Press Conference Wrap-Up: Coach Self

Fresh off of two victories in Las Vegas during the holiday weekend, the Kansas Jayhawks return home this week to take on the UCLA Bruins. Monday, Head Coach Bill Self met with members of the media to preview the upcoming match-up, as well as discuss his team's performance in Sin City.

* Thought they played a lot better against Arizona. Thought they were pretty poor against Ohio in all honesty, but Ohio couldn't throw the ball in the ocean. But he was generally pleased with level of play against Arizona. Said the team played smart down the stretch.

* Said Travis made shots in Vegas, but that's not completely indicative of his level of play. He's got to be more than a scorer. Thought he played well, but he can still play better. Said points are a misleading statistic when determining how well someone plays.

* Said Thomas was awful against Ohio and the polar opposite against Arizona. Said he was terrific against Wildcats. He played the best when they really needed someone to play well. When KU played out of foul trouble, he came up big. Thomas, Travis and Elijah all gave them great minutes off the bench.

* Jokingly said he's comfortable with Thomas taking those mid-range jumpers "only when he makes them." Says team settles too much for those shots. Thomas is so good driving to the rim, why not do that more, and put the other team's post players in a position to foul?

* UCLA is a lot better. Basically the main players from last year and they've added some nice pieces. Reeves Nelson is going to be a really good player. They're getting better guard play, and he expects them to bring the heat defensively. He's excited about it and the guys are excited about playing them.

* KU is better when the Twins play. "When they're in the game, we're better." Foul issues for the Twins put KU out of sync for a while against Arizona.

* Felt the ball moved better against Arizona. Said the first 8 minutes against Arizona were about as good as a team could play offensively. They scored in virtually every way imaginable, and it was really fun to watch. You're not going to play that way over 40 minutes though, and the law of averages came into play.

* When you make shots, the tendency is to relax defensively. This team thinks it can outscore people, which isn't a good thing.

* The thing Derrick Williams did that was so good was face KU's bigs off the block, and then didn't bail them out with a jumper. He either took an uncontested three or got into the lane, and that's what KU's bigs need to do more of.

* Lot of similarities between Williams and Reeves Nelson of UCLA. Both multi-talented big men with similar body types. They're both undersized power forwards by the prototypical definition of the power forward, but they both get a lot done.

* Doesn't think it's hard to find the balance between when to shoot and when to drive. KU's whole offense is predicated on paint touches – either off the pass or off the bounce. And for the most part KU's bigs understand that.You've gotta give them something to guard, and give opposing bigs the chance to get into foul trouble. Thinks KU's main three bigs could be so good with the ball.

* Thought last year against UCLA Markieff was the best player in the game. Didn't think KU or UCLA played great, but it was a nice road win for the Jayhawks.

* KU's bigs are going to foul, they just can't commit the silly ones that give them three to start the second half. They also have to play their man before he catches the ball.

* Marcus deserves his Big 12 Player of the Week honor. He scored in so many ways against Arizona, and he's really demonstrated his versatility. But to him that award doesn't mean much, though he doesn't think there's anyone in the conference who has had a better week or a better start than has Marcus.

* Team shot selection has been pretty good, which is why the Jayhawks are shooting such a high percentage as a team. He can complain about certain things, but there are a lot of coaches who would love to complain about the ball "sticking" when they're dishing out 20 assists per game. He thinks they can be a great offensive team.

* A shot isn't good or bad based on whether or not it goes in. It's good or bad when it leaves the player's hand.

* Usually Tyrel's big plays are shooting the ball, but against Arizona it was driving the ball. Thinks Tyrel has been less aggressive shooting the ball. If he's got some space, it's a good shot for him. He has a lot of confidence in Tyrel to make shots. Top Stories