Cliff's Notes: Bill Self press conference, 3/29/11
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.
• Self says he has no idea how next year’s roster is shaping up. The guys need some time to unwind and figure out their future plans. It wouldn’t surprised Self if a couple guys or more put their name in the NBA Draft hat, but it wouldn’t surprise Self if they didn’t. It’s a situation where KU needs to have a great spring recruiting class. KU needs to sign between 2-4 kids.
• KU needs to sign a couple of guards/wings.
• Self hasn’t talked to the Morris twins about whether they’re going to the NBA yet.
• Self talks to NBA GMs for his players. The big thing is to have an open line of communication with his players and their families. Self doesn't care either way. Obviously, selfishly he wants them to return, but they have to do what’s best for their families. That might mean leaving.
• Self has spoken to GMs and owners in the business, and most of them think some sort of NBA lockout is likely.
• The twins did great this year. They both improved so much. To Self, it was the best frontcourt in the country. Marcus can stil get better. He thinks those kids are good and can play at the next level.
• Self doesn’t know if you get over losses immediately. Kids do better than adults do with getting over that stuff. With coaches, it’s just a way of life. Your whole family throws itself into the Tournament. It’s a tough deal for everybody. Most disappointing for Self is that the Tournament was set up for KU. The Jayhawks were the better team, in his opinion, but it wasn't on that day. That’s tough to stomach. You have to take advantage of opportunities in life. Self won’t get over this one for a long time, nor should he.
• Self reiterated that he thought the Tournament set up well for KU. He really thought the Jayhawks would play in the national championship game.
• Self says KU was tight against Boston. Against Illinois, KU wasn't tight. Against Richmond, KU didn't look tight. KU played pretty well in the Tournament. The last game, Self thought the more shots KU missed the harder his players tried. There are a lot of things that happened should have went the other way, like a three-second call on a lob dunk or a block/charge on Tyshawn Taylor. VCU's defense had something to do with KU's poor shooting, but it didn't have anything to do with KU's missed open shots in the first half. KU just missed them.
• Self says KU wasn't a good free-throw shooting team all year long, and it didn't cost the Jayhawks a game until the very end. If KU was 10-for-12 from the line in the first half, the game has a totally different feel.
• Thomas Robinson has as much room to improve as anybody. When he plays well, he's terrific, but he can be inconsistent. He needs to take a step like Markieff did this year. He's a terrific player, but he can become a much better player, and Self thinks he will. It's amazing to Self the type of year Robinson had with the year he went through.
• Josh Selby is a talented kid. Primarily due to injury, he wasn’t as effective late. He's a terrific talent. He’ll be fine. He’s a guy moving forward that can be a pro-type guard. This was a tough year for Josh with all the stuff he went through.
• Self feels like right now, in Selby's development, he's more of a two-guard. He has to become more comfortable with that. Many of the guards in the Final Four have experience. Selby hasn't had many reps. He hasn't had a chance to develop.
• If people use the word "choke," it bothers Self. But the reality is, KU didn't play well, for whatever reason. You've got to win a lot of big games to go 35-3. The bottom line is KU lost to a team it was favored to beat. KU just blew a great opportunity.
• This year's team played closer to the ceiling than last year's team, and last year's team was 33-3.
• Self doesn't know if he'll do anything differently in the Tournament against mid-majors. KU has had good success there over time. KU has won the most games in the NCAA Tournament the last 10 years. When you're a high seed, you're going to play teams you're favored against.
• It amazes Self that he is 6-1 in Sweet 16 games and 1-5 in Elite Eight games. That's the stuff Self says he needs to look at. It's what happened in that 48 hours to give KU a better chance in that one game. When KU has plenty of days to prepare, it hasn't been an issue. IS KU too film intensive? Does it get enough rest? That, to Self, is what needs to be evaluated.
• This is the loosest that KU has ever been heading into a game. Self's assistants even said to him, "If you're tight, nobody knows it." That doesn't guarantee anything either. The coaches are thinking about things that don’t have to do with the game. Maybe the coaches don’t let the players watch TV. Maybe the team goes to a movie. It’s one of those things KU has to do a better job of. But players have to play. KU’s whole deal was to attack and be the aggressor.
• USC approached KU to ask if it would be interested in playing the Trojans’ home game in Wichita for financial reasons. USC will get all the gate receipts. It will not be KU’s home game.