home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 14, 2016

Bill Self

Lawrence, Kansas

BILL SELF: Good afternoon, all.

Q. Did you learn anything more about the West Virginia games by looking at the tape or anything?
BILL SELF: Yeah, we watched the tape yesterday as a team. We'd watched it before that as a staff but watched it yesterday as a team, and I think there's a lot of things that were pretty apparent. I think that emotionally we weren't into it as much for whatever reason, and I think that was pretty evident by body language and energy level.

I think that they sped us up and sped our minds up, and we didn't attack them very well at all.

You know, the press in the full court, we turned it over three or four times, but it wasn't what bothered us, it was after we got into the half court and then made so many careless mistakes. Now, they did do some things in the full court that bothered us in stretches, but we didn't attack their pressure very well to score, and certainly we'll have to do a much better job next time we play them to have a good chance.

Q. When you watch something like that, whether it's live or on film, and you see that lack of engagement, does it surprise you with a bunch of veterans?
BILL SELF: No. No. It's sports. I mean, Patriots do it. Golden State did it last night. It happens a lot of times. And sometimes talent still prevails, but when you play a team that's as talented and as good as West Virginia, that's not going to work.

Even with all that being said, it's a six-point game. We're shooting front ends with eight minutes left and don't convert. But it's almost like we looked tired to me. And even the players said -- some of the players, not all of them said afterwards, that it just had a little bit different feel than the other games we played of late.

Q. Even though it's usually a worse way to get defensive rebounds to throw a zone in there, did you discuss that at all, the possibility?
BILL SELF: You know what, we could have. You know, to me they shot 33 percent, and so that wasn't what killed us. Even though the rebound margin, they got 15 -- they ended up plus-2 on the glass, which for a team that leads the country in rebounding, it's the best -- it wasn't just horribly bad. What was horribly bad to me was during the teeth of the game is when they got control of it, is early on it's even, late in the game it's even or we have an advantage, but during the teeth of the game is where they really established themselves on the glass.

You know, we talked as a staff afterwards, should we have played our crappy 2-3 zone for a brief minute, and I almost think if it's a game -- I mean, we obviously wanted to win the game, but if it's the last game of the season, then maybe you do that, but I really didn't want to bail our players out by telling them, okay, let's try something different. I wanted them to have to guard their guards and keep the ball in front of them, and we couldn't do it.

Hindsight, yeah, we maybe could have done that and forced them to be a total perimeter shooting team and make them make shots as opposed to driving the ball, but when you look at it, and I mean, I don't know what the final score was, I think we got 63 and they got -- what did they get, 74? Maybe that was it. But when you look at it, during the teeth of the game until we just gave them 14 free points late by fouling in the last three minutes, that was a -- I mean, it was a 61-49 type game.

I mean, it wasn't like our defense -- it's just our offense was so inept. You go on the road and you play a top-10 team and you hang 49 on them the first 36 minutes of a game or 35 minutes, I mean, it doesn't matter what you do defensively, you're not going to win because you didn't score the ball.

Q. If you do bail them out and go to zone, does that put a seed in their minds in the future, well, if we don't stop them, we can just --
BILL SELF: You know what? It might if you stop them. But the whole thing is we take -- our defense has been so much better the last three weeks or so, maybe four weeks, and I've never been a -- I've never been that way. It would be like to me a relief pitcher or pitcher is out there and he walks the bases loaded and then they pull him out. I would think a pitching coach would say, no, you got us into this, now figure a way to get us out of it. That's kind of how I feel about things like that. And maybe it's stubbornness, but we haven't worked on -- I mean, obviously we need to, but our defense has gotten better, and we haven't spent any time on zone the last two or three weeks, so I just didn't feel comfortable going to it. I thought our best chance was still to guard them and our best chance to rebound obviously was playing man, and then I thought that gave us the best chance.

Q. Up-and-down speed you're as good as anybody in the league I would think, but are there a few teams who are every bit as quick as you?
BILL SELF: I'll tell you what, I don't think that we're as quick as West Virginia, and I'm not sure that we're as quick as Oklahoma on the perimeter. And when I look at quickness, it's the first two steps, obviously, going forward, but it's also those first steps sliding sideways, and to me that's where we got beat the other night more than anything else is that -- and a lot of it was our offense off the ball defense. We didn't do what we were supposed to do to support the guy guarding the ball. But I thought our lateral quickness was really exposed. And so we're going to have to get a lot better guarding the ball.

