Recap: Bill Self Weekly Presser
(Brendan Maloney/US PRESSWIRE)
Phog.net
Posted Jan 26, 2012


Thursday, Kansas head coach Bill Self held his weekly press conference, during which time he previewed Iowa State and talked about dealing with the talents of Royce White, the development of Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson's three-point shot. Phog.net was on hand, and for those who missed it, is here with a recap of the discussion.

* Withey is well ahead of most big guys in terms of developing in season. Thomas has developed a lot as well, but Jeff has become quite a presence defensively. When he's active, he keys KU's success as anyone with his blocking and altering.

* There aren't as many big guys in college hoops today. Most big guys now are four men who can play facing and do some things. There aren't as many true five men out there - anchors who are legitimate five men and know they're five men. The schools who can get those guys, if they're talented, can give a team an advantage.

* Thomas isn't a post guy. He's not even a tall four man. Whatever he's listed at, knock it down an inch and a half. He's a prototypical 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 four man. For most guys his size, length can give them problems.

* In the last match-up with Iowa State, Royce White controlled the game without question. KU wasn't as active and energetic as they could be. They're not a great rebounding team unless they're turned up, and the guards are hitting the glass.

* There's no question this is the toughest stretch of the season, starting right now. ISU, Missouri, Baylor and KSU - all on the road - statistically the four best teams in the league aside from Kansas.

* There's a lot to like about how KU has played on the road. They've done some good things, but haven't had a performance yet that would guarantee a victory in any of the aforementioned four places. They've still got to get better.

* There is a different mentality on the road. Foxhole, tight huddle, blinders on - those things are very important going away from home and playing.

* Iowa State has Kansas' full attention after the way they handled them for 25 minutes at Allen. They're going to have to play the best road game they've played all year to have success. When you go on the road it's going to come down to the last few possessions, if you play well, and they hope they're in that position again Saturday.

* Last time, Iowa State backed off the high post big time. Hopefully Kansas will handle it differently.

* There's really not a whole lot they can do differently against Royce White. You can't leave shooters to guard him if you're a man to man team. He just whipped them physically last time, and Self wants to see them challenge him more - at least from a physicality standpoint.

* Jeff Withey is a good shooter from mid-range. He's taken too small a sample size to judge. Cole got really good at that shot, too. They have to get him where he's looking to score when left open from that range. The offense flows better when the D has to worry about all five guys.

* The Iowa State game was when Tyshawn kind of came alive. He's just playing better. Self isn't sure it has anything to do with things like shot selection, he's just confident.

* There is a bit of an advantage, traveling to crazy environments, if a team plays in one like Allen every game. But he doesn't know how the team will respond at Hilton Coliseum which, when the team is good, has traditionally been a pretty rocking place.

* Knock on wood, but Self thought Tyshawn could be a 40-percent three-point shooter, which is pretty good. But he's been a much better shooter than that. But still the best thing he does is get to the basket.

* KU didn't figure out Royce White as the game wore on last time. But Jeff's length can hopefully bother him, as ISU is hoping White's ball skills and quickness can bother Jeff.

* Elijah has played better than his numbers. He really struggled badly last game. But he's a really good player. His numbers shooting the basketball haven't been good at all, and he's a 40-percent three-point shooter at worst. It's going to happen, and now would be a great time because they need him to be a double-figure scorer going forward, no question. He can definitely become a better defender though. There are times when he's been really good and times when he hasn't.

* If you worry about your shot, you're not going to shoot it well. You've gotta do the other things and then your shot will come more naturally. If you have to make shots to play well, then you're probably not a complete player.

* EJ doesn't have a whole lot of trouble worrying about his last shot, but his selection can be questionable at times. He had a bad game against A&M, but he also made the biggest shot of the game against Texas. He's done a lot of really good things.

* Iowa State is good. They're an NCAA tournament team, which is a pretty good transformation in two years. Fred Hoiberg went the transfer route, and to Self it seems like it's working out. He doesn't know him well personally, but Hoiberg seems like the perfect guy for the Cyclones job to him.

* There's nothing wrong with Elijah's shot technically. He can get a little flat at times, but there's really nothing wrong with it. And the thing with good shooters, they never miss right or left - they miss long or short. All of Elijah's misses are long - just a little long. He's just a notch off. So it's nothing major that's wrong with EJ.

* Travis Releford has developed as a defender to the point where Self is confident placing him on the opposition's best backcourt player and asking him to go to work. The thing is, that may not always be the best situation for KU, because it may leave a guy like, say, Elijah on the opponent's best rebounder. But he's comfortable with Travis guarding anybody. He's become a pretty smart defender.



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