Gillispie on KU match-up

Coach Gillispie comments on the Aggies' upcoming game against Kansas, including going up against Bill Self and A&M's chances for a conference victory at home.

Kansas has had so much turnover, but you said [before the season] you knew they'd get to this level. Are they about where you thought they'd be at this point in time?

Billy Gillispie: "Oh, I don't know. I know they're really good, and that's what I expect them to be. But as far as a timetable or whatever … I don't know. They had a great recruiting class last year. They had a great recruiting class this year. They've got a great tradition. They've got a great coach. They're really starting to play—not good—but great. They have a very deep roster. They made 11 threes on Saturday. They're getting more offensive rebounds in conference than anybody. They've got the best defensive shooting percentage in the conference. They're really playing well right now."

[Kansas guard Brandon] Rush had been a guy known across the country … goes and tries for the NBA Draft, and then pulls out and comes back to school. You've seen him a lot. What kind of player is he?

"He's a pro. He's not only an NBA player, but a potential NBA all-star, in my opinion, with time and maturity. He's a great player. He's shown the capability to just totally dominate games at this level offensively, defensively, rebounding-wise and everything. That's what great players do."

Do you look forward to going up against [Kansas] Coach [Bill] Self? Does it make it any more or less special?

"I don't know. It's not about me and Coach. It's about Kansas and Texas A&M. Hopefully we'll be able to compete with a great team. It'll be fun. All the games have been fun in conference. We haven't won as many as we wanted to, but they've all been fun. Hopefully this one will be fun too. As far as that deal goes, during the game I would say that you don't even know who's coaching over there. Before the game you admire the way they prepare their team by watching them on tape. After the game it's tough, because either you lost or your friend lost. That makes it tough. But then you move on and go on and play the rest of your schedule."

What was last season's game like, going against him for the first time?

"Just kind of the same, with some anxious times before. It's not only Coach [Self], it's his whole family. [They] mean so much to me. After the game, they're happy, and you like to see your friends happy unless it's at your expense [laughs] … and I'm talking about in a basketball sense 'at your expense'. That's on the schedule. We are in the same conference. I wouldn't be here in this conference if it wasn't for Coach. Just go after it, fight, and try to do best for your team and your university. That's where your obligation lies. We'll compete pretty hard on Wednesday hopefully."

You played them tight in Lawrence [last year], so you've got to feel good about getting them at home for the first time.

"It doesn't mean anything. That's last year. We caught them at a perfect time last year. It was after an emotional Georgia Tech win for them, and right before they played Kentucky. They'd had great success against Texas A&M. We caught them at a great time. We played about as well as we possibly could for the most part, and made a bunch of plays to have a chance to win. We had great chance to win. We didn't pull it off because they made plays when they had to. That has nothing to do with this year's game. You're always more comfortable playing at home, but that doesn't always ensure success."
Texas A&M Spirit Online

Aggie Digest Top Stories