Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Self not focused on No. 1 ranking


Unbeaten, with work to do

The men's basketball team hasn't lost yet, but Bill Self says the team still has a lot of work to do. The Jayhawks take on winless Alcorn State Wednesday.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

KU coach Bill Self talks to reporters on Dec. 1, 2009, one day before his team's game against Alcorn State.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self cracked a smile Tuesday when asked if top high school basketball recruits take notice when his Jayhawks are ranked No. 1.

“Well, obviously not recently,” Self said.

While not going into specifics, he obviously was referring to losing St. Louis Chaminade High junior guard Bradley Beal, who on Monday orally committed to Florida over runner-up KU.

“I think they do. I hope they do. I’ve always said it makes for great recruiting mailouts, but apparently ours are pretty stale,” Self joked.

KU, which takes a 5-0 record into today’s 7 p.m. home battle against 0-9 Alcorn State, has been a solid No. 1 this young season.

“The No. 1 ranking ... I did notice it yesterday because I was at my Hawk Talk show, and it came on TV,” Self said. “I mean, I hadn’t even looked at it. We maybe talked about it a couple of times before the season started, but I guarantee you, since the season started, I’ve never talked once about being ranked No. 1. I’ve told them I hope we play to that ranking eventually, but I really don’t put much stock in that.”

He noted that the 2008 national title team never looked at rankings.

“I guarantee you it didn’t mean much to them,” he said of a squad that was ranked as high as No. 2 that season. “I think what meant more to them was the fact they wanted to win every game. I don't think they were ever hung up on the ranking.”

KU, which played last Friday, took Saturday off, practiced Sunday, then took Monday off.

“Monday we didn't feel very well. We had a couple of guys that were nicked up and couldn’t go. The whole team was kind of run down, so we gave them yesterday off, too,” Self said Tuesday. Xavier Henry and Sherron Collins have been a bit under the weather, while Tyshawn Taylor has been slowed by a toe injury. All are expected to be able to play tonight.

“I feel good. I’m just excited. I want to keep it up,” said Taylor, who busted a slump by scoring 18 points off 7-of-9 shooting on Friday against Tennessee Tech.

Tonight’s foe

Alcorn State has yet to play a home game. ... The Braves are coached by former NBA standout Larry Smith. ... Junior center JaMarkus Holt leads the team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.0).

Clinic at end of month

KU’s annual holiday hoops clinic for boys and girls second to sixth grade will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 27, in Allen Fieldhouse. For information log onto

Xavier Henry faring well

Self said he’s not worried about freshman Xavier Henry carrying too much of a load.

“You don’t want to put a guy in a situation where he’s never been through pressure and now if he doesn’t perform well, he’s a primary reason in most people’s eyes why the team is not successful,” Self said. “There are exceptions. I don’t think it bothered Carmelo (Anthony) much or Pervis Ellison or a lot of great ones. I think Xavier is definitely in that class. I think he is ready to shoulder as much as any freshman we’ve had. Still it’s better to have other guys that have been through it. You point to our team, you don’t point to one person as the reason we are successful or not.”


jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

In the Wee Hours of Wednesday Before Alcorn Discovers What It Is Like to Be at Ground Zero of a Nuclear Blast:

} "I don’t think it bothered Carmelo (Anthony) much or Pervis Ellison or a lot of great ones. I think Xavier is definitely in that class."--Bill Self

Ooooooh, XMan is receiving high luv from the Ol' Coach. Look for X to be allowed to juice his numbers versus Alcorn.

} Alcorn is 0-9. It is time to roll out a new moniker for cupcakes. How about Nanocupcakes?

} Sick Bay: X and Sherron have had the flu. Bad for them. But good for the team that it is cycling through the bug before the schedule gets tough.

} Quantum T has had a bum toe. Now opponents know to stub his toe to slow him down.

} Self's sense of humor about stuff like Beal is one of his most endearing characteristics.

} I remain jazzed about how talent-rich KU may become in the next couple years, when Self has a full allotment of scholies and two rings in three years to recruit with.

