Saturday presser notes: Coach Self

Kansas head coach Bill Self met with the media at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Saturday afternoon, following a short practice with his team. Phog.net is here with a summary of his comments.

* Getting the chance to play Illinois might mean a little bit more to him, since he coached there, but it's not the same as if he still had players there. It's amazing to him that they've dodged each other in the Tournament, since the committee does seem to have a sense of humor. He's not excited about playing their team, since they were as good as anyone in the first round of the tournament. But what happened eight years ago with the coaching change won't have any bearing on the outcome tomorrow.

* Demetri McCamey is great. Last night against UNLV was about as dominant a guard performance as Self has seen. When he's in rhythm, he may be the best guard KU has played this year. That will be a big key to success.

* Brady could draw that defensive assignment, but more than likely they'll throw several guys at him. Whoever guards him will be a challenge, because he's so strong and fast. From a physical standpoint he reminds him a lot of Deron Williams. He's not as good right now, but physically they're similar.

* Your goal going into the tournament is to play well and make a good run. But they don't look at winning this game as a milestone. They want to win three, two game tournaments in order to accomplish what they want to accomplish, and this is the second game of the first tournament. If they're fortunate enough to advance they'll think about the next tournament, just like Illini will. But they know they're playing a team that's capable of beating any team in the tournament. They're going to have to play at a very high level tomorrow.

* Illinois' bigs are different from KU's bigs, but similar in the respect that they can all stretch the defense. Davis can shoot it, Tisdale has proven he can shoot the three, and they can bring size off the bench with Myers Leonard just like KU does with Robinson. They've got really good bigs you have to guard, which means you can't clog the middle defensively.

* Illinois would like nothing more than to clean KU's clock, and they understand that. At the same time, KU is hungry for a win because it means the goals they want to achieve are still possible.

* Self had a great time at Illinois. It's unfortunate because the timing stunk that it kind of ended the way it did, because it minimized how much fun they actually had. It was a great three years. At that particular time, they thought Kansas was a better opportunity for them - and it's worked out great for both parties.

* The fans of both schools are similar because they're fanatics. Illinois is a great basketball state. One thing about being at Illinois, even though there are many universities in the state you are still THE school. Wherever you are you drink the Kool-Aid, because you think that place is the best - and that's the way it should be. You should be very proud of where you are. Illinois is great, one of the best 10 jobs in the country. But he thinks he's at a place that's definitely one of the best jobs in the country, and fans see it how they want to see it.

* He talks about Deron Williams all the time. He obviously coached Deron down, beause for him he was just their best defensive player. He hadn't blossomed yet. They had other good players, but Deron was the best defender in the Big 10 as a freshman, and he took great pride in that.

* People are entitled to think and feel however they want to feel. That's why they call them opinions. When you invest into a situation and you ask people to invest back, when you leave he understands why people would get upset. He doesn't entirely agree with it, but that's life. When he was there, he felt like he got the entire Illini nation rallying around what they were trying to do. Bruce took it to another level right after they left with the national championship game. In this business, you can't make people happy all the time. He hopes enough water is under the bridge that people don't feel that strongly about that, but he knows there are some who probably do.

* Self doesn't know the context in which some things were handled by Weber after the coaching change was made. But in coaching, people do things to benefit their situation. Self has done it. Everybody has done it. Maybe (the mock funeral) needed to be done at that time. This is a big boy game, and things are said. That happens sometimes, because you're looking to benefit your program. Whatever was said or done, that was not a big deal. He has enough stuff to worry about at KU.

* The similarities between Crandall Head and his older brother, Luther, are amazing - particularly the mannerisms. Self called Luther multiple times to try and talk to him about Crandall, and he never once returned the phone call. So that should tell Illinois people he was never going anywhere else.

* This time of year you've gotta play well. If you don't play well, you're not going to advance. So it's more important for KU to play well than it is to make someone else play bad - although the latter is still part of the equation. KU needs to focus on them and what they do, and at the same time take a couple of things from them.

* He was pleased with practice today. Although guys get all excited when you just practice 40 minutes. It's amazing the effort you get with a short practice.


Phog.net Top Stories