Sunday, January 6, 2019

KU coach Bill Self after KU’s ugly night at Iowa State: ‘The sky’s not falling, even though we sucked’

Kansas head coach Bill Self reacts after a call against his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas head coach Bill Self reacts after a call against his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Ames, Iowa.


There’s no telling exactly how Kansas basketball coach Bill Self felt about things when he woke up on Sunday morning, anywhere from 12-20 hours after fifth-ranked KU’s 77-60 loss at Iowa State on Saturday.

But not long after the Jayhawks’ second setback of the season, which came largely as the result of a season-high 24 KU turnovers, Self already was providing himself — and the KU fan base — with instructions on how to move forward.

“It’s an 18-game season and the sky’s not falling, even though we sucked,” said Self, whose team fell to 12-2 overall and 1-1 in Big 12 play early in the round-robin style conference season. “We’ve got to correct some stuff.”

To list everything included in Self’s assessment of “stuff” would be a waste of time and is probably best summed up by the more general philosophy of No. 5 Kansas needing to get a little bit better in a whole bunch of areas as the season progresses.

And now that these Jayhawks have tasted disappointment and defeat in two tough road environments, Self believes it will be both easier and more likely that his team now will be willing to face its issues.

“The thing that is good about getting beat rather than being edged is the fact that it’s very evident that we have deficiencies that need to be worked on,” Self said Saturday night. “Nobody’s going to leave out of here thinking, ‘Yeah, that game wasn’t that bad.’ Everybody’s going to leave out of here knowing how bad it actually was. Sometimes that’s not an awful thing, to get your team’s attention; at least that’s been my experience in the past.”

The work, of course, will come in the days and practices ahead. But the shift in mentality had already started before the Jayhawks even left Ames, Iowa.

“It’s a long season,” said KU junior Dedric Lawson, sharing part of Self’s postgame message to the team. “You know, it’s part of the game. You win some, you lose some. You’ve just got to come in with a different mindset the next game and the rest of the week at practice and go in there and be mentally tough.”

Doing that — more than just saying it, hearing it or thinking it — might be new territory for many on this year’s team. But it’s not new for Self, who joked about his past experiences with tough losses on his way out of the media room.

“We’ve had many games, unfortunately, like this over time,” Self said Saturday. “I shouldn’t say many. But one a year, let’s say, and we got this one hopefully out of the way early in the year. So that means the rest of the season should be smooth sailing.”

There was at least one man in the building Saturday night who was not willing to view Self’s parting sentiments as the joke they seemed to be.

His name is Steve Prohm, the fourth-year Iowa State coach who on Saturday called Kansas “the standard in our league.”

“They’re the team we’re all trying to catch,” he said.

Prohm, who improved to 3-4 all-time against Self’s Jayhawks with Saturday’s victory, has seen the Jayhawks do just fine from this position before.

“My first year here, Kansas lost here and they didn’t lose another game,” Prohm recalled. “They were 5-3, they left here, they won their next eight and went to the Elite Eight. So just one game at a time. You’ve got to keep learning about your team each week.

“The thing about this league, it’s a quick turnaround. You wake up tomorrow, you’ve got two days of prep and you’re (on to your next game).”

For Kansas, that game will arrive Wednesday, when TCU (12-1,1-0) comes to Allen Fieldhouse for Game 3 of that 18-game Big 12 grind.


Bryce Landon 5 months, 2 weeks ago

As maddening as yesterday's loss was, it's far from the end of the world. We have seen this movie countless times in the last decade-and-a-half where Kansas finds a way to win the Big 12, usually by a combination of winning enough games to be crowned champs and by the other contenders dropping games they shouldn't have dropped. I will not make the mistake I made last year when, after KU got blown out at Baylor, I resigned myself to KU not winning the Big 12 because it lacked the manpower and the willpower to do it; and by golly they won it anyway. Until we are mathematically eliminated from the conference race, the Big 12 runs through us.

Dane Pratt 5 months, 2 weeks ago

17 point loss is bad but I look at each game and try to determine what the outcome would have been if it were played on a neutral court. We win plenty of games by virtue of the venue we play in at home and yesterday Iowa State was the beneficiary of a home court. On a neutral court I doubt we turn the ball over 24 times and I also doubt the Cyclones shoot over 50 percent from behind the arc. But on a neutral court we still don’t win but it would not have been quite the lopsided disaster it was. I’m already over it. Bring on TCU.

