LAWRENCE — The regret was evident in Bill Self’s voice.

This was less than a month ago — just outside his team’s locker room at Arizona State — when his team picked up its first loss of the season after giving it away on the game’s most important possession.

Self had called a play during a timeout, but it hadn’t been executed. He wanted Lagerald Vick to go one way. Vick went the other. The turnover came after that.

So as Self leaned back against a cinder-block wall, the inflection of his tone changed as he spilled his guts to reporters.

“I did such a bad job in the last timeout,” Self said, shaking his head back and forth. “I did such a bad job in making sure we got a shot.”

It’s the backdrop needed to discuss one of the biggest plays in KU’s 80-76 home victory over Iowa State on Monday.

Game on the line. KU up two in the final minute. Shot clock running down.

Self watched from a few steps away. The ball was about to go to Dedric Lawson.

Devon Dotson’s instructions to Lawson in practice are simple: “Make the shot so I can get my assist.”

Lawson laughs about this now, but he also admits even the easy is more complex that it looks. This last-minute set against Iowa State really isn’t even a play — “Just a simple ball screen,” Lawson says — yet it still has quite a bit of nuance.

It’s why non-gamedays are important. Lawson and Dotson work on different variations of what to do, based on how the defense plays. Lawson has even asked which direction Dotson likes the screen to be set, hoping to allow his teammate to drive the direction he’s most comfortable.

Dotson, to be honest, hasn’t been great in this type of situation thus far. His predecessors, Frank Mason and Devonté Graham, spoiled KU fans with their ability to read defenders, react in real-time, then make smart decisions to get themselves or others open looks.

Dotson’s development showed here, though. He had been driving left most of the game, so Lawson came forward to try to free him with a screen in that direction.

Iowa State overplayed, however, and Dotson called an audible. He rejected the screen, going right to surprise the Cyclones while drawing three defenders on his way to the rim.

A second later, Dotson gathered just outside the lane, jumping to fire a pass back to an open Lawson for a three at the top of the key.

“I was happy it went in,” Self said afterward.

The truth of the matter, though? The coach had a decent feeling it was going to.

Self wanted to move on with his team’s shoot-around Monday, but he was unable to. Lawson was causing a delay.

It started with him making a few threes in the hours before tipoff: one, two, three, four. By the time the streak hit double digits, even Self was curious how far it would go.

Lawson, with those around him watching, ended up making 14 threes in a row.

“I was hopeful that would translate to tonight,” Self said.

And honestly, this was a scenario where Lawson needed to get it.

In giving away a six-point lead during Saturday’s road loss to West Virginia, KU failed to give its best offensive player a chance. In the final 2:30 — when the Mountaineers went on a 7-0 run — Lawson touched the ball just once, driving for a few dribbles before dishing to a teammate.

Monday night was different. After getting the pass from Dotson, Lawson saw 5 left on the shot clock, knowing there was no reason to scramble for a bad look. He was going to put up the three.

“That was the best shot we were going to get that possession,” Lawson said. “I just stepped into it with confidence.”

When it went through, I couldn’t help but think back to Self — and the rest of what he said a month ago in a crowded hallway after his team’s loss to Arizona State.

“I wish I’d handled that situation different,” Self said then. “If I had to do it all over right now, I’d play to a pick-and-pop and let Dedric shoot a three to win or not win it. Something simple.”

The scenario was different Monday, but notable in its own way.

Game on the line. KU up two in the final minute. Shot clock running down.

Lawson came through for KU.

And, just as important, Self had no regrets.