Jayhawk Basketball Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 15, 2004

Jayhawk Basketball Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Self
On J.R. Giddens:
“J.R. and I have had talks. It think that he is doing a good job of keeping everything focused on the task at hand and not getting ahead of himself. I think there are a lot of things that he needs to improve on for him to play on the level that he feels like he can play at. He is pretty honest with himself when it comes to that. I think he has done a nice job. I thought the first couple games, not because of attitude, he didn’t not play as well, but he has played much better as of late.”

“He should average at least two to three free throws a game. He needs to rebound the ball and do some other things to put him in a position to get hit and have some contact. He is working at it. My biggest gripe, if I have one right now with him, is that he can become a much better rebounder and he agrees with me. I think he has done a better job of putting ball down and doing some things better from last year, but he has to become a better rebounder.”

“I think that it is a matter of conditioning your brain that you go every time. If you are a guard and you block off a big guy when your man doesn’t go, there are ten more chances a game that they are going to climb your back and foul you and you get to shoot a 1-and-1. There are different ways to get to the free throw line other than to put your head down and drive.”

On South Carolina:
“They are athletic, but they are not huge. They won a close game last night. They have only lost one game and that was to Clemson. Obviously they are a team that has a great chance to play in the tournament again, one of the better teams in the SEC.”

On freshman guard Russell Robinson:
“I think he can obviously become a more consistent shooter and become a better playmaker for others. But that is being pretty nitpicky, he has done great so far. Our only concern with him is that he can become very careless and not value the ball as much as I think a guy that that should have a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio should. He can get better there, but he has played in six college games and has done pretty well. If he is going to play like a sophomore, he certainly needs to tighten his game up a little bit. On of his goals was to play like a sophomore by the time the season starts. He has done a great job in so many ways, but he will be the first to tell you that he is pretty careless. When I say careless, I mean making a one-handed pass or to try to catch the ball with one hand. The other day, Wayne made an outlet pass to him, and on the pass it went out-of-bounds because Russell tried to catch it and bounce it with one hand at the same time. The longer you play, you learn everything is two hands. Little things like that, he can certainly tighten.”

On his team’s shooting:
“I think that we are shooting better. I also think that we are getting more easy shots, than we got last year. IT would be very difficult to shoot 52 percent for the year. I think that Oklahoma State led the country last year with 52 percent, if I’m not mistaken. If you shoot around the 48 percent to 50 percent range, you are really shooting the ball well. We will end up shooting about 33 percent of our shots from three-point range, when it is all said and done. So if you are shooting that well, than you are probably shooting a decent percentage from beyond the arc. I think our good shooters have gotten a little bit better and the guys that have struggled a little bit last year have gotten a little bit better. But the biggest thing is that we have probably gotten more easy shots.”

On his team’s three-point shooting percentage:
“I would say that if we could shoot 38 percent as a team, that would be very acceptable. I would say that we have a lot more stuff in transition and we probably share the ball better than we did last year. Last year the ball had a tendency to stick in our hands. It still doesn’t move as crisp as I would like, but I think we are much better in that regard than we were last year.”

On being concerned about the team free throw shooting:
“If Wayne shoots them all I am not concerned. We spend some time on free throws, Keith has got to become a great free throw shooter, because those are free points and he is going to get fouled a lot. Wayne is a good free throw shooter, Aaron has shot the ball well from the line and we have to get J.R. to the line. We are shooting 63 percent as a team which is totally unacceptable, but that is also playing a lot of guys, where as, when you really get in you core deal, what your nine in your rotation shoot from the line. Those will be the guys who play the majority of the minutes in a tight ball game. I think that this team can be a better free throw shooting team.”

On his team being “too deep”:
“I don’t think there is a point where you can be too deep. If you are too deep, what that means is that somebody who deserves to play isn’t going to get to play much. I would probably rather err that way than to not have enough guys. It is still wide open to me, I haven’t seen any of the three freshmen big guys emerge yet as guy who deserves to play the minutes that I thought they would play when we got back from Canada. I still think it will happen, it just hasn’t happened as fast as I would have hoped that it would. I see us being a nine-deep team.”

On junior Christian Moody:
“Christian has played better than the other guys, he deserved to play the majority of the minutes. If Christian is playing 10 minutes instead of 25, than that leaves 15 for somebody else, because Wayne is going to play his no matter what. I think Christian had a big part to do with that, which is a good thing. He has been our second best big guy from day one. He has improved an unbelievable amount in a year and a half since I have been with him … The bottom line is the kid is a good player. He has a walk-on label on him right now, but he is a lot better than most scholarship guys across American. He has done a remarkably great job on doing what he can do. He is a prime example that if I just do what coach asks me to do, I’m going to get better at it and then when I get come confidence, I’ll start branching out a little bit and I’ll be playing 20 minutes a game.”

On potentially adding a player before the spring semester:
“I can’t really talk about recruiting but there’s a chance we will be adding somebody next semester. We are recruiting an individual who is going to become available at the semester so there is a chance that will happen.”

On South Carolina’s Carlos Powell:
“He can score, he’s quick. He can outquick guys on the post and get away from the basket. He is a nice basketball player.”

On South Carolina:
“They have a really solid team. They press, they will play some zone and man. They will spread the floor and try to use their athletic ability. And, of course, Dave Odom is one of the best coaches. He has coached at Wake Forest and has coached many different styles and definitely knows what he is doing.”

On the quality of the teams on their non-conference schedule:
“I told our guys that I really felt that Pacific was the best team we had played up to this point. I think that South Carolina is definitely an NCAA Tournament team that should do well in the SEC and has the most talent of any team we have played so far. I do know this, they could come in and beat us in Allen Fieldhouse if we don’t play the way we are capable of playing.”