Steve Zimmerman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"So that means the rest of the season should be smooth sailing.”

Excuse me? Coach, your team has already got outcoached by Hurley, now Prohm.. soon other B12 coaches. Don't underestimate them. With the players in our team currently, and with old-school plays, you think we can still win B12 this year? I'm going to take a nap now..

Dane Pratt 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm gonna cut the coach some slack. His resume is actually pretty good.

Steve Zimmerman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Undeniable. But only if he's got a team that can execute his Xs and Os well enough with some skills. The problem is, other coaches catching up already - just as Prohm has proven, and he doesn't have that kind of team as of now.

Joe Ross 5 months, 2 weeks ago

These comments must have been made before Self knew of Azubuike's injury was season-ending.

Without 'Dok, we will lose a bunch of games, the streak, AND are probably facing an early tournament exit (based on how we are playing at this point in time).

Bad week for Kansas. The sky is falling!

Mallory Briggans 5 months, 2 weeks ago

1 and Done takes on a whole new meaning given Dok s injury .From preseason number 1 to being done .There is a lot of season left ……..McCormack and Lightfoot roles will increase .Desouza wont play this season so …What now the 4 guard line-up has 4 guards that cant shoot ….Lawson at the 5 is not playing to his strength and not his natural position. No need to keep McCormack on the pine . 16 Big 12 games left for him to get used to playing ……..he is a mcdonalds all-American … 1 and done …...maybe... but I doubt it

Joe Ross 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Everybody is important now. People who have to step up bigger immediately: Vick, Grimes, Garrett, Lightfoot, and McCormack. Yes, that's most the team. Dotson and Lawson need to remain consistent.

Don't hold your breath on K.J. though. Dude is terrible. Tempted to lump Charlie Moore into that category now.

Kit Duncan 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill Self has won with less talent, though the talent on this team has not fully shown itself on a regular basis. Coach is a Hall-of;Fame coach and should be expected to make the changes necessary to help his team win.

I have said it here before, until another Big XII team wins every home game and goes 5 and 4 or better on the road, it is going to be difficult to wrest the crown from Kansas. Traditionally, Bill Self coached teams win every conference home game and at least 5 of 9 games away from home.

Last season was a little different, with KU losing two conference home games to TTU and OSU. KU made up one of those games, winning at their closest contender, TTU. Every other Big XII team not named KU lost more on the road than they won and lost at least one home game. TTU was 11-7 last year, losing 6 games on the road while winning only 2 away. KU was 13-5, losing 2 at home and only 3 on the road.

It will be difficult, but KU is certainly capable of equalling their average wins/losses.

Michael Leiker 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Guys gotta want to score, gotta catch it being aggressive, being a threat. Lot of passive ball handlers on the court

Steve Zimmerman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

FAKE your shot, FAKE it, FAKE it again. We're making other teams look so good in BLKs nowadays.

Marius Rowlanski 5 months, 1 week ago

Far too much dribbling, not enough passing.

Steve Zimmerman 5 months, 1 week ago

Passing, we tried, to a player that's just standing - easy to be stolen, to a weaving guy - charged call; hi-low pass - ready to be doubled-tripled or fumbled --- those are TOs prone passes that we executed. Until we go with pass-n-cutting, pick-n-rolling, lob passes, none of those passes would be effective. This requires a change in our offense strategy - which I've been saying over and over again.

Michael Leiker 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is one of those weeks where in film session you make the guys watch their lifetime highlight reels over and over and over and over

Marius Rowlanski 5 months, 1 week ago

Chicken little used to be a T. Rex. Sometimes the sky is falling.

Robert Brock 5 months, 1 week ago

Lagerald Vick could help if he stopped playing like a rookie. His ball-handling, passing, decision-making, and defense are AWFUL.

Armen Kurdian 5 months, 1 week ago

I'm almost to the point of saying play Silvio and make the NCAA put up or shut up. They have done NOTHING it seems, and this kid is suffering because of nothing he did. He should not have to sit out one more game. And then if the NCAA cries foul later? Sue them.

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