Highlights from Self Presser

As he does on a weekly basis, Kansas head coach Bill Self took some time to answer questions from the media. Among the topics were Wayne Simien's health, Alex Galindo's improvement, what it will be like to coach against former assistant Billy Gillespie and Self's thoughts on the best team in the country.<br>

BILL SELF's THOUGHTS ON KU’S THREE POINT SHOOTING AGAINST GEORGIA TECH:

“We’ve got good shooters, especially when you’ve got Alex out there who can space the floor. The thing that was so encouraging to me was that Keith and Aaron shot the ball so well from behind the arc. That’s been something that will make us a lot better if you have to defend those guys hot on the perimeter, it makes them better drivers and it certainly opens up the post for Wayne when he comes back.”

SELF ON GALINDO’S IMPROVEMENT, PLAYING TIME, AND ATTITUDE:

“Well we’re playing small, we’re playing four perimeter players around one guy as opposed to playing three and two. The biggest thing that he’s doing is he’s rebounding the ball and he also played good post defense the other day on Muhammed, McHenry and Tarver and those guys when he was in there. He held his own in post defense and he rebounded the ball well. He probably gets as many rebounds per minute as anybody on our team.”

“He has a natural nose for the ball, some guys like Wayne you can look up and they’ve got 12 every game. Alex isn’t going to get 12 every game but he’s one of those guys who the ball seems to find him. He’s not scared to lead with his nose, he’s in there battling and scrapping. He’s not the strongest guy in the gym, but he’s getting stronger and he’s playing tough. I think C.J. does that too, C.J.’s not strong but he’s in there battling, good things usually happen when you do that.”

“I don’t think his attitude was ever bad at all. What happens is you have expectations of yourself. You miss the first 24 days of practice and you come out on day 25 and guys are a lot better than you and you see yourself down on the depth chart, I think you can lose confidence or maybe lose some incentive if you feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think that may have happened, but he’s a great kid and he’s had a great attitude. I was hard on him early because I thought he wasn’t responding to doing the things he had to do to earn minutes, but in my opinion he’s done those things with me.”

SELF ON COACHING AGAINST FORMER ASSISTANT BILLY GILLESPIE:

“It’s no fun coaching against assistants. I talked to Billy last night and I’ll really enjoy seeing him and my family will before the game and after the game, but during the game our job is to beat him and his job is to beat us but it won’t be enjoyable. Plus he knows me better than I know me and I know him better than he knows himself in a lot of ways. So there weren’t be any secrets or anything like that, no secret plays that we surprise each other with.”

SELF ON HOW HE FEELS GILLESPIE WILL DO AT A&M:

“He’s the best recruiter in the state of Texas and that’s what I thought from day one. He is the best recruiter in the state of Texas, and there’s so many guys in Texas I think it’s a perfect fit. He’ll relate well to every coach, you can go to a high school in Dallas right now and the women’s coach is going to come up to you and ask you how Billy Clyde is doing, he knows everybody, everybody. You can go to Houston and it will be the same way, it doesn’t make any difference what the situation is, track coach, football coach everybody knows Billy Clyde. He’s just got a way about himself that certainly in the state of Texas where he’s so connected will help his recruiting efforts immensely.

“I told him he had to do it (take the A&M job) because that’s where he’s at his best. I thought he was walking into a perfect situation where they were struggling and he could go in like he did at UTEP and get that thing turned quickly. I just thought it was the perfect fit for him.”

SELF’S THOUGHTS ON THE BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY SO FAR:

“I don’t know, based on what I’ve seen and what everybody else has seen Illinois has been the most dominant team so far. So, I’d have to say based on performance to date I’d have to say Illinois. I think Carolina is really good and I think Georgia Tech is really good, really good. I think that if we continue to get better that we could be really good too. Oklahoma State I think is really good, they lost to Gonzaga but they are still really good. It could fluctuate week to week, but from start to finish there’s no doubt that Illinois has done more than anybody else, on paper at least.”

SELF ON SIMIEN’S INJURED THUMB:

“When you guys see the players at 3:30 or 4:00 or whatever he’ll have the soft cast on if everything goes well cutting it (hard cast) off. That was scheduled two weeks ago so don’t read into it Oh God he’s getting the cast off early. He’s not getting the cast off early, it’s the same exact schedule and he’s wearing the same thing he would have been wearing the day they told us about the surgery.”

“I talked to Wayne today and I said hey thanks Wayne I only had to answer 25 phone calls about what you said. He said man I’m sorry Coach I’m just ready.  I said I know you’re ready but you’ve got to let Mother Nature take its course. Hopefully he’ll get back and I don’t think there is a steadfast rule that it has to be this long or has to be that long but there is a general rule that it takes this long. So I think anything other than what we’ve said earlier would probably be wishful thinking.”


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