Recently, freshman guard Russell Robinson has made comments that he hopes to be a sophomore by the time November rolls around. Obviously the six-foot-one native of New York can't skip a class, but from a mental and physical standpoint the notion isn't out of the question.
According to Self, Robinson is making an early impression and will likely be relied upon pretty heavily from the first whistle.
"He is definitely a guy that could have a huge impact on this team and he'll be the best thing that has happened to Aaron (Miles) and Keith (Langford) and J.R. (Giddens). You know him along with a better Mike Lee and a Galindo type player is that those guys don't have to play 30 minutes a game any longer."
Although he has the ability to score, Self doesn't see that as his biggest asset.
"He's a guy that can keep defenses honest and he can score but I don't think that will be his job from the outset, his job from the outset will be to run a team," said Self. "I think he'll get great satisfaction from his team scoring points and stopping the other team as he will from being the one scoring the basket."
IMPROVED LEE SETTING THE TONE AT PRACTICE
Each year guard Mike Lee has come back to campus more prepared to contribute. The same can be said this year as the six-foot-two guard from Portland (OR) has been setting the tone in early practices. According to Self the effort level at this year's practices has been as good or better than any practices last season, he quickly pointed to Lee as the catalyst.
"Michael Lee has been the guy who came back in the best condition more prepared to practice than anybody else. Aaron and Mike they obviously came back looking good but Michael is noticeably different than last year," said Self.
The presence of more perimeter talent has played a small role in his shape, but more has to do with it being his last go round.
"I think that is part of it (more competition) but I think more so with Mike it is his senior year and he just wants to go out in style but he's been really good," said Self.
"Better body, better shape, more confident, better game he worked on his game. He and Aaron and Jeremy Case probably maximized their time this summer as well as anybody in terms of skill development and getting better in those areas. Other guys did an ok job but those guys did an exceptional job."
SELF ON THE FRESHMAN
Once again Self is very high on what his talented group of freshman bring to the table.
"I think that they're all good players and there's not one great player in the group, today but all of them have big upside and all have potential to become excellent players at Kansas. I think it is a great recruiting class to go along with a very talented veteran team."
Self lauded their aggressive attitude and commitment to the team.
"None of them were recruited demanding X number of minutes or starting positions. They all came in "I just want to make the team better" and these are the guys that can carry the torch certainly when these guys (seniors) are gone."