Bill Self Press Conference (Nov. 7)

Nov. 7, 2007

Head Coach Bill Self:<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On adding Brandon Rush to the mix with the other three guards:

“<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Brandon is as a good an athlete and as fast as anybody that we have on our team. Arguably, he is the best athlete. The thing we do now is whoever gets (the ball) brings it (up the court). That would probably be a little different if Brandon was in the game because he would probably defer to two of those other little guys that are already in there, but we’re going to play just as fast when he gets back.”

On Brady Morningstar choosing to redshirt:

“What you are doing on a redshirt is your substituting whether he’ll be a better player and have more of an opportunity to contribute as a fifth-year senior than as a second-year sophomore. The obvious answer would be yes, he’ll have more of a chance to mature. Most athletes are better as they get older. He is in a situation where guys are stacked on top of him, really good players that are older. If a guy is a fifth year senior and he can’t beat out a freshman, then he doesn’t deserve to play anyway. But he wasn’t given that luxury. He came in and had to beat out a junior or a senior and that’s tough.”

On Louisiana at Monroe (ULM):

“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t play three games in one week like we are doing right now. The nervousness is that you’re playing a team opening their season that returns their top seven or so scorers and that won their side of the league (Sun Belt West) last year. Orlando (Early) has done a great job with this team. They play a lot of different ways and we have to be somewhat prepared for that, but we’re all excited to play.”

On the dangers of an early upset:

“Last year we played Oral Roberts in our second game and they beat us. It shouldn’t have happened then and I don’t think it would have happened three weeks later. If we had more tape on them. That’s what happens early in the season because teams get nicked up in practice, you don’t know their newcomers and you don’t have a chance to really study film.”

On using the UCLA loss in the NCAA Tournament as motivation:

“Let’s be real honest, it is motivation, but after a point in time you have to motivate yourself. You can’t go to practice everyday using a negative to motivate you. You have to be a self-starter so to speak. Maybe (the motivation) is UCLA, maybe its five seniors that know it’s their last go-around, maybe it’s just that were maturing as a group. Who knows what it is, but it’s probably a little combination of all those things.”

On the exhibition games:

“We probably didn’t get everything out of it that we wanted. There were some good things that we got out of it. We had a chance to look at a lot of different people, look at different combinations and get some guys some confidence that maybe had been struggling at practice a little bit. There were a lot of good things that happened, but I don’t know if it was the full package.”

On November:

“You shouldn’t overact in November. There are no league championships and you’re not cutting down nets in November. Last year we lost to ORU, were 6-2 and weren’t very good, but that was the best thing that happened to us to give us a chance to get good. The year before that we were 3-4 starting out and that team won 15 out of its last 16 going into the (NCAA) Tournament and nobody ever thought that team would win the Big 12 and the Big 12 tournament. I can tell you is that our goal will be to get better daily. If we pass up a day to get better, then it’s a bad day. With your team you never talk about wins and losses. You talk about playing the way that you’re supposed to play and executing the things that you are supposed to do. You’ve got to get better everyday and that’s how we are going to look at it. “