Kansas Coach Roy Williams
On the upcoming game against Arizona
"It's an exciting time for us. 327 started trying to get to this stage and after today there will only be 8 left, so we're excited about that part. We're also excited about playing Arizona but we know how difficult that is first hand. We played our best half
of the year when we played Arizona earlier this year at our place, and followed it up with probably our worst half of the year. I've said all along that they have more opportunities to withstand problems because of the depth that they have and the experience that they have, but it is a one game series and we know that we have to play by far our best basketball game of the year. We've already proved against them that you can't play great basketball for 20 minutes, and sorry basketball for twenty minutes or you'll lose by 17, or whatever it was."
On Arizona's defense in the season match-up and expectations for defense for the game tomorrow
"They had great success in the second half with their defense. In the first half we did a great job of moving the ball and made good passes, good catches, and got good shots. In the second half, we didn't do all those things and I don't think that we moved as well we wanted to move, but I their defense had a great deal to do with that. I would think that what Lute's felt confident in down the stretch is what
their going to play tomorrow. I do expect to see a good bit of that and at the same time we've got to do a better job of attacking it, and if we do then we might see another defense, but for us we've played 35 games….so I'm not going to give them 100 trick plays that are going to change the outcome tomorrow."
Whether the feel of the game will be like that of a final 4 game
"I know we said our peace about the confusion that we had with the seeding process, and then we put it behind us and said now we've got to go play. If we
had taken care of our business and played better in the conference tournament we would never have had that confusion. Once we started, we talked to the guys
about how there are no numbers so it means nothing and I truly believe that. I felt like that game last night had that feel of a big time, big time game, and I believe that our game against Arizona will have that same feeling."
Comparisons between Bill and Luke Walton
"Well Luke's a lot smarter and a lot better looking. He was a great passer and Luke is a great passer. Bill was maybe as aware as any player that I've ever seen in college or pro on the defensive end. He was like a director at the back of the press…I think that Luke is more of a perimeter player than his dad, has more of the passing skills on the move. Bill was a great passer. If they threw it in the post he could find people cutting, but I think that Luke is a great passer on the move. Both of them have tremendous savvy and I'm very thankful that he's got Suzie's brains."
On his bench depth
"The bench was something that we were concerned about at the start of the year, and I said that what I was going to do was try and play them and give them a
chance to do well. I think that Michael Lee has really stepped up. He's had a couple of bad games, but other than that he's really gotten better and better and he's a kid that I've developed a lot of confidence in. Nash has some ups and downs in the game quicker than any player I've ever coached. Last night I was ready to choke him on one end (of the court) and on the other end he made a great play and I
was ready to hug him. I've got try to give guys a chance and then if I give them a chance and they're able to do it, I've got to give them another chance, and another chance, and another chance and hopefully they'll be successful in some of those and get a little confidence themselves, but it has been a difficult thing to manage this year. Whether to go zone to try to protect people in foul trouble and things like that that I normally don't like to do."
On team's mental preparation for the match-up
"There's no question that psychological factors are extremely important. I've said many times that if I had to do it over again I would have majored in psychology instead of health and physical education like I thought you had to do to be a coach. If I could figure and determine what made 18, 19, 20 year-olds think and perform the best I would never lose because I think that is how important it is on the college level. There's two or three ways to look at it. For me personally, it's a huge factor because they beat our tails last time and I mean I'm going to be fired up, but luckily for Kansas I don't play. At the same time I like the confidence factor. We beat
Missouri twice in a row and I thought that we were going to beat them again, but we didn't do that. I think that if you spend all of your time trying to determine how the kids are going to react to those things, I think that you're putting too much importance on yourself…for me I'm ready to because they beat me last time."
On Lute Olson
"I've got a lot of buddies in the coaching profession that always say that it's harder to get to a place and maintain a high level of excellence than it is to go a place and build a program. What Lute's done at Arizona is amazing because when he got there they were really down. He's guy that I have a tremendous amount
of respect for as a friend first but then also as a coach. You see a guy who's 68 years old who looks like he's 45 and yet in the summer time he gets out on the road and recruits his tail off."
Kansas guard Kirk Hinrich
On his injured shooting hand
"My hand is fine. I just bruised it a little bit and it really won't be an issue."
On the pressure on the team this year as compared with last year
"There probably is less pressure but more of a sense of urgency I think. Because this is my last shot and you never know how many shots you're going to get, so
you always want to step up and play your best and play like its your last game. But we've been here before and I think that experience will us and in that aspect take a little pressure off."
On defending the three-point shot
"I think that you have to make things as tough as possible on them. You can't give help like you normally would on penetration or when the ball goes into the post."
Kansas forward Nick Collison
On the keys to beating Arizona on the boards
"We'll have to do a better job boxing out, and it's going to have to be a team effort. Arizona has a lot of athletic wing type players who can rebound too, so we'll have to have guards in there rebounding, and have everybody in there rebounding because they have so many athletes, but we really just need to do a better job of boxing out and pursuing the ball."
Does the loss to Arizona earlier have any impact in motivating the team for the game tomorrow?
"I don't think that any team left in the elite 8 needs any extra motivation. I think that everybody's going to play hard at this stage in the season. In the back of our minds it's more of a thing that we realize what happened and we're confident that we can play well against them, but we've seen what can happen when we're too tentative and don't attack and I think that that experience will do nothing but help us if we look at it the right way."
Kansas wing Keith Langford
On his sprained ankle
"It'll be fine tomorrow. I just rolled it a little bit and I'll probably just get a little bit of an extra tape job on it, but it won't have any effect on what is going on tomorrow because there is too much at stake to worry about something that small."
On the psychological impact of the loss to Arizona earlier in the season
"I think that even though we played the worst half of basketball we should try to take the positive aspects of the game out. Psychologically, if that game back in January still has an effect on us then we are not ready to play. I think that we have to look past that. I think that we're a better basketball team than we were back then. Guys have made different strides and we're playing a lot better and I really don't think that you'll see that type of performance from everybody, 1 through 12, whoever gets in the game."
Kansas center Jeff Graves
On playing for coach Williams
"I think that we wouldn't have made it this far (without him). I think that he's a great coach, he's probably the best coach in the country right now and
he puts a lot of confidence in your game so you want to play hard for him."
On Kansas' rebounding woes against AZ the first time around
"I think what it's going to take a lot more boxing out and working together even better than we had against them in the first game."
On the impact of injury to Wayne Simien
"At first coming in seeing Wayne get hurt, there was a lot of pressure, but seeing him come back a little back that brought a little less pressure on me, but I knew my role, coach was telling me to just stay in the game and use your brains, and move your feet and stay confident. Wayne is out right now and just step up."
Kansas point guard Aaron Miles
On the match-up with Arizona tomorrow
"Arizona is a great team. They've been playing very well all season long. Our last game against them we got into foul trouble early and we had to play a little bit of zone which opened it up and it helped some of their players started, so tomorrow we're going to have to stay out of foul trouble and play our game."
On the match-up with Arizona
"At the beginning of this year we set a few goals and our main goal was to win a national championship and Arizona is just another team that is in our way of that goal. That's our motivation. Our motivation isn't dwelling on the past and thinking about the loss that we had back in Lawrence. It's 8 teams left, that should be motivation enough."
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