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Blog from New Orleans: Self says coaching changes won't be a distraction, plus a cool Barry Hinson story

8:18 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

As promised, here's our wrap-up video from the Superdome.

For those who haven't listened yet, I wanted to point out a funny answer KU coach Bill Self gave to Jack Harry at the 6:33 mark of our audio press conference.

Harry, from NBC Action News in Kansas City, gave a rather famous prediction on KU this year ... one Self, evidently, is well aware of.

With that, we're going to wrap up today's live coverage from New Orleans. Be sure to check back for more coverage from the Final Fourt throughout the week.

7:12 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Working on a wrap-up video that Matt Tait and I just shot. Should be posted soon.

5:46 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some great video here from Mike Yoder.

You can also see in this video why Tyshawn Taylor is a media favorite.

5:33 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some breaking news ...

5:05 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Some miscellaneous quotes from Ohio State's time with reporters.

Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger on Kansas forward Thomas Robinson: "He's the player of the year in my eyes, without a doubt."

OSU small forward small forward William Buford on what stood out from the Buckeyes' last game against KU: "The loss. Us losing. That was the main thing. And not converting at the end of the game — not being able to make the plays at the end of the game when they were able to, and we weren't able to do that. That really cost us the game, too.

OSU forward Deshaun Thomas, on whether he thinks Thomas Robinson will guard him: "Probably for a little bit in the first half. I think they're going to switch to No. 40 (Kevin Young) holding me, to be quicker and longer and probably contain me more."

Thomas, on KU trying to have Young guard him in the first matchup: "They tried to make it more difficult, but like I said, we're a better team now. They are too, but we're going to try to make it difficult and run through our offense the same way and get great shots."

OSU point guard Aaron Craft, on Tyshawn Taylor in the teams' first game: "He was the catalyst. I think he was a very big reason why they won that game scoring the ball and distributing it to their shooters and their playmakers. He's a great player, and he's been through the battles, and he's a veteran. It's something that ... it's going to be a great challenge, and hopefully as a team, we can find a way to contain him and hopefully make some other people make some plays."

4:07 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Here are some highlights from Elijah Johnson's talk with reporters. Some interesting stuff in there:

Elijah, on being at the Final Four: "I've never felt like I've had a red carpet laid down for me ever in my life, so the experience is definitely fun, and something I've never been a part of."

Elijah, on Hinson and Manning taking head-coaching jobs: "I think if they have the opportunity, they should take it. I don't think it's something that they should overlook. Jayhawk nation will always love them. I think that shows you how winning, or how if you're doing the right thing, the pie's big enough for everybody. I never, ever thought that I would be able to help one of our coaches get a job. For us to be able to be part of the reason that happened, it makes me feel good. It makes me want to win even more."

On the games coming up: "I think it's going to get fun for us this weekend. I really do. I think that Saturday and Monday can be, probably, the most fun days of my life that I ever even imagined."

On the Final Four attention: "This weekend is bigger than I expected. Everything is on a higher pedestal. I'm conscious of it."

On playing a long time at KU: "Not that I do this, but I find myself not even having to listen to coach Self with a lot of stuff he says. He can start a sentence, and I know how the sentence is going to end, because I've been paying attention the whole year. I wanted to be a student of the game; I didn't just want to play it. I think that definitely just made my confidence shoot through the roof."

On Tyshawn Taylor's three-point shooting: "My personal opinion: Tyshawn's having fun with the whole statement of not being able to make shot in a dome. Tyshawn can make a shot in a dome. He will make a shot in a dome."

On Tyshawn's freedom this year: "Tyshawn needs to be let off the leash. You can't try to tame Tyshawn. You've got to let him have fun, and that's when you get the best from Ty. I think that Ty's having the most fun since he's had since he's been at Kansas right now, and I think it's showing in his game."

3:48 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Just posted the full audio press conference from KU coach Bill Self if you want to check it out.

Sorry, but you won't be able to hear most of the questions from reporters because of the setup here.

3:32 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Journal-World photographer Nick Krug has posted a photo gallery from today's festivities.

Here are a couple of the photos in there.

The Kansas Jayhawks head inside the Superdome for practice after interviews on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

The Kansas Jayhawks head inside the Superdome for practice after interviews on Thursday, March 29, 2012. by Nick Krug

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during breakout interviews at the Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during breakout interviews at the Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday, March 29, 2012. by Nick Krug

3:17 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

I stuck with KU guard Elijah Johnson during the breakout session and just posted the full audio from his time there.

I'll be putting a quick recap up from his comments shortly.

Also, KU coach Bill Self talked for 15 minutes. Most important from his time at the podium was his insistence that Danny Manning and Barry Hinson taking head-coaching jobs were not a distraction to the team. Self said he asked the schools to get everything done with by today so everyone could talk about it today and so the team could be done with it.

Self also said he kept his players up to date on Manning and Hinson through the whole process and informed them there was a good chance they both could take positions.

2:10 p.m.: Update by Jesse Newell

Welcome back to the NCAA Tournament blog, coming live to you from the Superdome in New Orleans, site of this year's Final Four.

