Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews
KU coach Bill Self
Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-53 victory over Boston on March 18, 2011.
KU-Illinois at 7:40 p.m.
Kansas University will meet Illinois approximately 7:40 p.m. Sunday at BOK Center, NCAA officials announced Friday night. The Texas-Arizona opener will begin at 5:10 p.m. Both games will be televised on TNT.
Self on Illini
No. 9-seed Illinois of the Big Ten Conference defeated No. 8 UNLV, 73-62, on Friday night.
“I am pretty familiar with Illinois,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, who coached three years at Illinois before taking the KU job eight years ago.
“They are capable of beating anybody in the field, which they have shown,” added Self, who most certainly at today’s news session will be peppered with questions about going against his former school.
Illinois (20-13) has beaten North Carolina (79-67), Gonzaga (73-61), Wisconsin (69-61) and Michigan State (71-62) in a somewhat inconsistent season.
“We definitely have to protect him,” KU senior Brady Morningstar said of Self. “It’s where he coached before. Whenever we play, we want to play for him.”
The Jayhawks were sort of looking forward to playing against UNLV’s Quintrell Thomas, who started his career at KU.
“I saw Quintrell in the hall and patted him on the back,” Morningstar said. “I said it was good to see him and good luck.”
Thomas had nine points and four boards versus Illinois.
KU freshman guard Josh Selby scored two points on the fast break and was one of five players to score in a 21-4 run that stretched a 47-41 lead over Boston University to 68-45.
For the game, Selby scored four points with two assists and two rebounds in 15 minutes.
“In the second half, my team told me they needed me to bring energy and do what I do, play defense, make easy layups,” said Selby, who played 11 minutes the second half of KU’s 72-53 victory.
“So I tried to play with energy, keep 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.”
Selby was understandably nervous in his NCAA Tournament debut.
“I’m nervous every game,” the Baltimore combo guard said. “No matter if it is a street ball game, I am always nervous. It is a natural habit. I’m nervous because my mother always told me if you aren’t nervous, you aren’t ready to play. It’s my way of calming down.”
Of Selby, Self said: “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 (2-for-6 shooting), and I believe it will, and the lid’s going to come off. But he was a boost for us the second half.”
Marcus Morris took a turn guarding John Holland (19 points, 7-for-19 shooting) late in the first half.
“He came at the four, so I had to guard him. It was my assignment, but, I mean, he’s a helluva player,” Morris said. “For a team like that to come in and play the way they did, you have to give them a lot of credit. He’s definitely a leader on that team, and I think they have a great team.”
Brady Morningstar was the primary defender on Holland, who scored just four points the second half off 1-of-9 shooting.
“Brady guarded Holland really well,” Self said. “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.
“He did a nice job on him. He tried to front him in the post. He made shots,” Self added of Morningstar, who hit three of five threes and scored 13 points, eight the second half.
“He made a couple of boneheaded plays throwing it away (two turnovers), trying to hit a home run. But Brady’s dependable. You know what you are getting with him, and he was very good on both ends tonight.”
Self was bothered by one part of the Jayhawks’ offense on a night KU hit just 41.9 percent the first half, heating up to 61.5 the second.
“We shot the ball soft,” he said. “I don’t know how many times we missed layups underneath, particularly shots we normally make.”
Also ... “mental mistakes, scouting-report mistakes or them beating us to loose balls and things like that probably irritate me the most.”
Self screamed “wake up” at Tyshawn Taylor on BU’s third possession of the second half.
Self was asked if that message was for Taylor or the whole team.
“That was for him,” Self said. “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. 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. But Tyshawn played well. He had seven dimes and three turnovers. He shot it well (10 points, 4-for-8 shooting). That’s a pretty good performance because their point guard was good.”
Did KU wear out Boston?
“Well, you hope so,” Self said. “But you don’t wear people out in the first half. They had guys play a lot of minutes. We had guys play more minutes than normal the first half. In the NCAA Tournament, the minutes aren’t as big a factor because the timeouts are so long. And there is one more of them.
“But we did get the ball inside. Usually size, when you are 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.”