Bill Self Press Conference Quotes

March 8, 2005


On Keith Langford:
“I think all players want to play, especially if they are seniors facing the last few games of their careers. I visited with Keith about it today. I don’t think there is any reason to play Keith unless he is close to being 100 percent. Structurally he is going to be that. A lot of it is pain tolerance and knowing that if he tweaked it again it would become very painful. If he is not 85-90 percent, I don’t think there is any chance we will play him. As of today, I think he is very doubtful because he is still on crutches and in a boot. I think he is getting three treatments a day. I know that what they can do with bone bruises is limited. Hopefully that will excelerate the healing process but we don’t know yet. The ligaments are sturdy, they aren’t stretched or torn.”

On Langford’s injury affecting the team:
“If I was a player I would want to know at least a day in advance. I am not going to play him if he can’t practice. We will have to have a good feel about it. We will let the team know what we are thinking and what is going on. It is a day-to-day deal. Every extra day helps the cause.”

On the Big 12 Tournament’s affect on seeding for the NCAA’s:
“From my perspective it is an inexact science. You look at the RPI and we are still number one in the country by a large margin. You look at how we played our last 10, and we are certainly not deserving of a top seed. If you look at who is hot in our league, Oklahoma is the hottest. We have also played without our starters and I do not know how that is factored into the selection process. All I know is, we had better go and play well this weekend. If we play well it will enhance our chances at a higher seed. If we don’t play well we can be affected, considering we did not finish the season as well as we would have liked to.”

On the possibility of playing a first round NCAA game in Oklahoma City:
“From a fan’s standpoint and financially for parents of players, of course we want to play closer to home. The goal for this year is to play in Oklahoma City, like it was to play in Kansas City last year.”

On J.R. Gidden’s play against Missouri:
“In the second half I thought he tried really hard. I do sometimes fault his aggressiveness. I thought he was very aggressive in the second half against Missouri. You can see that by his getting four steals. He went coast-to-coast one time with his left hand and made some shots. I thought he was a lot better. He is going to have to play huge with Keith out. J.R. is an excellent ball player. With Keith out we are going to look at J.R. to deliver more. He is capable of stepping up to do so. We are looking to get more out of all of our players with Keith out.”

On Russell Robinson’s playing time in the Big 12 Tournament:
“More than likely, Russell will get in there and play. We asked him to make plays Sunday and he did that. I was really proud of him. He has kept a good attitude throughout the time he hasn’t played. I really felt like he and Jeff Hawkins did a nice job in the Missouri game.”

On the team’s toughness:
“I think we are tough at times. I think we are mentally tough, I don’t think we play physically tough. I have said that a thousand times. There is numerous examples of this team being as tough as can be.”

On Darnell Jackson:
“I told Darnell one day in practice that I was proud of him for keeping a good attitude because I wasn’t playing him. I told him to hang in there because he was going to be a good player. He called me on my cell phone the next day and told me that I had given him a chance to play and he hadn’t made the most of it, and was going to change right now. Since we had that conversation, a light went on. There are no free lunches. It is unfortunate that it happened this late in the season, but I think that he is a much better practice player now. He is really giving himself a chance to get into games. So I am really proud of that. I think he has really matured in a lot of ways.”

On C.J. Giles:
“I talked to C.J. today. C.J. would probably be starting if he wouldn’t have been out for six weeks. He has come back and has done everything we have asked him to do. He has just kind of been out of luck. He is a guy that needs repetition. He is kind of the odd man out right now because of health. It didn’t have anything to do with anything else.”

On facing Texas A&M or Kansas State:
“One is going to play zone and you have to make shots to beat them. The other one is going to get after you and you have to handle pressure to beat them. I think they will both be good for us to play in preparation. I think either team can give us problems. I think it will be a good first round game. A&M has a ton to play for. I think that two wins, and one over Kansas would probably get them into the NCAA Tournament. K-State has a lot to play for too.”

On enjoying the season:
“I have enjoyed everything about this year except for three of the last five games. I loved the Texas Tech game even though we got beat. The Oklahoma game and the Iowa State games were no fun. I loved the next two games and then Missouri was no fun. When you look at the season as a whole, it has been very enjoyable. But this season has also been disappointing and frustrating at times, because we haven’t played to our level. But every coach in America would probably say the same thing.”

On the tournament being in Kansas City:
“I would rather the tournament be in Kansas City. This is the last time it will be there until the new arena is built. We are excited, it is a short trip for us.”

On winning the Big 12 Tournament:
“That would be big. Just because you have players that are unavailable, it shouldn’t revamp your goals. We better play really well if we don’t have our full compliment of players. When Wayne went down we had to play very well, and that will be the case if Keith is unavailable. These guys haven’t had the chance to celebrate the Big 12 regular season championship. We do have a trophy in our office. That is a great accomplishment, because the league is great. The point is that when your are 10-0 you are not supposed to share it. “

On the tournament set up:
“I wish it was a Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday set up. If you take away Sunday tournament games, you have eliminated one weekend day. Obviously on Friday, you are not going to get near the attention you would get on Saturday or Sunday. When I was in the Big 10 we had the same thing. CBS wants that game going into selection Sunday. I wish that it would be different, but I don’t think that is going to happen.”