Bill Self Press Conference Quotes (Dec. 20)

Dec. 20, 2007

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

On his concerns about <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Miami (OH):

“I’m concerned about whether or not we are patient enough to defend the entire shot clock because they don’t play fast. They have two great players. Not good – great players. Their four-man is as skilled as anybody that we’ll play this year. How many four-men lead (their team) in assists. He had 26 points and nine assists last game and he’s their four-man. They play through him and he’s not even their leading scorer. They’re very well coached and sound. Nobody has hung 70 (points) on them in 47 consecutive games or something like that. You would think at home we would try to create some pace in some way, shape or form, but that would be a concern to not let them totally control the tempo.”

On the scoring being so spread out amongst the team:

“Seven different guys have outright led us in scoring in eleven games. There isn’t anybody else in the country that has that. I think that is the strength of the team. Brandon (Rush) mentioned it on our coaches show. He said `different guy, different night.’ The guys have accepted that and they aren’t hung up on shooting the ball or getting off so many attempts or scoring so many points. In all honesty, whoever is playing the best that night, we have enough balance that they can be the go-to-guy. A lot (of teams) would like to have that problem.”

On whether not having a go-to-guy is a problem:

“It could potentially be a problem if you look at it from a negative standpoint. It wasn’t for Florida last year. Their leading scorer averaged 12 or 13 and they did pretty good. I still think that we’re hard to guard having balance than we would be if we had just one or two guys take all the important shots.”

On late-game strategy:

“Late in the game, we would definitely have a sense of what we would want to try to do to get the ball into a certain guy’s hands. Even with that being said, the other team’s best defender takes somebody out, our second option against the team’s second best defender might be a better option. It is just kind of by feel. It’s not something that we have scripted, but we have an idea of what we’d like to do with our guys. There are certain things that we like to do, but there is not one thing that we say `ok, this is what we are going to run in this situation’ because it’s just based on who is playing well that day.”

On Brandon Rush’s aggressiveness:

“I think he is probably being as close to aggressive as he was last year at this stage. In the NCAA tournament he was pretty good from an aggressive standpoint. Brandon is just a ballplayer. We take for granted his defense, his length and the things that he can do other than shooting the basketball.”

On Sherron Collins:

“I thought the stat sheet from the other night was interesting. Sherron played about 24 minutes and he got off 12 shots and we didn’t do one thing to get him a shot. Whereas other guys can play 26 or 28 minutes and get off seven shots. Even though that may not seem like a big difference, he is the one guy that can go get his own shot better than anyone else we have.”

On Brandon Rush’s injury:

“I said all along that he will become a better basketball player through this than he would if it hadn’t occurred. I don’t think he’s quite there yet because I don’t think that he has the total pop back that he will. He’s smarter and he understands better. I don’t think he’s putting himself in as many tight, explosive situations as he has done in the past. He hasn’t put himself in position for offensive rebounds as much, things like that. I think that’s going to happen real soon. The injury will not be a detriment to him at all, if anything, it’ll be a blessing. He won’t want to hear that and people won’t want to hear that, but he’ll be a better basketball player because of it.”