home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 18, 2016

Devonte Graham

Perry Ellis

Des Moines, Iowa

THE MODERATOR: We are set for questions for our student-athletes. We have Kansas on the podium.

Q. Guys, this is a game the last two seasons you guys have lost. Is there anything that you've learned from it or does it motivate you that it's something you haven't had success in?
PERRY ELLIS: I would say it's motivation. You know, it's something that a lot of us experienced that feeling after the loss and it's something that we don't want to happen again so I would say there is a lot of motivation for us. We really just have a lot of confidence as a team right now and we want to continue to play hard and go from there.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I agree with what Perry said, you know, we looking at it as motivation, this team definitely has a lot of confidence in our ability individually and as a team and we're playing right we know that we can beat anybody. So we're just going to use it as motivation and come out and be aggressive.

Q. Perry, to follow up on that, knowing that this is your last chance to not go out the way you have the last couple years, how much does that play in your mind and has that driven you at all these last couple games when you've had really good performances?
PERRY ELLIS: Definitely, definitely it's a drive in my game. Just knowing this is my last go-round I'm willing to do whatever it takes to try to win, and that's kinda my mind-set.

Q. What specifically do you guys remember from those last two years, losing those second-round games?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: Well, just last year I just know we didn't come ready to play. We were playing on our heels the whole game, we weren't being aggressive, we weren't attacking. We kinda let Wichita State get into a comfort zone, and they had the momentum the whole game basically. Like I said, we just gotta be the one who keeps attacking and be the aggressor.

Q. Devonté or Perry, when you're playing a team like UConn that's such a good free throw-shooting team, does that make you maybe not play as aggressive on defense so you're not putting them at the line as much?
PERRY ELLIS: You know, we still have to be aggressive. We just have to be a lot smarter. We have to see how the refs are calling the game and be able to adjust to that. We still want to play aggressive.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. We gotta adjust to the way the refs are calling it. Last game we didn't do a good job of it. We fouled too many times. We know their guards are going to try to get into the lane and we have to slide our feet and contain the dribble drive.

Q. Devonté, did your game in Norman change things for you as much as it looks -- looking at it from the outside it looks like that was a key moment for you. Was it as much as it looked like from our perspective?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: You could say that, yeah. I think it kind of boosted my confidence a lot. I've always had confidence in myself, my teammates, and the coaching staff has always had confidence in me. But that game definitely helped me out and moving forward with my confidence.

Q. Devonté, can you describe what Perry means to your team and what has he done from you in terms of your development as a player? How has he helped you develop as a player?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: He's the key to the team. You know, sometimes we forget about him sometimes. He can't believe that, but sometimes we start jacking up threes and stuff like that and then we get a false sense of that's what Coach tells us. We get a false sense of when we are making shots we forget about Perry. So we always gotta play through P, on any given day.

As far as developing me and helping me out, you know, he's -- I can't even put it into words. Since I came in here he's been a great guy. He doesn't talk much, but he's fun to be around, and, you know, he's helped me out with my game so much from shooting with him and practicing and all that kind of stuff, helping me, telling me where to be on offense and helping me develop into the person I am today.

Q. Perry, what's the secret of being a good free throw shooter? You're shooting around 78%, but UConn as a team is shooting around 79%. Can you talk about your free throw shooting and what are the keys to being a good free throw shooter?
PERRY ELLIS: You know, it's all mental, really. It's something that really -- at times, you know, when you miss free throws you're thinking about it too much, and it's just all rhythm and it's all mental. You've just got to have confidence and step up there, same routine, and knock it down.

Q. Perry, you don't have to spend a lot of time around college basketball to recognize the prestige of the four teams that are still playing here. I know you're only worried about UConn but does it mean anything extra to you in your last ride through this tournament to be in this environment this weekend?
PERRY ELLIS: It's just going to be a great experience and it's been so far, you know, just seeing all these great programs around you. It's just an honor to be here and it's just a great opportunity for us.

Q. Perry, Devonté had some nice things to say. Can we turn that around? How much has Devonté meant to this team in the last five weeks?
PERRY ELLIS: He's meant so much. He's our energy guy, vocal guy and just watching him out there on the floor with all the energy he brings, you know, it just really gets me excited and gets all of us as a team pumped up. Just the things that he does from a vocal standpoint is just great.

Q. Perry, so many of the best players in college leave after a year or two, and I guess being a senior, almost like a dying breed in some respect. Do you take pride in that?
PERRY ELLIS: I definitely do, yeah. You know, like I said, these four years definitely helped me so much. I've grown so much each year, and it's definitely benefited me and I'm glad I did this, I chose to do this.

Q. Question for both of you: Coach Ollie mentioned what they do at practice when they shoot free throws, if they make 11 if a row, the first 11, the coaches have to run. Do you think that you guys could make 11 in a row if the reward was watching Coach Self and the others run?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: Yeah, that's a pretty unique thing to do. I think that kinda helps them out with their free throws. They probably concentrate on making it more, but I definitely think we could make 11 in a row if we had to watch the coaches run.

PERRY ELLIS: I agree, that would be cool to do, just a motivation factor, try too knock those down just to see them do that.

Q. Devonté, Perry had already played his freshman and sophomore years when you got here and was a pretty polished sophomore, but how have you seen him grow as a basketball player, basketballwise?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I think one of the biggest things that I've seen from him is just how more aggressive he's gotten. It might seem like he's always been aggressive to you guys from scoring the ball, but a lot of times the coach tells him you gotta be more aggressive, don't be so hesitant; and especially lately he hasn't been hesitating with his jump shot or attacking the basket or attacking bigs off the balance, so I think he's grown in the aggressive category a lot more.

Q. Devonté, Aaron Miles is someone who was in this program all-time assist leader and now he's on the staff helping. What has he done to help with your game this year and does he still have the energy where it looks like he wants to get on the court sometimes?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: He's helped me out a lot, you know. He's one of the guys that just comes and talks to me, just about life, other than basketball, you know. He texts me all the time, just about the game, how I feel. During the game he talks to me. What am I seeing on the court? Is there anything, you know, he asks me questions. Is there anything you think we can run that will get us a bucket? Just trying to help me out. Noticing things on the court. Putting guys in position to where they can score and try to figure stuff out like that. I think he had a little hip problem, so he's been out there a little bit.

Q. Perry, you're very close to cracking the top-10 to scoring in Kansas. What would that mean to do it tomorrow against UConn and on this big stage?
PERRY ELLIS: It would be an honor. It's something I'm not worried about, you know. I just want to go out there and win. If it comes while winning, then it happens. But my main focus is just winning.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, guys, thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297