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March 16, 2019

Bill Self

Quentin Grimes

Devon Dotson

Kansas City, Missouri

Iowa State 78, Kansas 66

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the Kansas Jayhawks, Coach Self, and his two student-athletes, Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson. Coach, we will call on you first for your thoughts, opening statement?

BILL SELF: Well, it was a strange game. Iowa State controlled it basically from the jump, but I thought our guys played their butts off. That's about as hard as we played in a long time and competed hard and we just didn't have much to show for it, couldn't buy a basket. But we got the ball where we wanted to and didn't finish and they made a lot of baskets at the end of the clock especially down the stretch in the second half. Give them credit. They were better than us today, but by no means am I leaving here disappointed at all. I thought we had a good weekend. We competed hard today, and I saw a lot of positive things that hopefully we can take into the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Quentin and Devon, today the shooting, especially from three was off after being pretty good in the other games. What was the difference tonight?
QUENTIN GRIMES: Like Coach said, one of those nights. I felt like every shot we put up was a good shot. I don't think anybody took questionable shots. It just didn't fall tonight. Och put up some good shots. Devon got us some good shots. It was just one of those the nights we just couldn't get a basket.

Q. Quentin and Devon, going back to what Coach said about positives, what positives do you take from this?
DEVON DOTSON: I would say just the way we competed. We showed some signs where, you know, where we really wanted, you know, to win this game. But they hit some tough shots, and we were missing some of our easy shots that we usually make. It's a bad feeling, but, you know, we're on to the next game.

QUENTIN GRIMES: Like Devon said, felt like we competed to the last second of the game. We tried coming in making that last three, nobody quit on the game, they kept playing on defense even the last 20 seconds of the game. So I felt like throughout the whole game we competed the whole entire time.

Q. Devon, could you discuss the challenges with so many freshmen playing such a big role on this team, the challenges you guys face and coming back from this kind of loss and navigating your way into the NCAA, since none of you guys have been there yet?
DEVON DOTSON: I would say there are some challenges, but in the big scheme of things, I feel like we're ready for it. And, you know, the four freshmen, we really have been prepared by the coaching staff and, you know, our teammates. So there is going to be some challenges, but I feel like we're ready are for it.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, Quentin and Devon, we will let you go back to the locker room. Thank you for coming. Great week and good luck next week. Questions now for Coach Self?

Q. Bill, you guys coming into today were tied for second in quadrant 1 wins and you scheduled a difficult noncon. I just want to know how you think the Committee should factor that in?
BILL SELF: I don't know. We're going to be happy whatever happens. I think we could have probably helped ourselves if we won the tournament, but we didn't. So I don't think we hurt ourselves at all by playing in the final. If we were a 4 seed before, we probably are a 4 seed. I thought we had a chance to get to a 3, and hopefully we still do. It's about match-ups rather than seeds once you get into the tournament anyway.

Q. Bill, you've been coaching in this league a long time. I think this will be the second time the league hasn't had a one or two seed. Talk about the challenges. Do you think the league will do as good as it usually has in the tournament, not as good?
BILL SELF: I think our league is plenty good enough to have teams in the tournament that have multiple wins. Our league is not as top heavy as what it has been in the past. To me, Texas Tech has had the best year, nothing against K-State. But I think if you include nonconference and ranking, and I think they probably had the best year, but obviously K-State can make a run and go deep. Iowa State is the best offensive team in our league. They can go deep and Texas Tech can. There are others that are capable of doing it, too. I don't think when you look across America you look and say, there are teams that had a chance to go the Final Four out of those respective leagues. ACC is different, obviously, because they're top heavy. But most of the leagues have two or three, you know. If they get hot at the right time they can make a run, and I think that's the case with this league. Last year we had the most wins in the tournament, if I'm not mistaken, and whether that happens or not, who knows? But this league has prepared by beating up on each other and we should be ready to go have some success next week.

Q. Going back to what you said last night, Bill, you said you were expecting about 70% of the fans to be Iowa State supporters. Did it seem like it was an away game?
BILL SELF: Not at all, but they had the majority of the fans, but I don't think it was 70/30. I don't think it was that. I thought our fans hung in there and fought pretty hard. We just didn't give 'em enough to get excited about. We get it to the 9 and foul a 3-point shooter, get it to 9 and have a wide open look to cut it to 6. We just didn't make those plays that you need to make in order to put some real game pressure on 'em. I thought their crowd was great and certainly I thought our crowd tried and did their job. We just didn't give 'em enough to get excited about.

Q. Obviously, you didn't stick with David too long tonight. Was there a turning point when you realized you had to go a different direction?
BILL SELF: Well, you know, if you you're going to play big, with that team, you've got to score inside. Because they put you at such a disadvantage if you're going to play man-to-man. We knew that going in, and we didn't score inside. I thought the best way and it was the best way to play was spread it and drive it. You can say David, and David understands. If David is in the game Dedric has to drive a guard and when Horton-Tucker went out of the game that's not good match-ups for us. I made a decision we're going to play small and try it on drive it. We scored the ball so much better the second half and had a chance to score it even better if we could have converted some open looks from three.

But nothing has changed. David is still a starter, all that stuff. But they're a hard team for us to match-up with if Dedric has to guard a little guard.

Q. Coach, you talked about last week being a little down, you know, not coming out of the league without a championship. How excited are your kids going to be pumped up. They've seen it all their lives, the tournament, now they get to play in it.
BILL SELF: I think we will be excited. I'll be honest. I'm more excited about my team after watching them play today than I have all year long. We had nothing go well, nothing, and they battled their asses off for forty minutes. Even it though it wasn't pretty, I thought we did a lot of good things. When the ball leaves your hand, if it's a good or bad shot when it leaves your hand, for both teams we both did pretty well. Their players were better than our players at making shots. That's just what it is. I don't think we defended them perfectly by any stretch, but I thought we got some good looks, too. They were better than us, make no mistake. They were better than us. But I loved how we competed for forty minutes, but there is a difference in competing and trying real hard, still, and what the young kids learned today, trying harder and harder and harder doesn't necessarily mean you're competing better, because we got tighter, the rim shrunk. You gotta be able to relax and play through those things and know if we're not making shots, hey, we gotta get inside touch here, we gotta do this. We haven't quite got that yet, but I thought there were some things that we could move forward that will help the young kids later on without question.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you so much, good luck next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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