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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 14, 2014


Tarik Black

Perry Ellis

Bill Self


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Iowa State テや 94
Kansas - 83


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Kansas, Coach Bill Self, student‑athletes Tarik Black and Perry Ellis.テつ Coach?
COACH SELF:テつ Well, obviously I thought Iowa State‑‑ I don't know if they controlled the game from start to finish, but‑‑ because we had a pretty nice run there midway through the first half.テつ But they played very, very well.テつ They were terrific offensively.テつ We never got in any rhythm defensively at all.
And they were comfortable.テつ And, of course, the first half their big three were really, really good.テつ In the second half they were all good.テつ But obviously they played through Georges there in the crunch part of the game, and he delivered for them.
So it was disappointing that we didn't play better on the defensive end, but certainly they deserved to beat us and we deserved exactly what we got.

Q.テつ Perry, can you just talk about the second half, and the difficulty maybe getting touches and getting shots off after a good first half.テつ What did they maybe do differently?
PERRY ELLIS:テつ I definitely could tell they clogged the lane a lot more off their shooters.テつ We definitely had to drive more.テつ That was the key thing.テつ They really just clogged the lane a lot more.

Q.テつ Perry, do you feel like Iowa State played more aggressive defense this time than the two times that you played them during the regular season?
PERRY ELLIS:テつ I'm not sure I would say that.テつ I just felt like we were on our heels defensively throughout the game.テつ I felt in the first half we did a lot better than the second half.テつ We left too many straight line drives to the basket, I felt, in the second half.

Q.テつ Perry, Iowa State thought their spacing was pretty good offensively.テつ Did what they did on the floor affect what you guys were trying to do?テつ Did it space you guys out, you felt?
PERRY ELLIS:テつ They definitely spaced the floor well, but I felt like it's on us to have the energy and the mindset.テつ And Coach always tells us to have the pride to defend that.

Q.テつ Tarik, do you feel there's added pressure for you on the defensive end because Joel is not playing?
TARIK BLACK:テつ He's a big piece of our program, so everybody on the team has to make up for his absence.テつ We have to rotate on defense as a team because we're missing our shot blockers on the floor, on the ground defense has to be better.
And on the offensive end, we have to play with one another and the offense has to move smoother without him on the floor.テつ So the whole team takes up their pressure.

Q.テつ You mentioned your defense rhythm, you could never get into it, was that because they were doing a multitude of different things with the 3s and the way they were passing the ball?
COACH SELF:テつ I don't think they did a multitude of different things.テつ I think whenever‑‑ I think they made seven of their first nine 3s, if I'm not mistaken, and we're still ahead.
So I felt like, good gosh, if we could just get them to miss, we could be in decent shape.テつ And we‑‑ although they didn't attack us the same way, we did a better job defending the arc the second half.テつ But what they did, they played through their bigs and drove it.
I think the question about spacing was a good one, because it's hard, when you're guarding five guys that can all shoot 3s out there all the time for the most part.
And our ball screen defense was bad in large part because I think that we didn't trust it enough to get back to shooters if we guard it the way we wanted to.テつ And I thought that we just were on our heels.
When we got stops the second half, it almost felt like because they missed, it wasn't because we did anything to make them miss.
But I know there's a question earlier about offense.テつ You score 83 points, you're supposed to win.テつ It wasn't anything offensively.テつ It was all on the other end.

Q.テつ You've talked most of the season about wanting, needing to get better defensively.テつ Them shooting 54percent and scoring 94 points, whatever, how much of that is what you've been talking about all year and how much Embiid being out?
COACH SELF:テつ I think a lot of it's that Iowa State was really good.テつ I think sometimes you start to think we could have been great defensively and they could have shot 50percent or 47percent against us.
And when you shoot 3s like they did early in the game, you know, a lot of times that's not an awful play for most teams to make them do that.テつ And, of course, with them it is a bad play.
But we played them up there in Ames the first time, they were 4‑26 from 3.テつ And I'm sure they made the same shots tonight they missed up there.
Who knows if they'll shoot it again this well tomorrow, but tonight they were terrific.テつ But a lot of it is from a standpoint, Joel not being in there could probably guard Niang better.テつ He probably could.テつ But I think it was more of a collection of everybody rather than just one individual.

