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Cliff's Notes version: Bill Self press conference, 1/18/2010
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self's comments at his weekly press conference today.
• Self knew Baylor would be good, but they've probably exceeded expectations other than their own. They lost a lot of guys, but they're definitely a better team than they were last year.
• Baylor plays a majority of possessions in 2-3 zone. They caught lightning in a bottle playing it last year and beat KU with it in the Big 12 Tournament last year. It's an effective zone because of their length.
• All the best guards that Self has had are like Sherron Collins, where they only score when the team needs it. Collins could average 20 easily for KU, but he knows that's not best for the team. He didn't play great against Texas Tech, but he doesn't care. He gets it. He's only going to be known for one thing: for being the winningest player that's been here. His legacy is not points, assists or steals. It's wins.
• The most gifted scorer Self has had is Wayne Simien, without question. But Xavier Henry's probably the best freshman scorer Self has had. But Self doesn't even think X is a great scorer yet. He isn't doing all he can to be the best scorer he can be.
• Xavier is getting better at not letting poor shooting affect the other parts of the game. He's starting to get it. He's taking more pride in doing other things. If Self is evaluating Xavier, and he isn't looking at shooting, the next stat he looks at is rebounding. Xavier should be about as good of an offensive rebounding wing as there is in the country with his size and athleticism.
• Field-goal percentage defense is one of the main stats that Self looks at, but it can be misleading if teams shoot a lot of threes.
• Baylor's Ekpe Udoh is long, athletic and a good shot-blocker. He's definitely an impact transfer, and he's from Self's hometown. He's improved and matured as much from high school as anyone around. Udoh plays the four, so BU's front line should be a challenge for KU's big guys.
• To beat the zone, you have to get the ball inside and not bail Baylor out by shooting perimeter shots all the time. KU wants to play fast, but it needs to still get the bigs post touches against Baylor.
• Elijah Johnson has been pretty good in practice. Self feels comfortable putting Elijah in the game. If Elijah's playing well, Self has no problem putting him in there and letting him play important minutes. He's going to be a really good player. He's had some good practices.
• Brady Morningstar's got a pretty good nose for the ball. He's also smart. A lot of times, he reads where the ball is coming off the rim very well. He's a cerebral player. Sherron is the smartest player on the team. The game is in slow motion to him. Brady is getting that way.
• Mario Chalmers is playing well in the NBA. Brandon Rush is going through his lull where he's not aggressive. He has to get more aggressive. The Pacers want him to be more aggressive.
• Self's goal is to raise $50,000 for the people in Haiti, as he has promised to match every dollar that is given through KU donations.