Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 2/22/13
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Self's comments at his press conference today.
• The 115th-year reunion this weekend means something to all the guys that do come back. Before the weather concerns, about 200 former players were signed up to come back. The best part is those guys getting to meet up with their former teammates again.
• During KU's three-game losing streak, the team didn't guard well. KU played really good defense against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, especially considering how bad the Jayhawks offense was. KU's defensive rebounding kept it in the game.
• TCU is the only team that handled KU from start to finish. TCU was the only game KU didn't have a chance to win. Self has re-watched the tape. KU didn't play well, but TCU was part of the reason for that.
• KU forward Jamari Traylor gave the team energy against OSU. He's been a boost in that area. KU is better in half-court sets with other players in at that spot, but Traylor can give KU help with athleticism and defense. His right hand is messed up with a sprained thumb, so KU is thankful he's playing. He's going to be a good player. Traylor's a shorter inside player. He's usually Jeff Withey's backup, which means he usually guards the 5 position.
• Self hopes the game-winning shot guard Naadir Tharpe made at the end of the OSU game boosts his confidence. Ben McLemore's shot against Iowa State was a huge shot too, but Tharpe's shot was as big as any for KU this year. Tharpe had to make a play, dribble it then make a jump-hook in the lane. That's not a play that you have 5-foot-10 guys practice.
• Self believed the biggest thing Tharpe had going for him out of high school was his intangibles. He's funny. Everyone likes him. He's a cool kid. He showed up to his recruiting visit in a tie, and Self joked that he's lucky to get kids to dress up in hoodies. Self didn't think Tharpe's personality showed through last year as much as he wanted to. It's starting to show through this year.
• Self believes the Morris twins will play better now that they're together on the same NBA team.
• Self says when people think about the history and legacy of KU, they should think about two coaches (Phog Allen and James Naismith) and all the players. When Self thinks about the history of the Chicago Bears, he doesn't think about Mike Ditka. He thinks about George Halas. There have been coaches that have started the success at KU. Self doesn't see what he and his staff have done as a big part of the legacy, because other coaches laid the foundation.
• Self thinks the way TCU played KU the first time was perfect. It cut off angles in the post and limited transition. TCU whipped KU. No other team has been able to control the game the entire time against the Jayhawks. The Horned Frogs definitely have KU's respect.