Kansas Coach Bill Self Press Conference Quotes
On the upcoming game:
"Now we are playing. The exhibition games were used as a time where we could get a feel for what's going on. Coaches don't show anything in the exhibition games so hopefully we will look like a different team and have a few wrinkles. We haven't done anything yet. Chattanooga can score and they are good. They are really well coached and can stretch the defense. They play fast and we haven't been a great transition defense yet -- this will be a test for us."
On the starters:
"We didn't practice yesterday but we have had some good practices. I would have to say that of Aaron (Miles), Keith (Langford), Mike (Lee) and Jeff (Hawkins) -- three of those four are going to start and you know who two of them are. Either Michael or Jeff will probably start and then inside we have three guys that I consider starters. I don't know how we will go on Friday but of the seven guys I have in mind, five will start."
"They have both done well. They are playing with more confidence now and it's probably the most confidence I have seen since I have been coaching here. Especially Michael -- he really starting to turn the corner. He is more confident and I think he is starting to understand things a little better. He is shooting the ball with more confidence than he was before."
On Jeff Graves off the bench:
"I think that's something we have to figure out. The last thing I want to do is have a starter get two fouls in the first four minutes and then play with two big guys the rest of the first half. One advantage with depth that I found out at Illinois is that playing aggressive allows you to play everyone because people are going to foul. Playing aggressive can really eliminate your depth if you don't play smart or get some cheap fouls. With our situation we could play four big guys but I would like the rotation to be those three with Bryant Nash being our fourth -- so we can play both the perimeter and inside. I don't know exactly how we will do it but it would be nice to get to the 12 or 13 minute mark and have one big guy with one foul or two big guys with one foul as opposed to playing out of foul trouble where you don't want to play them much of the half."
On pressure of winning the opener:
"There are a lot of things going on here when it comes to success. I really haven't thought about the 30-game home winning streak but it is a very nice streak and I hope it continues -- it needs to continue. We are going to have to play well for that to occur."
On having extra adrenaline for the first game:
"The EA Sports game was great because the fans were so terrific but the game was like a glorified practice. We had only been out there for a couple weeks and we were just feeling our way through some things. This is the opener and although EA Sports was great I anticipate a different feel when I walk into Allen Fieldhouse on Friday. What I have been trying to do is be the best wherever I have been. I haven't worked the last 18+ years just to get to this point. I don't think I will feel any extra pressure because of the number of years and hard work that I have put in. I think that this is the start of a new era and one that I am in charge of. I am sure there will be some butterflies about taking over and being looked at as the captain of the ship."
"I have concerns. Concerns can sometimes come off as not being confident. We are confident but we have concerns because we will put in a few things just in case they throw a few wrinkles at us and you never know how you are going to respond when you get into a game situation. We have concerns but I think every coach has concerns this time of the year. The more I get to know these guys and how they react and prepare -- those concerns will go away. I have never been one that can tell how a team is going to play. The best practices don't always mean the best performances and the worst practices sometimes mean great performances. Over time when you practice well you play well but that's not always the case. It will be interesting how things play out and how we get to know this team and know what to expect. Right now I don't know what expected but I know more than before the first exhibition game."
On the new things being added to the gameplan:
"We had a lot of stuff in during the exhibition games but we didn't want to run it. We are close and we are to the point where most of the stuff we have in will last us until Christmas. After Christmas is when you add your other stuff in to get ready for conference play. We will add a wrinkle here and there but for the most part the nuts and bolts are in place."
"They have a really tall three-man and a guy not quite as tall as a four-man but they are both perimeter guys. Champion is their leading returning scorer and he can really score. He's a guy that if you put a big guy on him it stretches the defense. Whenever they sub he can even move to the five-spot and then the go a little smaller and thinner, which creates problems for us because you have a four and a five guard three big men. If you watched a first two games that was one of the problems we had -- the four man being able to defend the three. Certainly they pose some challenges like that."
On UT-Chattanooga changing defenses:
"They change defenses a lot. It causes a problem if you worry about what they are in. Based on past years when we have studied them, they will play two or three different zones. They will run and jump and will trap the first pass. They will do some things that try and catch you off balance -- probabaly just like how Jeff (Lebo) played in college. They will do a lot of different things that if you worry about attacking every offense then you are thinking and won't be very successful. We just have to think attack all of the time and just get in positions and play and not worry about what defenses other teams are in -- just play principles. That's not just Chattanooga but with any team. Until you have done that or seen that then it's a little bit different."
On the ticket policy:
"I have no control over that. The thing is that I don't understand the ticket policy. There is so much written about our ticket policy and I haven't seen a policy yet. I talked to Lew (Perkins) and he said that he doesn't know about the policy yet, but everyone is upset about the policy. It's going to try and reward the loyal supporters that have supported the university and the basketball program over time. It's not going to cater to the people that can afford to do certain things. It's going to be a policy that probably doesn't please everybody but without a policy set in stone I don't really know how to comment on it and how the point system is going to work. I do know that Lew and his staff are very sensitive to the loyal supporters who have been here through thick and thin and that needs to account for a lot and not a little."
On the team coming along:
"I really think the guys are coming along pretty well. I think that they are really starting to understand what we want to accomplish and what our goals are. It doesn't mean we are going to play well but we are going to get much closer."
On freshman picking things up:
"I think J.R. (Giddens) is trying real hard and picking things up. I think Omar (Wilkes) and Jeremy (Case) are doing fine. I still think we can get a lot better. David (Padgett) is well ahead most any freshman regardless if they are at Kansas or wherever. This guy is prepared to play."
On UT-Chattanooga head coach Jeff Lebo:
"I know Jeff but never played against him. He's one of the guys in the profession that is good and will continue to get better and better. He is certainly one of the best coaches out there regardless of age and he has proven himself. Everyone I have talked to has been very impressed with how prepared his teams have always been and how innovative he is -- he's good."
On David Padgett:
"He has a good feel and sometimes when you are a coaches son you have so many advantages. You are in time-outs when you are eight years old and you are always watching practice. Somethings come to the point to where later on in life it comes more natural to you. I think David is at a point where things come pretty natural to him. The other guys will get there but they aren't as advanced as he is right now in that regard."
On team health:
"I think we are pretty good. I don't think there is anything major -- just some bumps and bruises. I don't think there is anything worth keeping anyone out for."