Self: 'Major minutes' for Remy Martin at Big 12 tourney would be nice, but only if he's worthy
Kansas City, Mo. — With seven other potential foes demanding his attention and the goal of fine-tuning things for the NCAA Tournament still at the top of his to-do list, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self admitted something about senior guard Remy Martin on Wednesday at T-Mobile Center.
“I’ll be honest,” Self said during his meeting with the media following a 40-minute practice on the T-Mobile Center floor Wednesday afternoon. “In a perfect world, it would be nice to give him some major minutes, but we’re also trying to win the game. So, I hope they both can co-exist.”
Back from a prolonged absence brought about by the bone bruise in his right knee that forced him to miss several games, Martin has been available for the past couple of weeks.
And while he has played in all four games since his return, Martin has logged just 32 total minutes in those games as Kansas has elected to ease him back into the mix in order to keep him healthy and shake off as much of the rust as possible.
Self said Wednesday that he thought Martin’s health was “pretty good.”
“I think he’s gotten past worrying about cutting sharp and playing on it full-speed,” Self said.
The veteran Kansas coach, who noted on Tuesday that he thought Martin still “could be a big factor” for Kansas this postseason, also noted that he had been encouraged by what he had seen from Martin during the past couple of days.
“I do think he’s shown flashes of being his old self,” Self said Wednesday. “But, you know, he was out for quite a bit of time. I don’t know that, up until the last couple days, he actually looked like old Remy. If he plays like old Remy, then he’ll get his minutes. But I’m not going to put him out there if he’s not able to perform in a way that gives us the best chance to win.”
Asked if the biggest issue with Martin’s fit on the court was more about chemistry with his Kansas teammates or moving past the injury, Self said he thought it was a case “just getting back in the flow in general.”
While recent outings have made a big-minutes type of role for Martin seem less likely, Self said he could see the former Arizona State standout filling a key role in certain situations.
“Especially with different teams and lineups and those sorts of things,” Self said. “I think Remy could certainly play a huge role down the stretch.”
Top-seeded Kansas (25-6) will open Big 12 tournament play at 2 p.m. Thursday against No. 9 seed West Virginia at 2 p.m. inside T-Mobile Center. The game will be shown on ESPN2.