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Bill Self not impressed by exhibition

11/6/2012

Plenty of college basketball coaches are skilled at ripping their team to shreds following disappointing performances. It's part of the job description, long since handed down from the O.G. of the sardonic post-game news conferences, Bob Knight. But some coaches are better at it than others -- more genuine and more willing to display utter disgust. Kansas coach Bill Self is one such man.

After Kansas scored a mere 62 points in an exhibition win in Monday's exhibition win over Washburn -- "by far the fewest points scored by the Jayhawks in a home exhibition contest in school history," according to the Lawrence Journal-World's Gary Bedore -- Self had a lot of problems with you people:

  • “Our offense stunk. It was just beyond bad. Our offense was just miserable," he said.

  • “We are going to be a team that plays in spurts, and we’re going to be a team that labors to score. We just are,” Self said. “We didn’t execute, and our senior leadership was non-existent.”

  • “Most of it is just pure softness,” Self said, pointing out only one positive -- a defense that held Washburn to 25.8 percent shooting. “Not meeting the pass, just so soft with the ball. You can go down the list of things we didn’t do. Not very often do you have a collective game where everybody plays poor individually. ... We moped around a little bit. We have to have better senior leadership without question.”

  • “I’ll be honest with you. There was no low post presence either,” Self said. “We always have played inside/out. Jeff needs to be a factor in there.

  • “Elijah can’t play that many minutes. That’s a great teaching point now. He knows he’s not in shape. He thinks he is. He didn’t create any pace defensively or offensively, so obviously he’s not in shape.”

And so ended the airing of grievances! The freshmen were mostly spared. They're just freshmen. Indeed, Self reserved his most biting barbs for his senior leaders, Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson.

That might concern you -- certainly the showing will concern Kansas fans -- but it's a rule around these parts to not get too worked up one way or the other about exhibitions. Johnson will get in shape, Withey will become a more commanding presence in the post, the freshmen will come along for the ride, and Self will have another very good team on his hands sooner rather than later. If the journey to that destination involves more hilariously scathing postgame comments, well, that's just a bonus.