After Kansas’ loss at Kentucky coach Bill Self and players Dedric Lawson and Quentin Grimes spoke to the media.

Bill Self

Dedric Lawson and Quentin Grimes

Transcript from UK Athletics 

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On if Dedric Lawson was worn out tonight …

“I think so. Obviously, their bigs played very well. Even Nick (Richards) didn’t play a lot, but he blocks five shots and totally impacted the game. Reid (Travis) and PJ (Washington) were the dominant players and certainly, it was two-against-one in there a lot. We’re playing 6-4 at the other spot. We actually did a pretty good job in the first half, I thought, of neutralizing them to an extent, even though Reid (Travis) had a good first half. I think we just wore our guy out.”

On their transition defense …

“I thought pretty good. The biggest thing about our transition defense, it was sometimes your defense doesn’t get a chance if the offense screws it up to the point where you can’t. They always have numbers coming at you. I didn’t think it was awful, but the worst thing we did, we gave them like three and-ones in transition. You just gave them three points. If you’re going to foul, foul. We obviously didn’t do that. “

On loss of sets driving the ball and if it slowed the offense down …

“They didn’t pressure us. They are good defensively. I thought (Tyler) Herro is really an underrated defender in my eyes, from what I saw. (Ashton) Hagans controlled the game in that spot, but they really didn’t pressure us, and they really didn’t have to, because we didn’t really stretch it. Then, when we do get in there tight, you’ve got to score over a lot of length in the big guys. We didn’t do as good a job with that as we should have. But, on the flip side, usually if you make nine (three-pointers) for us, I’m thinking we can live with that. You look at it from the score – you can’t ever do this, I’m not saying this was the difference in the game, or it may have looked like we played well – but from the field, we actually competed with them pretty good. We just didn’t get to the free-throw line, and we fouled so much because they controlled the glass, and that was the difference in the game.”

On foul trouble …

“I don’t think it impacted the game. The thing about it is the two times that we had took him out though, we didn’t get the ball across half court because (Ashton) Hagans stole it from somebody. They kind of smelled blood a little bit, or he did, whenever we didn’t have our primary handler in the game.”

On how tough it is for Dedric (Lawson) to have multiple guys to deal with …

“It’s tough. Dedric (Lawson) played well tonight. He played well, he didn’t make a lot of shots, but there’s a reason why he didn’t. We’re obviously very light in the butt to put it mildly, in going in as big, heavy bodies and men. You’re going against a fifth-year guy, and PJ (Washington) is beyond his years physically, and Nick (Richards) is, as well. Of course, EJ (Montgomery) is going to be terrific. Basically, we’ve got one guy ready to go against that, and that’s an awful lot to ask from one guy.”

On what he saw of (Tyler) Herro’s defense …

“I thought he did a good job on (Lagerald) Vick, really good job. I thought he denied him the ball. We tried to fake-screen him a few times and do some different things, and he always seemed to get through it. I think he’s a very active, very good player. When I say underrated, he may be touted as being great defensively. I don’t know, I’m not here. I don’t know if you guys cover him closely and know that. But, the reality of it is, from my vantage point, he looked that role tonight.”

On what he saw from Marcus (Garrett) tonight …

“He got to the basket two or three times early, and tried to score late and they blocked his shot. We’re not going to play against a lot of teams – that’s one thing about our league. Our league has some length, but they don’t have length like (Nick) Richards, at least since all the big guys in our league seem like they are getting hurt. He didn’t have his best game, but still, we’ve got to live with that. If we’re going to play Marcus (Garrett), we’ve got to live with him trying to score over length from three or four feet, and it just didn’t happen tonight.”

On whether foul trouble affected Marcus (Garrett)’s defense …

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t even think that registered with him.”

On this loss not being the end of the world …

“It’s not. Cal, I’m sure, would tell his team that this doesn’t really mean anything. I don’t know who they play on Tuesday, but that’s actually a big game. Whoever you play on Tuesday, or Monday, or whoever you’re playing – for us, it’s Tuesday – we can’t fret about this. Now, we came here to win, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s not like it’s the end of the Earth. You should still accomplish what our team goals are, and certainly losing today doesn’t help with that, but it doesn’t destroy it by any stretch.”

On the atmosphere tonight …

“It was good. It’s good. It’s no Allen Fieldhouse, but it’s good. The reality of it is, it’s a terrific atmosphere, and I said before the game, this is why you go to Kentucky and go to Kansas. Of course, you guys play in a bunch of huge games, as well. It’s terrific, but I didn’t think it had anything to do with our play tonight. I thought we actually handled the atmosphere pretty good. In the second half, there was about a three- or four-minute stretch where it got away from us, but for the most part, that isn’t what affected us as much as their length did.”

