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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE


November 24, 2014


Bill Self


Kansas ¬Ė 87
Rider - 60


Q. ¬†After Kentucky, is this something you guys needed‑‑ not needed, but it felt good?
BILL SELF:¬† I thought we played‑‑ that's the best half of basketball we've played this year.¬† Of course we've only played in three games, but that was pretty good.¬† The first half I thought we were on point in most areas, and second half we didn't play with the same intensity or focus, but yeah, it was better the first half.

Q.  Did you have a couple real good practices?
BILL SELF:  I don't know about real good, but we got better, you know, working on the things we need to work on, but I think we had some decent practices coming into this.  But real good would be a little bit of an exaggeration, but certainly a renewed focus.

Q.  Cliff gave you a lot in the first half and then was it a defensive mistake at the beginning of the second half?
BILL SELF:  It was a couple of things, but I just wanted to see how he would do starting a half or starting a game.  When he started the second half I didn't think he did very well.  But the whole team, it's not just put it on him.  I'd say the whole team was definitely a step slower the second half.

Q.  What do you think it was in the second half when you said guys were a step slower?
BILL SELF:  I think to be real candid, probably immaturity, play the score as opposed to play the possession.  You should play to win every possession.  Good teams do that.  You screw up late, you don't look at the score and say, well, we're up 25 so it's not that big a deal.  Good teams play to win every possession, and we didn't play to win every possession the second half.

Q.  Did Selden coming into this game set an example on keeping the ball moving?
BILL SELF:¬† Wayne has actually done a good job with that for the most part.¬† I thought he had seven dimes and I believe no turnovers the first half, and the ball moved, and he made some really nice passes the second half, too.¬† But I think that he's learning how to play‑‑ even when he was a point guard he needs to get rid of it and then get it back and then play, and that's what he's doing as a‑‑ he's more patient and trying to do what we want to do as opposed to some guys are very impatient when it doesn't work initially, and then they just shut it down, where Wayne is good enough to keep trying to do what we're trying to do because he's old enough to know that it'll work if you just keep doing it.
I think that's a good thing.  He's been a good example for the other guys.

Q.  Does it concern you at all that he didn't score?  Is that a concern?
BILL SELF:¬† No, I don't want to say it's a concern.¬† Not very often does your starting 2 guard or 3 not score a point, but he did‑‑ tonight he didn't look to shoot the ball.¬† I think a lot of it is that, in fact, he didn't look to shoot it, but he looked to be aggressive, to drive to pass.¬† I'm not going to worry about that, but that can't happen very often.¬† That's a formula for probably not a real good night if one of your best players doesn't scratch.¬† But it wasn't because of poor play, it was because he kind of chose to be someone different tonight.

Q.  How would you assess the offense overall and the stuff you talked about?
BILL SELF:  I thought first half we had 13 post touches the first half.  Against Kentucky the first half we had zero.  Zero times we threw it to the post, and we've always been a team that plays inside out.  So I would say it was much better.
Of course we didn't have to score over seven‑foot, seven‑foot, and we weren't really pressured out, but I thought the guys did do a much better job of looking inside and feeding those guys.¬† I think the ball movement was a lot better, and we actually screened a little better, too.

Q.  You were a little better at driving to pass instead of driving to shoot tonight?
BILL SELF:  Yeah, a lot better.  You saw a lot of that tonight.

Q.  Talk about having ball movers.  Is Svi one of the better guys at that?
BILL SELF:¬† Svi is a really good ball mover.¬† He can be a ball mover and a great shooter, too, and he's going to be a great shooter.¬† He just hasn't got on a roll yet.¬† But I think that Svi probably understands better than anybody maybe because of European ball that the ball needs to get from‑‑ if you can't do anything with it when you catch it, it needs to move, and he is the best we have at doing that.

Q.  Do you like what Greene gave you down the stretch?
BILL SELF:¬† Yeah, of course Brannen was active and he did some good things. ¬†He scored 17 points in 19 minutes which is really good.¬† I'd like to see him tighten it‑‑ be able to guard his man a little bit better, but I think he did some good things that hopefully will give him some confidence to play some major minutes in Orlando.

Q.  What about Perry tonight?
BILL SELF:¬† I thought Perry played good.¬† He was aggressive the first half.¬† He attacked the rim one time really well.¬† But the whole thing is, and this is‑‑ he gets three rebounds in 26 minutes, so he's getting one rebound every nine minutes.¬† In a game like that, he should be getting one rebound every four minutes and stuff.¬† He's got to do a better job of rebounding the ball.
When it really gets down to it, if you're going to be a good rebounding team, of course your guards need to clean up, but still, your big guys who play the majority of the minutes got to go get numbers.  They've got to go get balls.  All our big guys got to do a better job with that.

Q.  Will Devonte' be okay for Orlando coming up?
BILL SELF:  Yeah, he could have played tonight.  We practiced him yesterday and today, but I made the decision with the doctors that we weren't going to play him unless we needed him.
He'll shoot full speed tomorrow and do all that, practice Wednesday, and then I don't see a reason why he won't be available.  I don't know if he'll play 20 minutes, but I can't believe he won't be available on Thursday.

Q.  How did that happen?
BILL SELF:  It happened right the first play when he first checked in, diving for that ball.  Two guys collided and dove for the ball.  It was right when he first checked in, so he was hurt and kept playing with it.  They go back and check it and says he can play, so he showed some toughness being out there, but the longer it went on, the stiffer it became, but he's close to being okay.

