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Coach Williams' Post-Game Comments
after Kansas 69, Florida 63
courtesy of Jack Alden

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Box score

Season summary

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"I talked to the TV people before the game. They asked me if it would be high scoring or whatever. I told them I thought it would be a hard-fought battle with two teams really getting after it defensively. I was so impressed with Florida's defense in the Wake Forest game and the Boston college game, and I knew how they ended up the season last year. I sort of challenged our team to try to match that intensity on the defensive end. And I think if you look at their shooting percentage, I think that was something big in the game. We didn't do the best job on DeClercq because he was really, really difficult inside, and then Dan Cross really got it going in the second half, but he made a couple of them that were really good defense. Jacque had it all over him one time and he banks one in, and then Jerod was all over him and he shoots one in from deep for three. But still, I thought our defensive effort and Greg Ostertag's work on the boards was probalby the most pivotal points of the game.

"Jerod Haase was 1-6 at halftime and he had that look on his face that he gets sometimes where he feels like he's about ready to kill the wall or the bulding or himself, and I always wonder which one is gonna come first. But he made a big one early in the second half. Sean Pearson made a big one early that really gave us a lift and Billy Thomas made a three that was really good for us. For the most part we went to the free throw line down the stretch and made our free throws, and when it's that kind of game where the defensive effort is as intense as it was on both ends of the floor, one or two plays are going to be something that really sticks out. I think they cut it to six or seven at one point, and Jerod came down and hit a three, and I think that was really a big play.

"Greg Ostertag missed some easy shots. He had one in the second half that I screamed at him to dunk it, like I was the greatest dunker that ever lived. But it was something I wanted him to go up strong with it. He mad it really difficult for Dametri Hill inside because of his size, and even DeClercq, even though DeClercq has a way of backing you in and getting you on his back and getting some fouls called.

"One thing we tried to do was get it inside and use our size. We didn't do as good a job of that as we want to. We've gotta become a little sharper passing the ball, and we've got to execute a little better. The first half, about three possessions, I was about to lose it over there because we just didn't think. We didn't do what we were supposed to do, and all three times I believe if we'd have carried out the assignment, we'd have gotten a layup or at least gotten the ball inside. During one of the TV timeouts I told them maybe my expectations had gotten like the fans, maybe it was too high, that I shouldn't expect freshmen and sophomores to do good things in a big game like this. I was trying to challenge them a little bit, and right after that we went out and had a good spurt right before the half.

"I have a lot of respect for Lon (Kruger). I alway have, but even like him so much more than I did when he was at Kansas State. Not that he's changed, it's just because the nature of the game. It's hard to be really, really good friends with somebody that you're competing with so hard in your own league. Now, maybe I'm unusual that I shouldn't be that way, but I try to be nice to everyone, but Lon I have a lot of respect for what he's done and how quickly he's done it at Florida.

"I really think it's a little early (to be talking about KU making the Final Four). We've only played four games. We may all come down with the mumps tomorrrow, so I'm not concerned about that right now. We're less than a month into the season. I hope to have a birdie next July, but I'm not talking about that now, either."

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