Bill Self Press Conference Quotes, 2-23

Feb. 24, 2005


Jayhawk Basketball Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Self
On Oklahoma State losing to Nebraska
“Our league is a tough league, especially away from home. Of course, we lost one at home so you can’t take anything for granted. We caught a break by them (Oklahoma State) getting beat. From a coach’s perspective, I don’t wish for other people to get beat, I wish we would take care of our business. We didn’t do that last week, but we caught a break last night.”

On the team’s three point shooting
“Going into the Iowa State game, I think we were .398 from beyond the arch in conference play. You don’t play 11 games and shoot almost 40 percent from beyond the arc and all of a sudden become bad shooters. We have certainly had some bad games. If you take (Jeff) Hawkins out of the Iowa State game, we are 2-for-20 that night and 3-for-10 the other night (vs. Oklahoma). That is 5-for-30, other than Hawkins’ two three-pointers in the last two games. That is about as poor as I have had a team shoot it in back-to-back games. But I do think that we are good shooters. I really believe that in order for us to win, we have to have a free mind to shoot the ball. We are not going to win by jamming the ball inside every position and we are not going to win by just shooting threes. This team has to have balance. I still say that we will continue to shoot threes, but we have top make sure it is the shot we want.”

On junior Christian Moody
“As of this morning — with maybe some individual improvement tomorrow — he could practice on Friday. That is the best case scenario for us.We are hopeful to have him on Sunday.”

On the value of Christian Moody
“For the Iowa State game, we spent the whole week practicing with Christian and they the day before the game we found out that he couldn’t play. It is amazing how valuable that he is to us. Not that we didn’t know before because his value has been pretty well documented. We didn’t have a big guy that could pass the ball to Wayne (Simien) or have perimeter floor man defensively. Things that we probably take for granted when he is out there. Not that he has to play great, but he is most certainly a steady influence on our team.”

On playing without Christian Moody
“I don’t know that it makes things harder, but when we went to Lexington to play Kentucky or played Georgia Tech, the games right after Wayne (Simien) got hurt, I think that we were a little bit nervous that if everybody didn’t bring it, bad things could potentially happen that night. I don’t feel like that in the Iowa State game we had that same sense of urgency. We won in Ames without Christian the first time. We were fortunate to do it. I’m not saying that we would have won if Christian would have played, but the way that they played, pressing and having a big guy that could relieve pressure, Christian would have been a big asset to us. Those aren’t the type of things that you think about. You think about points and rebounds and he is just a guy that allows other guys to get points and rebounds.”

On his thoughts about Oklahoma State
“My first concern is Kansas. We need to get our confidence back and starting playing more aggressive on both ends, which I think that we will do. The Iowa State game, we thought that we would win and the Oklahoma game we were so bad the first half that we dug ourselves a little too deep and we literally looked like a very tentative team the first half. I think we need to get our aggressiveness and our confidence back and you can do that with effort. You don’t go from being the No. 2 team in America to being a bad team in three days. We have just played bad. If we would have had a bad day in December and would have spread it out, it wouldn’t be so bad. Since the losses have come back-to-back, some people feel like the sky is falling. We are the same team that we were, we have just had some bad days and we need to convince our players of that, which I think we can do. Oklahoma State is a team of men. They are disappointed with their loss last night. We had better be ready to play on Sunday.”

“JamesOn (Curry) is playing a ton of minutes right now, but Lucas is their second youngest guy that really plays and he is a fourth-year senior. I think they are experienced and John is very fast and is a great shooter and has a knack for making big shots in key possessions. I think Joey Graham is about as talented as a player as you will find in America. When you talked about quickness, speed, ability to slide his feet, stretch a defense, post up and driving, he is a complete basketball player. I think he is a tough match-up for any team, not just Kansas.”

On OSU Coach Eddie Sutton seeking his first win in Allen Fieldhouse
“I don’t intend to give him any presents. Oklahoma State is bringing a team up here that can beat anybody, anywhere. They have played really well of late, except for their last game. I have all the respect in the world for Coach Sutton. He has done remarkable things, but certainly we do not want to be the team that allows that to take place.”

On being a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament
“I don’t know if it’s a possibility. I think we would have to play great the rest of the way and maybe get a little bit of help. I would say that two weeks ago that we were in pretty good shape, but certainly after the last week I don’t know. Even after Texas Tech, we were all disappointed, but they are a top 25 team playing in their building. They played well and we played well, we just came up a possession short. These last three games have made me put my focus completely on Kansas and I’m not worrying about anything else.”

On what he considers a “good shot”
“I want us to shoot the first good shot and our guys know what those shots are individually. A good shot for J.R. (Giddens) isn’t the same as it is for Aaron (Miles) or Christian (Moody) or Keith (Langford). Everybody is different, but they all know what we want them to do and I’d like to shoot the ball as quickly as possible. What happens when you don’t play well, you get stale and tentative. That has certainly been the case.”

The atmosphere leading up to Sunday’s game
“Knowing Coach Sutton, they will be prepared and ready to play, not matter what the situation. Their practices for the rest of this week are probably going to be pretty intense. I will say that our practices this week will be pretty intense based on our performance. I would anticipate, two teams coming in and hooking up pretty well.”

On Senior Keith Langford’s elbow
“It’s ok. It’s not great. This is a situation that is going to take time for him to be completely healthy and I think think that has also contributed to some of our shooting problems. We will not use it as an excuse, but he injured that elbow a lot worse than people think against Colorado.”

On J.R. Giddens
“I thought it was especially important for him to finish up the Oklahoma game well. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I think he made three jumpers in the second half against OU. Even thought I don’t consider that Player of the Week type numbers, considering where he was coming from and everything, it was a huge step in the right direction.”