Archive for Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hardly a holiday for Self

KU coach digests food, lighthearted family jabs

December 27, 2006

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Bill Self found it impossible to go 21â2 days without thinking - at least a little bit - about his Kansas University basketball team.

"We only watched the Boston College game twice," Self, KU's fourth-year coach, said Tuesday night on his Hawk Talk radio show.

"I was able to listen to both my father-in-law and my father critique us and tell us exactly what we are not doing right in that regard," Self joked.

He and his wife and two children entertained a batch of relatives in Lawrence over Christmas break, which for the Jayhawks lasted from the final horn of Saturday's 84-66 victory over Boston College until Tuesday night, when the team reassembled for practice in Allen Fieldhouse.

"Trust me. My family has just as many ideas as the fans do about how to do certain things. It was good to have family in, open presents and eat a lot. We did it and were good at it. It's time to get back to work. I'm excited to get back to work," Self said.

His Jayhawks (10-2) will play host to Detroit Mercy (3-8) on Thursday and Rhode Island (7-5) on Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. tipoffs.

One caller wondered whether the Jayhawks planned to play a lot more zone defense. A 3-2 zone suffocated B.C. for about 25 minutes Saturday.

"I still hope we can get to being a great man-to-man team where we can lock them (opponents) up and sprinkle in zone time to time," Self said.

"I watched it on tape. It wasn't bad," he added, assessing KU's zone. "They (Eagles) missed some shots, but we kept the ball out of the middle, and it allowed some of our guys to play with two fouls."

KU first went to the zone with about six minutes left in the first half when Brandon Rush re-entered the game with two fouls.

"The zone defense was done primarily out of necessity because of foul problems, and their flex (offense) is hard to guard," Self said. "It wasn't any great strategic move. It's what anybody would have done in the same circumstances."

Overall, he has been pleased with KU's man-to-man.

"Last year it was our defense that won 15 of 16 (entering NCAA Tournament) and made people play poorly," Self said. "You've got to teach what you believe. It's what I believe."

He shares his beliefs with many.

"Kansas has been a man-to-man team. Roy's teams were man-to-man teams. Larry's teams were man-to-man teams," he said of former KU coaches Roy Williams and Larry Brown.

"Go to the NCAA Tournament ... Maryland (2002 national champ) was a man-to-man team; Syracuse (2003 champ) was the one team that played zone. UCLA, Florida ... those teams are guarding you hard man-to-man. It's the staple of who we are."

¢ Clinic set for this morning: The Jayhawks will hold their annual holiday clinic for boys and girls - grades three to eight - today in Allen Fieldhouse. The clinic, to run from 8:45 a.m. until noon, will include fundamental instruction by current KU players and coaches and an autograph and picture session for campers only. Participants will receive a T-shirt and calendar as well as one ticket to Thursday's KU-Detroit game with the option of buying additional tickets. Information is available at kuathletics.com

¢ Dudley ailing: Boston College senior standout guard Jared Dudley may miss the Eagles' next two games - Thursday against Duquesne and Sunday versus Northeastern. Dudley, who had 14 points versus the Jayhawks, has been playing through a nagging left-foot injury that has bothered him since the start of the season.

"I know he was struggling a little bit after the game," coach Al Skinner told the Boston Globe.

BC junior forward Akida McLain could miss two to three weeks after spraining his ankle early in the KU game. Also, center John Oates is out with an injured left arch. He could return for the Duquesne game.

"We've got a little injury thing going on right now," Skinner told the Globe. "There's a little black cloud over us, and hopefully it'll go away soon. We needed our full complement (against KU). Between our poor play and the poor officiating and our injury situation, it made it difficult for us."

As far as the officiating ... KU was whistled for 26 fouls to the Eagles' 24. BC's Shamari Spears fouled out, while four Eagles were whistled for four fouls apiece. Five Jayhawks finished with four fouls.

¢ Simien update: Former KU forward Wayne Simien has missed 12 consecutive games while fighting a recurring salmonella infection. Third-year pro Simien has not been cleared to participate in any physical activity, but he has attended recent games. Coach Pat Riley said doctors still were sorting through results from the testing Simien underwent during a recent weeklong stay in New York with a specialist.

"They're still exploring the final results, and I've been filled in to everything, but what he needs to do is just rest," Riley told the Palm Beach Post. "He can't play right now. There's no physical activity even though he's here all the time."

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