Press Conference Wrap-Up: Coach Self

Kansas head coach Bill Self held his weekly meeting with the media Friday afternoon, and spent 15 minutes answering questions on topics such as Michigan, the chance to go undefeated in non-conference play, Elijah Johnson's spot in the rotation and how the team is responding to the presence of Josh Selby.

* Elijah has played well. He's confident with his shot, and he hasn't gotten a ton of assists but he doesn't turn it over. He's done a great job taking care of the basketball.

* EJ is going to be a part of the rotation. Coach Self doesn't see that changing at all, though he's not a starter right now. He's definitely a guy who will play a certain number of minutes off the bench.

* Self thinks it will probably be a nine man rotation when everything is said and done. That doesn't mean a 10th or 11th couldn't play in a given game. As the season goes on all coaches shorten their bench. KU has an advantage in that they have a lot of good guys. His teams at Illinois played nine, at Tulsa they played eighth, and his best team at Kansas played seven, with Cole Aldrich as the eighth.

* Expect to see a rotation of four bigs and five perimeter players.

* Players still aren't separating themselves, but Self doesn't see that as a huge problem. He'd like to have some separation, but when they won the title in 2008 they didn't have any separation among their top seven. They had seven starters.

* There's a chance Mario could rejoin the team in the near future. Self wants what is best for the team first, but he wants what is best for the athlete, too, and hopefully the two coincide. He's got the information, and is holding off making a decision on Mario and what his role may be for a little while longer.

* KU makes the extra pass as good as anyone else. Guys will pass up a good look to get a great look, and Self really likes that.

* The Johnson, Selby and Taylor rotation of guards won't be the core group for the Jayhawks in the backcourt. They'll be out there together at times, but it won't be all the time.

* Three-point shooting might be better than Self expected prior to the season, especially when one considers that Morningstar and Reed aren't hitting threes like they're capable of. They're shooting better than 40-percent from three as a team, which he feels most coaches would kill to do.

* Michigan's variation of the Princeton offense necessitates that the Jayhawks have a big couple of days of practice before the games, and that they get a great performance from their scout team.

* Self would rather be starting league play with everyone else, as opposed to playing one final non-con game. KU and Texas are the only two Big 12 teams not playing their league opener this weekend.

* Self will tell this year's team they have a chance to do something last year's team couldn't – go in to league play undefeated.

* He feels Michigan is a better team this year than last, despite losing star talents like Manny Harris. They're a better transition team than what he remembers from last year.

* Thomas Robinson could have been back in time for the game, after heading home to the East Coast for the funeral of his grandmother. But as the man of the house, he felt he needed to be there for his family a little longer, and Self completely agreed.

* Self doesn't know if the other players have done a great job adjusting to Josh Selby, as much as Selby has done a great job adjusting to them. He took six shots against UMKC, and Self didn't think anyone who ever watched him in high school would have believed that possible. "That would have been a bad first quarter." But now he's excited about stuff like making the extra pass to a teammate. He's buying in to their system and finding it's a fun way to play.

* Self doesn't think Tyshawn's recent slump had anything to do with Josh's presence. He thinks the two really like playing with each other.

* Josh is better defensively. When he first started, a pillar would have scored baskets against him – and it doesn't even move. He's just a freshman and he's learning how to play. He's got more confidence offensively, but he'll get there.


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