No. 9 Kansas 89, Belmont 60
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Dec. 15, 2012
Final Stats |
KANSAS 89, BELMONT 60
Dec. 15, 2012
KANSAS HEAD COACH Bill Self
"I thought we played pretty good. Our defense was good. We shared the ball for the most part. In the first half we missed five or six layups so we would have shot a great percentage. I was pleased with our defensive effort and ball movement."
On holding Belmont to only 34 percent shooting:
"They are the second best three-point shooting team in the country and they got off 38. So, that means they missed some open looks too. I'm not going to be too excited about that. We did do a better job in some areas. Really, what they exposed us on and played to was Jeff (Withey)'s man playing behind the arc. That's going to be a struggle for us no matter what. I thought Jeff, for the most part, did a good job. I thought everybody played pretty well. We got to the point to where the ball was moving and we scored a lot of points. I don't know how many we scored, but we had to have scored 20 points in that one three or four minute stretch when the ball really started moving and our defense picked up. We were able to run off of it."
On the play of Andrew White III:
"I've been saying we were going to do that, but we haven't done it--play him at the four and have him be a pick-and-pop four and that's what happened tonight. He made a couple of threes by doing that and then he was aggressive after that. He can really shoot the ball. Nobody in our gym has a better attitude than Andrew and I haven't given him much of a chance to play. I thought he was really good tonight."
On the play of Elijah Johnson:
On Elijah Johnson's nine assists:
"I thought he was the best player in the game. Even though he only scored seven points, I thought he controlled the game. Certainly, I am really liking his health right now. It seems to me like he is so much more explosive and faster than he was earlier. He still has a long way to go to improve and to know how to utilize all the talent and players around, but I think he's made more strides than anyone over the last two or three weeks."
"He's had three games with nine assists. Last game he was nine and two if I'm not mistaken. They have been good assists. The last two plays he made to end the half showed his athletic ability. That was a great way to end the half."
On getting ready for Kansas' next game against Richmond:
"We have to practice for Richmond because they run all of the stuff similar to Michigan. (Richmond head coach Chris) Mooney worked for (Denver head coach Joe) Scott at the University of Denver and he was a head coach at Princeton so they run all of the Pete Carill stuff. We guarded it pretty well a couple of years ago in the Sweet Sixteen. We'll have to practice it for a couple of days and hopefully have some success and play well this next week to set up a good holiday break."
KANSAS FORWARD Andrew White III
On his performance tonight and where he is in his development:
"This is just one game. I've been working in practice every day going against these two guys (Ben McLemore and Travis Releford), trying to progress as quick as I can. It's always good to have a good scoring game, but this is a long season. (I have) a lot more I have to improve on. Even though it feels good for today, we're looking at the bigger picture. You've got to keep working."
On not becoming frustrated with the growing pains of a freshman season:
"I try not to be selfish. I'm not a selfish teammate. I have two pro talents (McLemore and Releford) beside me who are playing in front of me right now, so I just do what I have to do every day to learn something or pick up something from them and the coaches and try to progress. You have to realize as a freshman sometimes that it's not your year to be the man, so I'm just trying to contribute to the whole team."
On if he thought he would play more minutes tonight:
"Usually when I get in there, it's for a minute or two at a time. I know I just had to play as hard as I could. Elijah (Johnson) hit me early for a layup. It's good to get a basket, a layup or something easy to kind of get you going. In this pick-and-pop offense with me pretty much playing a forward-center position, Travis found me wide open on the wing for my first jump shot attempt. It just kind of had me feeling good. Going into the locker room 2-for-2 isn't bad. Throughout the game, I was just waiting for another opportunity to get in. I saw the game was kind of getting out of hand, so I figured I'd get more minutes. I just came out with the same approach I always have. It just so happened I knocked down a few shots."
KANSAS GUARD Ben McLemore
On shooting a free throw at the end of the half with nobody along the lane:
"It was kind of weird. I felt like there was a lot of pressure on me, but I took my time, took a deep breath and just shot the free throw."
On if it was designed for him to make a three-pointer to begin each half:
"I don't think it was designed. Actually, the second play was designed. We ran `flat.' Elijah saw me open in the corner. I just shot the three, and we just got going from there."
KANSAS GUARD Travis Releford
On the quick start to open up an early lead:
"He (Coach Self) has been telling us that all week, that this was a team that was capable of beating us with how good of shooters they have. We just tuned in. We really got after it in practice. We knew coming into this game that we weren't going to let these guys get comfortable. We were just going to try to rush them, speed up their offense and make them take guarded shots. It worked out best for us."
On if he was surprised Belmont shot 38 three-pointers:
"Not at all because at halftime Coach (Self) had the stats that they shot 17. He came out and told us that they were going to shoot 35-plus threes, so we had to come out ready and stay tuned in on defense."
On Andrew White:
"He's one of the best shooters on our team, if not the best shooter. The game he had today is great for him and great for our team. It gives our team confidence. Coach Self enjoys watching him be able to be out there and do the things he can do. Hopefully we'll see a lot of it throughout the year."
BELMONT HEAD COACH RICK BYRD
"I think everyone in our locker room is a little embarrassed. We are not embarrassed about the Belmont basketball program, but by the performance tonight and Kansas had a lot to do with that. We're just disappointed. We feel our program is at the stage where very often we give people like this all they want and occasional sneak a win. We want to get to the point where we are winning a few more, but we could just not make this game competitive."
On the KU defense and KU shooting:
"Their defense was so good it affected our shooting numbers, our defense was so poor that if affected theirs in the opposite direction. You've got to take away their drive and if they make their shots they are going to beat you. Our game plan was we had to help out at the post and try to stop their drive. They made their shots. We were trying to hang in the first half and they kept making those shots."
"If he can rise up and shoot it like that, he is just going to be a bear for anyone to guard. That was impressive. Our thought was to approach him under control, get a hand up and if he makes shots, they were going to beat us. He's the real deal for sure."
BELMONT SENIOR FORWARD TREVOR NOACK
On the game:
"That was the biggest team I have ever played against. It was a very physical game, just their length bothered a lot of our shots. They were challenging all of our three-point shots. They were challenging everything inside. It was just a battle and they came out well on top."