Sunday, March 23, 2008

Two Down - Four to Go

In today's Lawrence-Journal World, Tom Keegan wrote a column about Bill Self, the coach, the teacher, and the man. I found one set of quotes from PF Darnell Jackson particularily interesting:

“The first time I met coach Self, I just knew there was something about him,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t figure it out when I first got here. When he kept staying on me so hard, kept pushing me so hard, I understood that he was trying to get the player that was in me out of me. I couldn’t understand that, and now I do understand that. I understand that I have to be responsible when I’m on the court and when I’m off the court. Coach Self, man, he’s just a great coach, he’s a great father, he’s a great person, and he’s a great friend. That’s why every day I see coach Self, I just smile because he’s the father figure in my life that I want to be like when I grow up.”

Two more wins and the stigma of the guy who can't win big in March will go away. Self deserves it. I've met him in person. This guy is the genuine article. Nobody wants it more and maybe nobody deserves it more. We'll have more on yesterday's 19 point win over UNLV. Here are some more quotes for you courtesy of

Mario Chalmers on the Rebels’ early defensive pressure: “We could tell. We knew they were a pressure team. I think they tried to come out and punk us, but we didn’t back down, we just kept fighting with ’em.”

Sherron Collins on KU’s depth paying off: “Somebody like Terry or Wink went out, it was a little bit easier to handle the pressure and handle their guards because they weren’t all scorers like that. They got in foul trouble, and it played into our hand.”

Sherron Collins on KU’s guard-heavy offensive attack: “Every time we threw the ball into the bigs, everybody collapsed on them. When we went small, it was a mismatch problem out there somewhere. We just ran a lot of cutting, moving, caught them at awkward times and were able to make a play.”
Sherron Collins on being healthy entering regionals: “I think it’s good for our team, because I’m able to do a lot of things, like break down defenses and get easy shots for my teammates. I’m like the release button. If the pressure’s out there, I take pride in getting the ball and making something happen. Being a spark plug off the bench, that’s what I do.”

Bill Self on Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins: “I thought that those two took the game over. We went to a little spread-and-drive-it mode and they did a great job of getting in there. Mario was solid, Brandon was solid, our bigs didn’t score as much because of the way they defended, but I really felt like midway through the second half it was those two’s game.”

Bill Self on his team’s defense: “Our first shot defense was good. I’ll be excited to see the film to see if it was as good as I thought it was. We rebounded it pretty good, we defended it pretty good, we just put our hands on them too much. And they put their hands on us too much. it was obviously a tightly-called game. But that was a good defensive effort.”

Bill Self on having Sherron Collins healthy in the Tournament’s second weekend unlike last year: “The thing about it is Sherron, he didn’t practice yesterday. He couldn’t move. The doctors talked to him today and told him ‘Hey, you’re fine. You’ve got a bruised knee again. It’s gonna be sore, but you’ve gotta suck it up and go do it.’ I thought he was really good. And he’s a different element to our team. Because he can go get you a basket. The biggest basket of the game may have been five seconds on the shot clock and he goes and makes a play. That’s not coaching. That’s just getting the ball to a guy and getting out of his way. And he can go make a basket that you don’t have to run offense for or break the defense down. So it’s great to have guys like that, especially this time of year.”

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