Kansas Head Coach Bill Self On The Big 12 Teleconference
On Kansas' 3-1 start:
"Nobody likes to lose. Probably too much has come too quick in a lot of ways -- it is not anybody's fault with the ranking. We obviously had some weaknesses magnified to us and our players. We probably understand it now more than ever. Which should in turn make us better."
On playing Fort Hays State:
"I think it is a good time to play -- period. I think it is a good time to play at home. It is not like we are a bad team, we just didn't play good on Saturday and yet the game was tied with four minutes left. There are some things that were going to give us some problems eventually if they weren't magnified and addressed. I think that has given us a chance to do those things which will make us better. We are happy to be playing anybody whether it be Fort Hays State or whoever."
On playing Division II schools during the exhibition season:
"I don't know if it is a better route as far as progress. I think it would be a great rule to pass for a lot of reasons. One of them being recruiting. For the NCAA to force exhibition games against other institutions would be a good rule to adopt, for basketball in general, not just for the preparation aspect. I also think it is good to play teams that are in practice and have been coached. They can change defenses and do a lot of things. I think that will probably prepare you as much as anything. Our EA Sports game was a pretty good basketball game and probably did help us quite a bit in that regard."
On the national rankings:
"I didn't put any stock in the ranking the first time. I don't put that much stock in the ranking now. It is so early. We see what we see everyday in practice. Maybe the outside sees they are the best team in America or the fifth-best team in America. There is no clue where anybody is right now. That will all play out probably beginning in January. I have been unranked and been ranked and I certainly prefer to be ranked. The higher you are ranked is usually better because it puts you in a situation where you probably play under a little more exposure and a little more duress and the bulls-eye might be a little bigger. I think those are all good things that make your team better."
On the loss to Stanford:
"We didn't rebound the ball like we are capable of. I think it just wasn't a good day for the Jayhawks on Saturday. We did hang in there and that was good, we just didn't finish the game right. In practice you see some things we get away with. Confidence is a big part of it -- we have to get a lot more confidence and be aggressive offensively. I think that was shown to us. Sometimes just making shots puts a covering on things you don't do well. Shooting makes up for a lot of ills. Certainly that was the case against TCU but is wasn't the case against Stanford."
On counting on freshmen to be one of your top players:
"I think we have two guys that can play and we have four good freshmen. It is not a perfect world, in my opinion. I don't think you can bring a freshman in and their performance will dictate whether you can win or lose. I am not sure that is healthy because then confidence becomes a huge issue. I do think when you have a nice blend of upper-classmen it is much easier to throw the freshmen in there and let them go. I don't like the sink-or-swim method. I think David Padgett is prepared to do that but J.R. Giddens should be brought along a little slower. By January both of them will be outstanding freshmen and will be recognized as two of the top freshmen anywhere. To have freshmen as your best players -- I think it is good to recruit guys that good but I don't know it is always best for the young man. Everybody says they want it until they get it. Sometimes when they get it -- it might be a little too much too soon. I think everybody is different. Some guys handle certain things better. Some guys learn to play through some stuff in order to really get it in the long-run. It is obvious to not win the battle but win the war. Some guys who are maybe too cocky, you don't want them to enjoy too much too soon as maybe other guys who are more grounded. It all deals with personalities and we have couple of guys here that will be outstanding freshmen."
On the Big 12 Conference versus the Big Ten Conference:
"The Big 12 has more possessions in a game on average. The Big 12, in my opinion, might be a more athletic league and a higher scoring league. I am not talking about a large margin. Sometimes when teams play possession by possession you don't see how athletic individuals can be. The Big Ten is a great basketball league. There is parody from top to bottom. It is probably not as top-heavy. I think the Big 12 has some parody but it also has some great teams at the top, historically. I can't imagine a league in America being better than the Big 12."
"I think the last two years the Big 12 has been the best league in America. Leagues are usually cyclical. Usually your best upper-classmen in each league determine who your best leagues are. A couple years ago, the Big Ten was a little stronger. The last two years, the Big 12 without question -- two teams in the Final Four both years -- has been the strongest league. This year it has a great chance to be that. Everything is cyclical. I can't imagine there being a better league than ours right now. It is still too early to tell. You look at what Oklahoma did to Michigan State. We will find out more about Texas tonight, I think they are one of the very best teams in America. It was a great start Texas Tech got off to and look at what Colorado did to California. Nebraska is on a role and K-State has been on a role. There are so many good teams. Oklahoma State is another one. Most people do not know how good BYU is, and to go out there and have a chance to win away from home. That is a sign they will be very good. I can't imagine a better league out there. Look at Missouri winning at Indiana. Those are all great teams."