Feb. 27, 2012
Oklahoma State vs Kansas
Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford
"Our guys played hard tonight. We really did. We didn't play well. We just didn't play one of our better games, and Kansas had a lot to do with that. You know, as I told our guys, in this league period, but even more when you're playing against a top team in the country, you've got to bring your 'A' game. Especially with the makeup of our team, everybody's got to contribute. It wasn't the best night for some of our guys, and that happens. It wasn't because they weren't ready, it wasn't because they didn't play hard. They wanted it so bad, maybe a little too much as far as wanting to play hard for Keiton. They did a lot of talking the last two days, not about beating Kansas, but, 'Let's play for Keiton, let's play well'. That almost puts a little too much pressure on you, to an extent. They were down in the locker room, and not necessarily because they lost. They were down about how they played. We just didn't have that pop (like we've had lately). Give Kansas credit. They have the best junior in the country (Thomas Robinson), and one of the best seniors in the country (Tyshawn Taylor). Tyshawn Taylor just kept making big shots. We were always within arms length to make a run and I kept telling our guys, 'The time's good, there's enough time. The score is right. We just need to go on a run here at some point'. (Taylor) would just always make a big shot. When you play a team as good as (Kansas is), everybody's got to bring their 'A' game, and we just didn't do that tonight. We tried. It just wasn't there tonight."
"They're good defensively. They're a very physical basketball team. They're a veteran team, older, stronger. And we missed some shots. But they're a very good defensive team, if not one of the best defensive teams in this league, so they've got a lot to do with it, but we just weren't as in sync as we needed to be, but you give them a lot of credit for that."
On Keiton Page
"He played really well. Again, it's everybody's gameplan to stop Keiton Page, and to go out and score 29 points, that's not an easy thing to do. There aren't too many players that I know that have accomplished what he has accomplished, with the size he is. He's doing it this year with a bunch of young guys. He's leading them and he's still, I guess after tonight, he'll go up to 19 points a game in this league. It borders on incredible that he keeps doing it. We're riding him, and some other guys have been doing a real good job of helping. It was just one of those nights that they wanted it bad. When you score 58 points and two guys score 49 of them and you're playing against the fourth-ranked team, you're going to need a little bit more than that."
On Markel Brown
"He just didn't get in that flow. He started pressing a little bit at times and he wanted it bad. He's Keiton's roommate and they're as close as you can get. They are tight, almost like brothers. They've been so good for each other. They are so tight and such a fun two guys. He'd be the first to tell you it wasn't his 'A' game, but he tried. He was competing. He was wanting it and you could see it in his eyes in timeouts. He was getting frustrated, but he'll respond back from it. It just wasn't his night."
On Keiton Page's senior night
"(Keiton and I) have gotten to be very close. (Keiton is) somebody who I've got an enormous amount of respect for, somebody I love dearly, somebody who I care for. It's developed, as much as it can between coach and player, (into) a friendship, and it will develop even more of a friendship as we move on. I was not looking forward to this. He's meant a lot to this program. A whole lot."
Oklahoma State senior guard Keiton Page
On senior night
"I thought I was going to be a lot more emotional than what I was. I was a lot more relaxed. These guys did a good job of keeping my mind on the Kansas game. I got a little emotional when I walked out and hugged Coach Ford at the beginning of the game. It's tough to get too caught up in that when you're about to play a team like Kansas."
On Kansas keeping the lead
"We couldn't get over that hump that we needed to get over. It wasn't one particular thing. They just took us out of our offense early, and our defense wasn't the kind of defense we know we're capable of playing. We needed a couple of big plays to close that gap, and we just couldn't get over the hump. We needed one big stop to get there and get the crowd in it."
On his career
"It's been a fun four years. It's been a fast four years, but it's the best four years of my life. I know there's still basketball to play. We have a big game in Manhattan and the Big 12 tournament where I know anything can happen. I'm still excited about the games we have ahead of us."
Oklahoma State redshirt freshman guard/forward Brian Williams
On Kansas maintaining its lead
"They just pulled away by about 10, and we would make a play. Then, they would make a play. We could never just close that gap to make it a game."
Kansas head coach Bill Self
On if its different winning in Gallagher-Iba Arena
"Probably not. We haven't played very well here, but I really don't think that reads into it. That may have read into it personally, seven, eight or nine years ago. Not now. It was nice, to be honest, I didn't see anybody really before the game, but it was nice to see a lot of people in the audience. I got a chance to make eye contact with many, and that's always great to come back home.
On Keiton Page
"He was great. I don't think we did an unbelievable job defending him, but I didn't think it was awful. He was great. I'm glad he is a senior. The career he has strung together is pretty good. I joked this, but he passed me in career scoring at the end of his freshman year, which means I didn't score much. But, he's, what? All time top five or seven in scoring, and the all-time leader in minutes and threes? That's unbelievable. What a career, and he was fabulous tonight."
On Tyshawn Taylor
"Yeah, Tyshawn and I kind of got into it, because he guarded him [Page] miserably when he had 11 straight there. He went ball-side on a couple screens, and I told Elijah [Johnson] to take him and told [Taylor] to take the other kid. He got kind of upset, so he stayed on him and did a better job later. Fortunately for us, he was able to match [Page] basket for basket pretty much down the stretch."
On the fatigue of playing two games in three days
"We're tired. This is as tired as I can remember being personally, so I know the players are. That game Saturday, not because of overtime, but that was as about as emotional of a game, well that was the most emotional regular-season game ever. This was probably the hardest game we've had to win this year, other than that one because of the quick turnaround. We practiced for 15 minutes yesterday and that was stationary shooting. The guys were pretty efficient tonight. They showed some toughness, but that wasn't a high-level, high-energy game by any stretch. That was kind of like, 'Hey, let's just try to get through this'."
Kansas senior guard Tyshawn Taylor
On winning the Big 12 regular season championship
"It feels amazing because a lot of people didn't think we'd be this good this year. I think if you asked us at the beginning of the year, our goal was to always win a Big 12 championship. We prepared like we wanted to win, we played a terrific non-conference schedule that prepared us for playing a tough conference. We lost two games to two tough teams. We played well and we held serve at home and got some tough road wins and came out on top."
On what he said to Keiton Page after the game
"When everybody gave him a standing ovation, I clapped it up for him because he deserves it. I've been playing against him for four years and he's been a tough guard all four years. It was well deserved on his senior night. He came out here and played well. I'm happy for him."
Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson
On being confident early in the season that KU could win the Big 12 Championship
"Like Tyshawn said, we knew what we had before we hit the floor, before the whole world saw us. I knew our guys weren't scared to work hard this year, and going out and proving ourselves against people was definitely motivation for us. I think that had everything to do with it, just proving to everybody that we could come back and defend our title."
On getting offensive answers when Keiton Page would hit threes
"We know that he's a momentum changer. The types of shots that he hits — guarded, coming off screens — those types of shots are just as good as a dunk in a game. He can change the momentum, so we knew we had to come back for an answer and just go back on the defensive end and try to get a stop. All props go to him because he's a great player, and I wish him the best of luck."