Bill Self Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 8, 2010

Press Conference Videos Part 1 | Part 2

Bill Self Weekly Press Conference

November 8, 2010

On what he will look for from his team in the second exhibition game:

“I’d like to see our post defense improve, and I would really like to see us shoot it better – but to me, that’s something that is uncontrollable at times, as long as you get good shots. I would like to see us be more aggressive on all fronts; I don’t think we were as aggressive as we should have been in the first game. In all honesty, we didn’t play great the first game, but I wasn’t the least bit discouraged by that, I thought we did some good things and moved the ball well – hopefully our execution will be a little better.”

On if he liked the team’s attack at the beginning of the game against Washburn:

“Yeah, I thought we did pretty well – teams always look better when your opposition doesn’t score. We were able to get some easy baskets off of (Washburn turnovers). Our guys have to get the mindset that, it doesn’t depend on if the shot goes in or not – it depends on if we defended them the right way. A good shot or bad shot isn’t determined a failure or a success if it goes in or not, it depends on what happens when it leaves your hand. Defensively, we have to think the same thing, too.”

On what the adjustment defensively has been since Cole Aldrich left for the NBA:

“It hasn’t been too much of an adjustment; we will pressure more than we did last year, which will force the action into our big guys more than it did last year. I don’t think any of our guys have thought it will be bad that we don’t have Cole down low anymore. Plus, all guys think they block shots just as well, or better than the guy before them; you’d be disappointed if they didn’t feel that way. I do think that when (Jeff Withey) gets back, that will be a bonus for us in that particular element, because, when we do make a mistake he will be able to cover better than our other guys.”

On the timetable for Jeff Withey’s return:

“He actually went up and down the court for the first time yesterday, about four or five possessions – baby steps though. I don’t see how he can play (Tuesday vs. Emporia State), but if he did, it would just be two or three minutes. Hopefully he can get some action by Friday. I’m hopeful, but I wouldn’t bank on it. He’s probably a week or two away.”

On what Jeff Withey has been doing since he has not been able to participate in practice:

“We have tried to make it more miserable on him to watch practice, than it would be to actually participate. I do think there is some incentive on him coming back as quickly as he can, because he has been busting it on the bike with (strength and conditioning coach Andrea Hudy), he has really been getting after it. Hopefully, when he does come back, he will be in better shape to play, as opposed to if he went at it a little bit slower.”

On if Elijah Johnson has been getting more reps with the first team this week:

“Maybe a little bit more; Elijah had a very good day in practice yesterday. The thing that concerns me about Elijah is that he is so careless with the ball, either we need to get him off the ball, or he needs to take better care of it. He’s not a point guard, he’s a combo guard, which is good, but I really wish there would be somebody who is more of a consistent ball-handler. Right now we have too many guys that think they need to be the one who makes the play, as opposed to just being a ball mover. When he understands that and picks his spots better he will become a much better half-court player. Right now he is playing well, but he is just careless with the ball, and I think you can say that about our entire roster.”

On if he likes `splitting’ his defense this year:

“We like to extend as much as we can based on personnel. To me, and I’ve said this many times, there is a difference between pressing and pressuring. I’m a big pressuring guy. In a perfect world, as a defense, we want to make the offense feel us every possession, so that they are never 100-percent comfortable. We want to extend as far as our athletic ability and depth will allow us to do, and last year we weren’t very good at that, and we didn’t do that as much, because we thought it was better if we didn’t do that. You will see us out in the passing lanes, making it uncomfortable for the other team.”

On how Josh Selby has been handling the ball:
“Same as everybody else, just throw it at whomever. But we’ll get better at that. I don’t know how many teams are really good at that right now. We’ll get better at that, but we’re still not a great passing team right now.”

On if Tyshawn Taylor has improved at handling the ball:
“I think he’s better, but we see some things as coaches in practice that make you wonder a little bit. When you talk about better, there’s a big difference between being better at it than we were and being good at it. We still have another step to go before we get good at it.”

On the team’s shooting ability:
“I think our guys can make shots. There’s nobody on our team that we say `Don’t shoot.’ That’s never the case. There are some guys that do things better than others, and Tyrel (Reed) more so than Brady (Morningstar) is our designated three-point shooter. He is the one guy in our program that regardless of time and score, if he’s open then he should shoot it. Other guys may need to think about time, score and momentum a little bit.”

On whether Marcus and Markieff Morris can develop into 30-minute per game players:
“It all comes down to conditioning because when you get tired you foul. If they are in great shape, they will be able to play that many minutes. Tired players commit careless plays. They have to be in great shape in order to play 30 minutes because we’re going to need them in the game.”

On whether he would be surprised to hear about Selby’s status by the first game on Friday:
“I would be surprised. I wouldn’t be shocked, but I would be surprised if anything on Josh is officially determined by Friday. We’ll definitely hold him out until we know.”

