Bill Self: Weekly Press Conference

Coach Self on the upcoming game with Texas Tech, the Big 12 race, and the continued improvement of freshman Jeremy Case.

On characteristics of a Bob Knight coached team:
“I have studied (Coach Knight’s teams) over the years but not as much as I am going to in the next three days. You have to be able to handle screens -- back screens, down screens and fake screens. They run as pure form of motion as you could possibly run. There is a gameplan for everybody every time someone touches the basketball. It’s all about reads -- they do a good job of exploiting the other team’s weaknesses. Defensively, this Texas Tech team is going to get after you. When you are talking about a Bob Knight coached team then you start to question how you prepare for them because everything seems random -- there isn’t as much structure where you can take things away. Those are the hardest teams to play and prepare for because you can’t  just say they are going to run certain types of plays. Their game is predicated on reads -- I think it’s a great trait of his.”
 
On Andre Emmett:
“Watching tape I would say he is the best player in the league to date. I don’t want to come out and say he is better than our guys or somebody else. The bottom line is everybody has a different role on the team and what roles certain people have may be different than what Andre’s role is at Texas Tech. I would have to say he is the front-runner for player of the year in the league.”
 
“I think he moves very well without the ball. You aren’t going to be guarding a standing player -- you are going to have to guard somebody that is always waiting for you to turn his head and then he will move. You have to be very sound when guard him.”
 
“He can get you at the free-throw line, he can beat you off the bounce and he stretched his range -- there is no question about that. I wasn’t in the league last year but I know he was one of the premier players in the league. From what I understand he has improved all areas of his game -- not just scoring.”
 
On distractions at Texas Tech:
“I don’t think they are dealing with any distractions at all. If there was a distraction then it probably was yesterday. I can’t see that as even remotely being a distraction after today.”
 
On Texas Tech:
“They are very quick and we have to handle their pressure and really get after people. They are an opportunistic team that takes advantage when you make mistakes. You have to defend the first 10 seconds of the shot clock because they will shoot it fast but they also have enough discipline so that you have to defend the whole 35. Those are the traits of a good team.”
 
On his history with coach Bob Knight:
“My first year at Oral Roberts we played at a tournament in Indiana. After we lost to Washington State by 48 in the first game -- we did not play them in the championship game the following night. I have never had the chance to play against any of his teams. I have dealt with him a little bit within the league -- we have had a chance to meet at media day and different meetings. It goes without saying, every coach growing up tried to study coach Knight and have tried to emulate a lot of things that have made him so successful. I probably know him much better than he knows me.”
 
On Bob Knight:
“I think he has always had good players at both Indiana and Texas Tech. I also thinks he gets those guys to play exactly the way he wants them to play and there is not a lot of deviation. I think one of the great things he does is he teaches guys how to play -- not how to run plays. I think over time -- that is the way to be.”
 
On Texas Tech’s scoring:
“It hasn’t been easy to stop their scoring for 17 opponents so far. I think it’s great when you have one guy you know you can get a basket with. I think it’s better to have two guys or three guys you know you can get a basket with. The way they run offense -- you can’t just key in on (Andre) Emmett. They have other guys that can make you pay. They are averaging 74 a game, and he (Emmett) is getting 21, so there are 53 points coming from somewhere. They use Emmett to get other guys points. You can’t just totally put your total focus on him.”
 
On Kansas’ health:
“I think everyone is doing alright. Everybody came by the office yesterday but I was in Kansas City for a large part of the day so I did not see everybody. The trainer told me everybody was fine. I think we were pretty sore after the Missouri game. That is understandable after the quick turnaround of play Saturday and then Monday -- we put a lot of effort into trying to beat Mizzou.”
 
On Jeremy Case:
“All freshmen could learn from Jeremy.  You come in with great expectations and you play early because competition allows you to.  If you don’t play well you can get frustrated and lose your confidence.  Then you get into conference and play and there is no more opportunities for experiment.  You can either get frustrated or you can use everyday in practice as a time to get better and improve for the future.  He has done the later.  He has really done a good job in practice.  He may or may not play a lot or some.  I don’t know what the situation is.  I do know one thing -- he has a good look about him right now.”
 
