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November 3, 2014

Bill Self

Washburn - 53
Kansas – 85

BILL SELF:  Guys, go ahead.

Q.  Do you think you could be a real good defensive team?
BILL SELF:  Looking at the first half, we were pretty active.  You know, I don't know if we can defend the block because they didn't throw it inside very often, and you've got to be able to finish your possessions and be a good rebounding team, which that remains to be seen.  But I think there's some things that are good about our guys that could eventually be a very good defensive team.

Q.  There are a lot of guys getting (inaudible)?
BILL SELF:  Yeah, not as many as we should, but I didn't think we did anything the second half to do that, but the first half we created some havoc, and they're hard to pressure because they run five‑man motion and they always have a pressure release.  One of their big guys is always a pressure release.  That's a hard team to try to steal against.  But I did think we did a good job in the first half of creating some havoc.

Q.  Chipman thought he saw more effort, a little tougher pressure.  Do you see that they can show you a little more even if it's not completely what you want them to do, that they have a lot of want‑to?
BILL SELF:  Yeah, the first half especially.  Second half was such a fragmented game.  I think we were in the double bonus with 16 left and they were in the double bonus with probably 10 left, so I know with the 12 minutes left and when they had the under‑12 time‑out, both teams had already committed 18 fouls the second half, so it was fragmented the second half.
But I thought that we played pretty tough the first half.  But our big guys didn't rebound.  Perry gets one rebound in 20 minutes, and Frank was our leading defensive rebounder the first half.  Those aren't good things.  Those are things we've got to get better at.

Q.  At one time you had five guys over 6'5" on the floor.  How did that change the total offense?
BILL SELF:  Yeah, well, it wasn't very good when we did it.  Of course we played Wayne at the point on a couple of different times, and of course when we play him at the point we're going to be 6'5" will be the smallest guy we have.  But Wayne is not really used to doing that a lot, and up until this past week we didn't really anticipate a lot of situations where we'd do it a ton, but I probably anticipated more situations where we'd play him at the 4 than we would at the 1, but now I see a lot of situations we'll have to play him at the 1, at least for spot duty, so we need to get better at that.

Q.  What factors played into your decision who to play tonight?
BILL SELF:  No, there was no factors.  I was going to start all returning guys and then Brandon was going to start.  He didn't do anything bad, so this is not a big deal, but I wanted him to play a little bit better defense yesterday, and we really probably didn't get that done, so I started Devonte'.  But I don't know how it will go moving forward.  I think Brandon and Svi‑‑ Brandon has had a good last week, really good, and I think Svi obviously is going to be a really good player when he figures it out.  Kelly has got to figure some things out, but he's got a lot of talent.  But right now I would probably feel most comfortable with Devonte' and Frank and Wayne and maybe even Brandon from a standpoint of knowing what we're trying to do.  Those newcomers got to pick some stuff up and kind of understand what we're trying to do.  But they did fine tonight.

Q.  What did you think of Cliff's line for his first game?
BILL SELF:  Cliff had a good line.  Yeah, he had a good line.  But the whole thing is we've got a huge size advantage and we shoot 15 out of 33 shots the first half I think for threes, so that was not very smart at all.  We just clipped off shots.  We've got to learn to play through our bigs more.

Q.  Is Brandon okay?
BILL SELF:  He got a concussion.  I don't want to say he's okay or not okay, because I think we'll definitely take the very cautious approach of when he can come back, and I don't know when that will be yet.  I certainly don't anticipate him being back in the next couple of days, but I don't know what that means moving forward.

Q.  Chipman talked about you talking to their team yesterday.  What kind of was the message, and when somebody does that, how much does that help prepare a D‑II team?
BILL SELF:  Well, I think that obviously their schedule is hard, and ‑‑ I didn't know, did Wiggins get hurt?  He tweaked his ankle?  He didn't play him I don't think after he tweaked it the second half.
But they play the best exhibition schedule in the country, you know.  Their RPI strength of schedule would definitely be No.1 of all Division II teams in the country.  But all I did was just talk about playing together and liking each other and the little things it takes to win, and if you really want to win, there's some sacrifices that have to be made.
But I think the message was certainly one that I think Chip has already told them many times.

Q.  With guys like Svi, Kelly, are there things they're still figuring out?
BILL SELF:  Like how to play.  How to play, how to make easy plays.  One thing about it, guys a lot of times want to have the ball in their hands, and we had just as soon for them not to have the ball in their hands.  Guys hang on to it too long.  They're looking to make a scoring play pass rather than just get the ball moving, ball is sticking a little bit.  Kelly could be a great defender and a great rebounder, and Svi could be a great ball mover and obviously a really, really, really good shooter, things like that, and I just don't think we played to our strengths near as much as we should.

Q.  It was a tough night from the free‑throw line.  Was that just first‑game nerves or shot clock that needs to‑‑
BILL SELF:  Yeah, I'm going to attribute it to lack of practice and first‑game nerves for sure.  Yeah, we were awful from the line.  We could have scored quite a few points if we'd have made our free throws.  That's on me.  We've got to spend more time and work on it and drill it.  You know, when you've got so much to get in and stuff, a lot of times that's one of the things that you probably sacrifice a little bit, but guys got to get in the gym on their own and work on some things, because we may not have a great free‑throw shooting team, I don't know, but certainly we have the potential to have some really, really, really good free‑throw shooters.  You know, obviously we're not going to be a team that I think shoots 50 percent that often.

Q.  I know this was smaller competition, but with Cliff's rebounding ability, is that something that is already there?
BILL SELF:  As far as for him?

Q.  Yeah.
BILL SELF:  Yeah, but he goes after the ball pretty good, and you know what, he's becoming a better outlet passer and doing some good things that way, and I'm getting the confidence in him to have him in there because he tries so hard.  But if I was going to say our two best rebounders for certain, our two best rebounders are Landon and Cliff, and that doesn't bode well for Mari and Perry.  They've got to get where they're as good a rebounders as those guys, but when the ball is on the glass as a defensive rebounder, I think I probably have as much confidence with those two guys going after it as any of them.
Now, on the other end, Jamari is by far our best offensive rebounder, but I really want those two guys to attack the ball a lot better.  I thought we played kind of soft tonight in that area.

Q.  Were you pleased with the effort of the freshmen tonight?
BILL SELF:  Effort?  Yeah, I was pleased with everybody's effort.  Didn't play great, but I was certainly pleased with everybody's effort.  They scored 13 points the first half, and that's pretty good.  You know, and they're a hard team to pressure because of their motion.  I thought that we looked pretty good defensively at times the first half, too.  Second half I didn't but first half I did.

Q.  Were you surprised Cliff only had one foul?  You said you were concerned about him staying out of foul trouble.
BILL SELF:  One thing, Chip didn't throw it inside very much tonight, so yeah, but I am surprised at that.  I was shocked in the first half, did they get to the bonus in the first half?  I don't know that they got to the bonus the first half, and so that was a pleasant surprise to me that they didn't do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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