Self: Press Conference Quotes

Quotes from Coach Self's press conference on Tuesday.

On Villanova:
"We are just now starting to watch tape. They play four perimeter players because (Curtis) Sumpter is a three playing the four spot. They are very, very, very athletic and they can all shoot it. They are great off the bounce from an offensive standpoint. They are really a talented team. They had one bad loss early when they had four starters out. They still don't have Jason Fraser yet -- I don't know what the status is on him yet -- he has been out with a stress fracture based on what I have been told. They are going to be a really good team when they get all of the pieces. Right now they are coming hard, I think they have won five in a row. They are really playing well. Jay (Wright) does a great job with these guys. They will be a team to reckon with in the Big East."

On Villanova's Curtis Sumpter:
"We recruited (Curtis) pretty hard at Illinois. We have always liked Curtis. I don't know where they rank him nationally but I would say he has to be one of the premier sophomores out there. There are not many sophomores in America that can score as easy as he does."

On Michael Lee:
"We are hopeful, but I think it will be doubtful for (Michael) to play against Colorado. Based on what the doctors and trainers have told me he is on schedule but I think the Kansas State game is more realistic. It would make it a true six weeks rather than five if he were to come back and practice a few days before the Colorado game. He can start practicing without contact now so we will have him out there doing the "dry" stuff. If he does play against Colorado it is because the doctors and trainers have said he is ready to go -- we aren't going to play him if he isn't fully recovered. He's probably a bigger part of this team than we envisioned him to be before he got hurt -- we need his perimeter shooting. He brings a lot of intangibles and he is the one guy you can coach through. The guys enjoy playing with him and he is one of our better shooters."

On the "Glue" players:
"Everybody has a role and is part of the equation in putting all of the pieces together. A 'glue' guy, by my definition, is a guy that makes others better and you don't necessarily notice him on the court. I would say Michael Lee and Omar Wilkes would be the 'glue' guys on this team."

On shooting concerns:
"You just have to practice. The biggest thing is having confidence. My biggest concern is to get Wayne (Simien) the ball. Knocking down shots will be a huge key in getting him the ball. We may not become a good shooting team overnight -- we haven't yet. We can shoot better than we have been and last night our starters were 5-of-13 from behind the arc, which is very acceptable. The negative was Wayne only got two shots in the first half and both of them were threes. We need to do a good job of making shots and we also need to run the offense so we score from the perimeter. The problem is when you don't make shots you don't run off a score. If you don't run off a score then you are really easy to guard."

On getting the ball into the post:
"I don't think we were confident enough to throw it in there without turning it over. It matters. We emphasize that as much as anything -- they know that. To date, we haven't been a good shooting or passing team. I do think we can pass and shoot it better than we have and we will. Last night we did a better job of getting the ball inside."

On shooting early in a set:
"I think the thing that has been so good around here the last couple years is teams shot so quick. We are not going to shoot it quick -- we can't shoot it quick. We can shoot it quick in a primary break situation or maybe if we do a better job in transition and secondary and get the ball inside early. It's not to our benefit to come down and shoot the first perimeter open shot. There are still guys that don't shoot the first one but still don't give the big guys a chance to break open. Our offense is all about our big guys sealing on the post and we haven't been as patient as we should be, so I think a lot of it is impatience. Nobody is trying to be impatient but we are shooting the ball quicker than we should at times."

On J.R. Giddens:
"J.R. is good on top of the press because he is so long. We have hardly done that in a game but he may have forgotten to get in the press after a made basket. I thought for the most part the guys did a good job with that last night. You can do that against teams which don't play fast and they won't hurt you early because they have less time to put a shot up -- it worked out pretty well for us last night."

On Jeff Graves:
"I never had a problem with Jeff getting on the floor and doing things like sacrificing his body. There have been times when I have had a problem with his effort at practice. The thing for Jeff is that he can't handle anymore distractions and I just want to give him the best chance he can possibly have to be a good player -- right now he is definitely doing that and I am very pleased."

On Wayne Simien:
"As a staff we can do a lot of things better. We can get (Wayne) more touches on the perimeter. The one thing he has done a great job of -- he has not gotten frustrated to the point that some players would. Last night when we started the second half we did a great job of getting the ball to him but we had already wasted 20 minutes. I think we can all do a better job. He could probably post a little stronger. He is not the biggest target at 6-8, when you get a couple of guys around him then he may appear open on tape but it may not be that clear live. He can probably do a better job of posting and sealing. He is open and we have to get the ball to him."

"I think he is doing a lot better. He may not practice today. He has a hard time going two days in a row. He is probably operating at 85 percent."

On the team:
"I told them it takes 18 days of doing something in a row for it to become a habit. We are up to five as far as attitudes and good practice days and great effort. I thought we played really hard last night. If you asked Wayne (Simien) he would tell you we are gaining on it."

On who has tried to take leadership roles:
"I think Aaron (Miles) has tried and I think Wayne (Simien) has tried. Jeff Graves has been the best performer we have had since Christmas in practice."

On the Big 12 Conference:
"I would have to say Nebraska and Iowa State would be my two surprises. I don't know much about their personnel yet other than studying them from afar. I know how hard it is to win at Williams Arena and (Nebraska) go up there and do it handily. Iowa State is still undefeated. Oklahoma has a had a favorable schedule early but you have to give them credit because they are young. They scheduled smart and got some confidence and then won big games they have played. They are a legitimate threat to win the league. The team that still impresses me is Texas because they have the all the pieces and the bodies. Missouri is good and have lost three real close games. It will be a wide-open race but to me Iowa State and Nebraska are the surprises." Top Stories