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January 31, 2012

Self, Teahan, Releford talk Oklahoma

Coming off its first conference loss of the season on Saturday, No. 8 ranked Kansas returns home to face Oklahoma on Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, Bill Self, Conner Teahan and Travis Releford talked about the rematch.

Kansas head coach Bill Self

On defending the shot clock

"(It's) focus and also discipline on how you're going to guard under 10 or under five (seconds remaining on the shot clock) or whatever your rules are. You have to play to those. The worst thing you can do, and is demoralizing from a defensive standpoint, is to play good defense and then allow the other team to score, get a second opportunity or you foul them under 10 (seconds remaining on the shot clock) where you basically bail them out."

On how Oklahoma has changed since the first meeting

"They're obviously playing really well. They are playing better and scoring easier. (Romero) Crosby and (Cameron) Clark have shot the ball much more aggressively, and (Steven) Pledger can obviously score. They are just a better basketball team. When I spoke to (Oklahoma head coach) Lon (Kruger) after the game, he said, `we just need to get more consistent scoring from others' and they are definitely getting that."

On senior guard Conner Teahan's confidence level

"I hope he is confident. I'm a big believer that if you have to make shots in order to play well, then you're probably not a complete player. Obviously, guys have different roles, and one of his roles for us is that he is a threat and knocks down shots. That doesn't happen all the time. He has to find other ways to help us, which he will, because he's more of a basketball player than he is just a shooter."

On if he has seen a difference in Teahan's shot

"Sometimes he can lean back a little bit. He probably needs to go a little bit more up and down, but he's been working on it, so I think the ball is going to go in the hole."

On bouncing back from the loss at Iowa State

"We don't talk much about wins and losses. We talk about losses, but we don't talk much about wins. We talk about trying to get better, play better and learn from our mistakes. We had a long film session yesterday. It was very apparent to guys that we were different Saturday than we were in games where we played better. We just need to be hungry and play with more energy."

On if this team is mature enough not to look ahead

"I would think so. They don't have the most mature head coach, so maybe they are not the most mature group that follows. I certainly believe that Iowa State's team should mean more than looking ahead to what will be a big game on Saturday. The way to make it a big game on Saturday is to take care of business on Wednesday."

On if rebounding has been a focus this week

"There was (an emphasis) in practice yesterday and there will be today. When you say how we rebounded Saturday, that would be a backward statement because we didn't rebound on Saturday. That will definitely be something we harp on and work on."

On the opportunity a loss provides to teach

"I think you should learn a lot from winning too. Losses are ok as long as you learn from them and get better from them. I thought our Davidson loss helped us, at least for a month. We need the Iowa State loss to be a reminder that when we do things a certain way, we're pretty good, and when we don't, we're not nearly as good. That's not taking anything away from Iowa State. They can beat just about anybody up there. I do think basketball is different than football. A loss in football can be totally demoralizing if it happens at the wrong time of the year. We're not that way at all. We still have 10 more games. There's plenty of time to get right, and we want to be playing our best ball going into March. Certainly, we will learn from the loss so we have an opportunity to play better."

On getting Thomas Robinson back to playing like he was before the Iowa State game

"To be honest, I don't think there's anything wrong. I just don't think he had one of his better games. We're going to force-feed it to him over the next week or two to get him to where he knows that's where his greatest contribution is, and to get him confident. That's not something you turn around overnight. Certainly, bouncing in traffic and those sorts of things are when you should just rely on your go-to move to score. I think that's something he can certainly get better at and will get better at."

On opponents taking Thomas Robinson out of the game

"I thought he caught it in tight a lot (against Iowa State). Teams can take a big guy out a lot easier than taking a guard out. If you want to trap the post, sacrifice perimeter shooting, you can take a big guy out and force him to score other ways, off broken plays or off rebounds. You can also take a big guy out when the ball is shot. If two guys run to block him out, that leaves a man free to run to the rim, but he may be a guy getting back. There are ways to do that. In this particular situation, he caught the ball where he needed to catch it and where he wanted to catch it. I think there were seven times where he caught the ball and came away with nothing; where he bounced it, travelled or did something he shouldn't be doing. I think that's correctable."


Junior guard Travis Releford

On if he remembers his performance from the last time he played Oklahoma

"No that game is in the past; this is a new game tomorrow. I'm going in with a different mindset and not thinking about what I did last time."

On what he thinks of Oklahoma

"They're a good team. If it wasn't for that run we had on them then it would have been a tough game."

On what type of mentality the team has going into this game

"Coach Self reminds us of our goal; the one goal we have is to win the Big 12 Championship and to do that we have to win games like this. It's not a game we are overlooking at all because they're a good team so we have to come ready to play."

On if Coach Self has been reminding the team of the Iowa State game

"Yeah because we have been getting outrebounded in the last three or four games so he just says that we need to change if we want to be a better team."

On if it gets his attention when Oklahoma goes to Kansas State and wins

"Oh for sure because that's a tough place to play anytime so for them to go in and get a win, that shows that they can go anywhere and win so we have to come in ready to play."


Senior guard Conner Teahan

On if the team has bounced back after the loss to Iowa State

"We watched film and had practice yesterday, so I think we're ready for tomorrow. We didn't play up to our potential on Saturday and I think we're ready to get back out there tomorrow and prove that we still deserve to be on top of the Big 12."

On where his confidence is at, shooting the ball

"It's staying the same. Obviously, I haven't been shooting it as well lately, but I haven't tried to let it affect me too much just because we have big games this week and big games later on."

On if he has noticed anything different with his shot

"After watching some film, I might be fading a little bit, which can cause the arc to be taken away and that makes the shot go long. Other than that, I can't say that they haven't been feeling good because they have been. I'm just going to keep shooting and hopefully get out of this slump."

On the team defending throughout the entire 35-second shot clock

"I don't remember the exact stat, but I think teams are scoring 40 percent of the time with under 10 seconds left. That's definitely something we need to improve on. We just need to finish each possession."

On Oklahoma's recent success

"Going into Manhattan and getting a win is certainly tough for a lot of teams to do. If they can beat Kansas State in Manhattan then they can definitely come here and win, so we have to be ready to play tomorrow."



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