Press Conference Notes: Coach Self

Kansas head coach Bill Self met with the media Tuesday afternoon, previewing Friday's NCAA second-round contest with the Terriers of Boston University – and Phog.net has the recap.

* Coach Self does have some superstitions that are kind of unique, mostly unique. He does some things the same way all the time. He won't go into what they are, but there are some things he'll always do either the day before or the day of a game. As far as food goes, he eats the same thing for every meal the day of a game.

* Boston University is really fast on the perimeter. They've got five guys that can shoot the 3 and for that make a lot of them. They're well coached. Coach Chambers worked under Jay Wright at Villanova, so they do a lot of the same things.

* Combo forward John Holland is really good, the best player in the America East Conference. He's got good size. He's a wing, a big guard that they can play in the four and create some match-up problems.

* Coach Self remembers Coach Chambers from back when he was at Villanova, because they were both recruiting the Twins. He's a good coach who has done very well at BU.

* BU's scores are misleading, because they would indicate that they want to play a slowdown style of basketball - which isn't true. When they have the opportunity, they run. But when the fast break isn't there they're very patient and methodical in the half-court - much like Villanova.

* There has been no talk at all among the team about the fact that a 1 seed has never lost to a 16.

* One of the assistant coaches put up a copy of a Sports Illustrated article written about last year's loss to Northern Iowa. He's sure the whole team read it. It's more of a reminder. He talks about this all the time, about what can happen if you're off even just a little bit. This year's tournament won't have a lot of games where one team is heavily favored over another. KU would have beaten Northern Iowa five out of six times last season, but they were a good team. If they were in the Big 12 they would have won a lot of games. They were a top 20 team that they drew, and just because the name on the front of the jersey may be directional or say whatever, that's not any indication of what's underneath it. Everybody has players now.

* Self has always thought it's a lot easier to slow a team down than speed a team up as a general rule, unless one plays a style predicated on pure speed - such as Missouri. KU doesn't do that. They don't play that style, and they're not going to change who they are, but certainly they'd like to dictate some pace.

* KU gets fast when Tyshawn is in the game. When he's not in the game, they're not that fast. One guy changes the look of who they are as a team.

* The guys are practicing Wednesday at 12:30, after 11:30 a.m. classes, then they bus to Tulsa. They'll get a good night's rest tomorrow night.

* They watch a lot of different movies on the bus. Self usually lets the team pick, but he censors it sometimes. He doesn't know what's on the agenda for this particular trip. If they watched "Gladiator" or "Rudy" or one of those films they'd all be asleep, because they've taken enough bus trips to have seen them all.

* He's not that worried about what they're going to watch on the bus. He's more worried about what they're gonna eat.

* The Twins and Brady do the best job of anybody of keeping the guys loose. Those are some goofy dudes. He likes this team. He liked last year's team, too, but in certain situations they were too serious – and maybe he created some of that. Maybe it was self imposed, he isn't sure. But he wants them to go down to Tulsa and have fun. One thing about the tournament is you have to be ready, you have to be serious and focused, but it's also a reward for having a good year, so you've gotta enjoy it. The team in 2008 got to enjoy it. The team the next year, with no pressure, got to enjoy it. Last year's team may have felt a little bit of pressure, he doesn't know, but they can't allow that to happen this year.

* Last year, they relied on Sherron too much. Hindsight is 20/20, but that last game there was nothing to bail out. They didn't have the extra gas, so when he tried to do it and it didn't work out nobody else was equipped to step up and carry the load. This year, he doesn't feel that way at all. You would think Marcus, but they play through them all, and the open man will take the open shot. This year's team gives the appearance, in whatever situation, of being a little bit more balanced.

* The tournament will ever get old. It's why you do it. You work to put yourself in this position. He'll be excited, he'll struggle sleeping and the guys will be geeked up and feel the same way. The big thing is to enjoy it, but not at the expense of work. You can get distracted so easily. You've gotta allow for unexpected things to come your way as a coach, and it's the same for the players.


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