Kansas basketball: Bill Self’s Kentucky postgame press conference quotes

Nov 14, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self watches from the bench during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self watches from the bench during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Here are each of the quotes Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self said to the media in his postgame presser following the victory over No. 17 Kentucky.

The Kansas basketball team defeated Kentucky 89-84 in the Champions Classic behind the Jayhawks’ trio of historic performances. This is what KU’s head coach had to say after the win.

Reporter: (Inaudible question about Hunter Dickinson‘s performance):

Bill Self: “Well, the way they guarded us, they put KJ’s man all around him so he didn’t get as many opportunities at the basket that we wanted to get him. He only shot two long balls but he’s a good player man and he rebounded the ball better. He’s a terrific passer and what he does, I mean he’s not a villain, but what he does is he takes pressure off of everybody else by having everybody else focused on him. So that’s a big bonus.”

Reporter: “Just wondering about KJ’s impact in the second half there, especially using his athleticism.”

Bill Self: “I thought KJ was great. We never guarded them. It’s a makeshift lineup, we’re trying to play Hunter on one of their perimeter players and put KJ on him and switch four. And it actually worked good, except we never switched up and they shot the ball behind the handoffs or whatnot, too many straight-line drives. But I thought KJ was great. Other than him missing free throws, I thought he was terrific. Kevin didn’t have, statistically, a great game but you look up and he gets a triple-double and I think that’s only the second one we’ve had since I’ve been here. So he’s tough and Hunter was great and then of course Dajuan was the best player in the game down stretch without question.”

Reporter: “You talked on Monday about how the season really started today. What have you learned about this team in this big comeback?”

Bill Self: “I don’t know that you learn as much this fast but I thought we showed some poise late. We screwed up the game to go from winning 72-70 to down 78-72. And then I think we out scored them 17-6 to end it. We made all the right plays late offensively and I thought it was terrific. And they’re really somebody who helped us that won’t be talked about was Jamari McDowell, he at least guarded Reeves well. I thought he did a really nice job.”

Reporter: “What gave you the confidence to put in Jamari [McDowell] for those key minutes for the first time tonight?”

Bill Self: “To be honest with you, I don’t know it was so much confidence to put him in. I didn’t know who else to put in! So it was kind of one of those deals, but he was terrific. He was good and that limited time. He was plus nine and three and a minutes, so that was pretty good.”

Reporter: “With someone like Hunter, who from opening tip seems like he’s getting booed everytime he’s touching the ball, he’s not responding to it, he’s kind of playing back and forth with the crowd. What does that do in the huddle and in the locker room?”

Bill Self: “I don’t think it does much, to be honest with you. It may do something for him. I don’t think we get fired up by how people treat Hunter, good or bad. So, let’s call it like it is, he catches some crap. Sometimes with good reason, and many times with not. And he catches some crap, but one thing he does, he doesn’t run from it. Ever. So I think guys like that give teams confidence. Now, granted, I’m sure he was deflecting, deflecting deflecting and praising teammates and all that. But the whole deal, most of the stuff that you guys remember about Hunt, 95% of it, are things that happened before he got to Kansas. And he’s been really good since he’s been here.”

Reporter: “With what [Dickinson’s] past has been, how do you integrate that into a locker room with so many returning guys on a veteran team?”

Bill Self: “Our guys want to win. They don’t care. I mean, they don’t care. If a guy pumps confidence into your locker room, that’s a win. So our guys don’t worry about that stuff.” (He seemed genuinely annoyed while responding.)

Reporter: “When you brought Hunter in, was [KJ Adams] relieved to be able to not have to play there? And what does he have to do now to continue to ascend?”

Bill Self: “Yes. You guys watched us play tonight, the court looked pretty crowded a lot of times. I think one thing that has to happen is we’ve got to have some guys make some shots. I mean, we made them the first two games but a little different competition in a different setting. But I think that thing that he can do, in his own way, become a better short roll guy and play Hunter away from the basket. Tthings like that. So we got to figure out how to play him like we played him last year with Hunter in the game. I think that’s a big key for us.”

Next. Ex-Jayhawk praises Dajuan Harris after career game. dark