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March 26, 2016

Bill Self

Jamari Traylor

Perry Ellis

Louisville, Kentucky

Villanova - 64, Kansas 59

COACH SELF: Well, obviously, we're very disappointed and certainly feel like that we probably didn't play our best tonight, compared to how we played over the last two months. But give Villanova credit. They had a lot to do with that.

I've been involved in, I think, eight of these, and only won two of them. And it's without question the hardest game in the tournament to lose. And certainly our kids and our seniors have done an unbelievable job putting us in position to be in the game, in the moment. I'd much rather be in the game than not in the game. Sometimes you just come up short.

But it wasn't from a lack of effort or lack of focus or lack of concentration. It was just one of those nights where things didn't go our way.

Q. Perry, why was it so difficult for you to find a rhythm tonight offensively in this game?
PERRY ELLIS: I feel like they did a great job of just trying to swarm me at times and just somebody was always there. I could have demanded the ball more at times, you know, but...

Q. I know it's a difficult time, but just share your thoughts and feelings about this team and this season.
JAMARI TRAYLOR: I'm definitely disappointed to lose this game. But I'm going to just cherish the moments I have here. We had a great season, nonetheless. I'm going to miss these guys.

Q. Perry, for you really the same question. What are you feeling right now about your career and your teammates? And, also, what did Coach Wright say to you when you guys were walking off the court? Looked like he had some nice words for you.
PERRY ELLIS: Just knowing it's over now, how much I've grown, I've grown so much. Just knowing that it's over, I'm just so thankful for everybody. Teammates, coaches and everybody.

And he just told me I'm a great player and just keep my head up.

Q. Perry, I was wondering at the beginning of the second half, you guys worked a play, you got a couple of free throws out of it and you were able to take the lead. Did you feel like you were starting to get the game turned a little bit?
PERRY ELLIS: Yeah, tried to attack early in the second half. We just -- we made some good plays early in the second half. We got going.

Q. Coach, I was just wondering if Villanova did anything that wasn't necessarily what you were expecting. From my vantage point, looked like Bridges played a little more than he usually does. They played more size.
COACH SELF: No. They played man and they played zone and they one, two, two, just back to man. And they basically did what we anticipated them doing. We didn't attack their zone very well at all. And we got some open looks and didn't make them pay in their man, especially.

I think that the basket shrunk a little bit for us and, certainly, they probably got some confidence the way they were defending us. But it came down to them making free throws and it came down to a couple loose balls, and that was the difference in the outcome of the game.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes? Nothing else, thank you, gentlemen.

Q. Bill, they had that stretch in the first half, a four- or five-minute stretch. They turned you over about eight times in that five-, six-minute stretch. What was going on there?
COACH SELF: Obviously, we weren't being very strong with the ball. They blew up two or three dribble handoffs that led to run-outs for them. And we -- like I said, I thought we got really out of character there for a stretch in the first half.

I think we were up 16-12, something like that, and then the next thing you know, we're down seven or down nine. So that's probably a 13-point run. That's probably about the worst ball we've played in a long while during that stretch.

But even with that, we cut it to four at halftime and then we didn't guard them on the last second play and let Jenkins get loose.

But I don't know. I don't know what exactly happened other than the fact that it just looked like to me that we didn't attack very well and we never got Perry involved.

Perry really never engaged himself in the game the first half.

Q. Bill, Perry did get the ball initially in the second half, got fouled. Was that talked about at halftime, to get him more involved? You alluded to this a minute ago, but was it more Villanova's defense or your lack of getting the ball to him?
COACH SELF: I think it was a combination of both. They took away the pick and pop with him when they played man, because the way they rotated, so he didn't catch the ball naked at the top like we've been scoring quite a bit during the tournament.

And they made him make the extra pass, and we missed some shots when we were wide open making the extra pass. But I think you should give Villanova credit. But I don't think that Perry was as aggressive demanding the ball as what he has been at certain times.

You get two fouls quick, and things like that, and I think that kind of messed with his head a little bit also.

Q. Bill, with respect to Perry and your seniors, really, your thoughts? It's hard and abrupt right now, I know. But on the career and wanting to see them get to a Final Four, I'm sure.
COACH SELF: I probably wanted it as bad for this group as any group I've ever coached just because I know how hard they've tried. We only start one senior, but the reality is we're not going to have our entire group back. Because with the rules that allow you to definitely investigate, I think several of our guys or a couple of our guys at least will.

These guys have given us everything they've got, and with the run we had, won 17 in a row in a great league and have grinded our way through it. And then usually when the finality hits, at least in my experience, it's usually because you don't make shots. And that's kind of what happened tonight. We didn't make shots. We didn't make the same shots we've been making and didn't have to make a lot of them. But just a couple more and it could have been a different outcome.

But I love these kids, and I couldn't ask for a better effort. I don't know if tonight is the right time to tell you what I feel about them as much as it is I'm just really disappointed for them.

Q. Bill, I'm interested in your thoughts on the two critical loose ball situations in the last minute. And I know you've got to be careful. I just want to get your overall thoughts. One was 33 seconds left, when it looked like one official had a foul on Villanova, the other official called the foul on Mason. They hesitated. They huddled. Then with five seconds left, you're down three. It looked like, again, the potential for a foul on either way. It ultimately was a turnover on Frank Mason. What did the officials say to you about those two situations? And then what's your thoughts?
COACH SELF: Oh, nobody said anything to me. I mean, that's one thing about our sport. You know, you don't get to talk to the officials and have them explain every call. So I don't know about the -- Devonte's play when they called the kick, I guess, when he dove for the loose ball. I thought it was a great hustle play.

But, certainly, as upset or sad or mad that you are about certain things, it doesn't do any good now. I mean, if we had a next game, you could use that as motivation to prepare the next time, but it's over. So there's no reason for us to worry too much about things that we have absolutely zero control over.

Q. Bill, you said a few days ago this has been one of your favorite teams you've had the pleasure of coaching. What about this team will carry on to next year?
COACH SELF: I don't know. I don't know how many guys will return. I don't know. The one thing that I really believe that will carry on is culture. But, I mean, I have no idea what next year's going to look like.

Q. Bill, Perry had been so consistent all year long, building what we all thought was a great legacy. Does this do anything to taint that legacy?
COACH SELF: No, no, no. He's a stud. He got a couple of easy looks early and missed them both and kind of probably shied away from being quite as aggressive after that.

But no. We've ridden Perry pretty hard over the last three years, and he's almost always delivered for us. And so it doesn't take anything away at all. It would have been really nice to see our seniors get to a Final Four because we haven't with this group. But certainly, in my mind, he'd been a stud and one of the all-time greats regardless of this outcome of this game.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

COACH SELF: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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