Press conference transcript: No. 4/4 Kansas preview
Jan. 18, 2013
Head Coach Rick Barnes
On the Kansas game (Saturday, 1 p.m. CT, CBS): I think that any time of the year when you are not playing the way you want to, you want to play against the best teams. We look at it is as an opportunity to get better. Kansas is an outstanding team. You look at the older guys on their team and they have been through it all.
On Kansas’ development: I don’t know what the player’s plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. When you have older guys and you can keep a consistency where the older guys set the tone, they show the younger players what it is all about.
On Sheldon McClellan: He is constantly working hard. I think he understands what we need from him. I have said before, I think the worst thing a coach can do is not be relentless and let players stay where they are. You have to look at a guy and see where he can be, and it is my job as a coach to get him there. He has made a great effort. It is not going to be an over night thing.
On improving in the future: If they aren’t going to do what we ask them to do, we aren’t going to win. We don’t have a big margin of error. If we continue to give up second shots and not do the things that are going to make us more precise on the offense, we aren’t going to win. Our [defensive] numbers are pretty impressive, but when you look at it from a coach’s standpoint, we aren’t nearly where we should be. It takes all five guys. I would say Sheldon and Javan [Felix] are the two guys that have to take it to a different level defensively as far as getting out of their comfort zone.
On previous team’s set up: The team that went to the Final Four [in 2003] was an outstanding team and the team that should have gone to the Final Four [in 2006] was also a great team. Those guys knew what needed to happen to win. The difference in those groups was we had guys who wanted to score. That is something you need. Guys that really want to score hunt and look for shots, because they know it’s not easy.
On the importance of crowd energy: I don’t think players should allow the atmosphere to dictate how they are going to play. We would love to have great crowds and we have fans at Texas that are never going to give up on these guys, but the fact is, regardless of the situation you have to play. That would be on my list of excuses column. We all like having a great crowd, we wont deny that.