Friday, February 18, 2011


KU key: Selective hearing



Bill Self weekly press conference, Feb. 17, 2011

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Kansas head coach Bill Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

From Willie’s to the Bottleneck, from Watson Park to South Park, from Weaver’s to the Love Garden, from Auntie Em’s Deli to the Basil Leaf Cafe, it seems all anybody has been talking about all week are the words uttered by ESPN color commentator Bob Knight in the wake of Kansas State’s blowout victory against Kansas University on Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum.

Knight, I’m told by everybody everywhere, said that the loss could end up being the best thing for Kansas, which started the day ranked No.1 in the nation and ended it with a humiliating defeat.

Kansas coach Bill Self watches the televised feeds of games because it’s the highest-quality, but he does so with the mute button engaged. He didn’t hear Knight’s comment, but basically agreed with it.

“I turned the sound way down and watched it many times,” Self said of the game. “I made my own commentary most of the time.”

Oh to be a fly on the wall of his office during that session.

“I think a lot of times in this sport, a negative can become a positive over time,” Self said Thursday. “I bet you the Green Bay Packers had a rivalry game they lost that was a huge deal and (thought), ‘How are we going to get back together?’ and probably woke some guys up to realize that, ‘Our backs are against the wall. We have less margin for error than what we thought.’ Then they go run the table.”

In 2008, Kansas lost three times in a seven-game stretch, the last one on Feb. 23 to Oklahoma State. Then the Jayhawks won 13 in a row to claim the national title.

“We were still pretty full of ourselves until after the Oklahoma State loss,” Self said.

The untold story of why that team was able to pull it together and gain basketball immortality lay in the maturity the players showed by blocking out all the outside voices that vied for their attention as the tournament neared.

Agents use their savvy to get close to family members, who turn around and begin talking to the players about the life that lies ahead. The threat lingers that players can be told by those close to them what’s the best way for them to maximize their tournament exposure, and what they’re told can conflict with what’s best for the team.

The players on the ’08 team decided to block out all those voices and, for the final six weeks, listened to one voice and one alone, that of the coaching staff. Doing so led those Jayhawks to a national title, which in turn played a big part in five players getting selected in that year’s draft.

It took maturity for that team to block out all the competing voices and will take the same from this team, which hasn’t often been described as mature.

Each player should walk outside tonight, gaze at the stunningly beautiful full moon and make a commitment to himself: “I will listen to one voice and one voice alone for the rest of this season.” Then, when the next full moon appears, March 19, the players should repeat the exercise. Should Kansas get sent to Tulsa, the next full moon falls on the night after KU’s first-round blowout victory and the night before the challenging second-round game. The full-moon promise won’t guarantee anything, but will give KU its best shot.


TopJayhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

They will not do this as they are not smart enough as a team. They will listen to everyone BUT Coach Self.

They ain't gonna go anywhere. No resmblence to either the 08 or the 88 team when it comes to using ones' head or being mature.

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 3 months ago

They ain't gonna go anywhere.

Learn proper English.

Tool x2

RockCaCO3 7 years, 3 months ago


By the way, if "they aint gonna go nowhere", then that means they're going somewhere. Its called a double negative. Douchenad.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 3 months ago

This team does not have maturity and focus and BB intelligence to do what Keegan is talking about.

This in no way means these guys are a bad group or intentions are good. I feel at this time of the season unless they really, really grow up and put aside their egos they will not be able carry the task at hand.

riverdrifter 7 years, 3 months ago

"Each player should walk outside tonight, gaze at the stunningly beautiful full moon and make a commitment to himself: “I will listen to one voice and one voice alone for the rest of this season.” Then, when the next full moon appears, March 19, the players should repeat the exercise."

'I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.'

Don't need need no religion near as I can tell, but I like this Bill Self more than ever.

So let it be. Go Jayhawks.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 3 months ago

This is still a Roy Williams team - a team that thinks they can just out score all comers, and not a Bill Self team - a team that shuts down opponents and then scores some baskets. '08 was elite b/c they were able to shut down the opponent (even really good opponents) on a regular basis. This team rarely has that mentality. It takes a lot more effort and focus - part of that maturity that has been lacking.

It would be nice to think that they would suddenly listen enough to be able to put into practice all the things they have not listened to the coaches say for the past # yrs. Unfortunately, it is not likely. Scoring is usually just too easy and fun. They haven't heard that getting intense about (work at) D is what ultimately wins championships. You've got to embrace the pain, and overcome it, before you'll be able to succeed.

86finalfour 7 years, 3 months ago

i too have thought that this team most resembles a roy team than any other self team.

After reading the same phrase, "block the voices" for a third time, I stopped reading this article.

Funhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I kind of like the moon analogy. Use the moon as a motif. The possibilities are endless using the moon, to help us get the full meaning from Tom. Last night, by the way, was a full moon. Last Monday night, however, was not a full moon.

Carter Patterson 7 years, 3 months ago

"You hear but do you listen. You look but do you see." - Fred Turner

NH_JHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I will listen to 1 voice and 1 voice alone. When do we eat?

NH_JHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

memhawk's avatar has me in the mood for some ribs. Memphis style is fine by me!

lance1 - buffalo definitely on the menu for tomorrow's feast. Cupcake is probably right considering it's CU in AFH. Bon Appetit!

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 3 months ago

So, nobody knows the movie "Teen Wolf" with Michael J. Fox? Full moon...he plays ferocious basketball after he turns into a werewolf during a full moon? Anybody?

NH_JHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I definitely remember the movie. I was a young teenager at the time it came out. Michael J. Fox turns into the teen wolf and is a basketball sensation doing all these ridiculous moves and dunks. Been way too long to recall any of the specifics of that movie, but I remember liking it at the time. Back to the Future came out around the same time too I think.

d_prowess 7 years, 3 months ago

While I still think this team has what it takes to win a championship this year, does anyone actually still think that this team would beat the 2008 team? They would get beat regularly and at times badly by that team.

