March 11, 2005
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: I knew going into the game we would have to do a lot of good things and at times we did. The rebounding was a problem. The free throw line for us was a problem. We wanted to make it a perimeter game. I think we got that accomplished, but like the three times we played them this year, you have got to generate more offense and we just weren't able to do that consistently. I thought we showed resilience again, we kept coming back, kept coming back but when we really needed the big stopper, the big play we just couldn't, couldn't quite get over the hump.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go to our student athletes first with questions.
Q. Jeremiah, do you remember game where you have gotten this frustrated and how frustrated did you get throughout this contest?
JEREMIAH MASSEY: Personally I got too frustrated. I just let the ref get the best of me. Something I shouldn't have done, part of the reason we lost. I feel if I wouldn't have done that we would have had a whole lot better chance of winning.
Q. For both players, the fact that Kansas had not been playing maybe their best basketball and you guys have been playing pretty well, did you feel they are vulnerable without Langford?
JEREMIAH MASSEY: We didn't feel they were vulnerable at all they are one of best teams in the country. We knew that coming into the game. We knew they were going to come out and fight this thing without Langford. We knew we had to come out and play the best game of the year and we didn't do that.
LANCE HARRIS: We didn't look at it with Keith Langford not being in the ballgame. We just looked at it as Kansas and they are ranked 7 in the country, that we was going to come out and try to stop them.
THE MODERATOR: Let's entertain questions now for Coach Wooldridge.
Q. Talk a little bit about when it's 60 to 57 at that point right there, next couple of minutes --
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: What was the time on that; 3 and a half, 4 and a half?
Q. Six minutes.
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Well, I thought pretty good at that point. I thought with the score as tight as it was, we had put perhaps enough pressure on them to think about some of those shots, but again, every time we would get to the threshold, they'd make a play or we couldn't get the ball in the basket. We would miss a free throw. It was a big play, a swing in that segment of the game so we just couldn't tighten it up any more. But I did feel pretty good at that point. I thought we were, you know, we had our shot right there.
Q. Do you feel like the inexperience of you guys starting three sophomores and a freshman played a role?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Well, I think that a lot of things in that ball game or leading up to that ballgame, rather, we would have to have done very well, rebound the basketball, played great defense, not turn it over, shot selection, get to the foul line as we did, a lot of things would have to go our way. It takes, against a Kansas, some of the top teams in the country, it takes some real toughness to do that. I think our team has played tough. I really believe we have become a much tougher basketball team. But not enough in these stats to beat Kansas tonight. So inexperience or experience, I don't know. We just weren't good enough to beat them.
Q. Not enough scoring inside the arc, were you disappointed in the few number of field goals that you got from two-point range. Could you talk about Lance's both ball games, the way he kept you in it with his shooting?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Inside the arc was about the foul line. Every time it seemed like we got inside the arc, we got to the foul line. So that -- that's an indication to me that we were carrying out what we wanted to do going into the game. We wanted to be proactive, wanted to get it to the rim, get it inside the paint, so forth. I think the free throw attempts, you know, simple that we got that accomplished. Lance has played awfully well on the offensive end and improving every day defensively. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. He's shooting the ball well. He's confident, he wants it, and he's another young player we have that's starting to really develop into a fine player.
Q. Can you address the NIT scenario again, just your thoughts right now?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Well, I really hope that we have earned our right into the tournament. I think we're right there and I hope that you will see us in that tournament next week. I believe that we're optimistic about it but obviously there's no -- there's nothing in stone right now. But I do think we have played well enough and hopefully our team will be recognized for that, Howard.
Q. Just to continue on that, the way your team is playing right now, do you feel like this is the kind of team you would like to take into the post-season?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: The kind of team we'd like to?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Oh, yeah, I think so. I think we're still growing. I think we're still, you know, we'd love to keep playing basketball this season with this team.
Q. How important would it be to a young team to use this as a building block into their junior year?
COACH JIM WOOLDRIDGE: Well, I think in sophomore year, I think it would be very important for a lot of reasons. One is confidence, you know, you build from one season to the next. Reward for their effort and how they played and how they came together. They are young and they are the staple to our future, they are the core of the future. I think you know, a post-season tournament would be an indication to them that they have been rewarded and that they should be more confident as they go from 2005 to 2006.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
End of FastScripts...