Bill Self Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 17, 2010

Press Conference Videos Part One | Part Two |Little|Taylor |Mc. Morris

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

On North Texas’ victory over Texas Tech:
“I’m surprised. Not taking anything away from North Texas, but I know how good Texas Tech is going to be this year. Tech returns five of its six top scorers. I believe North Texas returns four starters. It’s not a shocking win, but as good as Texas Tech is, I was a little surprised by the score. Johnny (Jones, North Texas head coach) has done a great job since he’s been there. They’ve been in the NCAA Tournament pretty consistently. I thought they played Kansas State really tough in the first round and hung with them for quite a period of time last year in Oklahoma City.”

On Marcus Morris’ ability:
“He’s the best all-around player that I’ve coached since I’ve been here and maybe ever. I’m not saying he’s the best player, but there’s nobody that I’ve coached that does more things. He’s a guard that can post. He can play with his back to the basket. He can step off the block. He can drive it. He’s got great vision. He’s got range. He’s a good player. Now that doesn’t necessarily translate to 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds) every night, but he can impact a game in many ways, passing the ball or certainly thinking the game because he’s very, very bright. There are still some things that he doesn’t do very well, but I think from a total skill set and taking into consideration all of the intangibles, I haven’t been around anybody that can do more things.”

On not overlooking North Texas:
“North Texas did a really good job getting our attention (Tuesday) night. We got Texas Tech pretty good at our place last year, but in the tournament it was a two-point game at halftime. We know that (Texas Tech) is better than they were last year, so North Texas got our attention without question.”

On Brady Morningstar’s role with Elijah Johnson out:
“He’s our emergency backup point guard right now. He’s handled it pretty well. He’s not a point guard, though. Hopefully, Elijah will be back. I think there’s a really good chance. I’m meeting with some people today to make sure he’s got some stuff done. I have every indication that he has, so I anticipate Elijah playing on Friday.”

On Tyshawn Taylor’s defense in the first two games:
“I’m really pleased with Tyshawn. I’m not giddy about how anybody is playing because it’s too early, but Tyshawn is trying really hard. He’s trying to do everything we want him to do. He’s getting out of character. He’s getting uncomfortable trying to please us, and I like that because he’s going to keep taking off. He’s worried about winning and making winning plays more so than anything else and that will translate to a better individual performance as well.”

On Jeff Withey’s health:
He’s doing better. His foot is less sore. It was probably a little comforting to him to know that the X-rays that we have taken have come back and he’s better all the time. We haven’t held him out of practice at all the last couple of practices, so I see no reason why from this point forward he’s not 100 percent all of the time.”

On Withey’s potential playing time:
“It’s too early to say because he hasn’t practiced in eight weeks. He’s practiced just a couple of times full speed, so I don’t know how it’s all going to play out. I do know that we need a long guy on the back end, especially defensively. I think he could be a rotation guy. Cole (Aldrich) played about eight or 10 minutes a game his freshman year. I think Jeff could play quite a bit more than that if he continues to progress.”

On how Josh Selby has looked in practice:
“Josh is good, but he’s a freshman. He’s going to be nervous. Because he’s been held out, I think the expectations have risen for him. It will be more pressure for him. He needs to just take a deep breath, get out there, fit in and not try to do too much when the time comes because with every day that we wait, there’s more anticipation and more questions asked. Josh is going to be good, but he shouldn’t be evaluated until January because he’s going to be behind six or eight weeks than all freshmen that haven’t had any setbacks. I’m excited. Our team will get better. This team needs another guy that can go get his own shot on the perimeter. Certainly he can do that.”

On Selby’s status:
“Status quo. I do not know anything else. We’re hopeful that a decision comes down sooner rather than later, but we have not been given a timeline based on my limited knowledge on anything. There is no specific timeline at all.”

On if it is frustrating as a coach waiting to hear about Selby’s ruling:
“Yeah, but the source of frustration isn’t anything bad. It’s the fact that you don’t know how to practice guys certain ways because you don’t know when you’ll get (Selby) back. If there’s a date that you know you’re going to have him back, then you know a week to 10 days prior to that you are working toward that date. It’s been harder for him and his family than it has been for us, but he’s handled it really well. I think we’re seeing a young man grow up before our eyes. I’m very confident he’ll spin this into a positive in some way, shape or form.”

