Self Speaks at First Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 6, 2008

Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self met with the media Thursday at his weekly press conference in Hadl Auditorium, the first one of the 2008-09 season.

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self Quotes

Press Conference, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008

On what he learned from the exhibition against Washburn:

“I learned we don’t guard very well. I learned that we obviously don’t rebound very well. I thought we weren’t near as aggressive toward 50/50 balls, which I thought would be a strength of this team, so there are a lot of things. We didn’t practice yesterday, so we’re going to watch a lot of tape tonight. There are a lot of things we can learn from. But I also learned this; I learned that we scored easier than I thought we would, which is a positive. And we did run good, we had 49 points with six minutes left in the first half, I don’t know if we’ve ever had that since I’ve been here. There were some good things that happened offensively, but I didn’t think defensively we were very good at all. I thought there were individuals that were good defensively at times, but not as a collection. We had way too many breakdowns.”

On which newcomer impressed him the most against Washburn:

“Quintrell (Thomas) impressed me the most. He’s probably been, if you’re going to grade our newcomers, he’s probably graded out fifth as a freshman. In practice up to that point, he’s been thinking instead of playing, and it’s hard to do that instead of reacting. But I thought he was really good in the game the other day. I thought he was aggressive, I thought his defense was better than it has been in practice. It looked like he had taken from practice and translated into the game better than the other guys.”

On the learning curve defensively:

“It’s like that with everybody. With Tyshawn, he’s ready to be a really good player if he values the basketball. Right now he doesn’t value the basketball the way you have to value it against quality competition. These are things everyone goes through. I said the same thing about Julian and Mario. It’s just not something that happens in a two to three week period. If we do things right and get a little bit better everyday, by February we’re going to be a great defensive team. I think it’s hard for young kids to see, ‘we have to wait until February?’ but that’s part of the process you have to go through to really be good.”

On what he expects to improve in the next exhibition:

“I expect our rebounding to improve. I certainly expect not to give up as many easy baskets as we did last game. I think we will make great improvements. I think when you play against each other all the time, you have a false sense of who you are because the other team knows what you’re trying to do and you know tendencies. We didn’t know one player from Washburn from a personnel standpoint, their strengths and weaknesses. We didn’t know a lot of tendencies. When you get into the season scouting report, you become a little bit better defensively just by understanding your opponent. The other night, I learned a lot. Our closeouts weren’t very good and we don’t understand where to force guys on the floor in certain areas. There are a lot of things that were effective against us the other night that would be the same thing playing good teams. We just have to learn how to take some of those things away. It was a good learning experience, I thought.”

On what kind of players he tries to recruit:

“I think you want to recruit guys that are hard to guard. Then you teach them how to guard. It’s our job to teach them how to guard.”

On the conditioning against Washburn:

“I thought conditioning was a big positive. I really did. Sherron didn’t look tired to me. And he’s the biggest key from a conditioning standpoint that we probably have. He played 30 minutes and played pretty hard. You will get in better shape the more you practice and play without stopping.”

On reuniting with Coach Barry Hinson:

“I love Barry. He’s a good coach. He proved that at Oral Roberts and he proved it nine years at Missouri State. He’ll give us some great insight to our program. We didn’t hire Barry because he’s a friend. We hired him because we think he can do some things to make us better. There’s no doubt that his insight will make us a lot better. I am very excited to be reunited with Barry. He’s as good of a friend as I’ve had in coaching.”

On the future of the KU facilities:

“They are going to connect the buildings, Wagnon and Allen. There’s not going to be any area between. And that will all be connected to the practice facility and they are going to renovate Horesji, and they’re going to build our practice facility, and they’re going to build an academic center right there on the second floor of Anschutz. That will all be connected into Anderson, so it will be just one big complex. And then of course the things that they are going to do on the inside of Allen to modernize it, that stuff will not begin until March. But this will be a whole different place come next October, you won’t even recognize it. It’s going to be the coolest place in the country, I really believe, from a facilities standpoint.”

On the relationship of the players with each other:

“I think they’re close. And of course two of them (Morris twins) are really, really close. I do think that they are extremely close. I think that’s important. I’m not sure they need to be best friends, I want them to have friends on campus and do other stuff. But when you’re here, you have each other and you want to look out for each other. I do think they bond, in large part because they like each other, but also because they need to because they realize they need to lean on each other. We’ve been really fortunate because our guys, since we’ve been here, for the most part have really liked each other.”

On who will play in the upcoming games:

“It just depends on how practice goes. I’m selfish, I want our team to do well, so I’ll play the guys that give us the best chance to do that. It’s hard to play 15 guys. If you’re not in our top five on the perimeter from a rotation standpoint, you’re probably not going to be happy with your minutes at the end of the day.”

On Head Coach David Moe and Emporia State:

“He has a whole new team. Who knows what tendencies they will have. He has more newcomers than we have.”