Bill Self Press Conference Quotes, 2-2

Feb. 2, 2005


Head Coach Bill Self
On senior guard Aaron Miles’ shooting:
“He is still a pass-first guy, but so much of it is confidence. He has shot the ball great, but he is seeing a big basket right now. It is not one of those things where he is taking a ton of shots, he is taking good shots. He is still pass first, but he has been a legitimate shooting threat all year long. That is something from a confidence standpoint he has not done consistently throughout his career. The natural progression is to get better as you go through school, and he has certainly gotten better but we have encouraged him to be more of an offensive threat. We think that if a team has to defend all five spots you will run a better offense, so we need him to be aggressive.”

On senior forward Keith Landford driving to set up his teammates `shots:
“Defenses have a lot of strong help on Keith when he has the ball and is penetrating, which opens up penetrate and pitch opportunities. That is why it is so important for Keith to be aggressive, because he can create for others because of the respect that people have for him getting to the basket.”

On Miles getting the respect he deserves:
“That is one reason that I think he is having a great year, he uses stuff like not getting respect as motivation. If you really stop and look around the country, there are a lot of great guards and he is in that elite class. When guys are putting up 16-18 points a game and seven assist a game, those are numbers that catch peoples’ attention. Aaron is going to be a 10-point, seven-assist guy. I think to really appreciate him you have to study him and see him play a lot. The more you see him play, the more you appreciate him.”

On the biggest surprises/disappointments in the Big 12:
“I don’t know that there has really been a big surprise. I think at the midway point, Texas A&M has been a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure if this is a surprise or not, but Kansas State has really positioned themselves to have a really nice year in conference play. I don’t think there have been a lot of major surprises so far. Everything has gone, with the exception of a few teams, as the preseason projections said that would go.”

On KU’s lack of bench points against Missouri:
“It is not alarming, but surprising. Our starters played pretty well. I didn’t play our bench as much. I haven’t played them as much the last couple games. Mike Lee and Sasha Kaun were so good against Texas. Everybody played well in that game. The Missouri game was a game where our bench players plugged holes, filled in and didn’t have many scoring opportunities. I don’t think our bench played poorly, I just think they didn’t have as many opportunities against Missouri.”

On the energy of the team:
“I think that for about a 10 day window we played like a tired team. I don’t see how you could say that in the first half against Missouri that we played with incredible energy because I thought Missouri played with more energy than us. In the second half I thought we had more energy. In the games against Texas and Baylor, I thought we played with good energy. Hopefully we are turning the corner in that area.”

On Senior Forward Wayne Simien’s cast:
“When he wore the big cast it affected his free-throw shooting. He was shooting about 65 percent and he is usually an 85 percent shooter. I think now the cast he is wearing is much smaller. It is time for the small cast to come off. I think he won’t have to practice with the cast anymore. He will just get it taped until he is totally confident with it, then he will play without any tape.”

On Freshman Forward C.J. Giles’ chances of playing:
“It depends on if he practices. He probably won’t play unless he practices. If he isn’t prepared to play, I will not play him. I am certainly hopeful that he can practice in the next day or two.”

On the upcoming game at Nebraska:
“I think we learned a lot of things (from the first meeting). They are tough and (Joe) McCray is good. They isolate the post very well. They do a good job of defending especially, if you don’t execute. I think the biggest thing that we learned is that we know they can beat us. We know they can play with us. We know they are capable because they almost won here and we have to play very well to win at Lincoln.”

On the freshmen getting experience during Wayne Simien’s injury:
“I thought Wayne being out helped all of our young guys immensely. I thought Alex (Galindo) emerged and certainly Sasha (Kaun) showed signs (of improvement). C.J. (Giles) was much better and Darnell (Jackson) showed some flashes (of improvement). I think they all had opportunities, but you can’t play everybody and the opportunities now are limited. I think those minutes were very valuable to us.”