than 6.5. I will leave it at that. It is a bad question, Bob.

 You know, in history, you know, I don't know how they shape up in history. That's going way too far in Kansas history, you know. I think they could potentially be guys that could, you know, have their numbers hung up in the rafters based on what they do.

 Sherron impacted a college game more than any guard I coached, because I put more pressure on him and he has the ball all the time.
And Cole, he has a chance to go down. As a head coach I never coached anybody that good as a true 5. You know, Big Country was pretty good at Oklahoma State. But he has a chance to be a fabulous player and even be an all American type player if in fact things they stay together and play through next year.

 But where they rank, I'm not going to go that far. They are really good college players. But in Kansas history they rank up there pretty good, though.

 Q. Sherron may not be the best at talking about himself.

 COACH SELF: He's pretty good at it.

 Q. But where do you see his toughness coming from?

 COACH SELF: The streets of Chicago. Yeah. He has one very, very attractive trait to me, that he is ridiculously stubborn and that can be also an unattractive trait as well. But the bigger the challenges, the more he likes it.

 And he didn't always perform at a high level, and sometimes he can get in his own way. But it's not ever because he doesn't believe that he belongs.

 And, you know, when we recruited him, we knew that we got a guy that thought that he was thought he really believed in himself, but not from a selfish standpoint. He believes he's good and you don't ever want to take that away from anybody.

 But he has been humbled since he has been here because his health has not allowed him to play to a level that he's playing at right now.
He was arguably the second best player in our league his freshman year for a stretch in Big 12 action for a month or so, but he was inconsistent and then that kind of waned.

 And last year he was hurt the whole year off and on and didn't really get a chance to show what he would do. And now that he is healthy, he just feels that it is his time to shine. And for the most part he has been really good the whole year.

 Q. Bill, talk about making them settle for floaters and runners. And they never had that energy play, particularly early. There wasn't a dunk, there wasn't a backdoor alley oop. How key was that in the first half in particular?

 COACH SELF: They got the one run out when Chris got a dunk in transition off of one of our turnovers. But for the most part we didn't give up as many easy baskets.

 Basketball is a game of getting easy baskets. And we didn't get a ton ourselves because their defense was good. But they didn't get many either. And Cole did do a nice job of being a presence even if he wasn't blocking the shot, of altering shots. Because we had a standing height advantage obviously with him being in there.

 But they are a high energy team. I think they did a good job of creating havoc with us. I think we were unfortunate and missed some open looks obviously. Sometimes when you miss good looks, even the open ones become more difficult later on and that's kind of what happened.

 Certainly our defense I thought was pretty good, but also we were fortunate because they missed some looks.

 Q. Bill, in the North Dakota State game I think at halftime you wanted to get the ball inside more to Cole in the second half. I guess overall in this game do you feel that's what you needed to do against a shorter team like Dayton?

 COACH SELF: The one reason why teams pressure so much is so you forget about throwing it inside. And we got the ball to him more today than we did maybe even against North Dakota State. But there was a guy from behind. He had little guys diving down. And creating some problems for him to finish and that kind of stuff.

 But we're not an unbelievable passing team, feeding the post and doing some things like that. And if we were better at that he may score, you know, three or four more points a game, you know.

 But we do emphasize it and I think our guys do do a good job of getting the ball to him. But we don't give him a lot of easy baskets just off penetrate. Sherron is really the only guy that does that for us. We're kind of a station to station team with the exception of Sherron.

 But the guys for the most part are playing to their strengths and we know we have to play through Cole to give us the best chance. We have to play through our best two players, and for the most part we did that in Minneapolis.

 Q. Number one, Chalmers, was he a senior?

 COACH SELF: No.

 Q. How good would this team have been if Chalmers had stayed?

 COACH SELF: And Rush and Arthur. So we would have had a chance to be pretty good.

 Q. How good of a pro do you think he would be?

 COACH SELF: Who, Chalmers? He obviously is maybe the best rookie guard in the game right now. He is averaging 10 points a game and already set the rookie record all time for steals and playing at a pretty high level. Probably one of the best 10 rookies in the game.

 Q. I know a lot of the coaches in the Big Ten were glad when you left Illinois. Why would you go from Illinois to Kansas?

 COACH SELF: Well, you are saying the guys didn't like me much in the Big Ten? That they are happy I left? But I think the biggest reason why, I coached and went to school there when I was young and I knew it and I knew the tradition and the history. Although it is not in my backyard, it is closer to home. And I grew up being a Big Eight guy.

