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January 23, 2013On Wednesday Bill Self conducted his weekly radio show Hawk Talk with Bob Davis. Here are some of the highlights of what he said.
Self on Rodney McGruder
I have a lot of respect for McGruder, he is one of my favorite players in the league that we don't coach. He does a lot of good things and he handles himself beautifully out there and seems like a terrific young man. He is competitive and is a player who has improved every year he has been there. He would be deserving of first team all league.
Self on getting inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame
I am real proud just like because in Kansas are of their history and tradition especially in the sports world. Oklahoma has had so many unbelievable athletes and figures to come through there who are legendary. By no means do I deserve to be in that group. I think it will be a special night for mom and dad as well as everybody else.
Self on how Ben McClemore can get better
Ben needs to shoot more. We got to run stuff for him but he has also got to be more aggressive. He is not the most aggressive kid as far as putting himself in position. I was proud of him. That game didn't go great for him at first and he didn't do that much to start the second half but then he made some unbelievable athletic plays.
Self on how this year's team is different than last year ...
We are totally different. We don't have a go to guy. If you ask me who we run a play for who we wanted to shoot the last shot, I would say it is situational as to how people are guarding us or who has got it going on or what we need in that situation. Last year we were going to give the ball to Tyshawn and he was going to do it or we were going to throw it to Thomas and he was going to do it. There wasn't that much differentiation off of that.
We are different in that regard but we have a lot of balance and both teams defend pretty well. We are getting a little better rebounding the ball. Both teams think they should win, and while that doesn't mean we are that good of a team by any stretch, when they get in certain situations they enjoy that. Hopefully that will continue to be the case. You can't live on borrowed time all the time which we have done but the guys have played well when it has counted the most.
Self on how Thomas Robinson is doing in the NBA ...
Thomas is doing well and he is playing more. They have a situation where they have a lot of bigs out there. There team is not great but they are loaded up front. He is getting minutes and I think he played 19 or 20 the other day. He is doing fine.
Self on the possibility of putting Tulsa/Danny Manning on the schedule
I think playing a coach or playing Danny would be fine. I don't see a negative with that. I think they want to get their feet wet so to speak before we do something like that. I wouldn't be against that at all and I know that would generate a lot of interest. Danny told me when he left that he wasn't interested but that could change. I don't see it happening in the next year or two.
Self on what he does differently when his team goes into a tough environment
I think the best thing to do when they are a little frazzled is to just yell at them a little louder. It's soothing. The thing when you play good teams you have to realize that other teams are good too and they are going to make a run. You just try to shorten their momentum as much as possible and extend yours.
Self on the benefit of playing so many seniors
There is not too many people who play with four seniors for a good portion of the game. Seniors make mistakes too. They make bone head plays and freshmen even though they haven't been in the moment as much they can beat you and make smarter plays down the stretch. It is such an inexact science in how to do it and when to make your move. Every situation is different and is based on reacting to a time and score situation. We have been decent at that but we have to improve at late game situations.
Self on Jeff Withey's progress
He is averaging 8 rebounds a game and he is second in the country in blocked shots. One thing we can do to help him is throw it to him. A lot of times teams pressure because it makes you forget to throw it inside. That happened in the first half and we threw it to him more in the second half. We have to do a better job of getting him more touches and feeding him on the post.
Self on if his team practices alley oops
We don't work on it much. We do a press offense drill where we have one guy standing back and we tell them that every baskket has to finish with a lob. We show them how we would like for them to throw it and the we do that for the most part. It's a lot easier to convert it when you have guys who can catch bad passes. When you throw it up there's more room for error because there is usually only two hands up there ready to catch it. We do it fairly well but not as well as we have done it in years past but we have a couple of guys who can go get it. Ben's as good as anyone in the country.