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.
• 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.