Q.テつ After such an intense game like this one and last night, is the NCAA tournament almost going to seem like a breather?
COACH SELF:テつ Probably not.テつ Probably not a breather.テつ But I will say this:テつ I don't know how‑‑ I mean, I think I know our guys pretty well.テつ I thought we played tired.テつ And the thing about it is when you have two teams that are equally tired, the better offensive teams usually win.テつ And that was the case tonight.
If you're really, really turned up and it takes energy and that kind of stuff, you usually play at a higher level defensively.テつ But a lot of times offensively that energy doesn't do a lot for you to help you more because a lot of times the game slows down for you where you're better offensively.テつ So I think it probably hurt us more from an energy standpoint defensively than probably what it hurt them offensively.テつ And their defense was good, but the thing about not having Joel in the game, you don't have to guard the other big.テつ So the other big stayed in the lane and never left, and so it made it harder to maybe get angles on the post.

Q.テつ Bill, you mentioned that offense wasn't the problem, it's the other end.テつ How concerned are you about this defense going into the NCAA tournament?
COACH SELF:テつ We're not going to play‑‑ I'm not going to say there's not other teams in the country that aren't potentially as good as Iowa State offensively.テつ But we're not going to play a team, more than likely, in the tournament that's better than Iowa State was tonight offensively.テつ But sure I'm concerned.テつ I'm concerned about a lot of things.テつ I don't know of any coach that wouldn't be concerned about different things with their ball club.テつ That's an area that obviously we've been inconsistent because our defense last night was exceptional.
And tonight it wasn't as good, and the matchup was harder for us tonight.テつ We historically play better defense when you play against two bigs, and tonight we played against zero.テつ And that makes it hard for us to guard.

Q.テつ In terms of seeding coming up in the tournament, the way it works now with the geographic location, would it be better to be the high 2 instead of the last 1?
COACH SELF:テつ We're not going to be a 1.テつ So I'm going to tell you, it's definitely better since we're not going to be a 1.テつ So we played a really good schedule and that kind of stuff and who knows if we'll be a 2.テつ I mean, who knows how the other games will play out.テつ And we're not going to be disappointed with whatever happens.
But certainly I don't know if there's any magical thing right now that we'll definitely be this in this region or anything like that.テつ Because right now I really don't know.テつ I think a lot depends on what happens in the other league tournaments.

Q.テつ Because you mentioned that the team tends to match up better against teams with two bigs, are there any other teams around the country with two bigs that you feel like you could match up well if you draw them in the tournament?
COACH SELF:テつ Well, there's been several teams in our league, so absolutely.テつ But I don't go around studying every team and this and that.テつ There's not very many teams in the country whose 5 man is taking 130 3s on the season, and there's not very many teams in the country whose 4 man has taken 90 or 100 or whatever it is.テつ So that's the thing that‑‑ and Kane was unbelievable.テつ He's taken 90 3s on the season or whatever and he's 5 of 6 tonight.
So they were a team that was red hot tonight.テつ There's no question about that.テつ And they're capable of beating anybody in the country on a night in which they play well.テつ And they certainly played very, very well tonight, especially the second half.

Q.テつ With Niang tonight, especially the second half when they were going through him on the post, what is it about his game that no matter who you were trying to stop or used to stop him, what is it about his game on the low block that just makes him almost unguardable at times?
COACH SELF:テつ It's not him on the low block, it's him driving to the low block.テつ He scores the majority of his points by being crafty.
He's not the quickest guy, but he's probably as hard to guard as anybody because he can play at different speeds and he's shifty and he can get you leaning one way and come back the other.テつ He's very good at spinning, as you guys know.テつ So what I thought he did a great job of was to catch it beyond the arc and put his head down and drive, and then however we guard him after that, he countered it.テつ He's really good.テつ He's a fun player to watch play unless he's kicking your butt like he did tonight.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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