People look at us and say -- I know fans do, look at us and say, so quick, so this, because we can get up and down the floor really well, but you take away transition and then it becomes a half-court game, and quickness is more defined on what you can do sliding laterally as it is to what you can do running up and down the floor.

Q. You said somewhere that Perry should have got the ball a lot more. Is that the kind of game he could have really dominated?
BILL SELF: Well, he got -- you know, when you say he should have got the ball a lot more, when we go on our little 9-0 runs, Perry is the main reason offensively why we do that. So I don't understand why we go away from that, even if it's makeshift, even if it's not very artistic, you just get the ball to him and make him go play a play. That's what West Virginia did; they just kind of moved the ball around a little bit and then just say, okay, play take them. We could have done that with Perry some, also.

And we did it -- you know, I don't know what Perry ended up with, 21 or 22, whatever it was, but it wasn't like we didn't throw it to him, but we probably could have done a better job of trying to throw it to him more.

Q. Does he seem more comfortable to take over in those situations when he's got that kind of advantage or it looks like --
BILL SELF: Is Perry? I think so. I think Perry goes through -- I think like most players, he goes through phases where sometimes he's feeling this would be a game that he can do those things, and sometimes maybe not, depending on how they're guarding him. But I felt like the other night it was a game in which he felt like he could be effective offensively, yeah, I did.

Q. You've talked a lot about wanting a guy you can throw it to and get buckets inside. How has Perry graded out just in terms of scoring?
BILL SELF: I think -- I thought early in the season he would not grade out well at all, and I really feel like since Big 12 started he's graded out very well. I think even against Oklahoma, he got up 28 shots, and although he didn't make an unbelievable percentage for him, because he's a 55-60 percent shooter, he was aggressive enough to get up 28 and our best offense was having him attack the basket, and I thought that was the same way the other night. Best offense was doing that.

I think he's graded out very well in the last -- since I'd say the league started as far as getting the ball in tight and being aggressive to score.

Q. In terms of getting more easy buckets next to the hoop, where do you kind of see this team sealing out at this point in the season as far as being able to get more easy shots?
BILL SELF: Well, against West Virginia it wasn't very good because what West Virginia did, they had us on our heels so much that we didn't even attack the basket in transition, and we certainly -- or very well, and we didn't get numbers.

A big key to beating teams at press in my opinion is you've got to make them pay for pressing you. If you are settling in for getting across half court, then what have they lost, so you know you're going to turn it over some. That's a given. You're going to turn it over 15 times, so how are you going to attack to make them pay for their pressure, and we didn't do that very well the other night at all. But I would say that other than -- I don't think easy baskets have been near as easy because I don't think that we've done a real good job on the offensive glass which creates easy baskets and I don't think we scored in transition near enough at home. We've done a much better job at home scoring in transition than what we have on the road.

Q. This ruling from the NCAA, the rules changes looking at testing NBA, that's going to really change how everything works that time of year, isn't it?
BILL SELF: Yeah, well, everyone is hopeful that it does. It's going to put -- I think if kids and their families are smart, which this is -- they're going to get accurate information. And having -- understanding the details as far as I'm not positive if the number of invites to the combine is 60 or 75, whatever it is, you know, if you're not invited to the combine, then obviously you're not on anyone's radar regardless of what agents are telling you or what other people are telling you. And then the other thing is if you are invited, what it allows us to do is have time to train them so they don't feel like they have to leave campus to go get trained. So that's a positive.

So a young man would not jeopardize his collegiate eligibility if things don't work out for him. So now the way it has read in the past, you've got to make a decision by a certain time, and then if you don't take your name out by a certain time, you're automatically in, but no NBA teams have had a chance to talk to you, it's only the information that we have gathered for them. Now it's a situation that if they're invited to the combine, they're going to get within one week exactly where they grade out at the combine, and if NBA teams, if 30 NBA teams are saying, hey, at best you're a late second-round draft pick and probably not draftable, then that would still give a young man a chance to come back to school.

It's not 100 percent positive, though, because it could put the schools in jeopardy of not knowing what your roster will be next year. Well, we think he'll come back and then he ends up leaving late and there's nobody left to sign.

So from a school standpoint you could make a case that it kind of puts you more in jeopardy for next year's roster, but if you're looking at it for the best interest of the kids, at least now they can rely on information from the NBA as opposed to third parties giving them information, and that was the goal of the role.

