Bill Self health update: KU coach day-to-day in Des Moines

Bill Self health update: KU coach day-to-day in Des Moines

Kansas coach Bill Self talks with a reporter while the Jayhawks took the court for practice at the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

Kansas mentor Monthly bill Self talks with a reporter although the Jayhawks took the courtroom for observe at the Big 12 Match on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self did not ride on the team’s luxury bus with the program’s coaches, players and support staff on a 3 1/2-hour excursion from Lawrence to NCAA Tournament team headquarters — the Hilton Des Moines Downtown Hotel — on Tuesday afternoon.

“He came up with his family, got here a little bit early,” KU acting head coach Norm Roberts said of Self, KU’s 20th-year head coach.

Self, who had a heart catheterization Wednesday at University of Kansas Health System, has apparently made a quick, steady recovery. He led the team in person at practice the last two days as it prepares for Thursday’s NCAA West Regional opener against Howard University (1 p.m., Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines).

“He’s doing good. He was at practice this morning with the guys. He was at practice yesterday (also), so he’s doing well,” said Roberts, who filled in for Self at last week’s Big 12 Tournament where the Jayhawks beat West Virginia and Iowa State and lost to Texas.

“We’re just seeing how it goes day-to-day,” Roberts added.

Roberts was asked specifically by a media member at the team hotel if he knew Self’s status for Thursday’s opening-round game against No. 16 seed Howard.

“We haven’t decided that yet,” Roberts said. “We’ll see how it goes day-to-day-to-day.”

Roberts informed the media what Self has been stressing at practice.

“The message is about being focused and understanding every team that you’re playing is a champion,” Roberts said. “They know how to win. They’re hungry. They want to win as much as you do. And then paying attention to detail because one turnover, one lack of an assignment defensively could mean you’re going home. So you’ve really got to lock in and be focused.”

Roberts said Self told the Jayhawks: “Let’s practice hard, let’s be focused, let’s execute, let’s defend. We talked a lot about defense and that we’ve got to guard and make people uncomfortable. Our guys are excited to practice. We had a good practice today. We’re ready to go.”

KU senior guard Kevin McCullar — he missed Saturday’s Big 12 Tournament title game loss to Texas — practiced full-go on Tuesday in Lawrence, Roberts said.

“He was bouncy, stayed in there the whole time, went through everything. He was good,” Roberts said of McCullar, who has been bothered by back spasms.

Guard Gradey Dick, who twisted his back early in the Texas game when a Longhorn tumbled on the KU freshman, also practiced full-go Tuesday and is doing well, Roberts said.

KU will hold a shootaround that is open to the public from 12:30 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena.

The winner of Thursday’s KU-Howard game will play either Illinois or Arkansas on Saturday, also in Des Moines.

“Hopefully your fans are going to be here,” Roberts said, asked the benefits of playing relatively close to Lawrence. “We know our fans travel well. We are excited about them being here for us. Once you get on the court you’ve got to make it happen.”

As far as the first-round foe. …

“They have a really good team,” Roberts said of the Howard Bison, who take a 22-12 record into the NCAAs after defeating Norfolk State 65-64 Saturday in the finals of the MEAC Tournament.

“They’ve got length. They’ve got the ability to score. They have four guys that have shot over 100 threes. They are outrebounding their opponent by five almost. They change defenses quite a bit, try to cause havoc.

“They probably have one of the best young point guards in the country who really does a great job getting the ball to people,” Roberts noted.

Point guard Elijah Hawkins, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard from Washington, D.C., and famed DeMatha High School, averages 13.0 points a game on 44{35112b74ca1a6bc4decb6697edde3f9edcc1b44915f2ccb9995df8df6b4364bc} shooting. He’s made 52 of 110 threes for 47.3{35112b74ca1a6bc4decb6697edde3f9edcc1b44915f2ccb9995df8df6b4364bc}. He has 177 assists to 118 turnovers with 51 steals in 30 games. He chips in 3.7 rebounds a game.

“He is a really good shooter. He’s not a guy out there trying to shoot,” Roberts said. “He’s a guy trying to make plays for the other guys, set people up. He’s a quarterback, very similar to Juan (Harris) in that regard. He can really shoot the ball.”

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Gary Bedore addresses all factors of Kansas basketball for The Star — the existing team as effectively as former gamers and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and elevated in Chicago, as very well as Lisle, Ill.