Self: This is the time to become a team

Bill Self answers the inevitable questions comparing this team to the Final Four Kansas teams of the past two years.

Comparing the last two seasons to this season:

"This year's team isn't the last two years' teams. We have to find a way to kind of manufacture and do some things a little different than what they are used to doing.

I really think it comes down to toughness. I believe in my heart that now is the time you find out if you can play or not and you find out if you can coach or not. Anybody can do it when it is easy. Who is going to do it when it is tough? This is a time when you become a team.

When we were 4-5 at Illinois we still thought we were pretty good. We find out that when we went in other peoples' buildings they thought they had a good chance to knock us off. A lot like what is going on now. They see Kansas coming in and believe this is their chance. We weren't tough enough to win games that mattered the most unless we went through that stuff. It made us tougher and harder. Hopefully this will do the same for us."

On the last two years' success being a distraction:

"I know our players. The last two years are not a distraction. The last two years were great. We don't have exactly the same team we had the last two years. We have to make adjustments and have to play the way that gives us a chance to win. The guys are trying to do what is right.

We are just not playing as well as we can play. We have some really nice pieces. This team does not have the margin for error because we could run a really bad offense and come away with three points. This team has to really hunker down and play each possession like it is the last. I don't think we do that consistently.

When we make shots we are going to be hard to deal with. We shouldn't count on having to make shots to play well. I think there are a lot of teams out there which have proven it doesn't have to be that way." Top Stories