HawkBBall 7 years, 3 months ago

Tom, if they don't listen to the coaches, what makes you think they can make something out of staring at the moon? If they need to look at the moon to concentrate, then we are sunk.

manunitedjayhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow I love it how we compare this team to the 2008 team. It is not even a fair comparison, just look at the each player and their skill set. Look at the NBA talent in terms of making an impact in the Association right away. We all despise Duke, but comparing this team to the 2008 team is like comparing last year's Duke squad to the 2001 Duke team. Comapre Jon Scheyer to J. Williams, Brian Zoubek to Elton Brand, Lance Thomas to Shane Battier, Kyle Singler to Mike Dunleavy Jr, the Plumlee's to Carlos Boozer, or even Nolan Smith to Chris Duhon. Tyshawn is no Mario, the Morris' don't have the athleticism Shady Arthur did, Brady is not Sherron, Tyrel is no Russell, Travis is no Brandon Rush, Jeff Withey is no Sausha Kaun, and Thomas is no Darnell (yet) and we don't have some freshmen named Cole Aldrich coming off the bench. Does this mean we can't win a national title, no it does not. Let's just sit back and see if this team has the resolve to go on a run the next month and a half, it should be fun to watch!

kesmithstl1 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree you can't compare the two teams in relation to each other, however compare them to the NCAA fields they are competing against. The 08 field was tougher than this years field. Now compare the chances of each team in relevance to their respected field (still with me?) Don't you think this years team has just as good a shot as the 08 team did? I think that is what most posters are doing when they compare the teams.

Clear as mud? This past loss is really messing with my mind, and the 4 days off haven't helped.

kesmithstl1 7 years, 3 months ago

I can remember thinking to myself after the OSU loss in 08, this team is lazy, full of themselves, and undisciplined. Too many "I" guys looking out for themselves. Rush was lazy, Robinson and Chalmers were struggling with their identity with the team, Darrell Arthur was selfish, etc...

Man was I wrong!! Teams have to go through the "bad" losses before greatness. The game against K-State on Monday was by all accounts a bad loss. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't another one looming in the near future (although I don't think it will be Colorado). I don't necessarily think another loss would be a bad thing either. Don't give me the B.S. about a #1 seed. You have to win 6 games regardless of what seed you are in the tourney anyway!!

JayhawkMafiaFamily 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm still having a hard time figuring out what the identity of this team is. While it is a good team I don't think it compares to the '08 Championship team. The losses to K-State and Texas are really the only similarities so far although K-State was ranked #24 that year I believe. Interesting that Texas was ranked #11 for both the loss in '08 and this years loss. Hopefully we can avenge that loss in the Big XII tournament championship like we did in '08. The '08 team was ranked in the top 5 all season but never #1 and didn't lose a single home game that year. Matter of fact I think we only had 3 losses all season in '08. And nothing will ever replace beating Roy's #1 seeded UNC in the Final Four on the way to the National Championship. Now that I think about it those are some big shoes to fill.

The major differences I see are the lack of a true leader on the court (e.g. Sherron Collins), a credible blocking threat in the paint (e.g. Aldrich), a lock down defensive player (e.g. Robinson) and a player with a nose for passing lanes and steals (e.g. Chalmers). Add to that the fact that we had several players on the team that shot a respectable percentage from three-point land and an all around player in Brandon Rush.

There is one constant however and that is that Bill Self is still our head coach. Question is can he coach our current team up to be just as good as the '08 team? So far this season he has done a good job. Given all the adversity this season with getting Selby cleared, the passing of Thomas Robinson's mother and injuries to several key role players Self has still coached this team to be not only one of the best in the league but one of the best in the country when a lot of experts expected a "down" year for the 6 year straight regular season champ KU Jayhawks. While the K-State game was a disappointment you have to put it in perspective. Mid-February is the time when teams that might be on the bubble are looking for that one big win that will get them into the tournament. KU has never been one of those teams. We are the ones other teams hope to beat to help them make the tournament. If we win the Big XII tournament we are a #1 seed without a doubt and even with another set back this season we are still a #2 at worst.

The point is that this team has the potential to win it all and we have a coach that knows how to get them there.

Bill Shaw 7 years, 3 months ago

The twins should spend most of their spare time practicing free throws. Taylor should take some No-Doze before the game.

FarSideHawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Guys, as much as I love the '08 team, it wasn't perfect and neither is this team. However, this team has just as much a chance of winning the championship as that one did. Yes, it will depend a lot on their commitment on the court, but also on which way the ball bounces.

That '08 team won the championship, because one 3-pointer at the buzzer missed (Davidson), while another one went through (Mario's). Had either of them gone the other way, I doubt that we would be using that team as the standard bearer for every good team we have. Just like we don't seem to remember anything from last year except the Northern Iowa loss.

Give this team a chance. They have shown that they can be great. They are certainly not as bad as they looked against K-State. They are one of the most entertaining KU teams, in recent memory, to watch on most nights. Enjoy the ride! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

jayhawkintx73 7 years, 3 months ago

What does this year's team have with 2008's National Championship team?

It lost to Kansas State in Manhattan. It lost to Texas in the Big 12 regular season match up.

The difference is, Kansas was not rated number 1 in the nation in the AP or Coach's poll until, the night of Memphis vs. Kansas in San Antonio.

Number 1 means nothing right now. Selby missed 3 previous games. No T-Rob for another week. The 2008 had everyone by this time, including Collins who didn't start playing until mid January or so that year.

That game Monday Night was a fluke for this team. As bad as they did play, they only lost by 16, not by 35<<<<They could have.

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