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Archive for Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

February 6, 2007

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On Monday's Hawk Talk radio show, Kansas University coach Bill Self fielded a couple of phone calls from fans who disagreed with his decision to leave center Sasha Kaun in the game during crunch time Saturday.

Kaun, who is a 50 percent free-throw shooter, missed the front end of a pair of 1-and-1 situations down the stretch.

"Should he be in the game or not? That's something you talk about around the watercooler, I'm sure," Self said. "From our perspective, we did not think there was any chance in a one-possession game he (Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie) would do that (foul Kaun) because you risk it being an intentional foul. Hindsight being 20-20 ... I believe Sasha can make them, but you have to play percentages, too. I think that's something we could certainly do differently."

He said "could" do differently. It's not automatic Self will remove a player late because of past free-throw difficulty.

"It was a great call by A&M to do that under those circumstances," Self said of fouling Kaun late. "Maybe he should have been out of the game in some people's minds. I will not come out and say I will definitely take one of my players out every time the game is on (the line). I will not say that, even if I feel it, because what message are you sending to your players?''

He said he did not wish to "plant a seed" with a player that 'You are not good enough to be in the game late,' when the player likely will be playing in crunch time in upcoming games.

A junior starter, Kaun is likely to be used extensively the rest of his career.

"I'm not saying it (the decision) is right. Everybody has a right to their opinion. It was our thinking at the end," Self said, noting Kaun was a defensive presence, helping hold Joseph Jones to a 4-for-11 shooting night.

¢Go-to-guy chatter: Acie Law dominated the end of the KU-A&M game. Self was asked if he thought a KU player would take on that role in coming games.

"Obviously we need to continue to try to develop somebody we can just throw the ball to and get out of his way a lot like A&M did Acie, but that's really not who we are yet," Self said. "We have to have guys step up and make plays when they have the opportunities.

"It may be a different guy game to game."

Audio Clips
2006-07 Feb. 5 KU hoops presser

Who would Self like to take over?

"I would say based on what we've seen and past history ... Sherron (Collins) has been good in that role and Mario (Chalmers) good in that role and Brandon (Rush) has been good making plays late. I will not sit here and say we have one guy you would say no matter what this is what we do, because that is not the case with this team. This team has a lot of balance and one of the weaknesses is it's a different guy game to game."

Self added the difference in the A&M game was on defense, not offense.

"We didn't get stops," he said.

¢Law's hoop revisited: Rush on Law sinking a game-winning three-pointer from the corner Saturday:

"I looked at the tape over and over again. At the end of the game I contested the shot pretty well. It just went in. He hadn't made a shot, made a three-pointer the whole game. I played off him a little bit. He made one at the end."

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