To start Thursday’s press conference, Kansas head coach Bill Self was asked about Oklahoma State’s turnaround in the Big 12 after starting the conference slate 0-6 and since improving to a 9-8 conference record.
“They were pressuring so much early on–so much… They still pressure, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think it’s quite as dramatic as maybe what it was early on,” Self said. “I think their defense is not spread out quite as much. Those three guards are so good, they get the ball downhill. You know, with us here, I don’t know if you guys know, it’s like a one point game with 5 minutes left here, it was anybody’s game, we ended up playing fairly well down the stretch.”
Then Self addressed the number of teams from the Big 12 that could make it to the NCAA Tournament.
“I think its up in the air, I really do, and that’s being positive about everybody,” Self said. “I think everybody still has a chance, of those ones I mentioned, to be in the NCAA Tournament. All eight could get in, I just think it’ll be hard since some of them are playing each other.”
Self was also asked about whether the off-court incidents have made the team’s 13th-straight conference regular season title any more special than others.
“I will say that this team has been as focused as any group that I can remember considering all the crap and distractions that this team has listened to and dealt with, so I would say that’s a proud thing,” Self said. You know as a coach you want your team to rally around things, you want them to be tough. And I do think these things indirectly, certainly made us do those sorts of things.”