On how Selby has been handling the uncertainty:
“He’s been great but he’s very, very frustrated. It’s the unknown. When there’s a resolution to it he’ll be more comfortable immediately. His attitude has been good but it is frustrating to him. It’s not like a redshirt or a guy that’s hurt where you know you’re out. He has to day-by-day figure out what’s going on. He’ll be happy when this is behind him, but he’s handled it very well.”

On the football team’s comeback victory against Colorado:
“I thought it was one of the best wins that I can ever remember. It was awesome. It’s great for the staff and it’s great for the players. It’s great to win whenever you win, but it’s better to win when nobody thinks you can. Those guys definitely defied all odds there. That’s terrific. I’m so happy for Turner (Gill). We talked and I know he’s really proud of his guys because they didn’t lay down at all.”

On the possibility of redshirting Conner Teahan:
“I haven’t decided. He’s definitely not going to play tomorrow. It hasn’t been decided but we’re definitely leaning toward sitting him (for the season).”

On Markieff’s development:
“Markieff’s good. He’s better than what any of us have seen him play his first two years just because he will have more opportunities. We’re going to see a big jump in him. If you’re going to vote on a guy to have the most improvement this year from an appearance standpoint, it would be Markieff.”

On how Danny Manning helps the development of the big guys:
“Our guys are fortunate to get a chance to work with him. We have the advantage of having a guy that has done everything that these guys dream about doing, and he’s done it after having three (torn) ACL’s. He can teach it in a way that some people can’t teach it because he doesn’t tell them `Do it the way I did it.’ He had to adjust (after he was hurt). He can teach those guys how to read and how to adjust. That’s a huge advantage for us.”

On KU’s starting lineup against Emporia State:
“I’ve thought about it but I don’t know how I’m going to do it tomorrow. I don’t know if I’m going to give some guys that didn’t start the last game a chance to start. We haven’t decided that yet.”

Junior Tyshawn Taylor

On the expected level of defense against Emporia State:
“Defensive intensity is always the key for us, so I think we have to come out and be better than we were last week. I think (Washburn) shot maybe 50 percent or better, so we definitely can’t have people shooting 50 percent on us. Especially not a real good team because we could lose to a good team who shoots 50 percent on us.”

On how Coach Self feels about opponents’ shooting percentages:
“We hear about that a lot, so we definitely have to do better because (Coach Self) is definitely going to bring that up. It’s definitely a key point. It’s one of the main stats the he focuses on. He focuses on that a lot, so to bring that down we’ve got to contest more shots and we’ve got to be more vocal defensively. I think we can play defense and I think last week, (Washburn) got a lot of their shots with under 10 seconds on the shot clock, so we’ve just got to be solid through the whole shot clock.”

On how he feels about the team after the first game:
“I think we moved the ball really well. I think we shared it and guys were really unselfish. But I don’t think we shot the ball too well. We’ve got to shoot it better from outside. But I think we did a lot of good things and I think, overall, coach felt like we did pretty good and I think we felt like we did pretty good. We know we have got to get better in some areas but we will.”

Sophomore Elijah Johnson

On what the team can learn from preseason games:
“(We can learn) how to be sound and how to be humble, and how to work on game situations when it’s important. Know how to make the defense work in different situations when we need them to.”

On his impressions from last week’s game:
“I feel like we shared the ball a lot, so I don’t feel like it’s going to be a selfish attitude that might occur. I think we could work on some other things. I think we could tighten up on the defense and we could be more vocal on the defensive end. We could definitely be more sound on the defensive end, too. We could get teams more riled up by being so sound defensively.”

On the team’s defensive potential:
“This team could be real good defensively. I look at three or four people that could be the No. 1 stopper on another team at a lot of different colleges. I think that as far as defenses good, (we’re) pretty good. I feel like the whole perimeter, everybody can play man-to-man without needing too much help and can hold them off for the most part. So can our bigs, too.”

Sophomore Jeff Withey

On when he will be able to play:
“I just started going up and down yesterday in practice. I think it will be another week, week and a half until I am 100 percent. It’s been a pretty slow process but as long as I prevent another injury in the future I think it’s worth it.”

On how tough it is to work out on the bike instead of practice:
“I really don’t like the bike. I would definitely rather be practicing. That’s why yesterday – I was so sick of the bike – I said, ‘I am going to go out there and see how practicing goes’ – and it was pretty good.”

On if he’s back in shape:
“I’m still out of shape, of course, but I think the bike definitely helps. Yesterday, like I said, just running up and down I felt pretty good. I’m not where I want to be but I’m a step closer for sure because of the bike.”

On if he trusts his foot:
“Yeah I trust it. I can’t jump very well right now but I think that is something that is going to get better as time goes by. It gets sore really quick but no pain.” On if the process is taking longer than expected:
“Yeah, I thought it was going to be a six-week deal but six weeks was last Tuesday. I can’t do too much about it; if I don’t feel ready, I don’t feel ready. Hopefully it will get better soon.”