Bill Self quotes

Kansas coach Bill Self talked about the Hearnes Center his team's upcoming matchup with the Tigers and what it could do for his team.

On Missouri:

"I have to study some more tape. They know who is going to play. I think Quin Snyder went through some things like we have gone through. Everybody deserves a chance to play and everybody is about equal , just trying to find the right pieces. I look at their team right now and they have really got it down to playing a core group. They are very talented. I think we are doing a better job in that area too. I think both teams are probably better in that regard. They are a team that is a lot more confident. They are hungry and they have a lot to play for. They have been as good as anyone in our league the last three weeks , Oklahoma State included. They are capable of playing at a very high level. We anticipate them playing at a high level on Sunday."

"I think they will be motivated. I really think when Kansas plays Missouri both teams are usually pretty motivated. We will have great motivation as well, but they have plenty to play for as well."

"I think that with the way they are playing now , they can score from all five spots. It's going to be harder taking something away because they will make you pay for it at one of the other spots."

"I think Missouri is a great program with a ton of potential in a good area , they love their basketball. That's what I thought when I interviewed there six years ago. My perception has not changed since then."

On playing against Missouri at home the first time vs. the second time:

"I would probably prefer to play at a time when it gives you the most emotional advantage. I would imagine that the closing down of the building would be a big advantage , at least in their eyes. Hopefully that will play into something that will be too emotional. I don't think it makes much of a difference whether you play the game at home first or second."

On the Hearnes Center:

"Personally, I did not have many great experiences there , we never won there when I was a player. They had some good guys when I was a coach at Oklahoma State , we didn't win there very often. I have some unique memories from there. I was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State and I got our coach his third technical , got him tossed. That memory from the Hearnes Center is at the front of my mind more than anything else. He wasn't very happy with me after that game."

"It's a little bit different. There are not really any memories I have as a player. I seem to remember it being straight up and down. I don't know if there could be a more straight up and down place like Gallagher-Iba though."

On the high energy being turned against you:

"Hopefully, it won't be. I am a big believer that you have to take the energy of the visiting crowd and it should motivate you even more. Granted, the games are games of spurts and certainly home crowds have a lot to do with those spurts. We have to be able to neutralize the crowd at some point and use their energy as something to motivate us , people do it all the time. I know that will definitely be a high energy type of situation on Sunday."

On the road game plan:

"I don't think you will play a lot faster on the road. Usually you play faster at home. I am not saying that is by design, but when you look at national averages across the board people usually score more points at home for whatever reason. We are just going to try and play like we play. Shot selection and taking care of the ball are even more pivotal on the road than it is at home."

On David Padgett:

"He did fine yesterday. We gave him an MRI yesterday and everything turned out negative. It is just sore and he has to go on it. We will probably give him today and tomorrow off and hopefully he can practice Saturday and play Sunday. That will probably be the gameplan with him. I anticipate him being available on Sunday. To my knowledge the rest of the team is alright. There are all kinds of things this time of year, but no more than what most teams have."

On Wayne Simien:

"Wayne said that he was going to stay at KU when I wasn't around. I spoke with his parents briefly and I have spoken with Wayne. It's something that we should address when the time is right to address it , that time is not now. I hope that is the case. I really believe that Wayne can be a guy that benefits like Kirk (Hinrich) and Nick (Collison) benefited from a senior year. It's an inexact science. I think you have to weigh all of the things there. I know Wayne and he wouldn't have said it unless he meant it , we will just have to wait and see what happens there. Being from Leavenworth and growing up loving the Jayhawks for so long , some things mean more to him than maybe somebody from outside of the area. It will give him the chance to go out with the guys and leave a legacy behind. He will definitely go down as one of the premier players that have played here. I think that is all very important to Wayne."

"If he was miserable I doubt he would want to come back , I think he is having a good time. We struggled getting him the ball early when his health wasn't good. He has been healthy and our team is playing pretty well. You can pencil him in for 20 points and 10 rebounds for the most part. Those are All-American type numbers. If our team had four losses instead of seven , he would be considered on all of the All-American teams and he still might anyway. I think he likes how we are playing and we are doing a much better job of getting him the ball."

"I told Wayne that once the season is over we need to sit down because there are ways to find out exactly what people are thinking. I told him not to read into stuff and he told me that he isn't even thinking about it. I was the one that initiated it with him. I would ask him if agents or runners are bothering him and he told me that he is not interested in talking to anybody about that stuff , it would be addressed at the right time. I told him it was a great attitude to have and I told him that it is an inexact science and nobody really knows. You could listen to one scout and hear that he is a first-rounder and if you listen to another scout they will say that it depends on who will come out. Right now there are 80 guys out there that are being told they are first round draft picks. Wayne is a grounded young man and his parents are as well. They said that they will just have to wait and see. For him to say what he said yesterday , I don't think he would say it unless he believed in his heart that was the case."

On athletes staying for senior season:

"We can all learn from the process. It was good for Drew (Gooden) to leave , it was hard to improve on where he was picked. If Kirk (Hinrich) and Nick (Collison) would have come out as juniors you don't know what they would have been , late first, early second. They played themselves into an unbelievable position. I think Wayne (Simien) is more in the Hinrich and Collison deal. I think he has a great chance to go high in the draft , a lot depends on things we are not even sure about. I also think that he can really help himself."

On the differences in the team:

"I think we are running offense a lot better. The last two games we rebounded the ball really well. I think we are +25 or +27 the last two games rebounding the ball. Our energy level has been very good. I do think that you have to take the show on the road and we haven't played as consistent away from home. We have had some good games away from home, but we are not at the consistent level that we need to be."

On Missouri getting a new arena:

"I would rather have Allen Fieldhouse than any other arena in America. I do think we have to do some things to it and modernize it a little bit. The windows, the bleachers and everything else , I wouldn't change one thing about them."

"I think that you could put in new windows. You could sandblast and repaint it , hang a new scoreboard. You could do some things to the concourses and hall of fame area , maybe improve the entire locker room areas. I think those are things that are very doable. With the renovations , they should be done. As far as changing the feel of the building I wouldn't do anything to change it , nothing."

On Jeff Graves:

"I don't look at what could have been. To me there are a lot of things that are still out there for him to do and improve on. I am happy that he has been able to turn things in a positive way. Everybody wants to see Jeff do well and Jeff understands that everybody wants him to do well. It's hard to do well unless you feel really good about yourself , I think he really feels good about himself right now."

"I think Jeff (Graves) and David (Padgett) both get quick whistles. We do foul but on most of those fouls we don't get our money's worth. I couldn't see Jeff's second foul last night but I guess he reached in , I couldn't pick it up on tape. There are so many things like that where you will pick up quick fouls and be taken out of the game. Everybody is limited with big guys. Texas is about the only school that doesn't have to worry about fouls. You don't want to start the game off with two guys getting two fouls in the first two minutes. We get our share of good calls too , they balance out over time."


Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories