KU Basketball Notebook: Big 12 Media Day Edition

Today was Big 12 Media Day and as you can imagine, there was a lot of talk about Kansas basketball, Andrew Wiggins and Oklahoma State. Additionally, there were discussions about sweaters and Big 12 Championship rings for second place teams.

Bill Self speaks to the media

Here is Self’s Q&A with the media. It is long but worth it but if you prefer text, you can read a transcript of another press conference here.

Some highlights:

  • Self believes Perry Ellis can be the leading or second-leading scorer for the Jayhawks in the 2013-14 season
  • Joel Embiid has “fallen in love with basketball.”
  • Self discovered Embiid because he was on Brannen Greene’s AAU team
  • Bill Self said that Marcus Smart is the best defender Self has faced at Kansas.
  • Self says Wayne Selden is one of KU’s best players and has been since day one. Self believes no one will be overlooking him during the season
  • Selden could play point guard but Self may not put that much on him unless he has to.
  • Self said that Naadir Tharpe, Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis have been the biggest surprises so far.
  • Self said that Embiid has a chance to be the most talented big guy he’s ever had.
  • Tarik Black has helped in developing Embiid said Self. Also said that he’s buying into Self’s defensive system better than anyone on the team
  • Self said that KU could play more in the post this year than last year. He believes the players are better suited for it and their perimeter shooting should help
  • The hype surrounding Wiggins will help the other freshmen develop at their own pace
  • New rules surrounding handchecking have forced Self to change his defensive teaching
  • Self says Embiid won’t be the shot blocker that Jeff Withey, at least right now. Self says he can still improve.
  • Wiggins can post up said Self

Wiggins, Ellis, Tharpe and Black speak to media

13 minutes of the KU players at media day today:

Andrew Wiggins’ interview with ESPN

You can view Wiggins’ interview with ESPN here.

Andrew White may be the first guard off the bench

Bill Self told the media today that Andrew White III may be the first guard off the bench. As noted on Late Night, White was incredibly impressive and I wouldn’t be surprised if really impresses fans this season.

Speaking of White, Andrea Hudy tweeted out that he’s gained 20 pounds since joining the team.

Travis Ford talks Kansas

There was a lot of chatter about Oklahoma State’s head coach Travis Ford talking about the Jayhawks last week. At Big 12 media day, things weren’t much different. Ford had this to say about Kansas:

Well, we haven’t talked much about where we were picked (in Big 12). We talk a lot about understanding what our goals are and what we want to try to accomplish. Winning a Big 12 Championship is something that we strive to do. It’s something we talk about, but we fully grasp that Kansas is still a team to beat. I think any coach would tell you that. They’re still the team in the Big 12 that everybody’s trying to compete with.

A new rivalry? Marcus Smart vs. Wiggins

Marcus Smart again spoke about Andrew Wiggins today. Check out this blog from Pistols Firing.

Ben McLemore dunks, highlights and crib

You like dunks. I like dunks. Ben McLemore likes to dunk. Let’s watch McLemore dunks:

McLemore dropped 23 points the other night. Here are his highlights:

Check out McLemore’s crib in this video from the NBA:

Thomas Robinson with a monster putback dunk

Incredible dunk from Thomas Robinson.

GIF form:


Xavier Henry posterizing dunk

This was No. 1 on Sportscenter’s top 10 plays on Tuesday night:

Bruce Weber shows off his Big 12 Championship ring

Who knew they made rings for teams that tied for first place when they lost THREE times to the team they “tied” with.

Huggins shows off his sweater

One of the most talked about non-basketball news of the day was Bob Huggins’ sweater. Here it is in all of its glory: