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Archive for Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Kansas coach weary of critical correspondence

December 10, 2002

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All mail sent to Roy Williamsâ office will be treated as junk the rest of this season.

Cards and letters will either pile up on the Kansas University basketball coachâÂÂs couch or be tossed into the circular file - the waste basket.

âÂÂI hope nobody writes me a letter and says, âÂÂ'If you answer this IâÂÂll give you a million dollars,â because IâÂÂll be out a million. IâÂÂm never reading another piece of mail,â Williams said calmly Monday at his weekly news conference.

Last week he made the âÂÂmistakeâ of reading some unsigned, anonymous mail sent to him by KU fans who are livid at the Jayhawksâ 3-3 start.

âÂÂLast week was ridiculous,â Williams said of the correspondence. âÂÂLast year we didnâÂÂt give the idiots out there enough chance to write because we lost to Ball State and won two straight games immediately after that, so they didnâÂÂt have enough time to put it in writing.

âÂÂWe lost at UCLA and 48 hours later played one of our better games of the year at Stillwater. We lost in the (Big 12) Tournament, then in the NCAAs won four straight games to go to the Final Four.

âÂÂThe idiots came out of the woodwork last week.âÂÂ

Williams, whose Jayhawks will try to bounce back from SaturdayâÂÂs 84-78 loss to Oregon at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tulsa, said he has no problem with criticism per se.

âÂÂPeople are going to say things. I understand that,â Williams said. âÂÂI did have a letter where I wrote the guy back. He signed it. It was a good letter. I wrote back and talked about some things.

âÂÂIf it is justifiable and itâÂÂs constructive thereâÂÂs nothing wrong with somebody giving you an opinion. For me as a coach, nobody is more critical than I am. Last night we had less than 13 minutes of clips to show the team. It took almost an hour to do it. IâÂÂve seen every play in the game 10 times. Nobody will be more critical than I am.âÂÂ

The coach has grown weary of critical letters that are unsigned with no return address. HeâÂÂs not a user of the Internet so online criticism - which also is all anonymous - never reaches him.

âÂÂI havenâÂÂt gotten that dumb that quickly,â said Williams, whose team reached the Final Four last season. âÂÂIf I had been dumb IâÂÂd have been dumb for 15 years. As far as how to insulate the guys (Jayhawks) from it, I donâÂÂt know, but thatâÂÂs what IâÂÂll do myself. IâÂÂm not going to read.

âÂÂThe team ... they have to understand all that stuff is on the periphery. Adversity sometimes is good for you, to see how you react to that. Are we going to work harder or start pointing fingers, blaming somebody else?âÂÂ

Mailcarriers will probably like Williamsâ new no-read policy. The basketball office gets a lot of snail mail.

âÂÂIf for some reason you decide to write me a nice letter, do it in the summer âÂÂcause I ainâÂÂt reading it now,â the coach said with a grin.

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Stall ball coming?: Williams, who is furious his players committed 22 turnovers against nine assists in SaturdayâÂÂs loss, said he may be forced to put the brakes on the teamâÂÂs vaunted fastbreak.

âÂÂWe have to make better decisions,â Williams said. âÂÂIf we have to, if this team needs to slow the ball down and walk it up and play a 35-point game, I can coach that.

âÂÂYouâÂÂre not going to enjoy it and IâÂÂm probably not going to enjoy watching it. WeâÂÂre not going to turn the ball over like that any more.âÂÂ

Williams made his players run penalty sprints at practice Monday if they lost possession of the ball a second time.

âÂÂWe could have played with a 13-second clock Saturday,â Williams said disgustedly. âÂÂNobody is trying to go solo because of selfishness or anything like that. They are impatient, trying to make things happen too quickly.âÂÂ

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Coach, player chat: Williams and slumping point guard Aaron Miles had a meeting Monday afternoon.

âÂÂAaron is concerned about his own game. We had a nice conversation, met for a little while. ItâÂÂs something I think his play will improve,â Williams said on his âÂÂHawk Talkâ radio show.

Miles is hitting just 26.5 percent of his shots with 35 assists against 25 turnovers. He had four assists and seven turnovers while missing 10 of 11 shots at Oregon.

âÂÂHe had such a good freshman year, maybe I bothered him. I kept saying, Between your freshman and sophomore year you have your best improvement,âÂÂâÂÂâ Williams said. âÂÂHis numbers were absolutely sensational as a freshman. HeâÂÂs a tough kid. If I had to put a finger on it IâÂÂd say heâÂÂs probably expecting too much, pressing himself too much, trying to do too much, all those things.âÂÂ

Senior Kirk Hinrich thinks Miles will be fine.

âÂÂWith Aaron, he rushed a few shots. Once he gets the shot selection ... really itâÂÂs the whole teamâÂÂs shot selection,â Hinrich said. âÂÂTurnovers ... point guards will turn the ball over a lot more than others. IâÂÂm not worried about that, Aaron usually makes good decisions. He had one game he didnâÂÂt play well. IâÂÂm not worried about him.âÂÂ

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