Bill Self Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 29, 2010

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Bill Self Weekly Press Conference

November 29, 2010

On what he took out of the two games this weekend in Las Vegas:

“Well I thought we played a lot better against Arizona than we did against Ohio – we didn’t play well at all against Ohio, we just couldn’t shoot the ball into the ocean. We moved the ball pretty well against Arizona and we played out of foul trouble. We made some plays when it got tight and we played smart down the stretch. I think we showed that we can play at a very high level for a period of time, and we also showed that we were very normal at times.”

On whether or not Travis Releford plays as well in practice as he has in the last two games:

“He made shots in Vegas, but I don’t look at it that way. I look at it and ask myself, is he getting extra possessions? Is he our best defender? Does he get rebounds? Making shots was certainly a big part of his performance. To me, he has to be more than that. I still think he can play better. It can be so misleading to see if a player plays well just because of how many points he has scored. He would be the first to tell you that he has some things he needs to tighten up. He’s shooting the ball the best since he has been here.”

On how he feels about Thomas Robinson’s play:

“(He played) awful against Ohio, and then the polar opposite the next day, I thought he was terrific against Arizona. Of all our guys, he played the best when we needed somebody to play well. Everybody made shots the first half, but when we played out of foul trouble, I thought he came up very big for us. He, Travis, and Elijah (Johnson) all gave us great minutes off the bench. I’m comfortable with him taking face-up jumpers, but only if he makes them. He takes too many of them, but so does our whole team. Why settle? (Arizona Forward) Derrick Williams didn’t settle, he drove it every time – Thomas is so good at that. Why settle and not put the other team in foul-prone situations?”


“They’re a lot better. They have their main players back from last year, plus they have added some nice pieces to the puzzle. (Forwards) Reeves Nelson and (Tyler) Honeycutt are off to a great start. If I’m not mistaken, I think that may have been Honeycutt’s last game back when we played them last year. He is going to be a really good player, and certainly they are getting better guard play. They are much better, and (UCLA head coach Ben Howland) will coach them up. They will certainly guard well. It will be a game where there are very few easy baskets. I’m excited and our guys will be excited about playing arguably as storied of a basketball program as there is in the country.”

On faltering after the first nine minutes of the first half against Arizona:

“I think it was because we are better when (Marcus and Markieff Morris) play. When they are in the game we’re better. When both of them are out of the game, I think that hurts us more. Especially offensively, we do not play as well when they are out of the game.”

On whether or not Derrick Williams exposed anything to the team:

“Our big guys do not slide their feet as well as they should. What he did, which is so good, and Marcus, Markieff and Thomas should already be great at this: He faced them off the block. When that happened, he didn’t bail them out by taking a jump shot. He either shot an uncontested three or he got to the paint, and he did a great job of driving it and forcing contact. He is a bona fide All-American-type candidate. I don’t know if exposed is the right word, but he is going to put numbers on just about anybody.”

On the difference between Derrick Williams and Reeves Nelson of UCLA:

“There are some similarities, they have similar body types – Reeves has expanded his game, he can shoot the three now, and he can certainly drive it. So I do see some similarities; they are both undersized power forwards by the prototypical definition.”

On how often Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson should drive instead of shoot jumpers:
“Our whole offense is predicated on paint touches, either off the pass or off the bounce. We do a good job of that a lot of times. Thomas got us two points late in the game by doing that to (Arizona). When their big guy fouled him, he got two free throws. I’m OK with them shooting the ball, but they’re going to be a lot more open when (the opponent) respects the drive. You have to give their big guys a chance to get in foul trouble. I think those three could be so good driving the ball because they’re so good with the ball in their hands.”

On last year’s game against UCLA:
“I think Markieff was our best player in the game. We didn’t play great and they didn’t play great, but it was a good win for us. Any time you go on the road and win, it’s good. It was a good win, but certainly one in which we certainly didn’t play our best. They were going through some stuff last year at that particular time and I think they’re a lot better team this year.”

On how Marcus and Markieff Morris can improve on staying out of foul trouble:
“You can’t put your hands on people when they drive it. You have to play your man before he catches it. They’ll get better at that. Our guys are going to foul. You just can’t commit the silly ones that give you three to start the second half. Big guys are going to foul. You just have to eliminate the ones that are avoidable and you have to play your man before he catches it.”

On Marcus Morris earning Big 12 Player of the Week accolades:
“He deserves that. He’s shooting 70 percent. Marcus has been great offensively. (Against Arizona) He scored facing the basket. He scored from deep. He scored mid-range. He scored on post moves. He really has demonstrated his versatility. I doubt there has been anybody in our league that has had a better week or start to the season than he has.”