Kansas players and coach Bill Self are preparing to speak with the media. Here's the schedule:

2:20-2:40 p.m. — Kansas Student-Athletes
2:40-2:55 p.m. — Kansas coach Bill Self
4:10-4:30 p.m. — Ohio State Student-Athletes
4:30-4:45 p.m. — Ohio State coach Thad Matta

Before I get to the interviews, I wanted to share a cool story from KU director of basketball operations Barry Hinson, who accepted the Southern Illinois head-coaching job Wednesday.

Hinson, who spoke with reporters outside the locker room a few minutes ago, said right after KU's win over North Carolina last week, he gave Self a hug to celebrate KU advancing to the Final Four.

During the embrace, Self leaned over.

"The only thing that could make this better," Self told him, "is if you get the job."

"That's the kind of guy I've worked for for the last four years," Hinson said. "There are a lot of stories out there about coaches, but for a guy to turn around and say that right after he knows he's going to the Final Four, I think that speaks volumes of what type of guy Bill Self is."

We'll be back with updates throughout the day here, so be sure to keep checking back for more coverage from New Orleans.

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Comments

easyfive 2 years ago

If only Bill would have went zone years ago

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Kye Clark 2 years ago

Did anybody see Kendall Marshall won the Cousy Award? No actual espn article on the matter, but it is mentioned in this article about Marshall, Henson, & Barnes all declaring for the draft:

http://espn.go.com/nba/draft2012/story/_/id/7752253/north-carolina-tar-heels-john-henson-harrison-barnes-kendall-marshall-enter-draft

Hard to argue, I've thought all year he was the best pure point guard in the country. Tyshawn was well deserving as a finalist.

On the subject of UNC losing so many players (Zeller was a senior, and Stillman White is leaving on a 2-year mormon retreat), think they'll return to NIT status?

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eway12 2 years ago

This morning on one of the Kansas City radio stations an Ohio State radio personality made some excuses about losing without Sullinger and took a shot at Self's junk defense. I really hope someone got that in front of HCBS. That is exactly the kind of challenge that will allow him to will this team another victory.

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jaybate 2 years ago

"Some Ways You Know that MU Fans Are Envious of KU"

~Taking more meth and grinding their teeth more.

~Displacing KU success with more incest and euphemizing incest as "interfamilial intimacy".

~Standing at urinals next to KU fans and saying, "Why do theirs look bigger?"

~MU fans contemplate: "Frank is reputedly part of recruiting improprieties at Miami, just like Quin was in Columbia--how does KU do it without cheating?

~Manning's going to Tulsa? Now they'll be better than MU!

~Hinson's going to SIU? Now they'll be better than MU, too!

~MU fans are having dreams where they are KU fans experiencing good times.

~MU fans are muttering, "Maybe if we'd quit cracking sudafed as our preferred recreation, we'd get the kind of respect that KU fans get."

~MU fans grumble, "Maybe The Columns signify the ruin of our sports and KU's Campanile signifies KU's virility and accomplishment."

~MU fans ask each other, "Why does everyone ridicule us and look up to KU fans?"

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SatchWill7 2 years ago

How about David West as a Thomas Robinson comparison?

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jaybate 2 years ago

ralster,

There's a better than 50/50 chance Louisville will upset UK.

Slick'deVille is tough.

Slick Rick is a wiley devil, as a coach, too.

And I really think Louisville brings a combination of defensive pressure, trey shooting, and experience that will be very difficult for UK to handle.

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missouricat 2 years ago

Well, looks like KU struggled through a couple more. I got back from Saint Louis after the games but, had to go to work and get some of the work done that stacked up while we were gone. Had a chance to see KU up close and they are not really that good. Luck is playing into this. Did loose a little money this time on them maybe $200 at the most. The end will be coming soon as they are the least talented team in the final four as Andy Katz stated the other night. My wife and I along with some of my staff will be going to the final four in New Orleans of which I will pay for the trip for all. The company is rooting for Kentucky to win it all with Ohio ST. beating KU. Will have to put down some bets again with some of the KU nuts, easy money from those lowlights. With all the coaching staff leaving KU, Self with have a difficult time recruiting this next year, course he can't recruit anyway. Rock on Kentucky.

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years ago

Interesting Sullinger comment about Robinson:

"He's the player of the year in my eyes, without a doubt."

Which in turn raised Anthony Davis eyebrows...I mean the unibrow; the sight of which created a stampede of people trying to get away from that sight.

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irvan moore 2 years ago

the hawks play the last weekend of the season, we got a horse in the race, it don't get a lot better than this

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Scott Smetana 2 years ago

Why is a triangle and 2 called 'junk'? Junk defense to me is Baylor's zone or the ole' Pentagon and 3.

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namder 2 years ago

You know, in the long and storied history and short list of head coaches at KU, Bill Self will, if not top the list, be right beside the great Phog.

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Danny Hernandez 2 years ago

I agree....let's enjoy the ride and as EJ pretty much said, "This weekend is bigger than I expected. Everything is on a higher pedestal. I'm conscious of it."

SO Kansas fans, enjoy the ride.....damn, it's great

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SCHNBALL 2 years ago

Great story, now a question:

Jesse, any chance Ohio State pulls a self trick and goes triangle and 2 or box and 1

and lets us take our chances from behind the arc?

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Ben Kane 2 years ago

That's why we love coach Self. I have complete faith that he will bring in some tremendous talent to replace the giants we are losing on our staff.

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