Kansas basketball: Bill Self’s most notable quotes from Big 12 Media Days

Oct 18, Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas head coach Bill Self answers questions at the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tipoff at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Kylie Graham-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas head coach Bill Self answers questions at the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tipoff at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Kylie Graham-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bill Self had plenty to say during the Kansas basketball appearance at Big 12 Media Days. These are his most significant quotes.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Jayhawks women’s basketball team appeared at the annual Big 12 Basketball Tipoff, with the men’s team following suit a day later. It was the first formal media event Bill Self has been present for since he went down this past March due to a heart ailment.

The Kansas basketball head coach looked better than ever when he spoke to reporters, and he also gave some great insight for the Jayhawk faithful to listen to. These are the four most significant quotes from his presser yesterday.

Question: “I know you guys don’t put too much stock in these things and you’ve been ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls in previous years. How do you feel like the expectations this year compare to what you may have faced in years past?”

"Well, I actually looked at that the other day because I didn’t even know when we had been ranked preseason 1. But in the years that we had, we’ve had good years, but they haven’t finished great. I’m certainly hopeful that we can change that trend. I really don’t know that it adds a lot of pressure. I don’t. I think the expectations are that we should be pretty good, and I do think we’re fairly talented. I’d just as soon be ranked there than not ranked there. It makes for energy, and it makes for maybe hopefully some recruiting positive mailouts and those sorts of things. But you said it, it means absolutely nothing. It will have no bearing on how good a team we have this year."

Question: “Hunter Dickinson kind of a larger-than-life presence, especially after his recruitment saga. After having coached him and been around him every day, something you have learned about him that maybe the general public doesn’t know.”

"“First of all, the recruiting saga was exactly the way recruiting should go. You recruit him hard and hope for the best. To me, it’s always hard getting great prospects because the competition is always stiff. But that was nothing. There was no saga from my vantage point whatsoever. We’ve recruited kids with sagas, and he certainly wasn’t one of them. I think the thing that you’ll be surprised about Hunter is just what a great teammate and how unselfish he is, and certainly he’s loved by his brothers in the locker room. He is, I would say, the most skilled and most talented offensive player that I’ve had from a center-type standpoint offensively. There’s a lot of things he’s got to get a lot better at defensively and guarding ball screens and protecting the rim or the paint and a lot of other things. He’s got to become much better to become whole. But from a shooting, aggressiveness, passing, playing out of doubles, he probably is as advanced as anybody I’ve ever been around, and he is without question the most equipped to have a big year for a first-year player. But he’s also a fourth-year player, but as a first-year player we’ve never had a freshman or anybody come in and have the same type of I think potential to impact us as much as what he does.”"

Question: “During your tenure as coach at Kansas, one of the signature aspects of some of your best teams has been veteran leadership. This year with only a handful of guys who have contributed significant minutes coming back, how do you establish the trademark Kansas culture to a group of players who might be new to your program?”

"“You know, that’s a great question, but I think you kind of answered your own question. KJ Adams, Dajuan Harris, Kevin McCullar, and even though Hunter is new, he’s as experienced as any college player in America for the most part, so I do think we have the veteran leadership without question. I think when you think of it and you see a Russell Robinson or to me that’s a Dajuan Harris, and you see the Mario Chalmers. Well, to me that’s a Kevin McCullar. I do think we have the pieces in place to give us great leadership. But we have three returnees and six newcomers. That’s it. So with only nine guys on scholarship that will play this year, because we still plan on redshirting Zach, it does leave a lot less margin for error as in years past.”"

Question: “How would you best describe the competition between Nick Timberlake and Elmarko Jackson for the No. 2 spot?”

"“I think that both have been competitive. It’s a little bit different. When you only have nine guys, everyone is going to play. When you have 13 guys, four of them aren’t. So sometimes the competition is a little bit different in those situations. But both guys have been very competitive, and you can throw Johnny Furphy in that mix, too. And Jamari McDowell. But the bottom line is I don’t think either one of them are quite ready at this state to let it go because I don’t think they’re quite yet comfortable. As talented or as competitive as we envision them being, I think there’s a whole ‘nother step they’re going to get to, a whole ‘nother level they’re going to get to whenever they kind of figure it out as opposed to thinking all the time.”"

All quotes courtesy of JayhawkSlant