Bill Self praises Oklahoma State, rips his own team in postgame presser
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Saturday’s stunning 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State was only Bill Self’s eighth home defeat in his entire career at Kansas. That’s in 10 seasons.
So the surprising result in Lawrence can be considered a rare occasion. And it put the coach in rare form postgame.
Self had plenty of praise for Oklahoma State, followed by a hefty amount of candid bashing for his 18-2 Jayhawks.
Cover your eyes, Elijah Johnson, you’re not going to enjoy this. Here’s the full transcript:
You ever see a player like Marcus Smart, a guard, get eight offensive rebounds like that?
Well, no. You never expect it. He was terrific down the stretch. He definitely whipped our guards. I mean, he whipped them. That was a physical beatdown that he put on our guys. And also on the free throws, you got 6-8 blocking him out, he just scores right over him on a free throw block out. That was a soft team playing a very aggressive team today and he totally wore us out. Give him credit, he was a man playing amongst boys.
Did you feel like even when you were making that comeback, your offense wasn’t that smooth?
It wasn’t our freaking offense, god almighty. Offense may not have been smooth, it was terrible ballhandling, but the whole thing is you got a hold of the ball twice and you can’t even get a shot. So it came down to a competitive game and they were more competitive.
On the last play…
I though they’d foul, they didn’t foul. Elijah (Johnson) had a wide open three. All he had to do was rise and shoot it. But he tried to go past him, crossed over right in front of a guy, I had no idea where he was going. Certainly not a good play.
How tough was it with your senior guard (Elijah Johnson) and have to put him on the bench?
It’s sad. But we were definitely needing something. And we were definitely a better team when he was sitting down next to us and put somebody else in the game.
A little bit underrated guy for OSU is Markel Brown. What does he do for them?
Well he was great today. He wore us out. Our big guys didn’t hedge on ball screens and he scored behind three ball screens. He was great. You come in here and make seven threes on 10 shots? He was terrific. And then at game-point he showed how athletic he was. That was the game-point play and he showed how athletic he was with that block. He’s a good player. They’ve got great personnel. Maybe the biggest shot of the game was Le’Bryan. Loose ball, hadn’t made a shot in 20 minutes, two bounces, rises up and makes a 16-footer over our guy. They’ve got some guys who can play.
Did you sense this coming?
That’s what I told them. We haven’t played good in three weeks or whatever, or consistently well. And when you don’t play well, you have to defend and rebound. And we didn’t do either of those worth a crap today. So we got what we deserved today. The better team won today. There’s no question about that.
Is Elijah (Johnson)’s confidence shot right now?
I don’t know if it’s shot going into the game. Probably stung a little bit right now. But he’ll get that back. Heck, he’s a senior, he’s played in big games, so it’s ridiculous if it is. The thing that bothers me, it’s OK if you play bad. But as a group, getting your butt kicked and you don’t fight back. That’s what bothered me.
Does the loss get them to fight back?
You know what guys, our record is so much better than we played. And Oklahoma State, from a talent standpoint, there’s not a lot of difference in the teams. And you saw that first hand. They’re athletic in five spots and they got a guy who can run the show, guys who can make shots. We’re fortunate that Smart and Forte go 1/13 from three. Or that ballgame would have been over a long time ago. We’ll get back, but we have to realize who we are. We’re a team that’s going to have to live on winning the way we’ve been winning. Defense, rebounding, executing down the stretch. It seemed like today, we had little margin for error. We had less margin for error than any team since I’ve been here. When you’re off a little bit, and we were off today, I think it’s hard to turn it on and off. We’re not a physically strong team, not physically strong. And today it showed.
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