Bill Self on what it will take to win Big 12 Tournament
Senior guard Lagerald Vick won’t be rejoining Kansas’ basketball team for the upcoming Big 12 or NCAA Tournaments, KU coach Bill Self said at Monday’s weekly news conference at Allen Fieldhouse.
“No,” Self said, asked if there would be any roster movement involving the 6-foot-5 Vick, who has been on an indefinite leave of absence from the team since Feb. 7.
“There’s no movement and it’s not going to move back. There’s really no reason to ask. More than enough time has passed. We won’t have any roster changes moving forward.”
Vick, who has been in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn., during the leave of absence, did not return to Lawrence for Saturday’s senior day contest against Baylor.
“Considering the late date … we are going on a month. There’s not a lot of time to come back,” Self said last week. “We are pretty set in what we are doing (as a team). … I’d say with each passing day it’s less likely.”
Vick averaged 14.1 points and 4.0 rebounds a game in 23 games (66 of 145 from three for 45.5 percent) his senior season. He was part of three Big 12 regular-season title teams and teams that won 10 NCAA Tournament games in three years.
“There’s not too many players out there in the country that can say that. He’s played a role in that,” Self said last week. “People should remember Lagerald in a very favorable way no question. He’s going through some stuff right now. I think he’s doing well. I think it’s good he was able to take care of that and address it and working through whatever personal things that he’s got going.
“I’m excited for him to be better, however that better is, and for him to take this as a foundation to still go on and do great things after he leaves from here. I think he graduates next week. I think he finishes his last class next week and he only needed one to graduate. So I’m excited for him for that as well.”
Lawson honored by coaches
KU junior forward Dedric Lawson on being chosen unanimous first team all-Big 12 by the league coaches: “I didn’t even know I was unanimous. I knew I was first-team though. High praise from coaches in the league. Thank you.”
Lawson said the Jayhawks, who placed third in the Big 12 standings this season after winning the regular-season title 14 years in a row, said the team would be fired up for the upcoming Big 12 Tournament. KU will meet Texas in a quarterfinal around 8:30 Thursday night at the Sprint Center.
“I talked about it with Marcus (Garrett), going out there trying to leave an imprint on the season,” Lawson said. “The best way is by winning the Big 12 (Tournament) or trying to go as far as we can in the (NCAA) Tournament. (If KU does that) I think a lot of people would forget the season on how we didn’t continue the Big 12 streak.”
Tulsa, Des Moines or ?
KU (23-8, 12-6) enters the Big 12 Tournament as the No. 3 seed and ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25. Some believe the Jayhawks need a strong showing in Kansas City to secure first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games in either nearby Tulsa, Okla., or Des Moines, Iowa.
“People have said that we may not be playing close (to home),” Self said. “To be honest, I don’t care, but if you are a 3-seed we are going to play close (to home). If you are a 4-seed the chances are we are probably going to play close, close meaning Des Moines or Tulsa.
“But it’s not a definite. If you are a 1 or 2, it’s a lock. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We can certainly fall out of favor with that. I do think if we take care of business this week … our league is thought of to be basically the No. 1 league in the country top to bottom, even though people won’t say that. But it’s what all the numbers say, and even the modern numbers that we are starting to use this year.
“You look at a situation where we’ve played the hardest schedule in the country. We have more quadrant one wins then anybody. We have an opportunity to get three more quadrant one wins this week — so does everyone else. It would be hard to put us too far down if we’re leading the country in quadrant one wins and have played the hardest schedule.
“I don’t really care, but I don’t buy in that we’re probably traveling. I think whether or not we travel will be determined on how we play this week.”
KU is 10-7 in quadrant one games, trailing only Virginia (11-2) and Michigan State (11-4). Kentucky is 10-4.