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Cliff's Notes version: Bill Self press conference, 12/1/09
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his weekly press conference today.
• Tyshawn Taylor made some shots against Tennessee Tech. He's back to shooting 44 percent from three. He played better. He can guard better, but it was good for him to have the lid come off the basket.
• Xavier Henry is ready to shoulder a load on this team as well as any freshman has been able to do so far in Self's tenure.
• Sherron Collins can guard better. So can the whole team. Against Memphis, KU was outstanding defensively. The team has to get back to playing that way. The faster KU plays, the looser it has been defensively.
• It's human nature to see a lopsided scoreboard and take it easier defensively. The great teams don't do that.
• KU's non-conference schedule is about to get tougher. From this point forward, KU's non-conference slate will be about as tough as any team's in the country.
• The team took Monday off, as a couple guys were beat up and a couple of guys were run down.
• Self likes to schedule five to six non-conference games against high-major teams. Self isn't going to apologize for his team's non-con schedule so far, especially because four of those games were part of one tournament.
• Self isn't upset that his team hasn't had more road games so far. KU has plenty of road games coming up.
• The main thing Self hopes to see against Alcorn State is his team getting better. Self thinks a lot of time, players get more out of practices than games.
• One of the improvements Self would like to see is for his team to pressure the ball defensively without getting beat. Self also would like to see better rebounding. KU should be a better rebounding team. With a lot of blocks and steals, though, there are less opportunities for rebounds. KU's rebounding numbers are not good, but they are probably better than the statistics look right now.
• Self saves a lot of his team's "best stuff" and best sets for later in the season so that his players get down the fundamentals first and understand the offensive and defensive basics before they start executing more complex schemes.
• As a coach, if you're worried about being ranked No. 1, you're trying to hold on to something instead of trying to take something. Self prefers to go and take something.
• Self hopes his players don't think about their No. 1 ranking much, because it's not a big deal. It's an irrelevant thing.
• After being asked if the No. 1 ranking means something in recruiting, Self had the quip of the day: "Obviously not recently." Most of the reporters laughed, understanding the obvious reference to Bradley Beal choosing Florida over Kansas on Tuesday.
• Aldrich was better against Tennessee Tech, but Self said the big man had not played to his capabilities or potential so far this season.
• The Big 12 has been pretty good so far, according to Self. Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Iowa State have been pleasant surprises.
• Xavier is more advanced than Self thought he would be. Xavier is a smart player, he likes to learn and he's picking up things quickly. Xavier has bought in. It's been new for him to go from a situation his whole life where a bad shot for him was better than a good shot for teammates. Now, a marginal shot for him is not as good as an open shot for the guy next to him. You don't want to take away his aggressiveness, but it is different for him now.
• Self says the team has to understand that it needs to play offensively through Aldrich and Collins.