Men's Basketball Head Coach Bill Self Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 22, 2007


Kansas Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Bill Self

On the threat Baylor poses after its loss to Oklahoma:
“Well they are dangerous, period. I don’t know if what happened to them the other night makes them more dangerous, but they have six guys that go out and score 20 on any night and they have balance just like us. They shoot the three very well and their guards are very quick, so they are a dangerous team. They have been close in a lot of games. They were close at Oklahoma State, at Kansas State and against A&M. Really, Oklahoma is the only team that has handled them in league play.”

On Baylor’s Kevin Rogers and his connection with Darrell Arthur:
“We recruited him. I don’t remember how it played out, but we thought Kevin was a good prospect. I saw Kevin and Darrell play a lot in the summer and the fall, but I don’t remember seeing them play a game during the high school season. I think they’ll be excited to play against each other. “

On the job Coach Scott Drew has done at Baylor:
“They have done a good job recruiting. They have good players and they are close to getting them to the point he had envisioned them being. They have just dropped some close games away, but their talent level is not going away. They are still young and are going to get better. They have some guys coming next year with a lot of publicity. They have some good players. They are very good in the guard slot.”

“They are a player in the recruiting game. I would say that other schools in our league are aware of that. They are getting guys from the Big 12 region and some others from the Louisiana region who are serious difference makers. They are making a dent in this region. That is a serious compliment to their staff because of what happened four years ago. To be back to the point where they are competing for the high quality athletes that they are, it is only a matter of time before they start getting those guys consistently. I think their recruitment of Aaron Bruce was very good early. To me, Aaron Bruce is a legitimate big-time guard. To get him early was a big feather in their cap.”

On the connection existent between Baylor and Kansas for Darrell Arthur:
“I think that may be a little bit overblown. In his mind, it may be somewhat weird. In all honesty, kids from this area stay in the Big 12 region and more than times than not, the schools that heavily recruit them are schools in the league. I think this happens more often than you may think. In this case, since it was so blown up as Baylor vs. Kansas, there has been some more attention drawn to it, but I think it happens more than what you probably realize. Baylor did a good job recruiting him, so I know from Darrell’s standpoint, I can’t imagine there being any feelings about Baylor but positive. And from Baylor’s standpoint, he gave them every consideration. “

On what positives can be seen from the Texas Tech defeat:
“There are always learning experiences. We just didn’t play very well. I thought Texas Tech played very well. We shot the ball poorly, especially in tight. We had no patience offensively and wasted possessions, but that happens when you play on the road when you look across America. For us to be an elite team, we have to be able to handle that and understand what it takes to win on the road. In that game, we counted that we wasted 22 possessions where we did not do what we were supposed to do. That is certainly something we can learn from.”

On whether other teams may adopt Texas Tech’s strategy for the rest of the season:
“That can happen and that is why we need to get better in half-court execution. It interests me because when you get in the league, everyone says you have to play faster. We are playing too fast. We are trying to score early when it is not there and that is the type of thing we need to eliminate. A lot of times it won’t be there if your opponent sends three or four guys back and that is going to happen from time to time.”

On whether the bad possessions are the result of poor guard play:
“Well, I’d say for the bad possessions, it’s around 50-50. Julian Wright is a guard when he is out on the perimeter and collectively as a group, you could add up a lot of wasted possessions. But there were also some wasted possessions by our big guys. I would say a majority of them come from our guards and Julian.”

On the number of missed lay-ups against Texas Tech:
“I would say it was worse the other day than it had been, but we’ve been a poor lay-up team all along. We have got a lot more good looks than what it appears because we have missed a lot of lay-ups. We work too hard to get them and we have to take advantage of them. A couple of our guys are hurrying, not gathering and going strong to the hoop. Maybe they’re worried about getting a block, but that certainly has happened.”

On the success of the press defense:
“Our deal going in was to press on every made field goal. Well, we made a free throw with 19 minutes left in the first half and didn’t get another one. On the one made free throw that we did press, we actually almost got a steal. Late, we picked up and pressed, which was somewhat out of desperation, but that was misleading. First, we had four guards in the game and secondly, Texas Tech was not trying to score. We could not have done that from a conditioning standpoint for the entire game. And when teams stop attacking the basket, you can gamble and miss and you won’t get burned as often. That is one reason why it did look more effective.”

On the Texas Tech fans storming the court:
“I think the storming court deal is getting old with us. We’ve lost since I’ve been here I don’t know how many league games, including several at home, but it seems like they storm the court all the time when we lose. I am all for enthusiasm. I think it is great for college basketball. I am not knocking storming the court. I just wish that security was such that when you storm the court, you cannot get close to the players. I wish the security would limit the fans storming the court to the areas where they cannot interact with the players. What is going to happen is that a student is going to hit a player and then someone is going to wind up on the floor. We’ve already seen it happen in football when Nebraska and Missouri played. If there is just anyway so that fans can’t storm from the behind the bench, that would be good. Frustration does set in after a bad loss and I just don’t want to see something boil over into a bad situation. I think if you were to talk our Administration or anyone else’s, they would want to guarantee the players’ safety and a safe environment. That is the most important thing. College campuses have been fortunate that more incidents haven’t occurred.”

On whether the team over thinks things on the offensive end:
“This is a team with outstanding individual talent and we have very good balance. Because of our balance, it is the blessing we have right now. But it can also be a negative because you have good enough players, who when it’s not their night, go ahead clip off and do some things that the guy sitting next to them would be much better off doing. Most teams just have option `A’ and option `B”. I’ve heard some people tell me we have seven starters and when you have seven starters, guys have to understand that some nights it’s going to be a different guy and that doing other things may be more important for that game. It’s a fine line and that is where understanding basketball and basketball IQ is important. We want to put the defense at a disadvantage so that we have guys who are capable of taking a shot. If we do that like we did last year, we’ll be a much better team. We know the strength of our team is inside. Yet we did not get Sasha Kaun, who leads the Big 12 in field-goal percentage, a touch until three minutes left in the first half. That is ridiculous. In my opinion, that is us not taking advantage of what is an advantage for us. We have to understand what our strengths are and take advantage of them. I think that’s why we wasted so many possessions against Texas Tech.”