Bill Self on Rush’s final shot in regulation: “I’m glad it didn’t go in, because we need to play five more competitive minutes like that and have some good things happen. I mean I would have been really glad if it went in, but since we won the game, we needed five more minutes to execute with the pressure on.”
Bill Self on what he learned about his team from this one: “I know that we don’t play smart. We had a chance to crack the game open and had about six straight terrible offensive and defensive possessions consecutively. So we played stubborn, which is very frustrating. Instead of playing to our strengths, we play stubborn. And I know we don’t rebound - our big guys don’t rebound. And also we’ve got to figure out who our lockdown defender is. Brandon’s not ready to be that yet....From a positive standpoint, once the game was 40-40 at halftime, they weren’t going away. It was going to be a close game no matter what. I thought that it was good we played in a tight game, thought it was good we had to execute form behind and make free throws with the pressure on. There were a lot of good things that happened. I do think we have tough kids, and I do think we’re poised. But we play stubborn. And what I mean by that is we know what we should do, but there’s that inside of us saying ‘Yeah, but I can do this.’ And it doesn’t play out to work, and it certainly didn’t work tonight.”
Bill Self on his plan for using Rush going into the game: “We were going to play Brandon 20 minutes. Medical staff said he was feeling good, looking good, wasn’t fatigued, so play him more. But if Tyrel hadn’t gotten hurt, if Russell hadn’t committed those two silly fouls to end the half to give him three, and then Rod gets called for the touch foul to end the half to give him three, if those things hadn’t happened, he would have played 20. And the outcome would have been different. So we were fortunate.”
Bill Self on getting the ball into the big men more: “We have to see it. And then if we see it, it’s a confidence standpoint to get the ball to them. But to me it looked like our post guys were wide open, our guards didn’t deliver the ball at all. We’ve got to play through Darrell. The sooner we learn that, the better off we’ll be. We still haven’t quite figured that out yet. So hopefully we’ll get better at that.”
Bill Self on Rodrick Stewart’s performance: “He was good. Rod was good. He’s got to become a lockdown defender, but he was good. He played very well, played smart, took care of the ball, I thought it was probably his best collegiate game.
Bill Self on Russell Robinson: “I don’t know what it was, but it was not good. He’s been so consistent for us, and hopefully tonight was just one of those nights where things just didn’t go well.”
Brandon Rush on KU benefitting from a game like this: “It was an overtime win, it was a grind-it-out game, and we needed one of those, with the last couple of games being blowouts. It’s not good that I missed that shot, I wish it would have went in there and the game would have ended five minutes earlier.”
Brandon Rush on how his knee felt afterwards: “I’ve been looking forward to playing an entire game. I feel fine, no soreness, no nothing.”
Brandon Rush on joking with UA’s Jawan McClellan following his halfcourt miss: “I was laughing at Jawan. He was talking about the shot. I guess before the end of the game, he’d said ‘don’t make a miracle’ or something like that. I said ‘One almost came true.’”
Brandon Rush on guarding Chase Budinger: “That could have worn anybody out. I was probably guarding him 25 minutes of the game. Those screens started killing me, running around, getting hit, getting hit, left and right, they were moving on the screens a little bit, but I ain’t complaining about it.”
Darrell Arthur on the lift KU got from Rush’s 36 minutes played: “It just makes the whole team play better seeing him out there playing, doing good. It just makes the whole team come out and play. When we see him play hard, we’re going to play hard.”
Mario Chalmers on Rush’s 36 minutes played: “Going into the game, I didn’t think he’d play 36 minutes. But in the back of my mind, I knew he’d play a lot of minutes tonight because we’re short with Sherron out and when Tyrel got hurt, so we knew he had to play a little bit more.”
Mario Chalmers on his lob to Rush in OT: “It didn’t surprise me. That’s our bread-and-butter. Every time one of us drives, we look for Brandon to go back door. And he’s always there. That’s a play we work on in practice and stuff, so we knew he could do it.”
Quotes courtesy of kusports.com
No Kan Do for Cats - Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star
Rehab Dividends Obvious - Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World
Rush to the Rescue - Gary Bedore, Lawrence Journal-World
KU Pulls it Out - J. Brady McCullough - Kansas City Star
Lastly, some quick hits from me:
1. The announcers didn't mention it last night, but Freshman Point Guard Tyrel Reed left the game with a tweaked ankle and didn't return. That is why Rush was pressed into 36 minutes of action. I like Reed's game and we needed him badly last night. When Jeremy Case was inserted for his three horrible minutes of play, the offense sputtered. Self was smart enough not to go back to him again.
2. Man, did KU miss Sherron Collins last night on so many levels. They didn't have the guard depth they normally enjoy. With Russell Robinson in foul trouble, Mario Chalmers had to play the point, something he isn't that comfortable with these days. Also Russ wasn't on the floor to guard Freshman Jerryd Bayless who school the other KU guards for 17 points. The offense was stagnant. Other than Rush, nobody could knock down an outside shot. Sherron is the man who stretches the defense and opens everything up for everyone else with his quickness. As I said, we miss Sherron badly.
3. Arizona dominated the offensive glass. that is inexcusable for a team with four big bodies. Self ripped the big men in the post game presser saying "our big guys don't rebound." Sasha Kaun is so much bigger than anyone he matches up with, yet it doesn't translate on the glass. He has got to be more physical. Shady Arthur also tends to shy away from contact and takes too many fadeaway jumpers, taking himself away from offensive rebound opportunities. Still, he was pretty good last night, with 20 points. I won't rip my guy D-Jack, and Cole Aldrich sniffed the floor for maybe 30 seconds last night, which was a curious move in my opinion.
4. Anytime Chase Budinger wants to play for my team, he is more than welcome to. He has the sweetest stroke in college.
5. We played like garbage, couldn't hit a jump shot to save our lives, yet still came away with the W against a game Arizona team. KU has a long way to go.