News Columns & Blogs

Self talks a little Jayhawk arithmetic

Today is Kansas basketball media day, which means that KU coach Bill Self was asked about guys who are no longer on his roster and how their absence will affect the play of his team.

No, Sherron Collins and lottery picks Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich are not walking through that door. But Self knows that doesn’t matter around here.

“Kansas math is unique,” Self said. “My first year here, you lose (Nick) Collison and (Kirk) Hinrich, but you’re supposed to be better. That’s Kansas math. It’s kind of the same thing this year. You lose those three, and how could you expect to be better? But I do think this: 33-3 is a pretty good winning percentage. I don’t think this team will do that. But I do think this team can be as good a team as what last year’s team was when it counted the most.”

Self seemed like he already has some ideas about how to solve this equation. The Jayhawks lose Collins, who won more games in four years than any other player in KU history, but he sees a lot of the same qualities in freshman Josh Selby, who has yet to be cleared to play in games by the NCAA. Certainly Selby, the No. 1 recruit in the nation according to, is a key to the math working out.

As for losing Aldrich, Self knows that KU will not be as strong in the middle with a defensive force that can block shots and rebound as well as Aldrich. But he also sees KU being able to pressure more and change the way they guard lots of things, including ball screens.

Overall, Self sees this team having more team speed, which has him thinking big things once again. Of course, in Lawrence, he has no other choice.