UAB: We can compete with the best

Just the quotes. UAB coach Mike Anderson talks about matching up against Kansas, the media attention, and his vision for UAB.

Opening Statement

"The Kentucky game has given our guys a lot of confidence, especially since there are only 16 teams left playing, so I think that this is something that our guys are definitely looking forward to. Again, we have a huge challenge in front of us, and when you think of Kansas, you're talking about the roots of basketball. We're going to be playing in an arena where they (Kansas) will be close to home and they have a distinct size advantage."

"They (Kansas) have guys that have been in this arena before, in terms of the Final Four. Keith Langford, (Wayne) Simien, (Aaron) Miles and their freshman (J.R. Giddens) is playing some really good basketball right now. When you talk about a tradition-rich, powerhouse team, you're talking about the Kansas Jayhawks and I think that Bill Self has done an outstanding job. There was a transition period for them, but you can tell that they are playing some of their better basketball right now."

On being on the cover of Sports Illustrated and if he has any concern about the jinx

"I think that we just need to go play the game. There's no question about the fact that this is a different type of atmosphere for us, but it is something that I have grown accustomed to while I was at Arkansas and all of the success that we had there. We just need to keep everything at a comfort level for our team and we just need to go out and play basketball."

"So far this season, we've been a day-to-day team and a practice-to-practice team, so we need to just play game to game and get prepared for a really good Kansas Jayhawk team. All of the hype, the media attention and all of the distractions that will take place are things that I, as well as my staff, will be able to limit as much as possible. At the same time, we need to let our team experience some of it."

On if there is any way that the Blazers could be overconfident heading into this game

"No, we can't afford that. If you put any other five guys against our starting five guys then we would probably get beat, but I think that the difference in our basketball team is our bench strength and our numbers, so we can't say that we're going to line up and beat anybody. I think that anybody can beat us and we can beat anybody else and that's been proven throughout the year."

On his former position at Arkansas and that situation

"I was on a journey leading back to here. What took place in the past is in the past and I have moved on. I am doing my own thing. To me, it is all about opportunity. They gave Mike Anderson an opportunity and for that I will be forever grateful. I'm going to make them look good, there is no question about it. It gives me the focus to do what I've got to do."

"I knew in my heart I have probably been ready to be a head coach. It is always good to come back home and it is special to me. And to see the things that are taking place, it is something I envisioned as I got here. It is a tribute to my coaching staff and I think also our players. They bought into what we are doing, they enjoy the basketball that we are playing. They have embraced it."

"Life is too short to talk about what could have been, should have been. I have some good memories from Arkansas. I have no ill feelings."

On his accomplishments

"I just want to take it to another level. That is my vision. Playing the teams that we have played and getting some wins, beating Kentucky – one of THE programs. We have taken some steps since I got here and that was a giant step. Again, you are talking about bluegrass basketball. It just shows we can compete and compete with some of the best."


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