Coaches Corner: Olson on Kansas

The Jayhawks venture into McKale for yet another stiff test for the young Wildcats. Coach Lute Olson has great respect for Roy Williams' club and discusses the upcoming game.

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Question: What are your thoughts on Kansas and Saturday's game?

Olson: "Kansas will present a number of problems for us. First of all, they are a very experienced team with four returning starters. Like they always do, they do a great job with their offensive execution. They do as good a job at getting the ball inside and with (Drew) Gooden and (Nick) Collison. They have what I think is as good a twosome as there is in the country. They are guys that can score facing up, in the post and they run the court well. The match-ups will be very key for us and a lot of the time there will be two freshmen trying to gaurd those two guys."

Question: How well do you match up with their perimeter game?

Olson: "They create problems on the perimeter because all three guys can hit threes and can put the ball on the floor very well. Defensively, they create a host of problems especially at this stage of the season. They'll reach you with full-court pressure, half-court traps, they'll double team the ball as they cross half court. Those are the kind of things maybe later in the season you are more capable of dealing with. The key thing is because they hit you with so many surprise elements, you have to have guys on the court that understand at any moment they have to break early because of their defensive pressure.

"Taking care of the ball will be huge, I think, in the outcome of the game. The second thing will be doing a good job on the boards. They get to the offensive glass really well."

Question: Any idea which of the freshmen will start?

Olson: "As far as our lineup, we are not sure what we will do. We have a good battle going on in practice between (freshmen centers) Isaiah Fox and Channing Frye. Both of them are going to play a lot. As to who is going to be out there when we start the game, we won't really know until Friday's practice."

Question: Is there a reason why a you've had a lot of recruiting battles with Kansas?

Olson: "I think any time you are in elite status like these two programs are in, you are going to draw attention from the top recruits. I think the strength of both programs is that kids want to play in places where basketball is important. Kansas' tradition is second to none. If they get a kid on campus, you are going to have your hands full."

Question: Explain how Kansas starts three guards yet have a plus-nine rebounding edge.

Olson: "They do great things in their offense to make sure they have at least one good rebounder on the help side of the glass. They're good athletes and they're quick athletes."

Question: How will the freshmen respond in their first regular season home game?

Olson: "Generally speaking with young kids, they'll respond better at home than on the road because of the security of the home crowd. That has probably been the biggest surprise is how our young guys have responded at Texas and Madison Square Garden. I'll say the big reason for that is the leadership of the juniors."

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