Recap: Bill Self Weekly Presser
(John Rieger/US PRESSWIRE)
Phog.net
Posted Mar 5, 2012


Kansas head coach Bill Self met with the media Monday afternoon, to discuss post-season awards, the team's development throughout the season and the upcoming Big 12 Tournament. Phog.net was on hand at Allen Fieldhouse, and is here with the recap.

* Back at the beginning of the season they actually guarded and rebounded better than they've done lately. But the biggest thing is the ball moves, they trust a little bit more and guys have their roles defined in their minds. All of the players individually are playing a little bit better, too.

* Guys might have to learn to be starters, too. Elijah started a few games, Travis started a few games. But in general the pressures of having a role where your performance dictates whether the team wins or not has a different feel to it than a role in which you come in and if you're great, great - if not, nobody talks about it.

* Travis and EJ were ready to be starters because they'd done their time and paid their dues. But still, even though they wanted it were they ready for it? A lot of backup QBs want to be the guy until it's crunch time in the fourth quarter and you've gotta go the length of the field to win the game. it's something you've got to adjust to.

* Thomas doesn't have a huge repertoire of post moves, and to be honest they don't teach their guys a ton. You need to be able to score over your right and left shoulders and have a counter to each. There's no reason to teach a guy 15 different moves. Footwork is a little different. But Thomas this year is using post moves he's always had in his bag, he's just never had the chance to use them. Danny likes teaching a lot of moves, Self favors fewer. By the time they're seniors they've usually developed a larger repertoire, which is good, but with young kids it can cloud their minds and make it more complicated than it is. Danny is so good at working with the posts on different aspects of their games.

* Elijah and Travis have the ability to be shutdown defenders. So does Ty. The team could be as good defensively on the perimeter as they've ever been, but they don't play that way. He gets a kick out of it when coaches talk about becoming great on D in a short time. It doesn't work that way. It's a mindset, and it takes time.

* As far as Coach of the Year, Self doesn't know if this is a year where multiple people could win the award and, honestly, he doesn't care. Frank Haith was AP Coach of the Year, and Self voted for him in the league, but Fred Hoiberg did a great job as well. So everyone got a piece. The only way you can win Coach of the Year is if your team is good. If your team stinks you're not going to win anything.

* He didn't see this type of season coming from Jeff, but he predicted he would lead the league in blocked shots. Jeff deserves the Defensive Player of the Year award. He's been consistent all year long defensively, but up and down on offense. One of the reasons Thomas has had a great year is because Jeff guards the other team's best post.

* Preparation hasn't had much to do with losing in the post season for Kansas. Mindset maybe has. Distractions are impossible to avoid, what with family, agents, runners, etc. in addition to the basketball game. If voices are coming from the outside telling a player what he needs to be doing, that's a problem. Mature guys and mature coaches cut everybody off, and that's not easy to do at all. Those are the things that he worries as much about as anything else. Last year before the VCU game, it was the loosest group he'd been around.

* Danny has been an unbelievable coach. Joe and Kurt have been great with the guards as well. They've taken great advantage of their individual time with their player groups. Danny has been great, a great role model and teacher, and the guys respect him. He can't imagine having anyone better to teach big guys than what they have.



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