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 23, 2016

Jamari Traylor

Devonte' Graham

Louisville, Kentucky

Q. For both players, from a distance, it would appear that Kansas has better success with veteran teams than one and dons. Do you think that's true and, if so, what are the reasons?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: I just feel from this team, you just got guys that are hungry and we know how it feels to take losses. And we're just a little bit more focused. That's probably about it. We've just got a little bit more experience being out here and we know how it feels to go out here. When you take a loss, it sits in the back of your mind and you're going to do anything you can to make sure it doesn't happen again.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I think what he said kind of answers the question perfectly. Older guys have the mentality. They've been here before, and they don't like that feeling of losing. So they kind of put that heart out on the line more than a one and done kid would.

I think the guys are just hungrier.

Q. We see a lot of different styles, coaching styles. We've got Mark Turgeon, who takes his players' cell phones away at night, and Jim Larranaga, who has his Miami team playing baseball last night.
How would you describe Coach Self and his approach with you guys and his philosophy and what he's like to be around?

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I think he's -- this year especially he's been letting us be more free. Putting a lot of responsibility on us, treating us like adults. Just he's given us that treatment, but we can't abuse it. He's allowing us to do things, whatever we want to do, especially on the court, playing free and however we want to.

He just expect us to be adults and treats us like that.

JAMARI TRAYLOR: Same. Same as him.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: We went to the Kentucky Derby yesterday and visited that, which was nice for us. That was fun. It was great. A great experience. You get to see historic stuff like that. It was nice.

Q. I was going to ask you guys about going to Churchill Downs. Have you watched the Kentucky Derby before? Did you know much about it?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: Me, myself, I didn't follow it. I'm not big on horse racing, but it was still a good experience to go out there and see some of the tradition and just be a part of something like that. I know it's big, especially here. So it was good to go out there and learn a little bit about it.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: Yeah, same. I'm not a big horse racing guy, but you hear about it all the time. I've never actually watched one, but being out there, it was a great experience.

Q. Did you meet any horses? Did you see any horses up close or just were you just in the building? Were you in the museum?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: We were just there. There weren't any horses there, unfortunately.

Q. Will you watch the Derby this year because of that?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I might. I might. Depends on what I'm doing.

Q. This is for both Devonte' and Jamari. You mentioned, Devonte', in the Big 12 Tournament that Coach Self's ability to play mind games with you guys, whether it's psychological or inspirational, I just wonder if you could describe a little bit of how he works with you in terms of trying to keep you motivated one way or another.
JAMARI TRAYLOR: Hmm, mind games.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: It's hard to explain. Like the mind games that he does. But last year, as a freshman, he would do it. He does it to the freshmen a lot. You don't understand it as a freshman. But like me, Mari, Frank, Wayne, we understand what he's trying to imply sometimes.

It's kind of hard to explain. I can't even -- I don't even know how to explain it.


Q. What's he try to do with your head?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: I think I can give you an example of one. It was practice. I probably mess up or something. And he will say something to push my buttons, and I'll go harder. And then he says, hey, so you think you went harder now that I got on to you? If your answer is like, yeah, he said, so why should I have to get on to you to go hard? You should go like that all the time. That's an example of something he might do to play a mind game with you.

Q. Following up on the experience angle, what kinds of things can a coach ask of a veteran team that he can't ask if it's a lot of freshmen? What do you understand that maybe younger players don't? For both players.
JAMARI TRAYLOR: I guess just to be more focused and more accountable. We know what Coach expects from us a little bit more. We've been put under pressure situations before. And we're just ready. So I guess that's the difference, I guess.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: Maturity is definitely another thing that a freshman wouldn't have as much as a junior or somebody like that, if they're in the situation talking trash situations and stuff like that, just to be mature about the whole thing. That's another example.

Q. For Jamari in particular, what does it mean to be in the Sweet 16 after it's been three years now since you've been here? And how are you appreciating this experience?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: It's just a great, a great feeling to be able to get back here. These last couple years we've been bounced a little bit early, and it's definitely left a bad taste in our mouth as a team. We're just more focused. Every possession matters. We're just more in tune, more of a tight-knit group. That's pretty much it. We're just living in the moment. We know any day could be our last day playing. So it's just everything's more magnified.

Q. Devonte', the second half of the Big 12 schedule, you guys hit a stride. A lot of that, you stepping up, becoming more of a leader. When did that kind of role -- when did you really accept that role, and how did it help the team?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: We had a meeting with Coach, four of the starters -- me, Frank, Wayne and Perry -- because we didn't really know who our fifth spot would be. It kept shifting back and forth between guys. And Coach just came up and was talking to us about how we all needed to lead in our own way. We were looking for a leader. We didn't have a leader early in the season. We were trying to pick out one leader, which wasn't working for us because not one person can really lead the team.

We do a good job of having multiple leaders leading in their own ways. I think that meeting really kind of helped me after that.

Q. Is there anything in particular about Maryland that's concerning to you?
JAMARI TRAYLOR: They're a great group. One through five, they can score the ball. They do a great job with their guards of getting shots. Melo is pretty good coming off of ball screens so we've got to shrink the floor, help out on him, and we've just got to make it tough on them to score.

We've just got to play physical, and that's what's got us here and we've got to continue to do that.

DEVONTE' GRAHAM: I think what he said with the ball screen, we've just got to shrink the floor, especially when he's coming off ball screens, because he's good at getting in the paint and finishing and dropping it off to his big man. So ball screen defense will definitely be a big part of the game for us.

Q. Devonte', you had said after your game the other night, Perry, who doesn't get a lot of fanfare, you called him the key to your team. Tell us some of the things that he does that don't show up on the stat sheet. What's it like being out there on the floor with him?
DEVONTE' GRAHAM: One thing, I mean, he just stretches the defense. When he's at the four especially, you've got to respect the 3-point shot so it kind of keeps the big guy out of the paint, which causes driving lanes for me, Frank and Wayne. And we do a good job of kind of exploiting that and getting into the lane and trying to make plays for each other.

So I think that's one of the biggest things that he does that goes unnoticed.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for your time. Good luck.

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