Shortly after news came out Wednesday afternoon that the 2020 NCAA Tournament would be played in mostly empty venues without fans, because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self shared his thoughts on the development at Sprint Center, site of the Big 12 tournament.
Self broke the news to his players during an open practice in Kansas City, Mo., on the eve of the No. 1 Jayhawks’ postseason opener.
“The thing I told them was it sucks,” Self began. “But it doesn’t just stink for us. It stinks for everybody that wants to go be entertained at a concert or anywhere. It stinks for the market. Certainly sporting events, schools moving forward and whether or not you’re even going to be able to have school on campus and not do everything online. Far bigger than men’s basketball.
“Certainly sad. And sad for the fans,” Self added.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said his No. 1 Jayhawks learned to grind this season, as they finished off an outright Big 12 title with a win at Texas Tech.
“They guarded us well, we guarded them well and we just found a way to make a couple great individual plays late,” Self said. “Guys deserve all the credit. That was fun for me.”
Kansas stars Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson took a lot of pride in helping their team go undefeated on the road in Big 12 play en route to an outright conference championship, they shared following the Jayhawks’ 66-62 win at Texas Tech on the final day of the regular season.
“We wanted to win it outright,” Dotson said. “We didn’t want to share the title with anybody.”
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was happy to see his players add to the program’s stash of trophies with a win over TCU in the Jayhawks’ home finale.
“It feels good,” Self said. “It’s a goal every year to try to win the league, and this obviously guarantees us a share of it. We’d like to go down and take care of business Saturday to win it outright (at Texas Tech). It’s been kind of a long grind through the conference season, especially when you start off from behind and the team in front of you never loses.”
Following the No. 1 Jayhawks’ 75-66 win over TCU in their home finale, seniors Isaiah Moss and Udoka Azubuike and sophomore Devon Dotson share their thoughts on the achievement.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said his team’s star center, Udoka Azubuike, is doing everything he can to make sure he’s able to play in the Jayhawks’ home finale versus TCU.
“I think that he definitely wants to. I don’t know that he will or not,” Self said of the possibility of Azubuike, who hurt an ankle this past weekend, playing. “It depends probably on how things go today and how sore he is tomorrow. But he’s trying. He’s getting treatment four or five times a day and doing everything he’s supposed to do. It’s one thing to want to play. It’s another thing to want to play on senior night. So I know he’ll do everything he can to get out there.”
A grad transfer from Iowa, Kansas senior guard Isaiah Moss discussed what he's expecting out of his senior night with the Jayhawks.
Still recovering from the ankle injury he suffered on Saturday at Kansas State, Kansas center Udoka Azubuike gave an update on his status Tuesday, on the eve of the No. 1 Jayhawks’ home finale versus TCU.
“Hopefully I’m going to play,” Azubuike said, adding it would depend on whether his ankle lets him.
The added factor of senior night makes Azubuike even more invested in the idea of playing through some pain.
“It’s my last home game at the fieldhouse. I want to play,” he said.
Kansas freshman Christian Braun, who scored a career high 20 points against K-State on Jan. 21, said he’s looking forward to his first trip to Manhattan in a KU uniform.
“I’m excited to play in front of a loud crowd,” Braun said of the rivalry game atmosphere. “That’s always fun, wherever it is. I’m just excited to be able to compete again, and with a crazy environment.”
Kansas sophomore Ochai Agbaji downplayed the idea of any extra drama existing for the Jayhawks, headed into their upcoming rematch with Kansas State.
The two rivals, of course, spilled into some courtside seats during a fracas at Allen Fieldhouse in the final seconds of a KU win back on Jan. 21.
“Our team, we’re kind of focused a lot more, winding down to the end of conference play,” Agbaji said. “We’re just taking it as any other conference road game on our schedule.”