Here is what Kansas coach Bill Self had to say after Saturday night’s overtime win over Kentucky.
“We didn’t play well at all. We need (senior forward) Perry (Ellis) in the game and he only played five or six minutes in the first half. (Freshman forward) Cheick (Diallo) and (freshman forward) Carlton (Bragg Jr.) bailed us out and did a great job.
“We were up six and then just played awful down the last three minutes of the first half. We came out the second half and didn’t guard them well early.
“Fortunately for us, they played through foul problems, a lot of them. (Junior forward Derek Willis) got in foul trouble, so we could go combo and the guys did a pretty good job in that.
“(Sophomore Guard Tyler) Ulis is fantastic, (freshman guard Jamal) Murray is fantastic and (senior forward Alex) Poythress played his butt off. I thought that (freshman guard Isaiah) Briscoe dominated the game, getting anywhere he wanted to go and so strong.
“They shot such a great percentage, but we actually defended better and rebounded the heck out of the ball tonight. We made some great plays. We missed all our free throws it seemed like, and then Wayne (junior guard Selden Jr.) put us on his back. Wayne was unreal.”
On Wayne Selden Jr.‘s performance:
“His grandfather doesn’t fly, he drove 20 hours to get here to watch his first game to see (Selden) play today. So he left on Thursday. He told me this afternoon, ‘He better play good, I came a long way to watch this.’ I think grandpa got his money’s worth.”
On limiting Kentucky’s offensive rebounds:
“We were great on the glass considering it was makeshift lineups out there a lot. We did a good job on the glass. They had one offensive rebound the first half, but they shot 63 percent, so that’s misleading. We had 11 turnovers, so that’s misleading. It looked like we did a better job than we did. To play the last 25 minutes when we’re just trying to grind it out and we played through foul trouble – and to only have four turnovers the last 25 minutes and only give up four or five offensive rebounds – is a pretty good job.”
On Perry Ellis‘ free throw shooting:
“He missed the first one (of the last two in regulation). It was like the technical.”
On ever seeing a player air ball a technical free throw like Ellis did:
“Not when you can pick the shooter. To be honest it was not only short, it was way left. He did it one other time when he got hit in the head a couple years ago and was dizzy. He showed some courage to make the second one but I wonder if that kind of got into his head a little bit. He didn’t have a great game, but he battled. Probably the biggest offensive play we had in the game was his unbelievable offensive rebound and the pitch to Frank (junior guard Frank Mason III) for the three that put us up two or three. That was a lot of fun out there.”
On the Big 12/SEC Challenge:
“I don’t know how the standings are, but all the games have been competitive without question. Personally, and I’ve told our players this, this means more to our fans than it does to us. Although, getting hammered like we did last year, we needed to be able to come back and get a win against a quality team that hammered us by 30 last year. The reality of it is, this is just a small step to get us positive momentum to go back to what is really important, which is conference play. Everybody’s goal is to win their league and certainly this is a nice feather in our cap, we got a win, it’s a resume gain, all that stuff, but in the (big) picture it doesn’t mean a lot. It means a lot to kids and I know it means a lot to fans.”