UNC-KU: Opponent Quotes

Inside Carolina
Posted Apr 6, 2008


Inside Carolina's postgame coverage includes quotes from Kansas head coach Bill Self, Brandon Rush, Cole Aldrich and Darnell Jackson, who spoke to the media following their 84-66 victory over North Carolina on Saturday night.

BILL SELF
Opening remarks:
"Well, it was three different games. First game we were great. Second game, we weren't very good and they were great. The last game, you know, obviously we played super down the stretch. But, you know, our guys were in attack mode right from the outset and I thought we just did a really good job of being the aggressor early, which set the tone for the game."

On his feelings:
"Well, obviously I felt great. I still do. That was an unbelievable performance by -- you know, it wasn't just the starting five. There were eight guys that played at a very, very high level for the first 15 minutes of the game. I mean, that was a pleasure for me to watch. I mean, we were making shots. But also we missed some layups. We had some things not good our way, playing out of foul trouble, all those things. Still to play like that early was, you know, unbelievable.

"And then as good as we played early, we played about that poorly in the middle. You know, their best offense the second half was our offense 'cause we just turned it over and let 'em go get easy baskets. Our whole game plan for them, and this is so simplistic, is four passes, one shot. Four passes, one shot. If we could make them make four passes, that means we've taken them out of transition and there won't be as much rotation rebounding and we have a better chance to, you know, hold them to one shot.

"You know, they're a fabulous rebounding team. But our guys, you know, went after the ball hard and we got some easy -- it was so important for us to get a couple easy baskets early, you know, got some high-lows. Sometimes when you make a layup, it takes the lid off, so to speak. But, you know, that's about as good as I've seen - from us."

In the course of a week, you've gone to your first Final Four, gotten past your Elite for the first time, and you've confronted Roy Williams. Have you ever had a better week in coaching?
"No, no, no. No better week (smiling). But it's not because of Roy. That doesn't have anything to do with it. I've said that. I've said that many times, and people don't buy into it. There is no jealousy, no animosity between Coach Williams and myself, at least on this end. And I have never this entire week, Look, we need to do this because this would be better for me with our fan base or anything like that. It wouldn't have made any difference who was on the other bench.

"To everybody else, it's a big deal. That's not a big deal. But this has been a remarkable week, and hopefully it can continue for, you know, make it a remarkable nine or 10 days."

On the team's defense of Tyler Hansbrough:
"It wasn't too good. He got 17 and 9. But we did guard. We did guard. I think he is so good at creating contact after he catches it by spinning and those sorts of things. But we didn't let him, except for two or three times, split the trap. We made him score over us as opposed to giving him an angle. We thought that was a big key because, you know, he's so good at drawing contact.

"The other thing that we really did, you know, even though he shot six free throws, if you told me before the game he'd shoot six free throws, I'd sell out for that because he's the type of guy that can shoot 12 or 14 just as easy."


BRANDON RUSH
On making it to the championship game:
"It definitely feels good because we was the underdog the whole game, so we just came out and just applied pressure to them. We got up and did some big things."

On the first 15 minutes:
"We definitely played the best basketball we played in the first half, with that first 15 minutes. We got out, we got some easy baskets, we made them work on the defensive end. We out rebounded them in the first half, too."


COLE ALDRICH
On making it to the championship game:
"That was our ultimate goal at the beginning of the season, was to be playing for a national title. You know, we're doing it. I don't have any words to describe it because it's an unbelievable feeling. Because, you know, the seniors on our team have just done it all for us young guys. You know, they've shown us the way. And, you know, it's just great to be part of this team."

On battling Tyler Hansbrough:
"I just knew coming into the game that it was going to be tough going against him. Being the AP Player of the Year, he's obviously good. He's got tenacious abilities that will, you know, go out to the wire because he's going after every rebound, whether it be right in front of him or 15 feet away from him. He's going to try to get every rebound. I just tried to match that, match his intensity."


DARNELL JACKSON
On making it to the championship game:
"Since the tournament started, a lot of guys been talking about this. And Coach Self, he's been doing a great job, been helping us to stay focused and telling us not to be satisfied. We've been playing so hard as a team, and together, and not playing selfish, now we got an opportunity to make history at Kansas."

On North Carolina's comeback:
"They just kept fighting and we made a lot of mental mistakes. The big guys, we got tired a little bit, weren't getting back on defense, trying to stop Lawson from getting in the lane. But after that, we just -- a lot of guys, we just hooked up and guys was making unbelievable plays for us, knocking down sides, getting three-point plays. Especially Brandon, he played great today. He was unbelievable."



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