Q.  Do you think this is a team that can use game reps playing three times in four days?  What do you think about playing so much this week?
BILL SELF:¬† Well, I think it'll be good for us, I do.¬† I think it'll be good.¬† I think it'll be good to go down there and have to focus on scouting report with short turnaround and all those things that we don't understand yet.¬† I mean, we are not a really‑‑ a high IQ basketball group when it comes to really studying what helps us win.¬† I mean, with the big fellow tonight, okay, whatever you do, you can't let him turn left shoulder, and the first three baskets he gets he turns left shoulder.¬† Those are the kind of things that we really have to hunker down on and get better at, and I think through scouting report and short turnaround will put pressure on the guys to have to know more stuff.¬† But we've got to do a better job with those type of things.

Q.  Did you like this starting lineup, kind of mixed and matched?
BILL SELF:¬† Yeah, I did.¬† The whole thing is if everybody was responsible off the court and everything, it would be‑‑ we'd probably have more of the same starting lineups every time.¬† And I don't mean doing anything bad, but we've got to tighten some things up.¬† I see a lot of slippage on the court and I think there's a correlation to being responsible off it, too.
I'd like to see us settle in on a starting five, but I have a hard time starting guys who are late to tutoring.  I can't do it, and that's kind of where that is right now.  Hopefully we'll tighten some things up because if we let them go now, I know it's going to be something that will haunt us later because we've got to eliminate those things.  We've got to become more responsible as a group.

Q.  Do you think it's hard for a freshman to know that you're not going to change, even if the older guys say he's not changing?
BILL SELF:¬† Oh, I think it's really difficult for guys to understand that.¬† I think it's difficult for guys to‑‑ that have been here two or three years to understand that, too, because the whole thing is to me there's a right and a wrong way to play every possession regardless if the ball goes in or not, and some of the most frustrating things to me‑‑ of course granted after you hang 40 on somebody, it's nice to see the ball go in, okay.¬† I understand that.
But some of the most frustrating things to me is people equate playing well to actually scoring points, and to me that's the most ridiculous thing ever.
You know, if five guys start and played the whole game and they had the ball half the time and each guy had it the same amount of time, the most you'll have it is four minutes.  The most, if you play every minute, so there's 36 minutes that you don't have the ball.  To me it's just as important to play without the ball as it is with the ball, and maybe more so, and I don't think everybody totally understands that yet.  We'll get there, but we're just really young right now in that line of thinking.

Q.  You had some lineups kind of late where Svi was bringing the ball up.  Is that more of a factor of Devonte' being out?
BILL SELF:  I think it's more of a factor of Devonte' being out, but yeah, he can do that, but I think it's more a factor of him being out, and Frank wasn't in and Wayne wasn't in, but yeah, I think that's more a factor of that.

Q.  Do you think you guys are going to need to play more first halves like you did tonight to beat those better teams like Florida and Iowa State and Texas?
BILL SELF:¬† Yeah, we're going to have to play better both halves, but tonight we were pretty good the first half.¬† That was pretty good team play in the first half.¬† In the second half we weren't as good a team.¬† Absolutely, but the thing about it is that‑‑ there's not very many teams out there this early in the season that can not lose focus, not lose intensity, not play to the score, those sorts of things.¬† But the things that I like is back when we were‑‑ when we won some really big games, over the 12 years or 11 years prior to this when we won some big games, guys get the stat sheet and the first thing they look at is okay, my guy had 13 and he only had four at half?¬† That's the first thing they look at as opposed to what did I do, and that's the mindset we've got to get if we're going to be a really good team.
I don't feel that yet.  I don't feel guys sitting around talking about, hey, yeah, when you do this, hey, if we switch this, this will work better.  I don't see us thinking like that.  I see us just going out there and having fun and just doing our deal and not paying attention to what really gives your team the best chance to win.
You know, the most talented guys don't give your team the best chance to win.¬† The guys that play the best together give your team the best chance to win, and we've got a lot of talented guys I feel that if we can just buy into and we can just hunker down a few things, tighten a few things up, I think this could be a really fun team to watch and coach, but everybody has got to be on the same page, so that's the thing that's‑‑ and I do think this, and I'm rambling now, but if you're playing less than 20 minutes a game and you're a young kid, don't you make the most of every minute you're out there and play it like it should be played?¬† And I don't think that we did that tonight.¬† I think we definitely took the foot off the gas.

Q.  An early read on Rhode Island coming up, a big win for them?
BILL SELF:¬† Well, they played a good team and beat a good team.¬† Nebraska I think was ranked 21 when they played them, and one of their guards I think went for 26 or 28 against a real good defensive team in a low‑scoring game.¬† But they're good.¬† They attack the glass, very active.¬† They've done a really good job there in a short amount of time, Danny and his staff.¬† Yeah, they're good.¬† They're a good team.¬† We obviously didn't get an easy draw for the first game.

Q.  Are you guys going to do anything fun there or treat it like a total business trip?
BILL SELF:  I think since we have a day off, we're going to allow them to eat on Saturday, all right, and then if things are going well, we may let them walk outside for 15 or 20 minutes.  Yeah, we're going to have a chance to do some things.  But Saturday will be the off day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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