 And I loved Illinois and I know I upset people when I left, but I think they have done remarkably well with different leadership. And they benefitted from the change also.

 But the biggest thing is I didn't want to wake up three or four years down the road and think I could have been the head coach at Kansas.

 Q. Bill, I know Cole has been blocking shots since fifth grade. But can you talk about his progress and not fouling as much? And, also, is it a surprise to you this is the first triple double in Kansas history given the tradition?

 COACH SELF: Well, we said this I said that to the guys afterwards and they said ah, come on, Wilt had to have triple doubles, but they didn't keep blocked shots back then.

 You know, triple doubles to me is an awesome stat. Would you rather have a guy get 32 16 5 or a guy that got 10 10 10. And I would take the 32 16 5. So sometimes they can be a little blown out of proportion. The most impressive thing today is obviously rebounding and his blocked shots.

 And he does a great job, or he did today and he's getting better of holding his positioning against smaller guys and making them score over the top of him as opposed to him going for fakes or trying to block shots.

 He got a lot of blocked shots today standing on the ground. I bet you he had three or four while he is standing, which is pretty smart considering if you have smaller guys trying to shoot over him.

 Q. Bill, earlier you talked about Sherron's stubbornness. So if he's really stubborn, compare, contrast how is it coaching Cole. How would you describe his ability to be coached?

 COACH SELF: I think they are both great to coach. I think most of the best players I've ever coached are pretty stubborn.

 Q. Is Cole stubborn? He doesn't strike me as stubborn.

 COACH SELF: Cole is probably not as much. But they are both great to coach. They both want to win more than anything else. And they are good teammates and they like their teammates.

 They are good players, don't get me wrong. But the reason I love coaching them more so than players are they are good people. They are fun to be around. I enjoy them both. Sherron and I have been together a little bit longer so we have been through a little bit more than what Cole and I have.

 But I am excited to be around guys when they wake up in the morning and they think about how can we get better.

 And one thing about Cole, he's a pleaser. He is probably about as big a pleaser as I ever coached. He wants to please everybody. Maybe to a fault sometimes. But he is as coachable as any guy. He never makes an excuse. Body language is always good. And those are obviously fun guys to be around.

 Q. Bill, do you think it might push Sherron that people like us write about Jonny Flynn and Levance Fields and Teague and guys like that? And you wouldn't trade him for anybody at the 1 spot, would you?


 COACH SELF: No. I wouldn't trade Sherron for any guard in the country. But, you know, Jim Boeheim wouldn't trade Jonny Flynn, Ben Howland wouldn't trade Darren Collison, Roy Williams wouldn't trade Ty Lawson. There are a lot of good guards out there. And that's the coaches, that's how we feel. It doesn't make us right or whatever.

 But Sherron fits me. And, you know, I don't know how well I fit him, but I think he certainly fits me. And it may bother him a little bit, because he's on the outside looking in a lot when you talk about some of the elite guys. But, you know, I told him all along it's a long season, he will have ample opportunities to prove who he is.

 And one thing I think you should always evaluate a point guard on, there is only one stat that matters, and that's wins and loss. And you look at the wins that we've had this year and the success we've had with basically a whole new team and with the youth, I mean, guys have some intangibles other than the fact that he can really play.

 MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. And congrats on advancing to next weekend.

 FastScripts by ASAP

 

DAYTON QUOTES

MODERATOR: We are now joined on the dais by University of Dayton student-athletes. From my far left, Charles Little, Marcus Johnson, Chris Wright and Head Coach Brian Gregory. We will begin with an opening statement from Coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.

COACH GREGORY: Obviously, disappointed for this season to end. Because this has been such a great group to be around, not just when the season started, but back in -- a lot of these guys with the bus trip home last year from Columbus after losing in the NIT quarterfinals.

Our defense and our rebounding kept us in it a lot of the time today. And give them credit, their defensive game plan was good. And obviously when a talented team like Kansas sticks to a game plan like that, they will be hard to beat. And that's exactly what happened. Just couldn't make enough shots. Credit them on that.

And just kind of, you know, maybe physically wore down a little bit at the end. Just missed shot after missed shot. I heard Bill talk. I think he's right. I thought we had some good looks early and throughout the whole first 30 minutes of the game. And then, you know, you have five or six of those possessions in a row and they score on the other end. And now six-, seven-point game is 13, 14, 15 points and that's exactly what happened.

