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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Notebook: Self liked KU’s hustle, wants more

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Kansas University’s basketball players were shown tape of Ohio State’s Aaron Craft giving up his body in diving for a loose ball in advance of Wednesday’s game at Oklahoma.

On Thursday, the tape shown the KU team was that of Jayhawk freshman guard Wayne Selden, forward Perry Ellis and others performing a similar play in the second half of the Jayhawks’ 90-83 victory in Norman.

“That’s Kansas basketball right there. It was great for us to show that,” Ellis said of the hustle play. “They (KU coaches) showed it in film to show us how great it was we did that. I think that will push us to keep doing that.”

KU coach Bill Self loves when his team wins the battle for 50/50 balls.

“That play where we got the loose ball and we called timeout, there were seven kids that dove for that ball, seven, and we ended up getting it,” Self said. “That’s the way it is in conference play.”

Goggles remain: KU freshman Joel Embiid, who was elbowed in practice in the left eye earlier in the week, is expected to wear goggles for a second straight game today. KU will meet K-State at 1 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I don’t know. That’ll be Doc’s call,” Self said of Dr. Larry Magee deciding how long the 7-footer will be in goggles. “It’s just precautionary, but I think they’re going to keep him in them for a little while. I was proud of him for being out there (at OU). He gets the goggles on, but he never remembered to take them down. It was kind of comical to see his free throws, and he didn’t remember to put them down,” Self added, smiling.

Ellis was sick vs. S.D. State: Self isn’t surprised Perry Ellis went from scoring four points on Sunday against San Diego State to 22 versus OU.

“In that situation, he felt terrible versus San Diego State. His health wasn’t very good,” Self said of Ellis, who was ill. “Nobody is going to talk about it because when you play, you’ve got to perform. There are no excuses. But I do think he felt much better physically against Oklahoma, and he looked much more aggressive.”

Lyle’s visit to be rescheduled: JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 senior guard from Huntington Prep in West Virginia, will not be visiting KU this weekend as originally planned. He told Zagsblog.com his mom would not have been able to accompany him, thus he’ll reschedule for the spring. Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 nationally by Rivals.com, visited Memphis and UConn unofficially and said he will not make any official visits until March. KU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Memphis and West Virginia have been recruiting him the hardest, he said.

Complex talk: Self at his weekly news conference was asked about the proposed $17.5 million apartment complex, which would house up to 32 men’s and women’s basketball players on the west side of Naismith Drive. The complex would be open to 34 other students, who would not be athletes and would have at least 30 credit hours, in accordance with NCAA rules.

“Housing, where our student-athletes reside now, is way, way, way, way behind what the competitors would be housing their student-athletes in, in a big way,” Self said. Most of the Jayhawks live in Jayhawker Towers; some seniors live in apartments around town.

“But there’s certain things about (the Towers) that’s terrific, mainly being location. You’re just across the street from a lot of things,” Self added. “But in order for us to maintain and even exceed what we’ve been doing, there are certain things that have to be done. Why did we renovate Allen Fieldhouse? Why did we build a practice facility? Why do you renovate offices and locker rooms? Bells and whistles are very important. Why did we build a new academic center? It’s for the benefit, and certainly for the development, of the student-athletes. They deserve to have a situation to live in which they can be monitored, in which they can obviously have more security.”

Self continued: “If you recruit some guys into your program, and hopefully we’ll continue to do so, where there’s very little security and people can come and go as they please and basically take away all privacy these youngsters have, I don’t think that’s the intent of being a student athlete. It’s agents, it’s runners, it’s professional autograph-seekers and things like that. I think we should provide our student-athletes a little protection, so therefore they can at least have a better experience. And of course we want them to be comfortable and have the same type of living conditions as the other people we’re recruiting against.” He added he sees no negatives in the plan, which would be paid for by private donors and bonds.

Great state: Kansas is the only state with three teams in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. Wichita State is No. 6, KU No. 18 and K-State No. 25.

“It speaks volumes when you have three Div. I schools in the state and they’re all ranked,” Self said. “I think when K-State’s good, it helps Kansas. I would think when Kansas is good, it helps K-State. And then, of course, I think when Wichita State is doing the things they’re doing, obviously it brings attention to our state, which is very positive.”

KSU senior Shane Southwell on his opinion of KU: “Discipline and bigs ... they always have really good bigs. Now they have good bigs and good wings. I just think of a good program, they are always one of the better teams in the country, and they always play hard. It is going to be a bar fight.

“It’s crucial,” he added of the game. “I never won there or even got close to winning there. I want to get a win there. It is going to be hard to look back on my life and say I did not get a win in that arena.”

Comments

Jesse Johnson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

“I never won there or even got close to winning there. I want to get a win there. It is going to be hard to look back on my life and say I did not get a win in that arena.”

Dear Mr. Southwell,

Do not fret too much. You should not have any troubles at all in finding a large support group of former Big 12 basketball players who share your pain.

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Gary, anyone, I am out of state now, what were the results of the regents (?) first meeting on the housing project? I believe one or two had an issue with the price tag?

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