Self on young KU team: ‘We have a lot of puppies’

10/17/2012 10:46 AM

10/17/2012 10:47 AM

Kansas coach Bill Self took the floor at Big 12 media day at the Sprint Center on Wednesday morning. A few general themes continued from his comments last week at KU media day in Lawrence.

Self said he likes his roster and talent, but it may take awhile for the Jayhawks to hit their stride.

“We have a lot of puppies,” Self said of KU’s large freshman class.

KU returns four seniors and adds seven scholarship freshmen. And rotation options appear numerous. Self said that KU could go as many as nine- or 10-deep this season.

The biggest difference, Self said, will be learning to play without Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson. (“We don’t have star power,” Self said.) But Self added that, more often than not, when you give players an opportunity, they generally rise to the occasion.

• Self talked about Jeff Withey’s offensive development, saying the most important thing Withey has to do is score over his right shoulder. Self said Withey’s ability to hit free throws can translate into the 15-foot jumper, and he’s also pretty comfortable scoring over his left shoulder — a more natural move.
• Kansas has a seven-man freshman class, but two players — guard Ben McLemore and forward Jamari Traylor — spent last season redshirting after running into academic issues. Self said McLemore spent the second half of last season guarding Tyshawn Taylor in practice, while Traylor was often matched up with Thomas Robinson.
• Self was also asked if he believed it was a “replenishing” year for the Big 12 after the league lost a slew of first-round draft picks. In short: No, Self said. Self once again complimented Oklahoma State’s talent and said he thought there were plenty of pro prospects in the league.

"I think our league reloads," he said.

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