By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
For Tuesday’s paper, I strung together some words on the backflip Marcus Smart unleashed on the Jayhawk logo.
It had some interesting and, in Bill Self’s case, funny quotes about the upset of Kansas in Lawrence and OSU’s ensuing celebration. You can read the full story by clicking here.
But maybe the best soundbite from the KU side came Tuesday afternoon, when Jayhawk players were made available to the media to preview Wednesday night’s monstrous game in Stillwater.
“If their coach allows that, then that’s up to them,” KU’s Travis Releford told KC Star beat writer Rustin Dodd. “If we go and get a victory there, you won’t see us doing backflips or flips on their court. We’re just gonna walk out in style.”
Telling words from one of the Jayhawks’ senior leaders. And rest assured this veteran team is going to come out fired up in GIA Wednesday night. Expect a great atmosphere and some energized teams. Should be fun.
And here’s some other things that Self and some of his players had to say about the rematch with OSU:
On OSU dominating the boards…
They killed us on the glass. They just whipped us physically on the glass. And we’ve been a team that’s really been a good defensive rebounding team for a majority of the season, and then we had some games, like this most recent one at Texas, where we rebounded the ball miserably. And that’s gotta be a point of emphasis. We gotta rebound the ball much better.
On the expected atmosphere…
I would anticipate a sellout and Gallagher rocking. When it’s rocking it’s as good as bout just as any place. We’re going to have to bring a great focus. Execute as well, but I’m sure it will be as good as it’s been in a long time.
On if the Gallagher-Iba renovation was too much…
I don’t think so. Whoever designed that kudos. Because you did not compromise one of the most historic places to play in. Didn’t change it. It’d be like changing Allen (Fieldhouse). There’s a lot of things going on economically with the Thunder in town that could affect attendance … But over time they deserve to have a great basketball program and people will come watch them.
On OSU dominating the boards…
They wanted it more than us when they came in our house, and that’s unacceptable. So we just gotta come ready to play from the jump.
On Markel Brown…
He came off a lot of screens, and I actually didn’t start off on him. I was guarding someone else. And he got going early, and by the time I got on him, he had already had a rhythm and he was already feeling it.
On the first game…
The first game wasn’t what we expected, or what it turned out to be for us. That’s the good thing of Big 12 basketball. We get another chance to play the team again.
On the sting of losing at home…
Definitely. Even though the game was in the past, it was one of those wins that stuck with us for a while. And we still been thinking about it. Everybody has that loss on their shoulders and we just want to get it off.