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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: ST. LOUIS


March 21, 2014


Perry Ellis

Conner Frankamp

Bill Self


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kansas テや 80
Eastern Kentucky テや 69


THE MODERATOR:テつ Victorious Jayhawks are here.テつ As mentioned, they will play Stanford on Sunday.テつ Conner Frankamp, Perry Ellis representing the student body for the Jayhawks.テつ Coach Bill Self will open up with a statement on the game and then we will go to questions for all three gentlemen from Kansas.
COACH SELF:テつ We obviously feel fortunate because I thought Eastern Kentucky was well prepared.テつ They played great.テつ They played loose and certainly gave us everything we wanted.テつ Fortunately the second half we settled down a little bit and took better care of the basketball.テつ It was a hard‑fought game and one in which we had to work our tail off for 40 minutes to come out with a win.

Q.テつ Bill, could you talk, I know we talked to you yesterday a little bit about Andrew and getting aggressive and getting started early.テつ Were they doing something in there?テつ Was he a little passive early or more passive than you would have wanted him?
COACH SELF:テつ I thought they played on top of him so he couldn't catch the ball.テつ Played really high on the floor.テつ We had a lob play to start it, he fumbled the ball which would have been a good start.テつ And our ball handling was so poor the first half he didn't get a chance because he didn't get, you know, what we wanted to do with back‑cutting or those sorts of things, he never got a chance to get touches because our ball handling was poor.
The second half I thought he put his head down and drove it and he still impacted the game in a big way, obviously getting 19 points.テつ But certainly we need him to play.
But the strength of our team today was throwing it inside to Perry and Tarik and Jamari.

Q.テつ As a quick follow‑up you mention the second half, I think the first two or three offensive possessions you made the drive right off the bat that drew the foul.テつ Was there a concerted effort at half time or was that the way it flowed?
COACH SELF:テつ I think we wanted him to be aggressive but he had 10 points at half time.テつ The whole thing is he needs to drive it, but didn't get many opportunities to drive it the first half because he didn't get touches.テつ When he did, you know, something positive usually happened.テつ But these guys will tell you we want him to drive the ball every opportunity because he is, he can cover a lot of space in a few steps.

Q.テつ This question for all three of you guys.テつ Bill, first for you, obviously you know St. Louis well, you have been here several times before.テつ Can you talk about playing this game here in St. Louis.テつ And for Perry and Conner, what were you guys thinking late in the second half when the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" chant took over, it must have felt like a home game for you.テつ Obviously a pretty easy trip for your fans.
COACH SELF:テつ It's a short trip, 41/2 hours or whatever, a lot closer for some.テつ So I was excited when we got placed over here.テつ I like coming over here and playing.テつ I always did, especially at the University of Illinois and we got a chance to play in the building before.
So I mean, I don't want to go as far as saying it is home away from home, that would be Kansas City.テつ But certainly it's nice to play in the first couple of rounds in a venue that is relatively close and we can bring a lot of people over.
PERRY ELLIS:テつ I thought it was great to hear that.テつ I think it just gave us a lot of confidence going forward.テつ And it's really the main thing is having confidence going forward and it was a great experience for everybody and even the new players here.
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ The same goes for me.テつ It is awesome to have so many fans travel for you and come cheer you on.テつ So it's cool to look up in the crowd and see all of those K.U. fans.

Q.テつ Bill, how much did Conner stabilize things tonight?テつ And what did you see from him in this game that maybe you hadn't seen previously?
COACH SELF:テつ Well, you know, I told Conner before the game I am going to go with you and I told our staff yesterday that he was going to‑‑I was going to go with him.テつ And I really haven't given him a chance to play.テつ But he's gotten better throughout the whole year and, you know, he deserves an opportunity.テつ But sometimes situations maybe didn't play out the way that he got the deserving opportunity.
But the biggest thing I've seen, he just tries to get better.テつ He is a tough kid and has hung in there.テつ And I am not sure if we can win the game without him.テつ He is a calming influence and it is probably not a coincidence when he played, he probably played 25 minutes and I bet in the time he was out there our team may have had two or three turnovers total when he was actually in the game.
So I am really proud of him.テつ And something else to stay ready when your number hadn't been called is not the easiest thing to do, but certainly he has.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the importance of the play inside and all of the points you guys did have in the paint, including the rebounds and how that affected or contributed to the win.
PERRY ELLIS:テつ First off, Jamari, he came in and did such a great job.テつ He gave us so much energy tonight there is no words to explain.テつ He did a great job and Tarik finished well, got angles.テつ And the key was really to pound the ball inside and play aggressive and we did that, and good things happened.

Q.テつ For Conner and for Perry, were you guys aware before the game of the Duke loss?テつ And I am sure you have every reason to be confident obviously, but then does it shake you up a little bit when a team like Eastern Kentucky gets up on you, even in the second half?テつ And how do you take control at that point?
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ Well yeah I watched the Duke game and NCAA anything can happen.テつ So our guys just have to come out ready every game because every team in this tournament is going to give us their best shot and they are going to be really good, you know.テつ So our main focus is come out ready, and ready from the jump.
PERRY ELLIS:テつ And we definitely were watching it and talking amongst each other saying we definitely have to come out and play aggressive.テつ And when bad things happen we just have to regroup and just play a lot better.

Q.テつ Conner, when you came in, did you realize you kind of needed to settle down the team and to gain confidence when you had a couple of shots right off the bat?テつ How much does that help you?
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ Getting a few shots helps me, but I just try to get in there and feed the ball to whoever is open as best I can and play sound on the offensive end and defensive end and just try not to make any turnovers when I was out there.

