Men's Basketball Head Coach Bill Self Jan. 18 Press Conference

Jan. 18, 2007


Head Coach Bill Self

On the motion offense run by Texas Tech:
“People run a variation of motion, like Missouri, but Coach Knight’s is very detailed and offensively designed to take advantage of defensive breakdowns. It is predicated a lot on reads. There are not too many people who can teach it, plus you need your older guys to teach your younger guys and you need to have guys in school in for four years. It wears you down defensively because you have to guard a lot of screens and movement. His team is in great shape. When it works, it is as pretty to watch as anything in basketball. One thing I think we do, because we have so many big guys, is make our opponents’ big guys tired because we’re constantly making them chase ball screens. Texas Tech makes you chase five guys in motion all the time and that wears on you over 40 minutes. I am sure Coach Knight tweaks everything to his personnel. Just last year, they had two real good scorers, and this year, they have three, which I am sure helps a lot.”

“If you study motion offense, it is random. It is five guys passing and cutting, taking advantage of the defense and its lapses. Our offense is more predicated on knowing what we want to do. We want to go to a certain place. Motion is the easiest to prepare for and the hardest to play. You can tell a team that they play motion, but you don’t know what they are going to do next if they run it right, and Texas Tech certainly does.”

On the team’s balance:
“I think the strength of the balance is that when you have guys who are your primary scorers suffer an off-night, you can still win. The weakness is maybe in a close ballgame, who the guy is you are going to go to. With us, I think that is Brandon Rush or Mario Chalmers. Every team in the country does not have a script about who is going to shoot here or score at this point in the game. You need guys to step up. Looking around our league, Texas has three scorers and Oklahoma State has its two primary scorers, but there are a lot of teams that have tremendous balance. I think that is the best way to play. All the best teams I have ever coached had guys who averaged under 15 points per game. In a tight ballgame, it could lead to indecision, but so far this year, I would not say that is the case.”

On the team’s aggressiveness:
“I feel that the way that we play, regardless of the offense we run, we are still going to have guys scoring the same amount of points. We put an emphasis on getting the ball into the paint off the bounce. When you do that, I feel like it is more equal-opportunity than running screens to get a guy a shot. Running screens is great as long as you have guys who can shoot well off screens. Some guys are just not that good at shooting off screens. I think the mindset of everyone being aggressive does tend to lead to balance. My best team ever was at Tulsa and our leading scorer averaged 19 minutes and scored 13 points per game. Over the course of a season, I feel like guys enjoy playing in a balanced season.”

On the team’s accelerated travel plans due to inclement weather:
“I don’t think it will affect us at all. We’ll get out there and have a team dinner, which is something we haven’t done as a group. I can’t imagine it being any big deal at all.”

On any carry-over from the loss at Lubbock two years ago:
“I think the biggest carryover effect through that game was that we lost Christian Moody and right when Christian came back, we lost Keith. I think injuries had more of a play on that than anything. That was a tough one. We played well that game against a team that played a team that went to the Sweet 16. The thing that sticks out to me is that on that last possession, Darryl Dora steps out and nails that three-pointer and we weren’t thinking of Dora as a guy to shoot a three-pointer.”

On what the team learned with its road victory over Iowa State:
“I would think that we have a good idea of the quality of opponent we’ll be playing at their place. I thought we played very well at South Carolina in a tough atmosphere and also at Ames. I don’t think if we’re not successful that it is because we were not prepared or took the team lightly.”

On the characteristics of a Bobby Knight team:
“They’re good in transition. They will be the best offensive team we’ve played this year in terms of execution. They will play faster than you think and want to get up and down the floor. Defensively, they switch a lot of screens. They are a good, sound team .”

On the progression of freshman Sherron Collins:
“He has scored in double figures four of the last five games, but I didn’t anticipate him putting us on his back in those last five minutes against Missouri. He and Darrell Arthur combined for 17 of our last 19 points, and I didn’t anticipate that.”

On the team’s most consistent player:
“Before the last two games, I would say Mario Chalmers was our most consistent player. When you really break it down since we went to South Carolina, I think Brandon Rush has played as well as anyone. He has knocked down some shots and really been a force at both ends of the floor.”

On Chalmers’ recent play:
“Mario has gotten much tougher since he’s been here. He’s been through this before and we spoke for a while yesterday. I am not the least bit disappointed in Mario. I am pleased with him and there is no way one poor game should jolt you, because it is bound to happen again. He just needs to respond. I liked his attitude after Missouri because he was happy that Sherron Collins came through. He knew it was not his night, but he was glad that Sherron stepped up. He’s shown the most poise of anyone on our team down the stretch of big games, though he didn’t like not being out there against Missouri and I can understand why. I don’t think it will happen too often again.”

On facing the all-time winningest coach:
“I haven’t thought about it too much, but I thought about him attaining that mark. It is an unbelievable accomplishment, not only because of the games, but to stay in this business that long. He and Coach K at Duke are going to set records that no one will ever touch because they’ll be coaching for so long.”

On Texas Tech guard Jarrius Jackson:
“I do not think there are 10 guards in the nation that are better than Jarrius. He will definitely be an all-league player. He has a chance for conference player of the year. He is one of the best guards out there. I do not know if he gets the attention he deserves.”

On the team’s 10-game winning streak:
“When you win 10 in a row, sometimes you don’t play well but you are playing inferior competition. I thought Boston College, South Carolina and all our league wins have been quality wins. I think we’ve got five quality wins since we got going and I think we’re playing much better.”

On the team’s readiness:
“I’d say we’re a month away from being consistent, being tough and doing the things we need to do to become a complete team. I don’t necessarily think that is so bad because it may allow us to peak at the right time. I still don’t feel we are where we can get even though we haven’t played poorly. Still, I think there is another step for this team and playing away from home will do wonders for us. That’s what we did last year and hopefully this year’s team will be the same.”