Feb 15, 2014; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lon Kruger reacts from the sidelines against Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma won 77-74. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Say What? What Big 12 Coaches Are Talking About

Here is what some Big 12 men’s coaches had to say about their team’s recent performances with March, the month of basketball Madness,  just five days off:

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber on his team having to play a teams that have a week off with which to prepare:

“I hope the league looks at it. This (Kansas State’s game at Oklahoma on Saturday) is our second game we’ve had to play someoneoff a bye week on the road..If we are going to have a good league, we need to have a balanced schedule for everyone.” Editor’s note: Oklahoma had a 19-point lead at the half in Norman on Saturday and  beat Kansas State 86-73.

Oklahloma head coach Lon Kruger on his team getting inspiration defensively from the way Kansas State plays:

“I think clearly, they (Kansas State) are the best in the conference, if not the country, in terms of playing each possession defensively like it’s the most important one, and our guys recognize that. We said throughout the week that we have to play with more intensity and Kansas State is the standard.”

OU’s Kruger on having the week off (from Saturday to Saturday) to prepare for Kansas State:

“The week off was good for us. The way the guys practiced, we had our best week of practice on the year. Monday we knew we had toi inprove some games, and I thought we transferred a lot of that to the game.This group all year long has really understood that we have to keep getting better, and we have consistently done that.”

Kruger on Kansas’ ability to bury teams with scoring runs:

“Kansas is very tough (at Allen Fieldhouse) for a lot of reasons. Bill (Self) does a great job, they are very talented, the atmosphers is great and the difference is in the runs they make. That’s what you have to try to avoid. It’s easier said than done. I thought, for the most part, we handled the ball well and made tough plays but, again, those two or three stretches is why KU is so tough.”

Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford on his team snapping it seven-game losing streak with a win over Texas Tech:

“It was fun to see them playing hard and together. We saw a few guys smiling out there, which we hadn’t seen for a while. It was a different feel. However, like I told the guys, this is one game. We know all too well that this is fragile, and we can’t exhale. We need toi continue to have a sense of urgency and play as a team moving forward.”

Ford on the return of Marcus Smart after a three-game suspension:

“Generally, I thought he was terrific. You look at the stat sheet, and that says enough. But that’s what we expect him to be – a stat sheet stuffer – a guy who can fill it up in the rebound colkumn, the points column, the steals column and the assist column. When he has 16 points, 10 assists, six steals two blocks and three rebounds, that’s the kind of performance we need. That’s what we’ve been looking for.”

Kansas head coach Bill Self on winning 10 consecutive Big 12 championships:

“We’ve had so many good players. It’s been a great run. You don’t win unless you have better guys than the other guys, and we have had better guys. I’m thrilled to death, and I’m happy a bunch of young kids are growing up, We are finding different ways to win and we are getting a little bit tougher, but we are not near as tough as we need to be – but we nave become mentally tough down the stretch.”

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on his team’s play defensively:

“I’ve never had a group that was worse defensively than what we are.”

Huggins on how a week off can hurt, not help a team:

“We had a week off (before playing Baylor), and I didn;t think we had great energy (in the Baylor game). I kind of listened to “you’re kind of beat up and don’t go as hard (in practice),” when the reality is I should have grinded and grinded them, looking back.”



Tags: Bill Self Bruce Weber Kansas Jayhawks Kansas State Wildcats Lon Kruger Oklahokma State Cowoys Oklahoma Sooners Travis Ford

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