Big XII: Self-Control - Kansas Ready to Go

By Jean Neuberger - October 19, 2006

To no one's surprise, Kansas is back on top in the minds of Big XII coaches. For the fans, there is no other place Jayhawk basketball should be. As for head coach Bill Self, he thinks the chances of KU winning aren't that bad.

"I really like our guys," Self said. "We have a chance to be pretty good if we can catch a few breaks here or there. We have good depth inside. We can throw size and length at you."

Self has to feel good about the duo of Julian Wright and Brandon Rush, named co-players of the year on the pre-season Big XII All-Conference team.

"Last year, Brandon didn't make any baskets in practice," said Self. "He will be more aggressive. He has to be a guy who looks to score. Julian last year was trying to find his way. He has really improved strength-wise."

Self also talked about the faster tempo that he believes will happen in conference play.

"More up-tempo, more pressure on both ends and a fan-friendly game...certainly one with different styles," said Self. "I do think though that it's a preparation league for the post-season tournament."

A native of Oklahoma, Self had mixed feelings about the Big XII tournament moving to Oklahoma City's Ford Center.

"Oklahoma City will do a fabulous job supporting this tournament," said Self. "I am selfish though, I love having the tournament in Kansas City. When the new arena is built there, I do think it will once again support the tournament in a first-class fashion like it always has."

Self was pretty quiet for the most part, not focusing on certain strategies and strengths like other coaches, while issuing a quiet confidence about his Jayhawks.

"We will have a nice team," he said. "..a nice team that has a chance to be very good over time."

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 03:58 PM on October 19, 2006

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