On being ranked preseason No. 1:"You have no control over it, so if you are cringing then your players will probably feel that. Do we deserve it? No. I don't know who does. The only reason we are ranked preseason No. 1 is because we have experience returning and people put a lot of stock into that. We don't deserve it. But I think it puts some pressure on us to play to it, which will be good for us over the long run."
On "role players": "Everybody on every team is a role player. Certain guy's role is to score, be your best defender. Certain guys roles are to play defense and chase down loose balls. Everybody has a role. I would say that Christian (Moody) is a prototypical utility type man. He can do a lot of everything. He is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type of guy."
On the freshmen's progress: "The freshmen are coming along fine. But I have said all along that it is going to be January before you are able to switch defenses. There are a lot of things that those guys aren't ready to do yet. I think that Russell is the only one who is not overwhelmed right now. For the other three bigs, it's overwhelming. There has been pressure put on them. All-three are going to be good players."
On Vermont: "They are 36th or 37th in the AP poll and if you look at some of the teams they are ranked above, you think that this will be a very tough opener, which it will be. The nervous thing is that we don't have anything on tape except for the last few games of last year. We have enough stuff from last year, but if they change a lot of stuff, we will be on the fly. They have two great players and one of them is exceptional. Coppenrath is a potential first round draft pick. The game is in slow motion to him, he never gets in a hurry. He is really, really good. He would be a first team all-leaguer in our league. He is that type of guy. Sorrentine is very quick, heady, kind of a Steve Nash type guard that can shoot it. He will be one of the better guards we play against this year. Then they have a number of players that all play their role. They are all going to score between five and nine points a game, they can shoot the ball and stretch the defense. They have a really nice team."
On KU's defensive stoppers: "Our best perimeter defender needs to be Keith (Langford). Then I would say that Mike Lee needs to be a stopper. When I say stopper, I mean that if you put him on one guy, you cut him out. Our two best on the ball defenders need to be Aaron (Miles) and Russell Robinson, because they can guard the best player but also know the scouting report. I would say they are the best two in charge of space and guarding the ball. Christian is ready to guard a very good player."
On J.R. Giddens' defensive progress: "He is probably not where he was at the end of the year. He will get it though. J.R. is the type of guy who needs repetition. He is trying. But I would say that with a lot of our guys we need to get better defensively and he is one of them. He can learn to use his length. But at the end of last year he was a pretty good defender."
On the first 10 games being at home: "In a perfect world, I wouldn't want it this way. The way I am looking at it is, if you play well and generate some momentum and energy and young guys get confidence. I would say that it is a bonus. I don't think it will make us as battle tested as we need to be, but that will still happen with some of the road games we have in January."
On the Jayhawks' strengths: "Experience, leadership, a go to guy in the post and a guy that can really score on the perimeter. Hopefully it will get to where defense and rebounding will be a strong suit, but right now we are not there. I watched the games on TV last night and nobody is ready to play. There are very few teams out there right now that are ready to play this soon in the season as far as being a total team."