Q.テつ The 1‑3‑1 that they threw at you, can you all kind of address how you responded to that?テつ Surprised by it?テつ Do you feel like that's something that you need to focus on moving forward?
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ We weren't too surprised when they threw that at us.テつ I thought we were kind of hesitant and did get the ball to where we wanted to, but I felt like once we got used to it we did a little better job.
COACH SELF:テつ Conner is much more optimistic than I am.テつ I didn't think we attacked it well at all.テつ You know, we knew that they would do that, that's part of their package, we practiced it.テつ They happened to do it right when Wiggs came out and you have two little guards up there that were basically playing volleyball back and forth with each other as opposed to attacking it and getting the ball flat.
Because, you know, the way that we play, you want to get the ball flat against a 1‑3‑1.テつ And we never really got it flat.テつ Maybe we did the last couple of times, but if I am not mistaken, they were only in it three or four possessions.テつ And not that we didn't do a good job, we didn't turn it over, but obviously we didn't attack it very well.

Q.テつ Coach, have to ask how Andrew Wiggins played and was he aggressive as you hoped he would be?
COACH SELF:テつ I thought Andrew played well and was aggressive, too.テつ He didn't get many opportunities.テつ I don't know if you noticed how No. 12 played him, he played on top of him the whole time.テつ So the way he was going to catch it was to throw it over.テつ We had a couple of things lined up to throw over, but we handled the ball so poorly early it kind of negated what we wanted to do.
I thought Andrew played good.テつ I don't want to say great, but I thought he played very well.テつ And certainly, you know, there's jitters for everybody.テつ These guys had jitters and I thought we responded as a group and I thought he responded very well in a way that when we took the game away from him he still found a way to impact the game.

Q.テつ For Perry, you guys made no threes in this game but you were so dominant on the boards and in the paint making lay‑up after lay‑up.テつ Do you just figure that even when they are ahead they can't keep up with what you're doing inside?
PERRY ELLIS:テつ Definitely.テつ When we're playing that well in the paint and getting angles and just throwing the ball in, I feel like that's an advantage for us.テつ I mean we did real well at that and getting the ball into the bigs.テつ And we were successful.

Q.テつ This can be for Conner and/or Perry.テつ Kind of similar to the Duke question earlier, given as late as Eastern Kentucky held the lead was there ever a point in this game where you were worried that hey, if we don't watch things we're in danger of having this one slip away?
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ Well, after watching the Duke game we knew that anything can happen.テつ We were down, but we tried to stay posed and not get too rattled and just try to make the easy play and stops on the defensive end.テつ Because we felt that we could score pretty good down low.

Q.テつ Bill, as this game went on and you put Conner in, did you kind of see his game expand a little bit.テつ I know you are seeing things that you are seeing in practice, but the way he handled it after were you so sloppy with the ball?
COACH SELF:テつ Yes, yes.テつ I thought he did great.テつ And when he was in the game the majority of the time we only had one primary handler in the game and that was him.テつ I don't know if I consider Wayne and Andrew primary handlers, so there is a lot of pressure on Conner to be a calming influence for us and certainly he was.テつ I thought he handled everything beautifully.
Certainly, you know, he needs to play well moving forward obviously, but today he ran our team.テつ He wasn't a guy that just we counted on to make shots.テつ He was a player today.テつ Without question.

Q.テつ Bill, I'm sure you didn't plan on being outscored 33‑0 from the three‑point land, but is that kind of one of those‑‑
COACH SELF:テつ I don't know who taught you math but it's 36.

Q.テつ My bad, okay.テつ Is that kind of one of the weird things that happens in the tournament, you run into teams that do different things?
COACH SELF:テつ It shouldn't surprise us they made 12 threes and that they shot 31 of them.テつ What surprises me a little bit is that we didn't make any, but we didn't shoot many.
As a matter of fact, in the second half we clipped off two awful shots that led to them taking the lead.テつ And we didn't have anything going.
So I think in the tournament anything can happen, but I think these guys would be the first to tell you, I mean we were very prepared to defend back‑cuts and defend threes and that was our whole game plan defensively.
And we actually did a decent job, you know, on Cosey.テつ I don't know if he made a basket from the 15‑minute mark of the first half to about the 3‑minute mark of the second half.テつ The problem was the first four minutes he just got anything he wanted.
And so stubbornness was maybe a little bit of a problem.テつ We try to tell our guys hey, they got range, they're going to shoot shots that you guys don't shoot and they're going to make some.テつ And I don't know if we totally respected that, because he got them off to a great start.テつ And certainly he controlled the game the first five to ten minutes of the game.

Q.テつ Conner, how tough is it to maintain confidence when playing time is a little sporadic, your shot is not falling the way you are used to seeing it fall?
CONNER FRANKAMP:テつ Sometimes it's tough but you have to be ready when your number is called and get out there and do the best you can and help your team to the best of your ability.

Q.テつ Coach, was this might have been Jamari's best or most important half, second half for you guys?
COACH SELF:テつ I told our guys after, I don't know if he's had a better game.テつ You know, he had 17 and 14.テつ And, you know, he made that one bone‑head play at the end of the half obviously, but he'll do that from time to time because he tries so hard.テつ And he is just trying a little too hard.テつ But I thought he was terrific.
I agree with what Perry said.テつ I think he gave us the energy.テつ And certainly he made a couple of plays where he missed free throws and follow dunks and things like that that just basically effort got us those.テつ So yes, very pleased with his play.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much, gentlemen.テつ We'll see you tomorrow and then game tomorrow Sunday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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