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Kansas head coach Bill Self shuffling starting lineups to send message to players

Bill Self

Kansas has rotated starting lineups in its first three games this season and it isn’t because Bill Self is strictly looking at different player combinations. The veteran head coach is actually sending a message to some players who aren’t doing things to Self’s standards.

According to a story from Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, Self gave some enlightening quotes on the situation.

“If everybody was responsible off the court, we’d probably have more of the same starting lineups every time,” Self said to the media. “And I don’t mean (players are) doing anything bad, but we got to tighten some things up. I see a lot of slippage on the court, and I think there’s a correlation to being responsible off the court, too.

“I’d like to see us settle in on a starting five, but I have a hard time starting guys that are late to tutoring or whatever. … I can’t do it. That’s kind of where that is right now. If I let it go now, I know it’s going to be something that will haunt us later.”

Doesn’t sound like everyone is strictly focused on basketball in Lawrence right now. One of the players in question was freshman forward Cliff Alexander. The Chicago native’s minutes have been sporadic this season and Self commented on the matter involving the McDonald’s All-American. Alexander started the second half and played four minutes, but was benched the rest of the game in a win over Rider.

“It was a couple things,” Self said, explaining the limited minutes of Alexander. “But I just wanted to see how he would do starting a half or starting a game. When he started the second half, I don’t think he did very well.”

Clearly Self is trying to send a message to some of his players about their habits and we’ve seen odd minute patterns for talented freshmen like Alexander and wing Kelly Oubre. I’m sure this situation will sort itself out and Kansas will figure out a rotation in short order before the Big 12 schedule begins.

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