Coach Williams' Post-Game Comments
after Kansas 100, UMKC 46

courtesy of Jack Alden

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"Wayne’s shoulder was dislocated. It’s the same shoulder that he had surgery on at the end of his senior year in high school. Right now the shoulder’s back in place, and they’ve got him strapped up. We’re gonna have another doctor’s appointment tonight. It’s too early to say what might happen. It’d all be guesses at this time. Again, we’re gonna have him examined again tonight, and my guess is, just from talking to Dr. McGee, that the next week to ten days nothing will happen, and we’ll see how he responds to some rehab during that time. But any predictions or prognostications would be foolish. Nobody knows. If the doctors don’t know and I don’t know, there’s no sense in trying to guess what might happen after that.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever coached any kid that’s a finer kid than that kid is. You hate for those kinds of things to happen, and you especially hate for it to happen to somebody who has been through some tough times with some injuries over his career. I was glad he was able to come back out to the bench, and people showed how much they care. If it had been in the field house, it might have been the loudest roar I had ever heard in my life. I told his mom and dad, trying to joke a little bit, I said the rehab will probably be a lot quicker than it was the first time because he just had Leavenworth High people praying for him. Now he’s got the whole Kansas nation. It’s tough for me to even focus on the rest of the game. He goes up to block the shot, and hit his hand on the rim. And that jarring motion there is what popped it out.

“I told ‘em, it’s gotta be a workmanlike effort. It’s hard to talk to ‘em at halftime when Wayne’s laying over on the table over there, and everybody’s concerned about him. But a lot of things in life aren’t easy to go through. Everybody else had to do their part. I really don’t know that much about the rest of the basketball game, except Kirk shot it great; Keith was all over the backboards.... But we out-manned them. We’re more gifted than they are. A workmanlike effort is probably the best thing to say about it.

Jeff Graves had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and I told him he’s got to be a player. I told him that at halftime. He’s got to use his strength offensively, too. One time he has the ball a foot from the basket, and goes up and tries to reverse it on the other side. Then all of a sudden you lose your height and you lose your power, instead of exploding straight up. But Jeff’s got to be a bigger player for us; he’ll be more important to us. He has continued his work. He’s lost probably 24, 25 pounds since he got to school this fall, and now he’s got to concentrate better, be in the right spot and not make some of the silly mistakes that he’s made, because now we have to count on him a heck of a lot more than we did previously. You look at the 12 rebounds, and that’s the thing that’s got to be important to us. Then the other thing Jeff’s gotta do is make sure he doesn’t turn the ball over. Sometimes he has a tendency to try to force things, and that gets him in trouble. But he is a load inside, he’s a big strong youngster, he has some ability, and if he can do a little better job of thinking the game and making the plays that he can make, then he’s really gonna be able to help us.

“I tried during halftime to make (Bryant Nash) so mad at me that he’d quit thinking about his shot and just shoot the ball, because I can’t jump into anybody’s brain. You gotta shoot the sucker. If you’re gonna shoot it, you gotta feel like you’re gonna make it. If not, don’t shoot the sucker. One time, Kirk Hinrich’s got a wide open shot, Bryant was more open and he passed it to him, and I told Bryant it didn’t look like he thought he was gonna make it, and you can’t play like that. But I was pleased with the way he bounced back in the second half. Everybody on our team’s got to pick it up, because we know we’re not gonna have (Wayne) for the next two or three games, for sure, so everybody’s got to pick up and play better, whether it’s the biggest guy or the smallest guy.

“We’ll be a little short-handed (Monday at Iowa State), but you’ve still gotta go play. They’re not gonna let us postpone it or anything like that. But as I said earlier, everybody’s got to pull together and do a little better job.”

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