Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 10/29/12
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his press conference today.
• Self said he wants to see how his guys react to guarding different offensive actions against Emporia State. KU will have a small scouting report on Emporia State. KU has only scrimmaged once with officials this year. Self wants to see how his young players like Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor react.
• Self likes having talented young kids with good leadership. KU has that this year.
• Self can't remember having a situation like this year. But it's a good situation. If you're going to have freshmen, you might as well have seniors to lead them. KU has three fifth-year seniors as well. KU has a good freshman class, but it's kind of unheralded and lacks star power. The 2005 class with Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers was different. Those players came to KU to be stars.
• Jamari Traylor is going to start for KU against Emporia State at the 4 spot. He's played the hardest, and in the last week, he's played the best. Perry Ellis will be the first one of the bench. Self wants to see how Traylor reacts to a game. There's a lot of pressure there.
• Self thinks it's easier to get guys to guard than to get them to score.
• KU's freshmen need to have a more aggressive mind-set. Self doesn't know that any freshman has told Travis Releford, "Don't get hurt, or you'll lose your spot." Self says KU has nice freshmen. Nice kids are great. Guys shouldn't be mean or belligerent, but the old guys want that challenge. KU doesn't need freshmen that are blenders. It needs freshmen who will take charge.
• Zach Peters is doing better with exercises, but the other day, Self asked him if he could shoot, and he said it hurts too badly. Self said he doesn't see a resolution to that soon.
• This team is fairly athletic. That should show up on the defensive end and with rebounding.
• The first perimeter guy off the bench will be Andrew White. Naadir Tharpe will be after him. Ben McLemore and Travis Releford have separated themselves on the wing.
• Self said this team reminds him a little of when Rush, Chalmers and Juilan Wright were freshmen. Self thinks there will be a time when the light comes on with this year's team.
• Self recruited Elijah Johnson because he thought he'd be a great all-around player. He's kind of a jack of all trades, master of none at point guard. When you add it all together, though, there's not many guys out there better than him. Johnson needs to get to the free-throw line more. Self says that should happen, because he'll be more aggressive. Johnson should shoot 4-5 free throws per game.
• Self says his team still has issues with turnovers. Self joked the guys on press row should have their hands ready Tuesday for passes.
• Self texted Cole Aldrich after his trade to Houston. It's a good situation for him. He's looking forward to it. Self was disappointed because he likes Oklahoma City so much, but he's excited for Aldrich because he thinks he has an opportunity there.