Late Night in the Phog - Bill Self Quotes

Oct. 14, 2011

Head Coach Bill Self
On the challenges for this team:
“I think our biggest challenge will be scoring. Tonight the guys actually made shots. If we make shots like that we’ll be fine but you’re not going to shoot the ball like that every night. So I think scoring will be our biggest challenge and our defense has to be great, not good. Last year we weren’t great defensively but we were really good offensively. This year we probably need to flip it a little bit.”

On the NCAA’s decision on Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor:
“Well this is something we’ve actually known, and I just haven’t shared it for the past couple of weeks because we were still holding out hope. Appeal, then appeal, then another appeal and then we find out that it didn’t work out. The NCAA has legitimate reasons why the ruling is what it is, and we know that. We don’t agree with the reasons, but we agree to disagree. The NCAA has been good and upfront about telling us the situation for the most part, and we’re not happy with the decision at all.

When we recruited these kids we thought they were both full qualifiers without question and then we find out that there are some potential issues, which we don’t disagree with them thinking that. But certainly getting into it, these are great young men and we feel like they’ve proved themselves to be at full-qualifier status and the NCAA sees it differently. In this particular situation, that’s the ruling that they passed down and that’s where everything stands. They will not be allowed to participate or do anything team-related, which is sad tonight because I don’t see why that would hurt them to be included and introduced.”

On how much more challenging the season will be with that decision:
“Our season is going to be hard this year and a challenge to win the league without question. There are a lot of people out there that would love to have Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor as their anchor and point guard, so I’m not going to say poor us. Our team will not be the same, though, because you’re looking at a guy inside that definitely might have had the chance to start and play a ton and a guy on the perimeter that may be as good of an athlete as we’ve recruited, period. That’s including Brandon (Rush). So we decided that we need to recruit a heck of a recruiting class next year because if you can have these guys in next year’s class and who we’re hopefully going to sign this year, then that’s an unbelievable recruiting class.”

On if he told Traylor and McLemore when the news was official:
“They’ve known for awhile, and they’ve known that we were working on it. They knew that this is where it was and we’re going to continue to work on it. I put off telling them anything until today because I wanted them to be a part of Late Night. I wanted them to at least be introduced and feel like they’re a part of the team and we got the final ruling today that they could not do that. So that’s when I threw the whole bucket at them so to speak. They weren’t shocked by the news, though, because we had prepared them for it.”