On the team’s offensive efficiency:
“When the team’s shooting 58 percent, that means you’re probably taking good shots. Our team’s shot selection has been pretty good. In the Arizona game there were probably four or five ill-advised shots, but out of 50 that’s not a bad percentage at all. Our guys have done a pretty good job playing within their strengths and taking shots that they know they can make. I can complain about certain things, but there are a lot of coaches out there that would love to complain about the ball sticking when you have 20 assists every game. This team is very capable of being a really good offensive team.”

On whether the shot going in determines if it was a good shot selection:
“It’s a good or bad shot when it leaves your hand. That’s what we tell our players. As coaches, if it counts for two points it doesn’t bother us as much, but you can’t tell a player it’s a bad shot if he misses it and then tell him it’s a good shot if it goes in. You’re sending him mixed messages. Against Ohio, Marcus, as soon as he checked back in, made a three-pointer. I said it was an awful shot. You should never shoot the ball when you first come down the court (after checking in). My dad taught me that. Whether it goes in or not is irrelevant to whether or not it’s a good shot.”

On how the team responded when it trailed by four points against Arizona:
“I thought we played really good. Tyrel (Reed) made a couple of big plays. Usually, Tyrel’s big plays are shooting the ball. His big plays against Arizona were driving the ball. What was great about that (comeback) was that we had bench guys in the game playing a key role during that time. I thought we played really well the last 10 minutes from an intelligence standpoint. I thought we played smart, took good shots and defended them better. I think Arizona has a nice team.”

On if he thinks Tyrel Reed is frustrated with his shooting percentage:
“No. He was in the office yesterday. I told him that’s the last thing I worry about with him. If anything I’ll get on him because he doesn’t shoot the basketball. We need to have a guy that can consistently stretch the defense. He’s the best guy for us to do that. He’s going to make shots. I think he’s been less aggressive shooting the ball (recently). He’s always been selective, but I think this year he can be a little more aggressive. If he has space, it’s a good shot for him. I have a lot of confidence in him making shots.”

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor

On Kansas shooting the ball well so far this season:

“We have some good shooters. Guys have been making shots. Brady (Morningstar) has been stepping up and making some shots and Travis (Releford). You know Travis is going to make some shots because he worked on his shot so much. In practice last year when he was redshirting and we had to play against him everyday, he was making a lot shots. Guys have been stepping up and making a lot of shots.”

On the team not taking many bad shots:

“That’s just because we are making them so they don’t look like bad shots. If you asked Coach Self he would probably question some of them. If we are making them consistently I guess they are not bad shots. As of right now, the six games that we’ve played, we’re shooting a high percentage, but we have to be ready for the games when we have to grind it out and guys are not making every shot they put up. Marcus (Morris) has been shooting well, Thomas (Robinson) has been shooting well and stepping out (farther away from the basket) and making some shots.”

On which of his own shots taken that he considers bad ones:

“I think about that sometimes. I think my floaters are good shots. I don’t think Coach Self would ever question one of the floaters I would take. I think I shoot them a lot, but I think he would want me to shoot more pull-ups. I don’t really know what a bad shot is for me. Pulling up from half court is a bad shot, but I wouldn’t do that. I think I’ve been smart about selection.”

On Marcus Morris shooting over 68-percent from the field so far this season:

“He’s been knocking them down. Marcus is good. He gets in his comfort zone. His turn around jump shot, the step in three-point line from the top of the key, we practice those shots. Those are shots that we practice everyday. When our confidence is (high) like that (from practice), especially when we make a couple, and Marcus will make a couple, he’ll definitely put them up. Marcus can score, he’s a shooter. Even Markieff (Morris) has made some big shots. Guys have been knocking them down.”

Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson

On UCLA forward Reeves Nelson:

“I know that he’s a good player. I respect him as a player. I really don’t know too much about him specifically for this game. We’re going to find out this week and be ready for him on Thursday.”

On the team taking mostly high percentage shots:

“All of that goes to Coach Self. High percentage shots are part of the offense. We get those looks once we run the offense. There are a lot of opportunities for those.”

On shooting jump shots:

“He (Coach Self) never wants us to settle. If we attack the basket and get easy buckets that get us in a rhythm, then he will allow us to step out and shoot.”

Junior forward Markieff Morris

On how the coaches respond when the Kansas’ big men settle for jump shots:

“It depends on if it’s a bad shot or not. If it’s a good shot, it’s a good shot. If it’s a bad shot then we should attack the basket, that’s what we hear.”

On playing well against UCLA last year:

“They got the ball to me a lot early. They were double teaming Cole (Aldrich) and my brother (Marcus Morris). They weren’t expecting me to do what I did.”