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Cliff’s Notes: Bill Self press conference, 2/14/13
Here is the Cliff's Notes version from Self's comments at his press conference today.
• Texas looked good against Iowa State on Wednesday night. Having Myck Kabongo back makes a difference for Texas from a speed standpoint. Texas performed a lot better offensively. The Longhorns can play faster with Kabongo back. It gives UT another primary ballhandler.
• ESPN GameDay is great. It's an infomercial for your school. KU's fans do a great job of showing up for that. They get excited for this event.
• Self was worried about his team's confidence before Monday night. The Oklahoma State shouldn't have shook KU, but it did a little bit. Usually when confidence is shaken, it's on the offensive end. Self saw his team's confidence was low when it couldn't get the lid off the basket in the first half against TCU. Against OU, KU played above average offensively, which was good for Self to see. The coach said he thinks KU fully got its confidence back against Kansas State.
• Self says KU gets its leadership by committee this year. That's kind of like the 2007-08 team.
• Elijah Johnson hasn't played the way he knows he can play. A lot of that is making shots. If you make shots, a lot of things change. Johnson is a far superior shooter than what his stats show. Self thinks at the end of the year, his stats will be at a comparable level to last year. Self has confidence that will happen.
• When asked if Naadir Tharpe's role will be increased, Self said Tharpe has a pretty big role already. Whether his minutes are 18 or 24 in a game ... that depends on situation. Tharpe has been inconsistent. He's been good one game and not as good the next. He needs to stay aggressive and drive it and let that set up everything else. He's become a good defender. He did a great job guarding KSU's Rodney McGruder in the first half.
• Self hopes Mario Chalmers gets to meet with the team. He's not sure of Chalmers' exact plans yet. A lot of guys are coming back. Chalmers is scheduled to get to Lawrence on Friday.
• Ben McLemore has been pretty good the entire year. Self would like him to get more looks, but teams are going to do things to try to limit his shots. Self thought McLemore looked terrific on Monday.
• There's a reason why little quick guys have so many assists. It's because they force help. KU has to do a better job of doing that. Tharpe was great at it against KSU. Johnson has shown the ability to do that.
• When KU recruited Chalmers, the coaching staff thought he was going to be great. That was a really special recruiting class. It took Chalmers a while to get on track and get used to Self. After Chalmers got comfortable, he was great.
• Perry Ellis needs to see the ball to go in. He's trying hard, and his attitude is great. If he keeps going like he's going, he'll start making shots.
• Self isn't putting pressure on his guys to win the league. He's putting the pressure on the guys to get better.