Q. What are your impressions of TCU?
BILL SELF: Better. I just watched last year's game in the Big 12 tournament. I don't know if you guys remember, but Kelly made like 17 free throws or I think he was like 17 of 25 from the line, slot, and we ended up winning a real close game. That game came down to the last minute or two.

But they're better this year, and they can score the ball. Collins can really score the ball. He's kind of an instant offense guy, and I think that it'll be a game in which for whatever reason, we've played well at times against TCU but not consistently well, and they've done some things to kind of mess with us defensively, and certainly it'll be a good ballgame, but you look around the league, they're all good games right now.

I mean, home wins aren't locks. We're anticipating a very good game.

Q. Are you surprised by some of the outcomes in the league like Iowa State has already lost three times?
BILL SELF: Yeah, that one surprises me a lot because they're obviously a terrific team and their talent level is really high, but look at the losses. You lose on the last possession when you play great at OU. If I'm not mistaken, it was Baylor you got a 12-point lead in the second half so you think you're probably going to win that game at home, and then Texas is a one-possession game late, and there's a lot of teams that would be happy to be able to flip a coin going on the road saying we've got a 50/50 chance to win, and they just haven't -- they've just come up short on two last-possession games against OU and Texas.

But that's surprising. I don't know if there's been a lot of other surprises. I think what is surprising is the competitive nature of all our games. I mean, all the games are going to be very, very close for the most part, and even our game against West Virginia the other night, I mean, we didn't play well at all, they had a ton to do with that, but still, it's a six-point game with eight minutes left on the road against a top-10 team. So it's not like it's -- like we never had a chance, although we never put ourselves in a position to put a lot of game pressure on them.

Q. We asked you a lot about this last year, but you guys are shooting around 31 percent of your shots from three, which is about where you guys normally are, maybe a little bit more. But with the way you guys shooting from outside, as a staff have you thought about ways should that number go up?
BILL SELF: Yeah, with you don't you think teams defense us in a way to make us throw it inside more, too? I don't disagree with what you're saying at all, but I think that people are running it at us and forcing us off the line or to make plays off the bounce. And the other night against West Virginia we shot 20, 20 out of 49 in that particular -- you know, I think the stats are a little bit skewed, and you should probably look at the stats and the games that are last-minute games and the percentage we shoot as opposed to games where you control the game from start to finish and you can throw it inside and score at will.

But I could be wrong on that, but OU we shot -- of course there were so many shots, but I think OU we shot, what was it, 23 or 24 threes, something like that, and against last -- we shot 40 percent of our shots were threes against West Virginia, which that number is pretty high. But I do think teams are trying to run us off the line without question.

Q. Do you think that number would be higher in the games that are closer?
BILL SELF: Yes. Yeah, I do, because it's scramble mode, especially in games where you're behind, where you're trying to come back, but yeah, I think the numbers would be higher in games that are close, yeah.

Q. How important or how beneficial is it after a road loss to now come home, kind of get back into routine?
BILL SELF: I think it's real important because we only get the one home game, and then we go back out. What is it, TCU, then at Okie State, and we all saw what they almost did last night. They had a freshman go for 42. I mean, we talk about Buddy's 46? That was in 55. This kid had like 42 in 40 minutes, and the amazing stat about that, he made two threes and made four free throws.

So he made 16 field goals inside the arc and you're a six-foot guard. That's hard to do. So that obviously will be very difficult.

And then back home against Texas, and I think Texas could be one of those teams that could definitely turn the corner and have a great conference season.

And then you go to Ames.

And then we get a little break from conference play to play Kentucky, so these next four games -- I think if that's not -- if I'm not -- I don't mean a break, I mean a break from conference play, but these next four games leading into the Kentucky game are probably about as important a stretch as we've had.

Q. You talked about teams running you off the line. What's the counter to that?
BILL SELF: I think drive it. I think drive it, being able to put your head down and drive it and force help. That to me is what -- the other night we were actually 10 of 15 when Lagerald goes one for two, so that was late, but B.G. and Steve were 0 for 5, so that's 1 for 7. So theoretically, what does that make us, 9 for 14, 9 for 13, something like that, all the other guys from behind the arc? But West Virginia does such a good job of pressuring, there's not open looks. There's not as many open looks. They make you go make plays.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297