NCAA Sat.: KU PC (w/audio)

ST. LOUIS -- Inside Carolina's Saturday press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from Kansas head coach Bill Self and his starting five, who spoke to the media at the Edward Jones Arena.

Bill Self & KU Starting Five
Listen to Audio (40:58)

Opening comments:
"I don't know what's really changed in last 10 hours since I saw everybody. Obviously so excited to have the opportunity to play tomorrow against a terrific team and program that we obviously respect a tremendous amount, a coach that obviously has played a huge role in the history of Kansas basketball, and really looking forward to the challenge and having an opportunity to play for what every coach and every player dreams of in the beginning of the season, the opportunity to go to the Final Four."

The fact that I guess the talent level is getting higher, competition-wise is getting higher as you go along, how stressful is it for you as a coach when you know that, like you said yesterday, you only made like two shots outside of five feet?
"I think it was four feet after watching the tape, but one guy was red hot. He made both of them. I'm really not stressed about that. I've always been a believer that it's a good or bad shot when it leaves your hand, not if it goes in or not. And that's what I told the guys. And I firmly believe that we have saved them up for the most opportune time.

"But the big thing is we have got to do some things offensively to run better offense, so we're getting shots in rhythm as opposed to not getting them in rhythm. And I think that there's some things that we could do to tighten that up. I guess it could have something to do with it, but I don't think our guys will remember yesterday tomorrow. I think it will be a whole fresh day, a whole fresh mindset.

"I think with our team, it is like 50 first dates on a pretty consistent basis, so we'll just attack tomorrow the same way we attack every day. And those guys will be aggressive and confident going in the game."

You're either going play Kendall Marshall with one arm or one hand or you're going to play Stilman White and Justin Watts, do you guys press and why would you not press the hell out of them tomorrow?
"I think that that's a pretty good question, but the whole thing is, I think where teams really screw up, we have got probably 30 minutes to practice for North Carolina, and we're not going to change who we are in that 30 minutes. And Tyshawn, we haven't even talked about North Carolina yet. We got to bed last night at 3:30, so we haven't even-- I mean guys probably got down about 3:30, we didn't have dinner until 1:30. It was a late night last night.

"So we let them sleep until noon and so we haven't even talked about North Carolina yet. So to think that we can change who we are and what we do in 24 hours or really in a 30-minute period and be confident doing it, that's not who we are. We're not a team that changes a lot of things and tweaks it and be just as good doing it as we would if we just-- this is who we are, this is how we play. We'll tweak. There will be some things that we can do a little differently, but it's not going to be a major overhaul.

"Also, one reason why you may not press a lot is because your guards got to play 38 minutes. And that's something that obviously I don't know if that would benefit us, the last five to seven minutes knowing you got guys that have been pressing and doing those things for that period of time."

Old saying goes you don't want to follow the legend, you want to follow the guy that follows the legend. Did you have any reservations about that when you took the job at Kansas thinking back, and also I understand you didn't change a lot of things when you first got there like a lot of coaches, new coaches do?
"Well, I took over a healthy program. I think a lot of times when you want to change the culture is when you take over maybe an unhealthy program. There was nothing wrong with our culture, it was great.

"Coach Williams and his staff had done a remarkable job for the 15 years that they were there. Coach Brown, his staff did a remarkable job the years before that. You could go through the list of coaches and everybody's had a pretty good run of success there. But I don't think that if I was concerned about trying to win as much as Roy, or be compared to that, then I don't think I would have been the guy for the job. I really believe that I have certainly respected everything that he's done. He's made my job better, there's no question about that. But I'm not nervous or scared of his success that he there.

"If anything, I'm going to use that to propel us into hopefully even more success and use that to benefit us as opposed to being a detriment. So that didn't bother me at all. Coaches may say the best scenarios take over a program where the coach was hated, where they got really good players and nobody thinks they're any good and they got no expectations. And I did the polar opposite in all of those. So that's not the smartest things in a lot of regards, but I would still rather win. And in order to win the best chance is to go where the best players are and certainly we have had good players."


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