Bill Self Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 3, 2011


Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self and players addressed the media about their upcoming game at Nebraska.

Press Conference Videos Coach Self Part I | Coach Self Part II | Little | Mc. Morris | Reed

Bill Self Press Conference

February 3, 2011

Head Coach Bill Self

On Brady Morningstar’s recent success:

“He only scored two points against K-State and that was just a lay-up. He was just as important in that game as he was in the other two. We need him to knock down shots, that’s something that he should be able to do, that’s what he’s done consistently over his career. He’s become very aggressive and certainly when you’re aggressive and you’re our best post feeder, that’s usually good for your offense, because guys have to guard you and that will open up passing lanes to the post.”

On working Travis Releford back into the rotation:

“Unfortunately for him, he turned his ankle pretty severely and missed the first five or six games of conference play. He’s still not 100 percent but we played him against Texas Tech and he did fine while he was out there. He made a couple of good passes and certainly didn’t hurt us at all when he was out there, but in tight games I don’t want to play six perimeter players. He’s probably going to have to get back in that mode of either beating Mario Little out or beating one of our perimeter players out, to be real candid with you. Certainly it hasn’t been from anything he’s done, it’s just been unfortunate for him because the timing was bad.”

On Tyshawn Tyler and Tyrel Reed’s injury situations:

I think Tyshawn is fine, but Tyrel has a sore foot. He’s been nursing a sore foot for a month or so. It bothered him for the first time in a game in Lubbock, so I cut back on his minutes. He’s still going to practice and he’s still going to play but he’s got a bone bruise, so the only thing that will heal it is time off, but we just don’t have time, so he’s going to have to play with it.”

On KU’s post players’ ability to penetrate:

“Those three (Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, and Thomas Robinson) don’t do that enough. Those three should be able to drive most bigs, without question. Even if they just drive them to the point where they can stop and change directions we should have an advantage there. Our whole deal is, catch it on the block and score with your back to the basket, or if you’re off the block, to face and put pressure on the defense. That’s how people get them in foul trouble, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be doing the same thing to other people.”

On Tyshawn Taylor’s defensive ability:

“I think Tyshawn is a fabulous defender for the majority of the possessions and an average defender for a few of them. He did a great job on (John) Roberson the other night but relaxed a couple times and he got six points. Against Jacob (Pullen), I thought he did a terrific job on him, but he relaxed a couple times or maybe a teammate didn’t trap the ball screen, so it doesn’t make him look good in the post game stats. He’s definitely one of the premier defenders in our league. I still think he can become a lot better, consistently, where he can take the other team’s point guard out every game. That should be a goal of his, and if he’s successful doing that then usually we’re going to be pretty good that day.”

On the connection between Tyshawn Taylor’s mental focus and his good performances:

“I think it’s a mental thing, just a relaxed thing (when he doesn’t perform well). He scored 13 points against K-State and was great and I thought he was just as good against Texas Tech and scored zero. To me that’s irrelevant, though. He didn’t turn it over either game and he took the other team’s point guard out. I know Roberson ended up getting numbers but still he did a good job on him in the part of the game when it mattered the most…I think he’s done a better job taking care of the basketball, he’s still carless but not near to the point he was earlier in the season. Certainly he’s become more consistent. His valleys haven’t been near as deep and maybe his peaks not quite as high, but he’s done a really good job on the offensive end making sure we get a shot.”

On Mario Little’s maturity level since his off-the-court incident:

“I’ve always thought Mario was a pretty mature kid. He seems to have a little bit different focus since that occurred and he’s very appreciative of being out there. I think he’s done a nice job so far. He’s a kid and when you look at it through his eyes, this is his opportunity to maybe do something that will warrant him having a career overseas. He’s not getting a lot of minutes but his attitude has been great, and that’s the area where I think he’s matured the most.”

On whether he believes Mario Little could have a long career oversees:

“Depending on which league I absolutely think so. He’s undersized but Mario puts up numbers. Shots per minute he would lead our team hands down and passes per minute he would be last place on our team. He’s a hungry guy, he’s a natural scorer, that’s what he does. A lot of times when he’s in the situations I put him in he doesn’t show what he can really do because that’s probably not what we want. He’s a natural scorer though, so he could play oversees for a long time.”

On Thomas Robinson’s offensive presence the last two games:

“I think he’s a little more focused than what he was. I think all guys play for themselves and they say they play for their teammates, and they say the play for their family. I think reality slapped him in the face, and I think he’s playing for much more than himself right now. It’s going to be his obligation in some way, shape, or form to make sure that his younger sister’s life is good beyond ages 10, 12, 15. He has a responsibility towards that and that’s what his mother would want. I see a pretty good focus in him. He’s making some of the same moves he made before, he’s just more aggressive right now in doing it. He’s still not finishing like he should. He’s missed some bunnies and things like that, but he’s putting himself in position to score and that’s what we want.”

On Thomas Robinson’s leadership:

“I think that maybe not from a verbal standpoint, but I think that guys look to him and he has provided his own leadership in his own way from a ‘lead by example’ standpoint.”

