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Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 2/4/13

Before we get started, here's what Kansas coach Bill Self said about point guard Elijah Johnson during the Big 12 teleconference this morning:

You know what ... you get back and reevaluate it. You take a deep breath and everything. We are 19-2 and the players that have been playing the majority of minutes have performed at a reasonably high level for the most part. We've had some guys play unbelievably well in some situations. Some haven’t. We’ve found a way to kind of piece it together. We haven’t got consistent guard play. I have to do a better job of helping Naadir and Elijah; but Elijah is my guy. He is my guy; we have the best chance to win with Elijah in the game. ... That is the horse we are going to ride. I believe that will be best for our team.

Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Self's comments at his press conference today.

Full audio has been posted.

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart dominated the game physically. Not very often does a point guard score 25 points and make one shot outside of two feet, and that's what he did. He just whipped KU going after the ball. KU did a great job on the offensive glass in the first half against a really good Oklahoma State defensive rebounding team. That faded in the second half.

It's too early to tell if Oklahoma State is the second-best team in the Big 12. It has a lot of talent. OSU has played the toughest schedule in the conference so far. Athletically, the Cowboys have got some guys that can play.

Self has been on Johnson pretty good, because he hasn't played as well as he can play. Self is not pleased with how he's playing. Johnson's not pleased either. But most quarterbacks are judged by their record more than their stats. It should be that way with Johnson. Self says for KU to have any chance to compete at the highest level, it has to have its best players play the best. Johnson is one of KU's best players. Self is going to ride Johnson. But that's his guy.

Self knows what gives KU the best chance to win is not being emotional about what happened in a certain situation. Doing that might not be the best thing for the long term prospects of his team.

Self thinks when you worry about shooting, everything else goes haywire. When Johnson starts caring about, "I don't care about my shooting percentage. What can I do to get our team the best shot?" he'll be better off. Sometimes, Johnson puts too much pressure on himself to make shots. He needs to focus more on being a player and not just a shooter. Once he does that, he'll make more shots.

Jeff Withey's stats are fine. Self says lots of players played under their ceilings against OSU. Withey has done pretty well. It's a long season, and it's a physical season for a guy that has a lot of guys leaning on him. He's done a great job, though.

Withey has pleasantly surprised Self more than anybody he's had at KU. Withey is stronger, which brings confidence. The biggest thing with him is he's fallen in love with basketball. Self thinks that has as much to do with his progress as anything.

Self joked there's a chance he might mention the word "toughness" in practice today. Self is upset because he thought his team stood there and took it. KU allowed OSU to take the game. When things were going bad, KU's body language wasn't good. It was almost a mind-set that you might take for granted that other teams can beat you. Self thought his team looked like a spoiled team on Saturday. It's not broken. It's not panic time. But it is a wake-up call to fix some things. The Baltimore Ravens lost a lot of games this year, but they didn't bench quarterback Joe Flacco. Losses are OK if you get better from them. Self says losing at home was good for his team. He would take a home loss over a road loss at this point, because it humbled his team more.

TCU will be competitive. Coach Trent Johnson is just in his first year. He's building for the future. Johnson knows what he's doing. It's just a matter of time. Self thinks TCU is good for the league, as having a Big 12 team in Dallas is good for recruiting. Self hopes for a good KU turnout in Dallas. The Jayhawks will be happy to play again.

Does Andrew White III deserve to play more with his talent? Absolutely. But the need of the team is ballhandling and passing, and he doesn't fit that need. Self said truthfully, if KU had better ballhandlers and passers, White would be playing more. KU has always played with multiple guards. It's not doing that as much this year because the team needs Travis Releford and Ben McLemore on the floor at the same time.

Comments

Joe Satterwhite 1 year, 8 months ago

I expect White to be better in his sophomore and than a start his junior year, he's such a good shooter and will improve his ball handling and quickness.

beenahawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Ej and Tharpe will be fine as soon as they get back to fundamentals. From my seat they both get in positions where they want to make the exceptional pass or drive instead of the simple one. Too often the passing is too fancy and lacks basic fundamentals. Once BS gets them back on track everything will be fine.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 8 months ago

I was really upset about this loss, but the more I think about it and have time to digest it I'm feeling a lot better about it.