On whether it’s hard for Selby to go to class without being able to play:
“I don’t think that’s tough at all. I think Josh will excel in the classroom. The thing that is so misleading is kids come in with a reputation of being a certain way, but that’s under a totally different environment. They come in, and they want to fit in. They want to be a part of what’s going on, and if you don’t go to class, you’re not a part of what’s going on. If you’re not doing well in the classroom, you’re not as much into it as everybody else is. I haven’t experienced one kid that has come in here that I thought was using us to help them play ball. Everyone that comes here that I’ve experienced has used Kansas to get their education, mature and help us win. Then, if it turns out good for them (professionally), fantastic. I’m really proud of Josh for the way he’s handled everything. Academically, he’s a guy that has really made a serious commitment off the court as well.”

On North Texas guard Josh White:
“He’s fast. North Texas’ whole team is fast. He dropped 32 points on Texas Tech. He’s good. They’ve had experience knocking off Big 12 teams. They beat Oklahoma State a couple of years ago when those kids were freshmen, and of course they got the big win last night (against Texas Tech). They have our respect without question. Their perimeter (players) can all score, and their big guys are all quick and active. Their big guys don’t shoot a lot of three-pointers, but those other three guys are really aggressive offensively.”

On the possibility of tying the school-record of 62-straight home wins with a victory against North Texas:
“I will talk to them about it. That should not be our motivation to play, but these guys owe it to everybody else that has been a part of this streak that is not on this team to make sure that they are recognized as being part of this streak. I think they should be playing for others every bit as much as they are playing for themselves on Friday night.”

On how he personally feels about the streak:
“I’m pretty proud of it. It’s not the most important streak. I’d rather win six in a row in March and April than win 60 in a row at home. To win 61 in a row at home, and Brady is the only one here that has been a part of a loss at home, there’s no other place in America that can say that as of late. It’s not the biggest deal we have going on, but it’s something that I think we’re all pretty proud of.”

On his favorite win during the home-court winning streak:
“When our kids were all freshmen and Texas came in here and got us down by 17 or so. We came back and won that game with Tyshawn and guys playing great. We’ve had some remarkable wins. We’ve had some wins that there was no way we could pull off unless we had the sixth man (the crowd). Of the six losses we’ve had (at home since Self became head coach), four of them came down to the very last possession and one of the others came down to one of the two last possessions. We haven’t won them all in tight games, but certainly the crowd has helped us eek out some where it didn’t look very good.”

Junior Guard Tyshawn Taylor

On North Texas’ victory over Texas Tech:
“I didn’t get a chance to watch too much of it. They played really well. They got a big win under their belt with Texas Tech.”

On how Kansas matches up with North Texas:
“They’re fast. I think they return all of their starters (from last year’s NCAA Tournament team), so I think it’s going to be a good game. They like to get up and down (the court) like we want to play, so I think it’s going to be fun.”

On the 61-game home-court winning streak:
“It means a lot. I definitely don’t want to be a part of the team that breaks the streak. I think it’s definitely important. We haven’t really talked about it too much. I feel like if we come out and play how we want to play, we’ll be fine.”

Junior Forward Marcus Morris

On being an all-around player:
“I just pride myself on playing the best way possible. I try to play the right way. I know that I’m a lot quicker than a lot of (forwards) and I can shoot a lot better. That’s just how I grew up, being a versatile player.”

On if North Texas’ victory over Texas Tech grabbed his attention:
“Every team gets my attention. You can’t overlook a team, but beating a team in the Big 12 definitely got my attention.”

On the 61-game home-court winning streak:
“It means a lot. I strive day-in and day-out to make sure that the streak continues because I don’t want that streak to end while I’m here. I definitely strive every day to get better so that we don’t lose. There’s a little pressure because it’s the longest streak in the country right now. I never expect to lose here. This is the best home-court advantage in the country. Coming in here and getting those chills before the game, I definitely don’t expect to lose here.”