Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 11/28/12


Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

Andrew White III's best skill right now is his shooting. That's what he's best at. He needs to take care of the basketball and understand better what KU is doing. White is going to be a good basketball player, Self said. He reminds Self a little bit of Conner Teahan.

• Oregon State is really long. It'll be about as big of a team as KU will play. Oregon State reminds Self a little bit of Baylor last year with its length. Oregon State plays a little bit of a like Princeton offensively.

• At the 4-spot, Jamari Traylor is ahead of everybody on the team in terms of defense and rebounding. Perry Ellis is ahead offensively. Kevin Young is ahead as far as knowing what to do and stealing possessions. Those guys should be fighting for minutes every day. They didn't combine for much production against San Jose State. There have been times when that group of three has combined for good numbers, though.

During KU's 10-minute drought against San Jose State, it became more of a jump-shooting team. KU needs to drive more. KU gave San Jose State confidence then helped the Spartans score by turning it over and giving up points in transition.

KU has to have someone who can score, so Self wants Ben McLemore to be aggressive. The problem is, KU's guards don't shoot enough free throws. Elijah Johnson has taken seven for the year. Self knows that problem is fixable. It's a mind-set as much as anything. In practice, KU has looked better as far as executing and running offense to score. For whatever reason, that hasn't translated over to the games.

• Self said it's amazing to him that his team doesn't foul enough to get the opponent to the bonus at Allen Fieldhouse. KU hasn't been aggressive enough defensively.

Last year, Elijah Johnson pitched ahead in transition to Tyshawn Taylor, who was a playmaker. This year, he's pitching ahead to guys who can't make as many plays with the ball. Self said Johnson needs to be more aggressive on the break and needs to try to be a better playmaker.

Self said if Johnson is out there — banged up or not — he's got to produce. He said he learned that from Keith Langford's mom after he tried to make excuses for Langford with his knee. Langford's mother told Self, "If he's out there, he has to produce." Self joked he doesn't hear that from parents often.

Self says it's too early to worry about KU's poor three-point shooting. When White gets more minutes, that percentage will go up. Naadir Tharpe also hasn't shot it well yet. KU still is trying to climb out of a hole made by a 2-for-21 game against Southeast Missouri State.

• The crowd in K.C. will be bigger Friday because it's part of the season-ticket package. The crowds were poor for the CBE Classic, but Self still likes going over there to play.

Self says Withey having so many blocks with only five fouls this whole year is unbelievable. That shows his timing is off the charts and also that his ability to avoid body contact is impressive. KU played poor defense the other night, and Withey bailed the Jayhawks out.

Self played against Oregon State coach Craig Robinson in the NCAA Tournament in 1983 when Oklahoma State lost to Princeton. He's a good guy, Self said.

The movement that could occur in the immediate future in conference realignment is amazing to Self. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney has caused a big trickledown. Self says he's sure Bob Bowlsby and the presidents are in discussion about what the next move will be. Self doesn't know why the Big 12 couldn't stay at 10, but with the movement going on, the landscape could change over the next few years. Self still thinks KU couldn't be on any more solid footing right now. He doesn't think there should be any rush to do anything, but he thinks there should be a contingency plan just in case certain things happen.


Joe Satterwhite 5 years, 6 months ago

Isn't that a knock on White, saying he reminds Self of a former walk-on?? I mean White was a top 50 player in the US

Christopher Hauser 5 years, 6 months ago

I would assume he was speaking of AW's three point ability and early struggles on defense not his ceiling as a basketball player.

63Jayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self said that he NEVER considered Connor a walk-on. They always wanted Connor, but didn't have a scholarship for him.

Christopher Hauser 5 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self is the best coach I have ever seen at using the media to Mind F#*k his players in order to get them to perform to his standards!

clevelandjayhawker 5 years, 6 months ago

"better wear a condom , because i have a dirty mind"

Tad Shurtz 5 years, 6 months ago

Indeed. He's right up there with Phil Jackson.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

Self tends to play freshman in November and then decides if they will play more than mop up duty the rest of the year.

Teahan established his reputation in November of his freshman year by hitting like 10 of his first twelve 3 point attempts or something. Yet by Self's standard he was unplayable because he couldn't guard. By his 5th year he could guard opposing shooting guards adequately because he was taller and longer than most of the players he guarded, but only after he greatly improved his leg strength in the weight room.