But give them credit, they are a talented team. Those two kids obviously are great players. But our guys, you know, we've never worried about the score. We've worried about how hard we've played and how competitive we've been.
And I am proud of the guys today, too, because they played extremely hard. We really did. So you just build on this and look at some things and move forward.
MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Charles, Congratulations on a great career first. Just wanted to know your emotions and feelings as you left that final time.

CHARLES LITTLE: I know it was disappointing because we lost, but most disappointing because I will not be out there with those guys in spring and summer. And just the day-in and day-out things of being on a team. It just sucks that it's over.

Q. Charles, can you talk about Aldrich's ability to affect shots inside? Not just blocking but altering them?

CHARLES LITTLE: Yeah, I mean, one of our greatest strengths is our attacking the basket. You know, you get past the first guy and you look up and there is a mountain in the middle of the lane, you know. It would be kind of frustrating.
But he was down there, he was just down there and he's big. So it is hard to get a shot over him. When I did, it wasn't a good shot. And he altered a whole bunch. And so he's a great player and he played his game.

Q. Chris, can you compare Cole to other big men you faced this year? Where does he compare to those guys?

CHRIS WRIGHT: That was the first time, you know, in one game I got my shot blocked or altered that many times. So it's hard to compare, you know, Cole obviously to anybody. He is a unique player where he can just stand there and block shots without jumping off the ground.

And he did a good job of getting his hand on almost every shot we took in the lane. So it's really hard to compare him to anybody.

Q. Charles, I noticed when you were going through the line that Cole stopped you and said something to you. Do you recall what he said?

CHARLES LITTLE: He just told me to keep attacking. I loved how you attacked and sorry your career's over.

Q. This can be for any of the guys. When you guys missed a few shots early on, did it seem like that affected maybe some open shots later on for you guys?

MARCUS JOHNSON: No, I wouldn't say it affected us. I mean, you know, Coach tells us those shots are not always going to fall but I still have to be aggressive and take shots no matter what.

Q. You know, even as poorly as you guys shot at times, it was really like a four-point game there early in the second half. I guess what happened there, you couldn't get over the hump?

CHRIS WRIGHT: I would just say going into the second half, I mean, we was only down six. We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy and continue to attack and continue to play our defense. But there was just times when we would get a turnover and a steal, or an offensive rebound and we just couldn't capitalize. And, you know, they took advantage of some of our turnovers or shots that we took. They was able to finish down low. And the shots we took, they just didn't fall.

Q. Any of you guys. Just at the start of the game they jumped out on you quick and then I think got a 10-point lead. Were you guys maybe rushed or anxious a little bit or a little jittery or a little different feel than Friday?

CHARLES LITTLE: I think we was just kind of -- we were anxious and didn't slow down. We had a couple off the rebounds, and a couple of shots at the basket we kind of rushed it. Maybe with Cole being down there, big person down there, just try to get it off quicker so he doesn't block it, or we just didn't take our time down there like we usually do.

Q. Maybe for Chris and Marcus. You know, reflect a little bit maybe on this season and what's ahead for you guys next year.

MARCUS JOHNSON: I mean, we had a great season, you know. Made great strides as a team, individually, players, too. But, you know, we just kind of don't want to dwell on this loss, but just have to learn from it, you know. And, you know, get in with the coaches and, you know, do some film watching and try to work on stuff that we needed to work on this year. And basically just get better.

CHARLES LITTLE: Yeah, I mean, to piggyback what he said, it was a great season and this is a hard pill to swallow losing. You want the game to continue to continue. This is a road you hate to go down. But if you don't learn from the mistakes that you made and the loss, you know, what's the point of even starting the season next year.

That's what it's all about. Just being a student-athlete and being a competitor, you have to be hungrier than you were the year before because it's going to be hard for us to have the same type of season. We have to work a lot harder if we want the same results or even better results.

MODERATOR: Okay, gentlemen. Thank you very much. We'll excuse the student-athletes back to the locker room. Questions for Coach.

Q. Brian, you talked about how good they are at the 1 and the 5. But did you think that they'd have to get more from those other guys to beat you? They got a loss from those two guys obviously. But didn't you think that the other three guys were going to have to give them more than what they gave them?

COACH GREGORY: Yeah, I didn't think we'd only score 43 points, though, you know. And those 16-72 from the field. So if we don't do that, then, yeah, they have to get some more from the other guys.

