Kansas head coach Bill Self
On how the team has improved:
"A lot of it is pure energy. I haven't thought we have played to our athletic ability all year long. The other night (vs. Miami) we did better job of that. I could care less about the dunks. I'm talking about defense and getting out and getting after people. Hopefully we can continue that. UMKC is a bad team, in some ways, to do that against because they are in between. They are the best backcourt team we've played all year."
I like the part where he says "UMKC is a bad team". In skimming this I almost missed the rest where he clarifies that statement. Initially I thought he was just giving a really honest opinion.
As for the point of defensive energy, I don't think anyone will argue with that fact and the results from the Miami(OH) game. The same Miami team that also played Duke and said Kansas was as good if not better. Now continuing that and getting that effort and energy consistently will be huge.
On Markieff Morris:
"When he's turned up, he plays well all the time. He's very talented and really a good player. He has played very well as of late. I will say this, the Cal game and the Miami game is the best he's played. Statistically, he's done well and our team has done well but there is a difference about playing well on paper and actually playing well. I think he's really playing well right now."
It wouldn't surprise me if almost everyone on here mentioned at some point that Markieff could be HUGE for Kansas this year if he experiences the type of development year over year that Marcus did last season. Right now he looks the part. It's a different game from what Marcus brings, but still versatile and almost contributes in an area of greater need.
On Markieff and Marcus Morris:
"I think they are both going to get there. I see such a high ceiling for those kids, that anything less than that is frustrating to me. What I see as being not so good, they see as maybe I'm hard on them because what's wrong with getting 13 (points) and eight (rebounds)? What's wrong with getting 15 (points) and nine (rebounds)? Well its only wrong if you should have got 22 (points ) and 13 (rebounds). I love their talent. They are our best passers. They are leaders and they just need to play that way to know their teammates will follow the example they set."
What I like about Self is that two years ago he would have never had these expectations of the Morris twins and he would have never placed this on their shoulders. At the time, he commanded that from Sherron Collins. Now it's the twins turn to carry the torch and elevate the team and he's putting it out there and forcing them to respond one way or the other.
"Their style is different than what we have seen so far. Matt (Brown) comes from the coach (John) Beilein coaching tree and does a lot of similar things they did at West Virginia and John does at Michigan now. If there is a good thing about playing UMKC and Michigan is you might as well play them in the same week. That way, if you are preparing for one, you are preparing for both. (Jay) Couisnard is really a good scorer. They have potential. Their stats are pretty good. This will be a big game for them. It will be a big game for us but obviously this will be a big game for them. They'll be juiced and energized. Couisnard and Elijah Johnson are cousins, so that will be a little bragging rights for the family."
Just a few tidbits from Self on the game tonight.