Self is not saying that AWIII is any better (better if compared to freshman Teahan) or worse (if compared to the senior Teahan) than Conner Teahan. He's simply identifying that AWIII has similar (by type, not necessarily by magnitude) strengths and weaknesses to Teahan and can improve by doing the same things that made Teahan a productive player in his final year.

Sometimes players can "learn to guard" mid season simply by practice and strengthening their legs doing defense slides, lunges, etc. Usually, though, it requires a very regimented offseason workout schedule to develope the strength and quickness that Self demands from his defenders.

Self is likely just saying that while AWIII may be somewhat of a shooting savant, he will likely need some personal training from Andrea Hudy over the offseason before he is able to slide his feet and change direction quickly enough to stay in front of opposing guards.

Steve Kubler 5 years, 6 months ago

Nicely said. Whenever players are compared people tend to take it as a comparison of talent not of skill set. So often, particularly with coaches they are talking about the style of play or the type of player.

I mentioned once that a KU player reminded me of John Stockton and had my head handed to me by many. I had referred to their capability as a floor general and not their overall playing style but that was overlooked. Instead the relative athletic ability was tossed about, something I had not even brought up.

When looking to critique comparison of players, looking at what facet of their game being compared is as important as the comparison itself.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

Or else Bill Self would have said, "When White gets more minutes, 4 years from now, the (3pt shooting) percentages will go up."

AsadZ 5 years, 6 months ago

When White gets more minutes, that percentage will go up.

Its good to hear that HCBS sees more PT for AW3 as I really believe he has talent and will be a very valuable player at KU.

Boouk 5 years, 6 months ago

I think we have to get White in the rotation as soon as possible. 1 or 2 more made 3's can be the difference between winning and losing, especially in the NCAA tournament beyond the first round.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Self compares White to Teahan. What?

Self says Traylor is ahead of Young and Ellis rebounding-wise? What?

I am going to search, and think, and revisit my entire thought process in attempt to make sense of both of those comments.

-White compared to Teahan: Ok, so you compare the number 51 player in the country, a guy you competed for on the recruiting trail, a guy you recruited to be a starter .. to a slow, low skilled walk-on that really only found the court for substantial playing time his 5th year senior season? And who wouldn't have played much if the recruiting Gods, or NCAA, would have been more friendly (Trevor Lacey/Ben McLemore)? (Please note, we are all deeply indebted to Teahan for his contributions in the NCAA tourney, particularly the clutch 3 vs. Purdue .. thank you).

-Traylor ahead of Young and Ellis rebounding: This is worse because it's objective. Rebounds per game - Traylor 2.7, Ellis 4.2. Young 6.6; Rebounds per minute played - Traylor .181, Ellis .257, Young .379. And, subjectively, as I've mentioned before ... watching Traylor .. he isn't a good rebounder. Both Ellis and Young are better, more fundamentally sound. They block out, good angles, strategic reaching, etc. I will be interested in if Traylor makes improvement vs. both of these guys. Maybe what Self apparently sees will shine through.

But as of now, as Commodus said in Gladiator, "It vexes me ... I'm terribly vexed." Yes I am.

jhox 5 years, 6 months ago

It's just mind games, HEM. Self is the master of mind games. I don't think we will see much of White in the conference season. Self is using lack of playing time to get the message through to him that he has to elevate his D if he wants to play more. Frankly, I would try to get him more minutes. Sometimes you need a zone buster to open the middle, and our other guards have been inconsistent in their outside shooting, to say the least.

Ellis needs the bulk of the minutes, plain and simple. Pre-conference should be the time freshmen are allowed to play more, and get used to better competition. He's clearly our best (and most talented) option at the 4. We are going to need his offense come conference play. His defense hasn't been very good. I get that. Regardless, he needs more minutes than he's been getting.

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

Can we get some more specifics on Elijah's knee?! It's not just that I am worried for the team, but I was also looking forward to seeing what Elijah could do in the lead role. I'm disappointed that this injury might keep him from reaching his potential this year. I really wanted to see how good his ceiling as a college player could be.

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