On Josh Selby’s offensive and defensive improvements:

“I think Josh has done well. He went through a phase when he was just trying to survive and he was just a jump shooter. He didn’t attack the basket but he made shots so he was okay with that. Then when you don’t make shots and you’re not in attack mode you don’t look very good and he went through that phase. Ever since the Texas game I told him I was going to force feed him to be aggressive. He’s got to be aggressive or I can’t play him. I really believe that he’s become more aggressive and been doing more things. He’ll shoot it better if he’s attacking the paint. He’ll pass it better if he’s attacking the paint. He’s one of those kids that can’t sit back and be a station to station player. So I think he’s done a pretty good job, he’s not selfish, he’s not taken an abundance of shots but he’s looking to score and that forces help so he can find other guys…He’s average defensively, which is a big step up from where he was and he’ll be pretty good by the time the season’s over. It’s new to him but he’s trying really hard, and I think he’s done some good things defensively. He’s not where he needs to be. I don’t look at our defense as much as individual as I look at it as a group. As a group, at times we’re terrific and at times we’re average.”

On KU’s transition game:

“We’re all out of control. We run over people more than any team in the country probably. I think against K-State they attempted seven charges in transition and got four or five of them. It wasn’t just Josh (Selby) it was everybody, we have to do a better job of staying under control.”

On Nebraska guard Lance Jeter:

“It seems like to me as he goes, so go the Huskers. They don’t score a lot of points as far as having one guy going out and getting 25. They have nights where they’re balanced and have guys scoring more than eight. It’s kind of like what we had in 2008 where our leading scorer averaged 13 and it could be a different guy each night. I certainly think that he’s a huge key to their team. He’s much improved over last year.”

On how he would evaluate KU’s defense:

“I think we’re a pretty good defensive team. Statistically we’re fine, we’re probably in the top ten in the country in several statistical areas. We’re not a clamp down group yet. It’s not like when the opponent gets the ball they say ‘Oh gosh, here we go again,’ but hopefully we can get to that point.”

On KU’s chasing a team for Big 12 title for the first time in several years:

If I’m not mistaken, we’ve won or tied for the league (title) six years in a row and there have been times when we’ve had to have something good happen in order for us to win it. The last couple years we’ve been pretty fortunate because we had basically led it from start to finish. Texas is playing good though, I don’t see them losing. I see them being favored in each of their remaining games and if anybody beats them it’s going to take a great effort. If they do lose they’re not going to lose many so we have no margin for error. The schedule has definitely tipped to their favor; they’ve already been to Lawrence, they’ve already been to College Station and they’ve already been to Stillwater. So they’ve been to some places that are historically tough to go in and come away with a ‘W’. Somebody is going to have to have a great effort in order to beat them, but if that’s the case then we just need to make sure we hold ground and the only way we know is to just take one game at a time and win each and every game. Getting a two or three game deficit to those guys may be too much to overcome.”

Senior forward Mario Little

On the team’s upcoming game against Nebraska:
“It’s the Big 12. You can’t take any games lightly. They’re a good team. They’re better this year than they were last year, and they always play us well at home.”

On his progression individually:
“I think I need to get in a little better shape and keep working.”

On the team’s recent emphasis of getting the ball inside early:
“We’re trying to play through the twins. When they establish a low post game, it opens it up for the guards. We’re trying to dump it in to them. They’re unselfish, so they’re not going to take every shot. They’ll take what the defense gives them, either kick it out to a shooter or drive.”

Senior guard Tyrel Reed

On the difference of being behind in the Big 12 standings:
“There’s no room for error. You have to be on top of your game the whole time. You can’t think about the other team. You can’t think about Texas right now. We can’t control what they do. We can only control ourselves, and that’s going out every night and playing the best that we can.”

On his injured foot:
“It’s been bothering me for quite a while. I’ve been trying to get as much rest as I can on it. I’ll probably be wearing a boot around when I’m not playing to try to take some pressure off of it. It’s just part of it. When you’re out there you have to perform no matter what ailment you have. I can’t let it affect me. It’s kind of a weird injury. They don’t really know what to do for it. What’s probably going to help it most is rest, and you can’t rest this time of year. That’s perfectly fine with me. I want to be out there with the guys, so I’ll just push through it and keep playing.”

On the upcoming game against Nebraska:
“I thought they played great defensively against us (on Jan. 15). It was an extremely tough game here in the Fieldhouse. They weren’t rattled by our fans. They haven’t lost a game at home, so it’s going to be a tough game.”

Junior forward Marcus Morris

On the matchup against Nebraska:

“I’m definitely excited. I heard they haven’t lost there yet this year. I like playing road games like that where they think they aren’t going to lose and I think we are going to win. I’m definitely excited to see the matchup to see how they approach it.”

On being behind in the Big 12 standings:

“I’m upset that we’re not in first place. We just praying that Texas loses, and they’re playing their best basketball so it’s tough to depend on another team. We just have to keep going and make sure we don’t lose another game because every game counts with the way they’re playing.”