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November 25, 2015

Bill Self

Wayne Selden, Jr.

Frank Mason, III

Cheick Diallo

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii


THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Kansas to the media room, your 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Champion. Coach, an opening statement?

COACH SELF: It was a great win for us against a terrific opponent. Kevin obviously had his guys ready, and they were far better than us early on in the game, and Wayne kind of kept us in the game offensively by scoring the ball. So impressed with their team. We're fortunate they missed some shots, but we also defended them very well.

But it was a game in which there was no rhythm, and I think those are fun games to win because late in the season on conference play that's how good games are. So hopefully it's a good preparation for us moving forward.

Q. Wayne, I know you probably don't want to talk about yourself, but you resembled the Wayne of South Korea maybe. What do you think of your performance here today and especially in the first half?
WAYNE SELDEN, JR.: It's just getting open and teammates finding me, Frank getting in the paint, Devonte' getting in the paint. I was getting open shots.

Q. Wayne, I think you shot something like 62% in the second half. What was the key to playing better offensively in the second half?
WAYNE SELDEN, JR.: Coming out at first, I felt like they had us rattled. They pressured us and we didn't really move the ball. We spread a lot like we did a couple of weeks ago against Michigan State.

Second half we were able to penetrate and get the ball moving and a lot of things opened up for us.

Q. For both guys, Frank and Wayne, can you both answer this, how much fun is it to share the MVP award and who is going to get that trophy?
FRANK MASON, III: It's a lot of fun. I definitely think Wayne deserves it, the way he played throughout the tournament. But we just happened to get the win as a team, and we're looking forward to it next game.

WAYNE SELDEN, JR.: Yeah, we're excited. We're going to share the trophy. It will be in my room for a month, and go across the hall to his room for another month. We'll just keep rotating it.

Q. You mentioned this, but what did you see from Wayne tonight?
FRANK MASON, III: I saw the Wayne that was in South Korea. He was very aggressive, major shots. He didn't let us down. He got in the paint, found teammates. We didn't knock it down for him, but that's what we need for him to get in the paint. Just get open shots for us and move the ball. He was great tonight.

Q. Frank, moving away from the game a little bit, can you just talk about the reaction today of the team? How do you feel about Cheick Diallo being cleared?
FRANK MASON, III: Everyone was excited. We were going to each other's room and asking each other if we heard the news that Cheick got cleared. Everyone was just excited. We are looking forward to getting back to practice and getting him in the rotation and helping him learn and looking forward to having him throughout the season.

Q. Wayne, what was it like going up against the two 7-footers? Have you guys just adapted to that?
WAYNE SELDEN, JR.: At first it was a little bit difficult. They were alternating shots and stuff like that. But once the ball got moving, they had a big on Frank, and they were just penetrating to get in there.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Self.

Q. What do you think of the first half? Were you still feeling pretty good at halftime?
COACH SELF: I wasn't feeling great at all at halftime. We hadn't done anything to show that we could attack them. We only had 33 points, so it wasn't our defense. We were fortunate. I think they were 4 of 15 in the first half, and it felt like in the first half they got some good looks. But we were just terrible standing offensively. I think we were taken back a little bit by their length and size.

But the second half, the ball seemed to be moving a little freer. And big guys finished in tight. Obviously some guys made some timely shots.

Q. We talked a little bit about this last night. But what does it do when Frank and Devonte' can both get in the paint and create and get guys open shots like they had the last few days?
COACH SELF: Tonight, we hope that we're better offensively a month from now and guys can actually run what we have in. We don't have much in, but we don't execute what we have in for the most part. So we were kind of becoming a stale team and rely on players to make plays, which is fine if you've got good enough players to do that. I think Devonte' and Frank, the best offense is to beat your man, and certainly they do a great job of forcing help. But we have a tendency sometimes to drive a score as opposed to drive and pass, and that's what we did early in the game was play right to their hands.

