Sparked by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski earlier this week questioning whether the college basketball season should keep plowing ahead through the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas coach Bill Sel fielded some questions on the topic Thursday afternoon.
"The precautions that we do and the protocols that we have would be, in many ways, far safer than if we aren't playing and if we just turned the guys loose,” Self said.
“I also think there’s been a lot of safety measures taken,” he added. “Nobody bats 1.000.”
Self also assessed the play of his No. 5-ranked Jayhawks (5-1) ahead of a Friday home game versus Omaha.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self assessed his team’s play after a blowout win over Washburn Thursday night.
Self also discussed the oddity of playing inside an empty Allen Fieldhouse and talked about his team’s variety of scoring options.
Freshman KU guard Bryce Thompson said after the Jayhawks’ win over Washburn that playing inside an empty Allen Fieldhouse felt a lot different than his trips to the venue as a recruit.
In his first home game as a Jayhawk, Thompson scored 11 points off the bench on 4-for-8 shooting.
Kansas forward David McCormack bounced back from his rough start to the season in the team’s first home game.
The junior big man scored 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting versus Washburn.
He averaged 7.7 points on 25% shooting in the first three games.
As Christian Braun prepares to step into a larger role for the Kansas basketball team as a sophomore, he expects to take on the responsibility of being a trusted 3-point shooter.
“I feel like I’ll be able to take a lot of those shots,” Bruaun said.
The 6-foot-6 guard also said teammates such as Ochai Agbaji, Jalen Wilson, Tristan Enaruna, Tyon Grant-Foster and Bryce Thompson should contribute from long range.
Kansas junior guard Ochai Agbaji said during his long offseason this year he worked on “pretty much everything in my game.”
“More of just being a playmaker, making plays for others while also beating my man off the dribble,” Agbaji began. “Being aggressive really. And just along with that, my shot, just improving that, getting more relaxation, more comfortable.”
As a sophomore, Agbaji averaged 10 points per game, with 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 33.8% from 3-point range.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, ahead of the team’s annual Late Night event, told reporters on Thursday about some of the ramifications Silvio De Sousa’s departure will have on the team.
Among them, Self pointed out, the front court rotation will look different, with freshman forward Gethro Muscadin becoming the third big man, behind David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot.
What’s more, Self said the Jayhawks might find more opportunities to play with five guards during the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Kansas senior guard Marcus Garrett said he’s embracing his leadership role headed into what will be an abnormal college basketball season.
“Definitely a big challenge with everything just being different,” Garrett said, “but when we get on the court it’s still basketball, so I just go out there and try to lead the best way I know how.”
Before the Jayhawks began their first preseason practice of the new season, junior forward David McCormack recalled what it was like to have the 2020 postseason canceled before it even began for KU this past March.
“At first it was just a hard pill to swallow, just because everything happened so fast,” McCormack said, thinking back on KU’s chances to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
“We use this as motivation now, going into this season,” McCormack said.
Coming off of his redshirt season, senior forward Mitch Lightfoot said his time off from playing helped his development.
Throughout the 2019-20 season, Lightfoot said he learned a lot from KU’s coaching staff, as well as former players. Lightfoot thinks he became a better scorer and shooter in the process.