Cliff's Notes: Bill Self press conference, 2/6/12


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

Full audio has been posted.

• Self says flopping was something that has been talked about with officials in the past, but there haven't been a lot of games where KU has had a lot of that going on against it. Some players get reputations as being floppers. Self said he had the all-time greatest one at Illinois, Lucas Johnson. Self called him "Fake Hustle" because he fell down every possession, then acted tough when he got a call. Self thinks for the most part, officials have done a better job with the flop, and he's saying that after KU had six charges against Missouri.

Self has never had a team that has relied on its bench this little, but that's how it's going to be. The thing that was disappointing to Self on Saturday was that KU was forced to play small because Jeff Withey wasn't a factor. That forced Thomas to play out on the floor defensively, which is not KU's strength.

Self thought Justin Wesley did a great job against Missouri. He was energized and defended out on the floor better than what he's practiced. Self thought KU did a decent job with its bench against Missouri. Conner Teahan played pretty well and hit two big shots. The bottom line is, KU's starters have to be ready to play 32-35 minutes.

Self doesn't know what happened with Withey against Missouri. KU wanted to throw it inside early, and it didn't. That's on KU's guards too. KU was just a better team when it could play Thomas Robinson alone on the post. KU scored almost every possession the second half. MU's matchup didn't take advantage of KU, but KU's matchup didn't take advantage of MU.

If you study the game, MU didn't guard the perimeter in the first half. It's hard to get it inside when all of a team's defenders are around a guy in the paint. The best way to open it up is make a shot or two.

Self thinks his team is pretty tough. He's glad his team is not playing Monday. That would be a quick turnaround. He thinks his guys will bounce back. If KU doesn't play well or win Wednesday, it won't because of the Missouri game. Coaches don't let it go. Kids have girlfriends and go to class. They have other things that occupy their mind. Players bounce back better than coaches.

Self says his team made two bad plays down the stretch against Missouri. Taylor turned it over and he charged. Other than that offensively, KU didn't make any bad plays. Self doesn't consider missing free throws a bad play. Defensively, KU had to get stops, and it didn't. Robinson got called for a walk up eight, and Self hinted that he didn't see it on the tape. Self said the charge on Robinson ... he wants him to make that play every day of every situation of every game. That has nothing to do with closing. KU did make a couple bad plays, and MU made a lot of good plays. MU's Marcus Denmon made a lot of great plays. He made three straight three-point plays, and if any of those go the other way, the outcome's different. KU could have almost had a shot-clock violation every possession and won the game, if MU had backed off. That's what's frustrating as a coach. Self said he won't let this one go.

• Self says his team played well against Missouri. Self left the game with three things: 1. MU's really good; 2. KU has to close better; 3. KU's really good. If anything, Self is leaving out of Columbia thinking KU has a chance to be a really good team.

Self thinks Baylor will have a good home court on Wednesday. In the past, KU has had between 1,500 and 2,500 fans there. That might not be possible Wednesday because of the excitement at Baylor with this year's team. MU's home crowd didn't keep KU from leading by eight with three minutes left, though. It's not impossible to play in tough environments.

• Tyshawn Taylor played great against Missouri. If Self had it do all over again, he'd want Taylor on the free throw line more than anyone on the team. Taylor likes that moment more than anybody else. Self doesn't have anything remotely negative to say about Taylor. He lost the ball once and charged once. Self doesn't dwell on missing free throws. The first half, Taylor played so well, KU had a couple bad possessions because Taylor was feeling it too much. Self would run a play, and Taylor thought he saw an opening and would try to make something happen. Still, Taylor had 17 the first half, and defensively he was really good against MU's Phil Pressey.

• Baylor is long. But what makes Baylor different this year is guard Pierre Jackson. He's one of the premier players in the league. He's getting assists, but the Bears are putting the ball in his hands at game point, and he's delivered. Taylor could do a better job against Jackson than he did in KU's home game against BU.

• It's much easier for big guys to play better against big guys. You see that all the time in high school basketball. Big guys can dominate bigs, but playing against small guys throws them off a little bit. Self thinks Withey will play better against Baylor's tall guys.

Self says Baylor is best at playing around the rim and playing in transition.


jayhawk1996 10 years, 6 months ago

This Dallas-based KU fan will be in Waco on Wednesday. The game still isn't sold out. May be a few more Baylor fans, but we'll be there in blue cheering for KU.

justinryman 10 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self is pure class, gives his players credit for playing hard, but doesn't throw them under the bus. He doesn't blame the officials, he also gave mu so credit too.

First class all the way.

