Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
On Oklahoma's guard tandem
"Those two guys are just so popular with what they do. They are great role models and they are great kids. Quannas (White) is a junior college kid who passed 34 credits last year alone. He wants to be a highway patrolman. He is majoring in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice. Hollis (Price) is on target to graduate at the end of the summer. Their greatest attribute in terms of basketball is their toughness. They have no fear. They respect everybody, but they fear no one."
On preseason polls
"I do not mind trailing Kansas. Last year we were behind everybody. I always thought what we do is fairly simple. In some ways last year we were very fortunate. We have never taken our success for granted. I know how hard it is to get to the tournament. At one point last year Virginia was ranked as high as fifth and they did not get in. Missouri went from the second ranked team in the country to a bubble team. We are all just a sprained ankle away from mediocrity. We just want to play hard and play tough. There are only certain things as a coach you can control. I thought we were the best team in the league when we got to the Big 12 Tournament in March. We went on to prove it over the next three days. We felt that playing in this conference helped us in the NCAA Tournament. We did not think we were going to play anybody better than Kansas or as tough as Texas. That is the thing about playing in this league. The top teams have a chance to do well in the NCAA Tournament."
On how the team will unfold this year
"Hopefully, we will be on top. We've done a great job in practice day in and day out. We're getting better every day as the season progresses. There's one goal of every college team in the nation and it's to make it to the Final Four. Hopefully, we'll make it back again this year."
On getting the deserved, national recognition
"We didn't make it to the final game and we fell short of that goal last year. We've set the goal early this year and that one goal for our team is to make it to that Monday night game."
On the team being successful this year
"I think one of the reasons we are capable of being successful this years is the hard work we've put in this summer. If we work harder than last year, it will pay off and we'll be back right where we want to be."
On motivation as national contenders and not as underdogs
"We usually have been the hunter but now we're the hunted. With that in mind, we've got to take it one game at a time and we just have to stay hungry. As long as we stay hungry for that goal, we'll be alright and we'll be where we want to be in the Final Four in New Orleans."
On what would be failure to the team this year…
"I don't think anything short of the Final Four will be a failure. If we go out and play hard, knowing we played our best in the game, then I feel we did everything we could do to try to make it back there (Final Four)."
On the depth of the team this year
"Our front line guys are athletic and bigger than last year. We can't replace Aaron McGhee who was a great player but we have a lot of guys this year who can accumulate the points and rebounds that Aaron did for us last year."
Big 12 Basketball Media Day Quotes
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