} I'm a little worried about this team winning another ring. After the last one, Coach Self got a huge salary bump, a ten year contract, a 27,000 sf house, a new practice facility, a complete face-lift of AFH, and a promised rehab on Jayhawker Towers. What is there left to give him, when the seducers from other schools and from the L come running? The first $6M/yr college coach? A 20-year contract? An experimental, suborbital, scram-jet-powered, personal jet for recruiting the entire world? Yes, yes, and YES! :-)

} Beal disappointment aside, I hope Roy and Dean are watching what Self is accomplishing by recruiting west AND east of the Mississippi. One has to infer that Dean knew something like this was possible in the modern age at KU. Otherwise, why would Dean have imposed the bad faith agreement not to recruit east of the Mississippi on Boy Roy, when Boy Roy took the KU job?

} Recalll Boy Roy stopped the bus a few times to spit in the Mississippi. Was that a clause in the Bad Faith agreement with Dean?

} After the Alcorn game tonight, will we see a troubled Bill Self quote Verse 32 from Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita Oread: "Now I am become basketball death, destroyer of cupcakes"?

Billy Derringer 10 years, 6 months ago

jaybate for the first time ever i acccully like what u had to say--boy what is the world coming too---maybe its a fluk but well said....

farnamjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

derringer29, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who was shocked and surprised by jaybates post.

kkoenig 10 years, 6 months ago

speaking of Roy Williams, UNC looks like a tough out come March 2010. Fast guards; tall, lanky interior players. Maybe a weakness is their 3-point shooting. KU vs UNC would be a good one.

bradynsdad 10 years, 6 months ago

it would be nice to see ku against unc, but bill said in his book dont expect that anytime soon i do think we need to play a few more marqee schools. duke will have played four top twenty five teams by the end of this week that strengthens a team.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 6 months ago

Indeed the wise and often misunderstood one has toned it down a bit. Great post JB.

Having just returned back to the good ole US of A I haven't had the opportunity to keep up with all the KU drama (football) and excitement (bball). Regardless of the bball ranking and schedule, I have all faith in HCBS that every game has a lesson for the players he knows we will have to depend on down the stretch. Forget RW and MK. HCBS is a genius at teaching the game so despite our past and future ugly wins, and possible losses, this team will be ready come March!


KGphoto 10 years, 6 months ago

Nanocupcakes. Haha.

But man, you gotta feel for a team on a 10 game road trip, and I'll raise a glass for Air McNair. The toughest Brave ever.

Hawk1969 10 years, 6 months ago

Totally off the subject, but did anyone see the scare Ft. Hays State put into K-State last night?

I live in North Centeral Kansas and all these purple sheep are already talking a Tourney bid in December! Let me tell you, KSU is soft!!!

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 6 months ago

I watched some of it. Their biggest problem was that just about every single player had their shot go south on them. Ft. Hays was hitting everything. Pullen and Clemente finally got it going at the very end.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Nothing against Carmelo Anthony, no doubt a solid star at Syracuse but the truth is that if we had just shot 50% at the free-throw line, the term carmelowized would never have come into existence.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 6 months ago

Which obviously still drives me crazy thinking about that game. Heinrich and Collins deserved a national championship..but (fill in anything you want).

kerbyd 10 years, 6 months ago

Actually, before this year, UCLA, Cal, etc., WERE top tier teams. We still need to be careful, cause we have all seen what happens if you take someone too lightly.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

@ derringer29 & farnamjayhawk,

Geez guys, I can't take this many back-handed compliments in one day!

So:here's one back at you.

You two must really be manning-up on your literary appreciation, since you are beginning to appreciate lil'ol' me. :-)

Rock chalk!

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago


Thanks for the Purple Sheep Livestock Futures Report.

And now a break for our sponsor:

"Farm Bureau Insurance/Remember the name!"

And now back to our regularly scheduled posting...

Frank "David Byrne's Talking Heads Suit" Martin needs to make a difference this season. He and Dalonte have gotten some basic bodies in after the unsustainable OAD glow of Beasley and the guy with the blown knee. He needs to show his style of play and coaching can get it done, or KSU needs to bring Jankovich in from Illinois State ASAP.

Brett Glover 10 years, 6 months ago

This Alcorn State team has the worst schedule I've seen in a long time. From the beginning of their season to February, correct me if I'm wrong they have five home games, FIVE!

TxJyHwk 10 years, 6 months ago

SaltyJayhawk - If it is after finals finish, then it would be 12/22 (California). Otherwise, it is 12/29 (Belmont) - after grades are submitted. I can't remember which is the correct date.

Of course, Brady's might be different than Jeff's. Jeff's is an NCAA requirement, Brady's is an "internal" punishment.

SaltyJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks. That is too bad though cause i have tickets to the Michigan game and i would've loved to see those two play.

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