Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Even with 3-Point Success, Bill Self Wants KU Playing Inside-Out

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Even with 3-Point Success, Bill Self Wants KU Playing Inside-Out

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- A few days before the regular season started, Kansas coach Bill Self stood in front of a group at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka and made a bold claim that KU would "shoot more 3s than we've maybe ever shot."

Through two-thirds of the season, it hasn't turned out that way. Twenty-nine percent of the Jayhawks' shots have been 3-pointers this season -- less than a percentage point above last year's total -- and that's with the Jayhawks shooting a Big 12-best 40 percent from long range.

The outside success begs the question: If KU is making 40 percent of its 3s and 46 percent of its 2s, should the Jayhawks work to get more long-range shots?

When asked Thursday, Self said that wasn't the way he thought about offense.

"I think game situations determine how many 3s you shoot," the 12th-year coach said. "Sometimes teams take away things, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they want to trap the post and take away their bigs and that could open up some things. Sometimes there are a lot of offensive rebounds, which create more 3-point opportunities or transition which creates more 3s. I think a lot of it depends on the game.

"But historically, thirty percent of our shots have been 3s. I think we're close to being right on that again this year."

In other words: KU making more 3s this year isn't going to get Self away from his core principles.

Even if the Jayhawks struggle to score in the post, he still wants his team to get the ball to the big men inside. Even if a player is open from 3 early in a half-court set, he still wants to see the ball rotated from side to side.

It's this type of offensive philosophy that has helped KU to 10 straight Big 12 titles and also has helped the Jayhawks to a two- game lead in their quest for No. 11.

"Usually we play inside-out, and that's how I want to play," Self said. "Even if we don't shoot inside, at least play behind throwing it inside, and we haven't done that near as much this year. …

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