We'll get em next time and the time after that.

hawk316 10 years, 6 months ago

Justin, you are so right. We may very well have the best coach in the country. He's a great recruiter, a great motivator, knows the game extremely well, really cares about people, and is "first class all the way." I'm so thankful that this man is our basketball coach and hope he remains so for decades to come.

hawk316 10 years, 6 months ago

Let me add this: I'm kind of excited when the Coach reveals that he thinks we have a "really good" team. This is not "coach speak." He is seeing something that impresses him. I think he may have had some doubts at the beginning of the year (especially given the lack of normal depth), but it's almost as if this team has won him over.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

That's a good point, hawk, considering that if anything, Self usually underplays how good KU is. How often have we seen them have a great game and Self will say something like, "We have the potential to be a good team?"

That being said, I wonder if at least part of the reason he made the comment about KU being "really good" is to show his players that he has confidence in them and help them get over a tough loss.

I just can't see this team going very far in the tournament, because there are too many things that can go wrong. They could play great for a game or two, but I don't think they can really sustain that level enough to get to the Final Four.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 6 months ago


You are spot on! I was really ticked off at the officials after the game (heat of the moment), yeah, but Self is the ultimate class guy. Would love to coach with him or play for him.

kesmithstl1 10 years, 6 months ago

Love hearing Self describe flops as "fake hustle." Don't see KU players doing this.

Officiating is a hard job. Now it's even harder with guys flopping and throwing their head back on a shot to appear they were fouled (a la Paul Pierce). Officials need better training on how to call this. It varies game to game, sometimes minute by minute.

Play REAL defense and stop flopping.

justinryman 10 years, 6 months ago

Dear Duke players,

Since you have started this pandemic of flopping, and the rules committee put in the little arc to stop the late calls, it has only made it worse because now people are doing it all over the floor and on both sides. It now looks like a soccer game at times with some of the fake dives guys take.

This is on you and your coach who have practiced this for years and have gotten away with it time and time again. No it is changed the way people play the game, they only play offense and just fall down on D and hope they get the call.

For the love of the game, Just a huge fan!

kesmithstl1 10 years, 6 months ago

Nicely put. Duke did seem to start this whole thing, but nearly every school has someone who does it. Will Spradling of K-State is notorious for it. That football player for MU (yes football player) was a flopper as well. Officials should discuss this before the game and be on the lookout for it.

Don't know if it is a rule in college, but it is in the rulebook for HS that if you fake a foul, it is ground for a technical. Granted, haven't seen this called, but it's in the book. Just like the must make an attempt to get out of the way of an inside pitch. NEVER seen either called, but they are there for a reason.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

Is it really that different than it used to be? I remember being at a basketball camp in the '70s and the coach would go down the line barely touching each of us and we had to fall backwards. It seems like that's something that's been taught for years. Maybe it's a little more extreme now, but I wonder if it's really that much bigger of an issue than in the past.

kesmithstl1 10 years, 6 months ago

Players are making attempts to get around floppers, by utilizing spin moves, euro steps, etc..., but charges are still being called on minimal contact. Shouldn't be happening at the rate it does. I respect you POV though.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, Milehigh---

almost as funny as some of the Super Bowl commercials yesterday!

SCHNBALL 10 years, 6 months ago

Here is my comment under Keegans article "Jayhawks can focus on Mizzou now".

If I was Haith and Kansas was playing man to man, I would run a high pick and roll everytime from the left side of the court with whoever Withey is guarding setting the screen. I am quite interested on how we hide Withey against Missouri.

I think the players on this team are making great strides and I think we have a great coaching staff, but I also think we have the inability to make any adjustments(from the coaches) such as going 3-2 zone or a different defense in the end. with 201 seconds left in the game or 5.74 posessions and an 8 point lead, you simply don't let them shoot a three, even if you have to give up layups, take away what they love the most!

The players took a step forward from the Duke in buidling the 8 point lead on the road, the next step will be to finish on the road. I believe the coaches must be willing to change up some end game strategies on both ends of the floor.

If this team will play with the intensity that the showed on Saturday with the experience they are gaining, I suspect they will have a long stay in the NC 2 A tourney.

AsadZ 10 years, 6 months ago

I thought KU overall played quite well when Jeff was in the game. I haven't seen the game again as I am still too upset with the loss. But I am not sure why HCBS said that Jeff was not a factor. I'd love to know why HCBS made the comment. I had hoped he was in the game during the last 3.5 mins.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

You're really not sure why Self made that comment??? How about one shot attempt and four rebounds in over 20 minutes of play for a 7-footer? Maybe that had something to do with it.

AsadZ 10 years, 6 months ago

He did not take alot of shots as ball was not fed inside in first half. However his presence was big on D and KU was playing better as a unit with him being on the floor.

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