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March 10, 2006

Mario Chalmers

Sasha Kaun

Bill Self


MODERATOR: Congratulations on the victory tonight. Your thoughts on the game.
COACH BILL SELF: I thought it was two teams playing really hard. I thought Oklahoma State played really tough and rebounded it and pressured us out of what we wanted to do. We kind of did the same to them for a while.
Good game. Good game. Not well played very artistic offensively, but I think in large part due to pretty good defense.
MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. It was odd that it comes down to a no call at the end because there were no free throws really shot in the first half, then the second half it comes back and there are a lot of free throws shot. Your thought there on the controversial play --
COACH BILL SELF: I am sorry, I didn't know there was a controversial play. We had the ball out of bounds at 1.3 and I didn't know anything controversial -- two guys fell down. I don't believe for a second that it was a charge, but I didn't know anything controversial occurred, so...
Q. What is the status of the cut on the eye of Robinson?
COACH BILL SELF: He got a good one. If he was a boxer, they would have called the fight. I don't know how many he will need, but he's going to need several tonight. But he's tough. Look at his line. I mean, didn't shoot it, but other than that, that's 7 stills and 8 assists. He played tough and played well. I am sure he will be fine for tomorrow.
Q. What makes you guys so good consistently on the defensive end?
COACH BILL SELF: Well, I think most teams we have had have been pretty good in that area, but this team we tried to sell them so much on that we're going to go through periods of time where we labor to score and we need to score off our defense and make other peoples -- other teams play poorly offensively. Mario and Hawkins and of course Russell, they can heat you up a lot of times, can heat you up. But they don't have hands. These guys can heat you up and they have great hands.
Our bigs do a good job of not giving up easy baskets for the most part. Not always, but tonight we defended them pretty good. 'Til the end, then they reined in all those shots at the end.
Q. Can you talk about the physical nature of the game with the bodies flying and guys bleeding, things like that, what does that do for you when you win a game like that?
MARIO CHALMERS: That was very physical game tonight. We just tried to match the intensity that they was bringing. That really helps us out. We get prepared for the next game. When we head into the tournament, there's going to be a lot of physical games. And that helped us prepare for it.
Q. Mario, one of your coaches told us earlier in the season that your defense wasn't quite as good. What was it for you to be named to the all-defensive team and improve during the course of the season?
MARIO CHALMERS: Good accomplishment for me. Coaches really helped me out with my defense. I try pay more attention on defense and just tried to abide by the rules and that made me better defensive player.
Q. Did you feel the game was physical prior to the intentional foul or did it get more physical after the intentional foul?
COACH BILL SELF: I thought it was a physical game before the game started. I mean right opening tip. I don't know that the intentional foul made it more physical. I think it made the officials call more stuff after that. If I am not -- I said to one of the guys, 15 minutes left in the first half, there was I think one team foul called. We shot two free throws and they had shot one for the game. Obviously, there's a lot of fouls called in the last 15 minutes, coincidentally somewhat around that intentional foul call.
Q. You have gone against your alma mater a lot now. Can you tell us about the feelings of still going against them, especially what is happened with Eddie and Shawn, all those things this year?
COACH BILL SELF: Well, it's not as emotional for me as it was before, but there's no place, I mean, that's home, and I love OSU. I love Stillwater. We had great years there and I certainly respect everything that the staff has done in the wake of what has happened with Coach. And hopefully Coach is doing better.
But I think the teams in good hands. I think Sean has done a great job and I think they are playing hard and they are playing to win and they are playing unselfish and they are really guarding. And I think he deserves a ton of that credit for them playing so well.
Q. When you get ready to go to the NCAA tournament Hawkins missed a couple of free throws late. Chalmer stepped up, he hit a couple. A particular guy you want the ball in the hands of late in the NCAA tournament if you have got to step to the free-throw line?
COACH BILL SELF: I think statistically Mario is our best and Russell is our second best and you know, Hawkins, I think Hawkins is a good free throw shooter. I think he's shot six on the season now, so -- but we do have some -- I don't want to say weaknesses, but got some areas that we can improve in.
For us to play well we're going to have to play certain guys and sometimes those guys don't make free throws. That was pretty evident tonight as well. Sasha and Julian I think combined to go 5 of 12. If we make our free throws -- although we shot 60, they shot 60. Although we shot a lot more. But if we make our free throws, even them reining in those shots at the end, it wouldn't have come down to the last possession if we made those free throws.

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