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March 9, 2012

Bill Self

Tyshawn Taylor

Jeff Withey


Baylor – 81
Kansas – 72

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined now by the Kansas Jayhawks, Coach Bill Self, and his two student‑athletes Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey.
Coach, your thoughts on tonight's game.
COACH SELF:  I don't think that we played particularly well in any facet.  But I thought Baylor, of course, they shot the ball great from deep, and they made their free throws.
We let them get comfortable early, which isn't a good sign when you're playing a really talented team.  And even though we didn't play particularly well, you know, we took a lead and when we had a chance to have some good possessions both ends we just didn't get it done.
So they were better than us tonight, no question.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Tyshawn, can you talk about the 18‑3 run that got you back in the game, kind of what turned for you guys at that point?
TYSHAWN TAYLOR:  I mean, we started playing how we play.  We started moving the ball.  We started defending a little bit.  They were taking tough shots, and we were making some.

Q.  Tyshawn, was the fact they played more man, was that part of the issue tonight from the first two games?
TYSHAWN TAYLOR:  Not at all.  I would have rathered them play man, honestly.  I don't think that was it at all.  I think defensively we didn't play our best.  They rebounded the ball well, and they made big shots when they needed to.

Q.  Tyshawn, for a guy like you who plays 38 or 40minutes a game, you guys played 33 times this year.  You're going to be a 1 or a 2 seed.  Is there any benefit to the rest, to the day off, heading into the NCAA Tournament?  I'm sure it's hard to think about now, but is there any benefit to it?
TYSHAWN TAYLOR:  I think it will help.  I rather would have been playing tomorrow.  But a day off, I think it might help.

Q.  Tyshawn and Jeff, couple of weeks ago after you played Missouri, Coach had expressed concern about this team being able to get key stops.  Do you feel like tonight's defensive performance offered an example that that's still a trouble spot for this team?
TYSHAWN TAYLOR:  I mean, tonight we didn't get the stops we needed tonight.  We left a shooter a couple of times and he made some big shots.  I mean, when the game is that close and in that situation, we can't leave the best shooter on the court.  And, I mean, we did.
But I don't think that's what the game came down to.  I think it kind of‑‑ it came down to everything.  Us not rebounding the ball, us not defending from the beginning.  Us doing a lot of things that we shouldn't have done.
JEFF WITHEY:  I don't think it came down to‑‑ it wasn't the last couple of minutes that really killed us.  We put ourselves in a hole the first half by‑‑ we never let a team outscore us really in the first half by that much or even get to 43points.
We just put ourselves in a hole.  And we tried digging ourselves out of it.  But at the end it just wasn't enough.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  When Heslip's man left him to help out, is that what happened and should he have not done that?
COACH SELF:  Yeah, the whole deal on Heslip is the most we're ever going to leave him is to bluff at the ball and get back to him.  We made two critical mistakes.  Critical.
But you can't just put it on Travis, because maybe if we got through the back screen‑‑ I gotto watch the tape‑‑ maybe if we got through the back screen quicker on the back screen fade screen plan they ran, maybe we could have released and got to the shooter quicker.  I don't know.  I'll have to watch the tape.  But that definitely went against the scouting report.

Q.  Thomas set out for a lot of the first half.  How much was due to foul trouble and he had the two fouls early, and looked like he might also be sitting, because you knew you'd need him for a lot in the second half and also in the front court, maybe expose some of the perceived lack of depth up there behind him and Jeff.  So what are you looking to see in practice between now and the first of the NCAA Tournament?
COACH SELF:  Well, the reason Thomas came out was because of two fouls.  But let's call it like it is.  Withey and Young were our best guys the first half.  That wasn't the reason.  We cut it to four shooting free throws.  And they end up going up eight when we had a chance to do some things.  We just had so many bad possessions.
But certainly the foul situation was the biggest reason why he came out.

Q.  What's the most disappointing aspect of this?  Was it the way you guys played.  They just beat you?
COACH SELF:  No, they beat us.  Make no mistake about that.  They beat us.  But the thing that was most disappointing to me, I thought we played a style that is just good enough to get your butt beat.  Average energy.  Let them pass it wherever they want to.  Never dictate a tempo defensively.  Crappy traps on the post.  Couldn't remember scouting report.
There were some things that happened tonight.  And then also we didn't rebound the ball.  Those are man plays or whatever.  I thought even though the battle of the boards was even, it was totally identical.  I don't think anybody thought watching the game that we controlled the glass.  I think the perception would be is they controlled it.
So I think that if we can't make other teams play bad, then we're not going to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament.  And we certainly didn't make Baylor play poorly at all.

Q.  Some of the guys said after you guys made that run in the second half that they were really feeling it.  They looked up at the clock.  There was still ten minutes left.  Did you see any of that down the stretch of just like some tired legs?
COACH SELF:  We talked about that in the timeouts.  But Baylor played as many minutes last night as we did.  I ain't buying any of that stuff.  If you're tired in that particular situation, then the reason you're probably tired is because your mind or your preparation level is such that it allows you to be tired.
When guys are geeked up and playing like the last possession of the‑‑ the last possession you're going to play of your life, you don't get tired.
So there were some things I think that happened tonight that probably showed a lack of toughness on our part which allowed us to be soft on key possessions.  Fatigue being one of them.

Q.  What's your experience going into the tournament off of winning the Big 12 versus coming in off of a disappointing loss like this, how do you turn that around, I guess?
COACH SELF:  We can practice‑‑ I'm not sure Ty's going to get his wish on the day off tomorrow.  But we'll go back to practicing.  We gotta guard.  We don't guard.  Let's just call it like it is.  We don't guard.  This has to be a team that makes other people play poorly.
And I've said this many times.  Defense, offense, you just don't say, okay, we're going to start doing this and it's going to‑‑ the light's going to come on tomorrow.  It has to be a mindset.  And certainly we have some key players that aren't doing that right now.
So you don't have to kill them in practice, but practice an hour and work on certain things.
But this tonight to me hurts, because anytime you lose it hurts.  But it's not‑‑ if it makes us better next week, then it wasn't a bad loss.  So if it doesn't make us better, then it's a bad loss.
And so we've usually recovered pretty good and responded pretty well to not playing well, losing a game, so hopefully that will be the case again.

Q.  Is there any relief in not having to play Missouri again and deal with all the emotion that goes into a game like that?

Q.  Kind of staying on that topic, you all right with how the rivalry ended this year?
COACH SELF:  I've never said I was all right with the rivalry ending.  I never said that.  I'd like for it to go on.  It's just not going to.
But I would rather be playing Saturday regardless of who we're playing, who we would be playing against, whether it be Texas or Missouri.  But I didn't come over here thinking about the rivalry or anything like that.  What we were trying to do was just win the day and focus on whatever would be the case tomorrow.
So we had two epic games with them this year.  Two epic games.  And it's unfortunate it's going to end.

Q.  Do you agree with Tyshawn and Jeff that the game was lost because of things the guys did not do during the first half, or did it come down to not being able to make the key plays, especially defensive plays, in the last few minutes?
COACH SELF:  Yes, on all fronts.  We let them get comfortable the first half.  But, I mean, it was a horse contest, guys shooting slush shots.
But, you're right, regardless of the situation, it's like a tennis match, you gotta win certain points.  And we didn't win the key points down the stretch.  They won them all.  Sure, I think that had a lot to do with not getting key stops, absolutely.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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