Coach Williams' Post-Game Comments
after Kansas 97, Central Missouri State 70

courtesy of Jack Alden

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“It’s a stretch here of five games. Central Missouri and then the other four all in the top 20 or 21. This was good for us tonight. It’s hard to play without Kirk out there. I kept looking out there, and I kept thinking he’s sitting over here beside me. He gives you so much stability. We were a little hesitant with most of our passes. I was not pleased with our turnovers, particularly in the first half. Yet you’ve got to give Central Missouri, Kim’s club, credit. They play really hard, and they made a bunch of threes early in the game. After that we did a little better job. I think they shot a great percentage from three. The first four or five shots they made were all threes. But it was a workmanlike fashion. Jeff Hawkins, Bryant Nash, Michael Lee, Moulaye, and Jeff Graves had an opportunity to play a little more tonight. They’re gonna have to play more, and they’re gonna have to play successfully when they do if we’re gonna be the kind of team we want to be.

“I think Aaron was more aggressive. He was looking for his shot when it was open. He took one shot I really wish he hadn’t taken, but other than that I like him to be aggressive. And without Kirk, we did need somebody to make some outside shots to open things up for us a little bit more inside. Aaron understood that. Aaron has shot the ball much better this pre-season. He hadn’t shot it well in the first four games, and he knows that. He’s a smart kid, but he’s also a tough kid. He’s not afraid to step up there and try to make plays, and I think that’s the way he was trying to play tonight.

“The only shot (Wayne Simien) missed (10-11) he shouldn’t have taken. He dribbled it in there and double pumped to try to get it off. Ten for 10 is fantastic, 10 for 11 is fantastic. And that was in only 22 minutes of action. I was trying to keep his minutes down. He played the least amount of minutes of all the starters in the first half. I think he only had 13 minutes at halftime, and then I think he got nine in the second half because with the ankle bothering him, it’s something we’re trying to be very guarded about.

“Oregon is the seventh ranked team in the country, playing in their home area. It may not be their home arena, but it’s like us playing in Kemper. We’re pretty good over there, too. And you saw last night, North Carolina goes and plays in Illinois and Florida goes and plays in West Virginia. It’s a big-time test. We know it will be a big-time test. They’ve got some revenge on their minds, possibly, and they’re playing very well. We’re not playing as well, but we took a step forward tonight, and hopefully we’ll take another step forward Thursday and Friday. It’ll have to be our best game of the year. Somebody said it’ll be the largest crowd in the history of the state of Oregon to see a college basketball game. It’s fun to be a part of that, but we want to play well.”

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