On appreciating how this game is good for college basketball …

“I can appreciate how good it is for the Big 12 and the SEC leagues as wholes. I don’t even know who won the (Big 12/SEC Challenge). I have no idea who won the other games. I would say that sometimes, and Cal goes through this, I would think, sometimes Kentucky has to do things they may not want to do, but it’s good for the whole. I think that’s kind of where we are too. It’s good for the whole. You’ve got to do this for your respective leagues. Even though I wish it could happen in December, but now, with so many league games, you can’t do that. There are no time slots with bowl games and all that stuff. It needs to be covered. One day, on ESPN, it was an infomercial for both leagues, so it is positive.”

On if the team feels improved …

“I hope so. I don’t know right now off the top of my head. Seeing (Quentin Grimes) make some shots obviously is a bonus. Ochai (Agbaji) is going to be a really good player. He’s played five games now and was rated 353 last year, and now we need him to play well to win at Rupp. That’s one thing you ask for the kid. I don’t know if there’s anything definite that will definitely make us better.”

Dedric Lawson

On decision to transfer to Kansas …

“It was a big decision. It’s something you dream of as a kid. I cherish it even more getting to play against PJ Washington, he’s like a little brother to me. It was fun playing. We wanted to win, but it’s not the end of the world. 

On differences defending PJ Washington and Reid Travis …

“(Reid) Travis was a more of a back-to-the-basket guy. He wanted to be physical, but PJ (Washington) was more finesse. I knew he loved to jab and go middle, and things like that. Those were the main differences in guarding those two players. Both of them are great players.”

On how difficult it was having Travis and Washington on the court …

“It was definitely tough having two bigs like that. We play a small-ball lineup and things like that, so I was guarding PJ (Washington), (Reid) Travis, and sometimes Nick (Richards). So, that’s just something you have to step up to the plate and do. You can’t make any excuses, you just have to get it done.”

On Travis and Washington’s competitiveness …

“Something you can’t teach is length and (athleticism), and those guys were very athletic. They went to the glass very hard, and our guys competed. At the end of the day, our guys competed. The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but we’re back to the drawing board getting ready for Texas. 

On Coach Self’s message …

“Like I said, it’s not the end of the world. He said he wasn’t discouraged with us, but we made some bonehead plays towards the end of the game and things like that. That’s something we have to learn from going forward. It’s just that simple.”

On if it felt crowded for him on the floor …

“They definitely threw a lot of bodies at me. The times when I scored, I felt like I was one-on-one. Some of the times there was more congestion than others. They did a good job one time at the end of the shot clock, caught it on EJ Montgomery, and they shrunk the floor. Things like that, you’ve got to give them credit. They came a long way from earlier in the year. They’re a very good defensive team.”

On the atmosphere of Rupp Arena …

“It was wonderful.”

On what has affected Kansas being 1-4 on the road …

“We just let them get away. There’s nothing that we can’t fix going forward. It’s not too late to make an adjustment and to come out victorious in league play.”

On what to take away from tonight …

“Just to enjoy the experience, really. You don’t get too many opportunities to play against Kentucky, especially in a great facility. This is one of the legendary facilities in college. You just have to take that and learn from it – learn from the game and different teams, and things like that. They played hard. You have to give our guys credit. We just need to stay to the game and watch film to get better.”

Quinton Grimes

On the atmosphere of Rupp Arena …

“It was great.”

On what Kansas did defensively around the three-point line during the first half …

“We were just going off of the scouting reports. Keldon (Johnson) is a really good three-point shooter and Tyler Herro was a really good player, really good three-point shooter. So, we were trying to go with the screen and make sure we contested them, put the ball on the court, and forced them to make a decision for their other teammates.”

On how the atmosphere played a factor in the outcome of the game …

“I didn’t think it was a problem until they started making threes down the stretch, then it started getting loud. I thought we kind of maintained it. We had good defensive composure and kept the crowd out of the game.”

On how big foul trouble was tonight …

“It was big because Marcus (Garrett) is one of our best defenders on our team, if not the best on our team. Seeing him in foul trouble, you can’t really be as active. Devon (Dotson), just same thing. Pressuring the guards, he needs to ease away from that when he gets in foul trouble. It definitely hurt us a little bit.”

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