Press Conference Wrap–Up: Coach Self

The Kansas Jayhawks are set to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon, in their second Big 12 conference tilt. Friday, Head Coach Bill Self met with the media to preview the match-up and talk about his team.

* The non-conference season, while you want to win, everyone understands it's just preparation for the conference season.

* Self isn't sure if some of the other high-profile conference losses have jolted his team. They haven't really talked about it. In the Big 12, any team can get any other team on any given night.

* Self jokingly said he believes this team can find a way to make things interesting and keep fans from leaving, no matter who they cheer for. In general, however, he feels they're pretty good about closing out games in the final minutes.

* Self really likes this team. But if he says anything publicly, everything gets magnified. He thinks all the guys need to mature. For Marcus, going from being a complementary guy to being the man that requires a lot of maturation. He hasn't always accepted that. But against Iowa State he was as good as anyone in the country that night.

* He thought Mario was good in his first game back.

* Doc Sadler is a good coach. Nebraska has always guarded, and this year they're leading the country in field goal percentage defense - which is the Jayhawks' goal to lead in every year. They both learned from the same mentor, Eddie Sutton, that if the other team can't score you're always going to be in the game.

* He doesn't feel like there's a danger that this team will buy into their own hype. They hear it from the coaching staff enough to know that they're still a work in progress, and being undefeated right now isn't something they're focusing on.

* Travis Releford is unlikely to play. Everyone thought he'd be back by now and he's working hard in treatment. His injury is a pretty severe sprain, though not a high ankle sprain.

* He hadn't really thought about this being the last KU/Nebraska game at the Fieldhouse, but you can say that about a lot of things. This is also the last practice they'll ever have on Jan. 14, 2011. He doesn't think a KU/Nebraska game will happen down the road.

* Royce isn't quite ready. He's in the second unit and will continue to get ready physically and mature, and be a part of the rotation in years to come.

* He thinks kids get a false sense so often that they can't handle not playing, and then don't realize that if they're not in the top eight or nine by conference play they're not going to play anyway. Travis didn't like redshirting last year, but now he's so glad he did. Same with Mario, and some other kids. He'd substitute a 23-year old man for an 18-year old freshman any day.

* He expected Tyshawn to be a better defender than he is at this point. He felt like with his natural gifts and anticipation he would be as good a defensive guard as there is in the country, and he's not there yet. He's been great at times and not so great at others. Needs to work on his consistency, but like the whole team he needs to work on his focus issues. The same can be said of every team across the country.

* They've had good progress during the break. They've had a couple of really, really nice, long practices during the holidays that the guys would probably just as soon forget.


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