LJWorld.com weblogs Smithology

KU basketball press conference notes: Jan. 10


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and sophomore forward Perry Ellis addressed the media Friday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, less than 24 hours before the Jayhawks' Big 12 home opener, Saturday at 1 p.m. versus Kansas State.

KU (10-4 overall,1-0 BIg 12) is ranked No. 18, and K-State (12-3, 2-0) is No. 25 entering the Sunflower Showdown.

Here are the highlights from the Q & A.

Perry Ellis

  • Being from Kansas, with two Kansas schools playing, he gets a little fired up, but he tries to take every game the same.

  • K-State had a good program, good people when he was recruited by them, when Frank Martin was there. But he gladly picked KU.

  • Ellis played much better at Oklahoma, compared to game vs. San Diego State. It translated from how he practiced.

  • Wednesday night was great for Wayne Selden. Players have been encouraging him to attack like that and he had a great game.

  • KU had a couple plays where Jayhawks got on the floor at Oklahoma. "That's Kansas basketball right there." Coaches showed that again yesterday, and it got the players fired up to play that way.

  • He had a lot of fun on Wednesday, and he wants to continue to play like that.

Bill Self

  • K-State is guarding and their freshmen are playing more minutes and gaining confidence.

  • Jayhawks will talk about the rivalry today. Those from outside this region don't know a lot about the in-state rivalry. They'll talk a lot about it today.

  • Marcus Foster is hungry/thirsty for K-State. He will be an all-league player eventually. The K-State freshman has impressed so far.

  • Some have compared Foster to Mitch Richmond. Richmond "one of the baddest boys" in the country when he played at K-State. Richmod was an Olympian. But Self can see why the comparisons are made. People are comparing Joel Embiid to Hakeem Olajuwaon.

  • Flattering to know that the Sunflower State has three programs in the top 25, with K-State and Wichita State joining KU in the rankings. There is no negative to that. Self likes to see that.

  • Big 12 schedule has a "monster start" for Kansas. "We need to be our best right now." Kansas has been favored several years, but league title has been up for grabs before. But this is a rare season where a lot of teams have a legit chance.

  • K-State defense at a very high level this season. Right now K-State coaches have them playing about as well as any team in the country on "D."

  • There is no question the new proposed apartment complex will help recruiting. KU currently "way behind" in terms of current housing, compared to KU's biggest competitors. Location is the best part about current housing. Bells and whistles are very important. Renovations to Allen Fieldhouse and those sort of upgrades are not different from the intent of the housing. New housing also would give athletes better protection from agents, runners, professional autograph seekers, and circumstances that could be used against the program.

  • Self proud of Joel Embiid just for playing at OU, with goggles. It was comical that he sometimes forgot to keep the protective eyewear down. But coaches have been nothing but pleased with his development. San Diego State gave Embiid space near the free-throw line, and Self wants Embiid to take those open looks when he gets them.

  • Jayhawks felt really good about themselves after winning at OU. Great for their confidence. Good for coach's confidence, too, he joked. KU obviously didn't play well in loss to San Diego State. That's a pretty big body blow. He hopes players never get comfortable with losing, and they proved they weren't comfortable with the way they played at OU.

  • Players were very active at OU, and that's contagious. There were seven players diving on the floor on one play. Might have been a result of getting their "butts beat" against San Diego State. Could have been the start of a "new season," Big 12 play.

  • Naadir Tharpe closed the game the way a point guard is supposed to close at Oklahoma.

  • Conner Frankamp played well at OU, it wasn't just the two shots he made.

  • Kansas has missed on some kids in state, made some recruiting mistakes. Local kids, in games like versus K-State, it's nice to have some players that understand the rivalry. KU has had some great local players, such as Tyrel Reed, Travis Releford. "I wish we could get a kid out of here every year."

Complete audio from Bill Self's Friday press conference is available here.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.