You know, Reed gave them some stuff off the bench in terms of the six free throws. I thought a big point in the game was Mario Little hit five straight points. We had two miscoverages on the ball screen stuff in the first half.

We were struggling, you know. Didn't get off to a great start. You know, as I said, we are not pretty. There's no question at times we're down right brutal offensively. But the fight our guys showed to hang in there. He scores those five points. I look up and we're down seven, you know. And if we get stops and have proper coverages then, you know -- but so when -- they're a really good defensive team, we're a really good defensive team. Five, six points from a couple of those guys are big points, are crucial. And they become even bigger when you think about how well, you know, Collins played and how well Aldrich played.

So as they advance and maybe play some teams that are a little better offensively than us, they will probably have to get some more. But maybe they won't play teams that are as good defensively as us so they may have a little easier time getting them.

Q. Coach, just wondering if you could reflect on the progression that Charles has made as a player and as a man from the time that he's arrived from Cleveland until now.

COACH GREGORY: Well, you know, I told him, you know, there was times if I told him that we'd be in Minneapolis in the Dome playing in the second round of the NCAA tournament and that that's where his career was going to end, he would have never believed me, you know.

And so the final destination of his last game speaks volumes for where he's come as a man. Because he has grown up. He will graduate in May. He will go overseas probably and play professionally. He's ready to do that. He's matured enough that he can do that. He's a guy that is fun to be around and is, you know, going to be a big part of this program because that's what we do now. Our former players are actively involved and so forth.

He knows, I think, some of the lessons he learned. I think he can help some of these guys. These two guys up here. I think a big key today was, you know, us not being able to make those one or two-dribble pull-up jump shots where everything has to be taken to the rim, taken to the rim. And this is the first game we played against a caliber a team like this, this Kansas.

You know, sometimes you play those teams and they say they can't, we're going after them, they can't beat us. But we can. This Kansas, and to Bill's credit, had a very good game plan with really talented players to boot. And so we couldn't make -- we're not a great pull-up 18-foot-shooting team, and Charles is obviously an example of that. Hopefully you will talk to Chris and Marcus about that because they have to get better at that facet of the game and we have a lot of guys that have to get better.

So really proud of Charles, you know, and the progress that he's made. Every bit and more so as a man than just as a player.

But you look at the last 10 games here, we wouldn't be playing today if it wasn't for Charles Little.

Q. Brian, looking past the scoreboard in this game right here, what's two or three things that should be remembered about this team I guess?

COACH GREGORY: I think you hit a good point right off the bat. We never evaluated our team, our program, what we were doing by the scoreboard. We're just very fortunate that 27 times we had more points than the other team. And that kind of takes care of itself. And we're not going to do that today. We're not going to let, you know, in particular the last eight minutes of that game to deter us from what we are doing.

I think we've taken some great steps in this past year in this program. Not only by the commitment by the players, but, also, the culture and the environment that our players are surrounded in every day. And they've obviously helped create that.

You know, I just know that this bus ride to the airport and the trip home we're going to have guys thinking about what they need to do to get better now. And that they tasted a little bit and it's pretty good. But I think they want more, too.

And the one thing is, I mean, I've been through it enough now, this is hard. It's hard to get in. It's hard to win a game. And it's hard to advance. And you have to do a lot of things.

We've made great strides individually and as a program since that trip home last year from Columbus and the NIT quarterfinals. The challenge now is that same jump isn't going to be good enough because we've gotten better. So as you keep getting better, the room for improvement is smaller. You have to work that much harder. And that's going to be the big challenge. The guys are going to get a couple of weeks off to think about that, and then get back to work.

Q. Can you compare Cole's performance today to some of the best big-man performances that you've seen?

COACH GREGORY: Obviously he was dominant around the basket. There's no question about that.

You know, he's able to alter shots, change shots. The thing that he does and no one mentioned that I think he does better than anybody that I've seen in recent years is be able to alter the shot and then still get the rebound. You know, because he's not the most agile guy but he has great hands. So a lot of times guys -- like we have guys that can block some shots, but then they're never around to rebound on the back side or whatever. And he does that and that's why he got 20 rebounds.

