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March 19, 2016

Bill Self

Perry Ellis

Wayne Selden

Des Moines, Iowa

Kansas - 73, UConn - 61

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Kansas on the podium. We will have an opening statement from Coach Self, then take questions for our student-athletes.

BILL SELF: We had two runs of 16-0?

THE MODERATOR: 16-0 and 19-0 in the first half.

BILL SELF: That can't be possible. That means we would be up 35, so I didn't know that. But we played great the first half. Guys were ready to play. Everybody was on point, offensively and defensively and we obviously rebounded the ball very well, too.

Then, you know, second half as much as we talked about continuing on what transpired the first half we got passive, got stale and quit attacking, and they did a nice job the second half. But these two guys made some really key plays in the second half to keep them at arms length.

Q. Guys, how much did that early run, I guess, help you out the rest of the game?
PERRY ELLIS: I would say it helped us out a lot, gave us a lot of confidence, and we just were defending and rebounding so well. We were having fun and just playing.

Q. Wayne, it seems like you've been playing your best basketball when your Uncle Anthony is in attendance. What do you think of that?
WAYNE SELDEN: I guess he has to keep coming. I don't know, just being out there and being aggressive, I got a great group of guys around me and it's easy when you got it like that.

Q. Wayne, you were saying yesterday that the biggest thing you learned from the last two years was that you couldn't just hope for things to happen you have to make things happen. When they cut the lead to 9 there with 9 or 10 minutes left you and Perry scored three or four straight possessions, what was going on in your head there?
WAYNE SELDEN: Being aggressive, and like you said, making it happen. We have good guards and they penetrated and we penetrated off of them and that's all it was.

Q. Both you guys tell me a little bit about how much you guys have seen the rim protection go up with Traylor and Lucas in the past few weeks.
WAYNE SELDEN: Tremendous, you know, those guys they play with so much energy, especially Jamari. It looked like batting practice out there with him, and it's great when you got it like that.

PERRY ELLIS: It's just great to know that we have players that will come out and play with so much energy, that will give us so much confidence.

Q. For Wayne, did your heart sink at all when you saw Perry have to come out of the game early, limping off there?
WAYNE SELDEN: What went through my head is, I seen it and I go, oh, shoot. I didn't say it like that, kinda said something different, and I go, what happened? And he said, I bumped my knee. And I go, okay, you're fine! (Chuckles.)

Q. For both of you, I know you guys have talked about getting past this game, but do you have to temper that excitement now knowing that there is a bigger goal in mind?
PERRY ELLIS: You know, there was a lot of motivation from last year, that feeling that we had and we just want to continue to play the way we are and have fun and take it game by game.

WAYNE SELDEN: Just what Perry said. Some people look at it differently. I'm more of the type to build off what we've been doing this year and that's we're trying to do, build off our accomplishments that we already had.

Q. Perry, you're now 1-point away from tying Paul Pierce. How does that feel? You mentioned yesterday that you just want to keep on winning no matter if you got into the to top-10 of scoring today.
PERRY ELLIS: It's an honor just to know that, but it's still something I'm not worried about. I just want to continue to try to win and go from there, and after the season whatever happens, happens.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else? Thank you, gentlemen. Questions for Coach Self now?

Q. Bill, players kinda mentioned it but with 9-something left you called that timeout, then you got the three quick baskets, kinda what did you draw up there and how big were those at that time?
BILL SELF: I don't think -- I think we called a couple of plays, but the first one was the biggest one. They were zone and Perry made about a 16-footer right from the free throw line in the middle of the zone.

So that to me was the biggest shot of the game if there was a biggest shot. Then we got a couple of baskets right after that. Landen made a great pass to Perry, if I remember right, for a dunk; and Wayne had a couple of driving baskets that were pretty strong.

So, you know, the thing about -- we had scored -- I could be wrong, but I think we scored 10 points the first 11 minutes of the second half, something like that, and we didn't make any shots. We were 0 for 3, lost all momentum. But somehow the guys rallied around it and was able to piece it together and make enough plays to win by double figures.

Q. Coach, you talked to Frank, I think, in the tunnel at halftime. Why did you feel it was important to encourage him?
BILL SELF: I don't know that that was encouragement because we called a play and he threw it to the wrong side and we couldn't run it the way that it's set up to run by him throwing it to the side, and I was just trying to tell him that, you know, you've got to get your head into it.

He wasn't bad today by any stretch, I'm not saying that, but I didn't think when things kinda -- went a little bit south for him personally, not our team, but for him personally. I thought he quit being aggressive and lost a little focus so we were just trying to get him back.

Q. Coach, when Wayne is playing like that, how much more dangerous do you think that makes your offense?
BILL SELF: Well, a lot. The ball stuck a lot today. I didn't think we had that great ball and body movement that we try to accomplishment throughout every game. But what we had, we had some individuals step up and make some good plays and I thought him driving the ball and putting pressure on the defense was good. He made a couple of shots early that were good.

But if we get two of our three guards playing well and scoring, I think that we're pretty hard to guard and to me he's as big a key as anybody because he's a guy that can get a shot off that can go for big numbers. It's harder for Frank and Devonté, they're not as big to get their own shot. But he's one of those better guys that we have that can probably get his own shot.

Q. How good were they in the first half, and how good was it to jump out to that lead you mentioned?
BILL SELF: Well, it was great to get a big lead. You know, I guess it was 16-0 because I think they scored like the first -- 5-2 then we go up 18-5. Then we had a great run after we traded baskets and they cut it to 5 or 6 or something like that. It was good. We were really, really, really good the first half. I thought both ends we defended, we rebounded, we put pressure on the defense, and of course it helps when you make shots. But that was good first half. Then second half we didn't do very many of the same things that we accomplished the first half. We became very passive.

Q. Coach, I know you called Perry the Mr. Consistent, the Rock of this team, but do you see him raising his intensity, his game at all this tournament?
BILL SELF: Well, he had two good games. I don't know how many -- what did he have, 21, 22 in the first game? He had two nice games. He rebounded the ball better today. I thought that was really important. But, to me, we got four guys that aren't guys that are going to consistently get 20 or whatever and may not have the huge numbers.

But we got four pretty consistent scorers, and if we get three out of the four scoring the ball consistently, I think we've got a chance offensively, and of course that was the case today. But Perry's again great. He's been great all year for the most part.

Q. You've talked a lot during the season about kinda the lack of a rim protector. Are you starting to see Traylor and Lucas fill that void a little bit?
BILL SELF: I think that Landen is doing a much better job. I think Mari is a better help-side rim protector than he is guarding his own man, but what Mari can do is, he's great at blocking shots in transition, which I know isn't really a rim protector but half court defense.

So, yeah, it's nice when you can make mistakes and you have guys that can cover up for it, and we haven't been a big shot-blocking team this year, but we seem more active now.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else? Thanks, Coach. Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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