Q. Coach, talk about the co-MVPs and the role they played this week?
COACH SELF: Well, Frank's right, Frank gets it. Wayne's the best player in the tournament. He was great. But we had no chance to win unless Frank plays. He's got the ball in his hands and he does so many good things. So I think things like that are cool to share. And Wayne's fine with it.

But if I was picking, if it's a month in Wayne's and a month in Frank's, I think I'd give it to him six weeks and he can keep it two, because Wayne was absolutely fabulous in the first half when we had nothing going on. He kept us in the game by making, I think, three threes that were guarded and basically kept us within striking distance.

Q. Frank mentioned it was the Wayne of Korea. I mean, what did you see that reflected?
COACH SELF: The way Wayne played tonight was the way we saw him play, basically, eight games in Korea. I mean, he was aggressive. He was powerful. He shot a great percentage, but he didn't just rely on jump shots. Three games in three days and played 40 minutes in the humidity like this, he's obviously a very well-conditioned athlete also.

THE MODERATOR: We'll bring in Cheick Diallo for some questions.

Q. Cheick, can you just tell us when you got the word, and what were your teammates' reactions when they heard about it?
CHEICK DIALLO: Oh, first of all, my first call -- I was in my room and they was calling me to come to the media room. I just came. I knew something was going to happen. I was so excited to hear what they wanted to tell me. Just told me like you got cleared to play. I was so nervous, and I was happy at the same time. Everybody was texting me and calling me and all saying we've got great news. But even right now, I'm still -- I'm not a hundred percent. I'm so happy.

Q. Cheick, what's it been like going through all of this the last several weeks, a month?
CHEICK DIALLO: I mean, it's been very tough. Sometimes I cannot even sleep. I'm only thinking about what I'm going to do. I want to thank all my high school people and KU people. And I want to say, What's up, Coach. You know exactly what I mean. Every time I text I say, What's up. You know exactly what I mean. So I want to everybody, all my fans and people supporting me every time, 24/7.

Q. Cheick, during the pregame tonight, what was that feeling like? The last time you have to be out there in street clothes and won't be able to go through the warm-up with your teammates.
CHEICK DIALLO: Oh, wow, I can't wait, man. Even from the bench I was cheering for my team. I was supporting them so hard. I wanted them to win. Even game was a close game today, I still wanted to push my team. Let's go, let's go. Give energy every time to my team.

Q. Did you have a chance to talk to Kassoum Yakwe? He was declared eligible today as well.
CHEICK DIALLO: Oh, Kassoum? He's my best friend, of course. Texting me like, Do you have news? I'd be like, I know. I'm trying to joke with him and I say no. I said, no, I'm not going to play this year. He said, wow, are you serious? So every time I call him, he's my best friend. He's kind of like my brother.

Q. As excited as you are to be able to play now, is any part of you mad or bitter about everything that's happened in the last three or four months?
CHEICK DIALLO: I mean, I'm kind of mad because I've been suspended for five games. I don't even know what I did. I don't even know. So that's the kind of thing. I still play to my game. I don't know why they said I was suspended for five games. I don't know what I've done. I don't know.

Q. I know you were thanking people before earlier, but how much do you realize all the people that went to bat for you in this thing and trying to help you?
CHEICK DIALLO: I mean, I cannot say so much stuff, you know, because every time I called my high school coach, they always say same thing. Oh, my gosh, people are trying to give me strength every time. Don't let it go. Don't quit. Sometimes.

I'm just here like I want to, I just want to let it go, and I want to quit because it was getting hard. I don't have anything to do if I didn't play this year. I really want to play this year so hard. People still, I have a lot of fans supporting me. Even my high school coach called me every time, every day. Oh, Cheick, I want you to stay strong, stay strong. I'm like, wow, it's getting hard, you know.

Since June until now, it's almost like four, five months. I was getting frustrated. I'm trying to stay strong, but that's happened today. I'm so excited.

COACH SELF: When you said how many people "went to bat" for you, I don't think that's Mali talk. So I don't think he knew what you meant.

Q. Are you ready to play a game? Are you game ready?
CHEICK DIALLO: I can't wait. I can't wait. I'm ready.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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