You know, as an assistant, I have seen some pretty good big men. There was a kid my first year at Dayton, a kid from St. Joe's who plays in the NBA now, I can't even remember his name. Do you remember the big kid, the 6-10 kids, Jones. Dwayne Jones or something. He was a good shot blocker, great timing, big and strong.
But the one thing that their defensive game plan today depended so much on Aldrich to do that. If he doesn't do it as well as he did today, obviously the score may be closer, it might even be a little bit different. So the thing that was impressive to me, that's exactly what they needed to win, and that's exactly what they got.

Q. Brian, all things considered, when you walked off the floor at halftime, you had to feel pretty good about yourself. Number one. And, number two, if a team can make Kansas shoot jump shots, they can be had. Would you agree with that?

COACH GREGORY: Well, I think we're pretty good defensively and we have been all year long.

Q. But they got a lot of layups.

COACH GREGORY: Yeah, and they got a lot the last what, nine minutes, eight minutes, you know. I mean, they got them throughout the game, too, but that's kind of where they extended. Because I think -- I don't know what the score was, but seven or eight minutes to go it is still an 8-point game. By the grace of God we make a couple of 3s, who knows what happens.

You have to keep them in front of you. There's no question about that. But it is easier said than done. Collins is really good off the ball screens. And they set so many of them and at so many different angles. Especially one-day prep it is tough to simulate exactly all the different coverages that you need on that.
I thought we did a good job of closing out on Morningstar and Reed. You know, guys that can make those shots. I thought we did a great job on Taylor, who I think has been playing the last five games, he has been playing very, very well for them and will be a heck of a player for Bill.

Because guards like that, you know, when he was at Illinois I saw the progression of those guards that he had, you know, took Illinois to the national championship game. But I think he's going to be good.

Everybody needs to shoot a little better, you know. But, you know, if they shoot well, then they're really, really good.

Q. Brian, I just wanted to, you know -- what you said earlier little bit. Winning in an NCAA tournament game, do you feel like now with the proof the guys have it can really snowball for you, what you demand from them?

COACH GREGORY: You know what? When you get to this point, the players are going to be the key in that. You know, because to get to take another step as a program, it's going to be the players that are going to have to be demanding that from each other instead of the coaches demanding it from them.

In the initial steps of building the type of program that we all want, the coach has to take the lead on that and do it step-by-step. And this is how you do it, okay, you guys are coming back here at 9:00 tonight to shoot, you know. And setting up all that stuff. And did you watch film today? All of the different things that -- you know.

The next step now is for our guys to be doing that on their own, and to be London Warren and Marcus pulling Chris Johnson and Paul Williams into doing that.
You know, we didn't shoot many free throws today. I wish we would have shot a few more to be honest with you. But, you know, we can't shoot 65 percent from the free-throw line next year. You know, that's one area that if you just said one area right now we have to do a better job of that, and that's locking down the correct rhythm, rotation, whatever you've got to do.

And now you've got to spend time. The only way to get better is time. You need time and you have to spend time and now it's up to our guys to push each other to make that time.

Q. Coach, you started talking about your feelings at halftime. How did you feel at the half?

COACH GREGORY: I said we're down six, you know, we missed some quality shots. Obviously, I thought there was times we could have maybe drove through contact a little more aggressively. I thought we bailed out on a couple of shots. I wasn't happy with that. If we are going to miss it, at least, you know, draw some blood or something, you know what I mean? We've got do that.

We had I think 11 or 9 or 8 offensive rebounds, nothing to show for it.
You know, I think they scored 11 points the first four minutes and 16, 17 maybe the last, you know, 16 minutes or whatever. So I thought our defense was pretty good. We wanted to shore up our ball screen coverage. And I thought, you know, our defense was good up until the eight-minute mark. We got a little extended and stretched. But, yeah, at halftime I was pleased with where we were at.

The one thing I thought is the reason we are only down 6 and we haven't played that great is because we are pretty good. And if we can do a couple of things, like I said, just make a couple of shots, you know, it could be a little different. It's not that we're that -- at times we struggled to shoot the ball.

And, as I said, give Kansas credit because a lot of times a team of that caliber will play us and just say we're better than them. And you know what? A lot of teams have found out that they're not when they just say we will pressure you, we will do all this stuff. We're not going to have a specific game plan. Give Bill credit because it's the first team that had a specific game plan in terms of different ways to guard us. And we had to make some shots in order to, you know, get through that game plan and we just didn't make enough shots to do it.
MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

COACH GREGORY: Thank you, guys. Thanks everybody.

End of FastScripts