“[Bill Self] took a little bit of heat for [publicly criticizing his team]. I thought he was great. I really did. When you play at Kansas, if you don’t want the attention – and 95% of the time it’s unbelievable attention if you’re a student athlete [at Kansas]. But the 5% of the time when things don’t go well you’ve got to be able to handle that too. If you don’t want the attention of playing at Kansas or Carolina or Duke, then go to a low major school.”
Fran Fraschilla, TV color analyst for KU/OU game in Norman, ESPN2
GH: Fraschilla is just another ex-coach in the media who makes it his job to have the back of a coach like Bill Self who is catching some heat for publicly verbally flogging his players after KU’s loss to OSU and TCU. Fraschilla said, “I thought it was great.” Obviously, it didn’t work. Kansas now finds itself mired in its first three-game losing skid after a sparkling 19-1 start and a number-one ranking only three games ago. Why is it hard for Fraschilla and his ilk to point the finger at Self? Instead, Fraschilla questions the courage of Self’s players. Very gutsy, Fran.
“I’m not leaving out of [Norman] disgusted with my team at all. We actually played better today. We played a good team today. … Hey, it’s hard to win away from home. This wasn’t a major upset today. We did some good things. It’s not good but it’s definitely not broken. It’s not broken.”
Bill Self, in his postgame comments after losing in Norman, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Compare these comments to how Self ripped his guards after the OSU loss and then calling his team the worst Kansas has put on the floor since Naismith. Fraschilla might not think Self made a mistake in how he rode his players into the ground, but it appears to me that Bill Self thinks he screwed up.
“When we play well, we play as well as any of the talented teams we’ve had in the past.”
Bill Self, Jayhawk Radio Network
“I think this might be the least talented team that Bill Self has ever coached.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: A three-game losing streak has jolted even some of the most steady Jayhawk backers. I disagree that this is one of Self’s least talented teams. McLemore is a top-five draft pick even as a first-year player and Withey is the best defensive player in the nation. Add two seniors who played in the Final Four last year and it is difficult to call this Kansas team untalented. The problem is the team’s confidence. Self destroyed it with his public criticism. Can he build the team back up over the next eight weeks? That’s why they call him coach.
“We’re trying to soothe people’s anxiety a little bit that this world is going to come to an end. It is not. You can keep both feet on the bridge. It’s going to be okay. … I can’t believe anybody would be arrogant enough to think you could just go in there [to Norman] and roll over a good Oklahoma team.”
David Lawrence, as he opened the KU postgame radio show following the Jayhawks third straight defeat, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Lawrence sounded like Stan Weber whenever K-State football suffers a tough loss. Both Kansas and K-State hold tightly censored postgame shows hosted by their handpicked hosts. Missouri is far more lenient in allowing both the hosts and their callers to speak critically of their teams. For the most part, the journalists who cover all three schools follow suit to this same credo. Mizzou’s media is far tougher on the Tigers than the Jayhawks’ and Wildcats’ scribes. I prefer the truth rather than pabulum.
“I know people remember what happened late in the game but overall I thought Elijah played better.”
David Lawrence, on EJ’s play in Norman, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: The term “relative” has rarely been more important to a point guard’s play. Was EJ better than his play at TCU? Well, yeah. But he remains the target of more venom in the state of Kansas than those water-stealing farmers up north in Nebraska.
“I love the fact that Elijah keeps on shooting!”
Bob Davis, punctuating his play-by-play call of a made three-pointer by the KU senior point guard, Jayhawk Radio Network
“I expect [Elijah] to play great and I believe he will. Certainly so much of everything is based on making shots. He doesn’t have to worry about making shots, just go play and have fun.”
Bill Self, KUSports.com
“They’ve got Elijah – he’s a two [guard] playing a one. College basketball is all about guards. It’s all about guards. I just think guard play is absolutely vital. You’ve got to have it. You cannot be an elite team unless at that point-guard position you’ve got a lead guy. The things that guy does at that level of basketball are enormous!”
Kevin Harlan, 810 AM
GH: Self has said Elijah is his guy and he’s riding him the rest of the season. This has the makings of a great, great comeback storybook ending for EJ and the Jayhawks. But somebody better start writing some feel-good pages real quick.
“This is uncharted waters. These guys are having trouble knowing how to react when they’re behind.”
Greg Gurley, radio color analyst for KU radio, in a Monday interview with Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Gurley is one of the few straight shooters in the local media when it comes to fairly evaluating the team he works for and the school where he played.
“You try to shy away from a must-win scenario but this is kind of it.”
Greg Gurley, on Kansas needing a win tonight against K-State, 610 AM
GH: Look at the upcoming Big 12 schedules for both Kansas and K-State. Even if KU wins tonight, they will have a much more difficult road to the conference title than K-State. Kansas needs to win tonight more than they have in maybe any other regular season game in the Bill Self era. Four straight losses with two at home? And one at home to Bruce Weber? Yeah, this one tonight is big.
“If I’m not mistaken if we win on Monday we’ll be tied for the league lead.”
Bill Self, Jayhawk Radio Network
GH: Isn’t that what Bruce Weber was saying last month when KU was headed to Manhattan?
“KSt. practiced Sun at KU Coach Weber said they got out of town to concentrate, have some fun. They did. Great practice Wildcats did X and O work then had fun 3 point knockout contest. Rodney McGruder won. Guys had a blast.”
Holly Rowe, @sportsiren, Twitter
GH: K-State sounds loose and ready. But Vegas isn’t buying any of it. Kansas is favored by 8 tonight.
“Play with freedom offensively and let it go [fly] defensively.”
Bill Self, on what he would like to see from his team against K-State, KUSports.com
GH: After the loss to Oklahoma, Self begged his fans to come out and support his team Monday night for the K-State game. He mentioned begging twice. Yeah, this game is big. Here is the $16,300 question; If Kansas beats K-State tonight at Allen Fieldhouse to tie the Cats for the Big 12 lead, do the Jayhawk fans storm the court?
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24