Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self will be the first to point out when one of his players is not playing up to his standards.
But it takes a little more for Self to flip the compliment-meter to high.
Tuesday night, after picking up the 600th victory of his 24-year coaching career with a 105-62 beating of UMKC at Allen Fieldhouse, Self did just that with freshman Josh Jackson.
“I thought it was Josh’s best game since he’s been here,” Self said of the young guard who finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and added 12 rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal in 28 energy-filled minutes. “If guys could catch the ball and finish, you know, he’d have eight or nine assists instead of five. But he rebounded the ball better than anybody has at any point in time this year and inside the zone he makes the game so much easier for everybody else.”
View a gallery of images from Tuesday night's game between the Jayhawks and Roos at Allen Fieldhouse.
In the zone is a special place for Self, often reserved for the players he trusts most with the best feel for the game.
“I told him he was good in there,” Self said. “But he’s got a long ways to go before he’s as good as Julian Wright inside the zone. He’s the best. But I tell you what, he’s not far off, if he’s not already there.”
What’s more, Self truly believes Jackson is still just scratching the surface on how good he can be.
“He’s just now starting to get it,” Self said. “I still think his best ball is down the road as he gets more comfortable. ... I mean, blocking shots, altering, pitching ahead, rebounding, pitching ahead in transition, making the game easier for others, he’s about as good as I’ve seen.”
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self met with the media and talked about his team's 105-62 win over UMKC, earning him his 600th career victory. Plus he talked about his team's three-point shooting, Josh Jackson's double-double, and much more.
Svi starts 2nd half
Although he shot just 4-of-12 from the floor, including a sub-50 percent mark of 2-of-7 from three-point range for the first time in four games, junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk started the second half in place of sophomore Lagerald Vick.
“I just didn’t think Lagerald was into it,” Self said when asked why he went to Svi instead of Vick. “I also think that maybe guys don’t need to get comfortable, too.”
In 28 minutes — compared to just 22 for Vick — Mykahiliuk tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Vick finished 2-of-3 from the floor for five points, three assists, two blocks and a steal but had a few sluggish moments especially on the offensive end.
Despite the move, Self remained complimentary of Vick’s game.
“I’m real pleased with Lagerald,” Self said. “Don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t think he was as good in the first half as he had been.”
It’s a rite of passage of sorts for coaches of non-conference foes to walk into the Allen Fieldhouse and explain exactly what impressed them most after taking a loss at the hands of the Jayhawks.
UMKC coach Kareem Richardson, after congratulating Self on win No. 600, did just that Tuesday night.
And while he talked about three-point shooting, physicality and the Kansas defense, one thing stood out to Richardson above all else.
“They’re one of the most unselfish teams that I’ve seen play and they’re fun to watch,” he said. “I’m just really amazed at how unselfish they are.”
This and that....
KU’s 105-point game marked the 111th 100-point game in program history and 19th of the Bill Self era.... The win made KU 750-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse and extended the Jayhawks’ home-court winning streak to a nation’s best 47 games.... The Jayhawks set season highs for points (105), points in a half (54 in the second), field goals (39), three-point field goals (15), offensive rebounds (21) and total rebounds (53).... Devonte’ Graham’s six three-point makes moved him into 20th place all-time on KU’s three-point shooting list.
— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.