“I think he trying to guard and is starting to figure it out.  He is trying to have a presence.  When he checked in the other night, (Rickey) Paulding beat his man and drove baseline and Jeremy was the help man.  Paulding has two fouls at the time.  How do you not try to take the charge?  Even if you get a block -- how do you not take the charge.  That is the kind of stuff we will talk to him about.  We had a chance to put Rickey on the bench with three fouls in the first half.  Those are the things he is starting to see and understand.”
 
“I don’t think he was overwhelmed (at the beginning of the season).  He was just being a typical freshman.”
 
“He is probably more of a two-guard right now rather than a point guard.”
 
On redshirting freshmen:
“I think it is a great idea in theory.  I don’t think it will work because of the kids leaving early to go to the pros.  If you tell highly recruited kids out of high school they are not going to play as freshman -- you will have more people jump to the league.  If you put a minimum age -- a baseball type limit -- when they can’t go until their junior year then it would be a great idea.”
 
On David Padgett:
“David Padgett is our starter.  That is not critical of Jeff (Graves).  David is definitely our starter unless he gets hurt or his foot starts bothering him, then it could change.  That is not because of any turn of events, it is just the way we are going to go.”
 
“I think David can score more and rebound more.  I hope the rest of the way he can be an double-figure scorer or an eight-rebound guy.  I am pleased.  Since the Villanova game he has practiced, maybe, three times.  He is doing fine.  He needs to be on the practice floor more.  Hopefully he will be doing that.”
 
“Until his foot gets well he will not practice everyday and we will limit his reps everyday.  He is not full-speed in practice yet.”
 
“You can’t make a kid weigh 270 pounds overnight.  Here is a long and lean kid, who has guarded good players this season.  He hasn’t guarded somebody like Arthur (Johnson) as far as a wide body with a great base.  I think everyday is a learning experience for him.  You can tell him to be physical but you also better initiate the first contact.  If you don’t they can dislodge you.  As the game went on he started figuring things out.  Early it was a tough guard for him.  He will not back down.  He is competitive.”
 
On the point guard position:
Jeff Hawkins is more of a point guard defensively and a two-guard offensively.  We just don’t need Aaron (Miles) to ever get tired or get hurt.  We will do it by committee.”
 
On his reaction to Aaron Miles’ leaving Monday’s game in the second half:
“I didn’t get scared.  I was definitely concerned.  One thing about ankles is they hurt a lot worse when you first do it then ten minutes after it happens.”
 
On the current stretch of games:
“Going into K-State we played Wednesday, Saturday, Monday, Saturday, Monday.  That is a span of 12 days and you have five games.  That is a key stretch.  We have put our emphasis on this stretch.  After the Oklahoma State game we can catch our breath because we won’t play until the next Sunday.  That will start another key stretch.  I think this is the most pivotal time of our conference season right now.”
 
On the league race:
“We talk to the players a lot as far as the league race.  The league is not going to be won the first week of February.  It is also not going to be lost the first week of February.  You can posture yourself to be a key player in it if you take care of business early in the race.”
 
On Kansas’ defense:
“J.R. Giddens is getting better defensively.  I thought our defense the other night (against Missouri) was good.  I thought our defense against Iowa State was pitiful.  I thought rebounding the ball after the first ten minutes was pretty good.  If your body types were certain ways then you wouldn’t have to trap the post, which forces rotation rebounding.  Those are things we have to get better at.  It is not negative -- that is just how it is.  We think we can get a lot better.”
 
On manufacturing points:
“A lot of teams can run a bad offense and still make shots.  We don’t shoot shots a lot of other teams shoot routinely because of personnel.  I think getting on the offensive glass, running through a pass and trapping the post to create a deflection and run out -- those are types of ways to manufacture points.  As opposed to the traditional -- coming down throw it to the wing, throw it inside then shoot it.”

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