We needed to be humbled, I hope this leads to an intensity in practice that wasn’t there the past few weeks. We have had this coming for a while, I don’t want to have to be lucky each game in March, I want us to be good. We need to do some things differently offensively, I hope we start getting more penetration from our guards.

I remember the 2008 team having a player’s only meeting about mid Feb after a loss, then they never loss again; we are a loss or two away from needing one of those.

BCRavenJHawkfan 1 year, 8 months ago

Okie St. played much like Michigan St. did against KU. Muscle Ball that includes the guard spots is a tough match up for KU. And I disagree with many that the offense was THE problem. Yes I know there were bad passes etc. but KU scored 80 for goodness sakes. If you can't win scoring 80 then you're nothing more than a Roy Williams team.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm surprised that the pollsters only knocked us down to #5. We had been on the verge of disaster for about 6 straight games, and ultimately lost at home against an unranked team. I thought we'd plummet to somewhere in the 9-11 range.

PSM 1 year, 8 months ago

Enough with the quarterback metaphors...

Ron Franklin 1 year, 8 months ago

I felt like Coach Self didn't coach this game. I felt like he wanted the team to see what they are without him. I know that's just crazy talk, But for the life of me I cannot figure out why Coach Self let Travis Ford make him look like a schoolgirl. I have been as upset with Self over this loss as I have been with EJ. EJ has GOT to get out of his own head and out of his way. Just play the game kid. When he plays he's great. When he thinks, he does stuff like what he did in crunch time against Kentucky last year. Jump shot, but forgot to shoot the ball and came back down with it. Or in the most recent scenario, dribbles the ball of the defenders shin when there was absolutely no pressure on him. I hope he can pull a Tyshawn.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 8 months ago

You're right.....that is crazy talk.

This team's play, focus, and toughness have been nothing short of suspect the past few times out. They needed to find out they can't play like crap for 38 minutes of basketball and still come up with the win.

A loss was an absolute imperative and Self acknowledges that, but does that mean he purposely let go of the reins?

A resounding no.

Ludwig Supraphonic 1 year, 8 months ago

We won at OSU and KSU. Neither Duke or Florida had beaten a ranked team on the road. I guess I don't think we're ranked too high.

Gregor Southard 1 year, 8 months ago

oh for F's sake, BlowJay, 8 home losses in 10 years is too much for you? School girl, really?

Ron Franklin 1 year, 8 months ago

Nash, I don't really care what his record is at home. I'm looking at ONE GAME HERE.

He's a great coach. And he was out coached by a terd who cannot win on the road and who has 10+ losses his last three years. The sky is not falling for me here as you presume it is based on your quick attack on me. You see, I love basketball. But I also call a spade when I see it. Coach Self was made to look a fool, in my opinion. And that's why this board is here. For me to state my opinion, wrong or right.

Michael Gentemann 1 year, 8 months ago

If there is a good showing of Jayhawk fans in Dallas for the TCU game, HCBS will be disappointed because TCU is located 45 minutes away from Dallas. Sorry, D and FW are not the same thing.

Jay Waxse 1 year, 8 months ago

Fort Worth is where it's at...literally

AsadZ 1 year, 8 months ago

Just listened to the entire audio of HCBS press conference.

It is really neat and makes a lot of sense what he has described on all aspects.

I highly suggest fans to listen

Brian Stoops 1 year, 8 months ago

I would rather watch a Bill Self team than be part of one.

He's clearly in elite company with his ability to mesh players together and win.

In my mind, he crossed the line with his post game comments following the loss to OK State.

Tearing into EJ the way he did was in poor taste. Rarely, do things come out of his mouth in such a way.

For four years EJ has worked hard - basically running himself into the ground.

He deserves better from his coach. Clearly Self pulled his head out and realized this hence his comments at todays press conference.

EJ, I love ya' man. I'm sure that makes all your pain go away....

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