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March 16, 2016

Frank Mason

Landen Lucas

Des Moines, Iowa

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the student-athletes from Kansas. Joining us on the podium are Frank Mason and Landen Lucas. Questions for our student-athletes.

Q. Guys, does this feel almost like a home game with how many fans are coming over and how close you are to home?
FRANK MASON: Most definitely. It's three hours away from Lawrence. We know we have a lot of fans here to support us and we can't wait.

LANDEN LUCAS: I think so. Our fans travel very well, and this is a close destination. So I'm looking forward to seeing them out in full affect.

Q. Landen, the team taking off and coming together, has the team coincided with you being the starter. How did that process work? Did the guys come to you? Did Coach come to you and how did it feel different to have people sort of relying on you?
LANDEN LUCAS: You know, we have a very smart and mature team and I feel like those guys really just knew what was kind of missing and what our team needed. And to break it down, they just came up to me and just said, you know, just focus on what you do best and that's playing defense and rebounding and that could help the team out.

They came up to me with that, and, you know, I just wanted to help the team win. So I was willing to, you know, focus on those things. I like to do those things, too. So it ended up working out pretty well and we've gone on runs since then. That's just a small part of it, but I'm just trying to play my part and do what they asked.

Q. Frank, could you address that topic? How the team dynamic changed once Landen got the starting job for good?
FRANK MASON: Landen is a great presence on the defensive end for us. He played good defense down in the paint, hedges ball screens well. He's very smart, one of the smartest players on the team. So I think Coach did a good job of, you know, putting Landen out there as a starter and it worked out well for us.

Q. Frank, this is probably the most veteran team that you have had since you've been here heading into the tournament. How do you think that experience is going to help you guys navigate as you hopefully go on?
FRANK MASON: It will help us a lot. We've been through a lot of different scenarios. It's great to have older guys. They know what to expect from Coach and from each other. I think, like I said, just going through different scenarios will help us with this tournament.

Q. Frank, I know a few of you guys are friends with guys from Iowa State and they played here a lot. Have you talked to them at all about Wells Fargo Arena?
FRANK MASON: I haven't talked to them about it. But, you know, just talking to the guys on the team, you know, we heard a little bit about it, but I think Wayne may have talked to George about it. And as far as I know he said it wasn't great or something like that, but other than that I haven't heard anything.

LANDEN LUCAS: I haven't heard much. I got a friend on Iowa State. I should probably ask him about it tonight, but I mean, we will adapt to wherever we play and I think we'll be just fine.

Q. Guys, do you sense any different kind of pressure in a 1-16 game seeing how the No. 1 team has never lost that game?
FRANK MASON: Yes, every game we play has pressure and we just want to focus on one game at a time, you know. Definitely coming into this tournament, we feel like every game is pressure and we just want to go out and do the things we did to get us here at this point. We obviously don't want to be that team to make history and lose to a 16 seed. So we just have to focus in on the game plan and give ourselves the best chance to win.

LANDEN LUCAS: Seeding is big and all, but it gives you the easiest route. But as soon as the game starts, that all goes away and we're just playing a team. We will be focused and ready to go, and once the ball is tipped I feel like most of that pressure that might be going into the game, it will go away and we'll just be playing basketball after that.

Q. Guys, another year, another Big 12 title, but now it's all about this tournament. Can you help us shed light on Coach Self's consistency and the methods he uses to push you guys and put expectations on yourselves?
LANDEN LUCAS: You know, he knows what he's doing. He's been here. He's been through it before, and we just have such a respect for them that I think that every year a team eventually has a point where they buy into what his methods are and what he wants us to do and we did that. He knows what it takes to win and we all bought in and did what we needed to do to get another Big 12 Championship.

FRANK MASON: Just agreeing with Landen, Coach Self knows what it takes to win the Big 12 regular season and we all just wanted to buy into what he tells us because we know it will work and we just want to be focused and, you know, just pay attention to details and just listen to everything he says because he's been through it.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, best of luck tomorrow gentlemen. Thanks very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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