Roy Williams talks KU, plus videos, quotes and notes from Thursday's media day in St. Louis
5:38 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
We're going to wrap up the live blog from here at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Be sure to check back to KUsports.com for additional coverage in the next day, which will include the Cram Session, a breakdown of NC State from KU walk-on Jordan Juenemann and additional stories from Gary Bedore, Tom Keegan and Matt Tait.
5:33 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Journal-World photographer Nick Krug just posted his photo gallery from today's practices.
Here are a few of the photos in the gallery:
5:26 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Travis Releford talked about potentially guarding NC State three-point specialist Scott Wood, who has made 42 percent of his threes this year (93 of 223).
"(Coach) hasn't really said who is going to be guarding who, but I'm sure I'll be switched up on (Wood) because of how we play defense," Withey said. " ... It's going to be real interesting, because they play two bigs at the same time, and we do too. Jeff (Withey) will be able to actually be in the game more because of the size (match-up)."
5:06 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Here's a quick video from Matt showing KU's practice today.
4 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
KU practice just completed here with a thunderous dunk from Justin Wesley.
I wanted to post a short audio clip of North Carolina coach Roy Williams talking about the possibility of playing KU on Sunday.
Williams, who was in good spirits today, also told a good story about meeting up with a KU fan on his walk this morning. Definitely something you'll want to listen to.
3:32 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
Just finished up in the NC State locker room about an hour ago and a couple of things were abundantly clear:
• When asked where he thought NC State might have an advantage over Kansas, Wolfpack big man Richard Howell said: "We think we're quicker than Kansas and we hope to use that in our favor."
• Lots of questions to the NC State players were about what they did differently during their run in the ACC & NCAA Tournaments ... The answer? Confidence. "We're a totally different team than we were during ACC ball," Howell said. "The only thing we're concerned about is what's ahead."
• One more note from Howell: "We don't feel like we've played a team yet like Kansas."
• One more point of emphasis ... A lot of people want to talk about the match up between KU & NC State big men, but there are a lot of Wolfpack players who believe the point guard match-up between KU's Tyshawn Taylor & NC State's Lorenzo Brown. Both are long, tall, athletic PGs who can both score and set the table.
3:30 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
And here's the audio from KU coach Bill Self from the podium today.
3:21 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Here's audio from Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford during their time at the podium today.
3:10 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Just back from the KU locker room, and we'll have some quotes later from Travis Releford and (back by popular demand) a scouting report of NC State from KU walk-on Jordan Juenemann.
Before that, though, I'll be posting some audio from KU coach Bill Self and players Travis Releford and Thomas Robinson at the podium. Look for those shortly.
2:15 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Here are some notes from NC State coach Mark Gottfried:
• Gottfried says his team has kept getting better. It lost a lot of games against tough teams early. His team has defended better as of late.
• Gottfried says every time you watch Kansas, you gain more respect for its players. What Gottfried likes about KU is that it just finds ways to win. Gottfried thinks that's a trademark of Bill Self's teams.
• NC State's players already have great respect for Jeff Withey, because they have played North Carolina's John Henson, and Withey has more blocks than him. Thomas Robinson, meanwhile, is grown man. He's physical and can manhandle you for position. It's hard to get him off of where he wants to be. Teams in the Big 12 have tried nearly everything to slow him down. KU's big men will be a big challenge for NCSU.
2 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Some great stuff from Roy Williams at the podium, who appeared to be in a great mood. Here are some highlights.
• UNC coach Roy Williams says he really doesn't know if UNC point guard Kendall Marshall will play. He has a strong inclination that he won't play, though. Marshall can't brush his teeth yet. Williams said if Marshall comes into the room Friday and says he feels great and can do 10 one-handed push-ups without any pain, then Williams will probably play him.
Marshall, though, has not participated in one play, has not passed one ball and hasn't participated in practice (other than shooting one-handed shots on the side) since he was injured last weekend.
Only five people will make the decision on whether he'll play: him, his parents, the doctor and Williams, and the coach says it's probably in that order.
Williams said if Marshall can't go, Stillman White will play in his place. As long as White's heart doesn't pass out before he gets on the court, Williams joked that UNC will start with five guys on the court.
Williams isn't sure about Marshall for any game past Friday. Williams just does not know.
• Roy says he loves the University of Kansas. It's not immoral to love two institutions. Roy saw a guy on his walk this morning. The guy said, "Rock Chalk" to him. Roy responded with, "Go KU."
Roy's a Kansas fan, but right now, he's a North Carolina fan first. It was the other way around for 15 years.
Williams says he'd be ecstatic to meet KU in the Elite Eight, because that means his team would have made it there.
Though Williams said he'd like everything to be about basketball this weekend, he knows that isn't possible with the personal connections he has to KU and North Carolina State.
1:34 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller said UNC point guard Kendall Marshal tried some shooting at practice on Thursday, but the players were still unsure of whether or not he'll play Friday against Ohio.
1:32 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
North Carolina forward John Henson says his injured wrist feels a little better each day. He's resting it and icing it, but it's improving.
1:20 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Welcome to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, site of Kansas' Sweet 16 game against North Carolina State on Friday.
Today is media day, where each team has a meeting with reporters and also an open practice in front of the fans.
KU's schedule looks like this:
2:30-3 p.m. — Interviews with reporters
3:10-4 p.m. — Open practice
We'll keep the updates going throughout the day on the blog here. North Carolina coach Roy Williams will take the podium at 1:30 p.m., so I'll be interested to see what he says.
Right now, NC State is practicing in front of me. To give you a feel for the setup, here's a panoramic view of the Edwards Jones Dome from press row.
Be sure to check back for more updates throughout the day.