Self: We have to be very sound

Coach Bill Self will spend the next few days thinking about Andre Emmett.

The National Player of the Year Candidate leads Texas Tech in scoring and rebounding, pouring in 21.2 and 6.9 boards per contest. It is the best stat line in the conference, from a player many consider the best in the conference.

"Watching tape I would say he is the best player in the league to date," said Self.

"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."

"I think he moves very well without the ball," continued Self.

"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. We have to be very sound when guard him."

The Jayhawks will have the opportunity to guard him on Saturday when Kansas takes on the Red Raiders at Allen Fieldhouse.

"He can get you at the free-throw line, he can beat you off the bounce and he has stretched his range -- there is no question about that," said Self.

Despite all of his skills, Emmett is still just one player.

"You can't just key in on Emmett," explained Self. "They have other guys that can make you pay."

"They are averaging 74 a game, and he is getting 21, so there are 53 points coming from somewhere. They use Emmett to get other guys points. "

Other guys do get those points. Most notable is Jarrius Jackson averaging 11.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Beyond scoring capabilities, Texas offers several other obstacles for Kansas.

"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," said Self.

"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."

This good team is rated No. 19 in the latest Associated Press poll and coached by the legendary Bob Knight. Knight is 62-26 in his third year at Texas Tech.

"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," said Self.

"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."

Self attributes Knight's success in part to this. Self also feels any team coached by Knight presents some characteristic challenges.

"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," said Self.

"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."

In facing Texas Tech Kansas will attempt to pick up its first victory over a ranked foe since late November.

Texas Tech is 17-4 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference heading into the game with the Jayhawks. Tech scores 74.3 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field. Saturday's meeting will be the 16th all-time between Kansas and Texas Tech, with the Jayhawks holding a 14-1 series lead.


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