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Bill Self on Big 12's rescheduling of KU basketball matchups: 'I'm good with it'

Matt Galloway
Topeka Capital-Journal
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self shouts instructions during last Monday's game against Baylor in Waco, Texas. The No. 2-ranked Bears handed the No. 9 Jayhawks their second straight defeat, 77-69.

LAWRENCE — The Kansas and Iowa State men's basketball programs will soon become very familiar with one another.

The Jayhawks and Cyclones, whose first meeting was originally set for last Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse until COVID-19 concerns within the visitors’ program postponed that contest, will now play twice in a 48-hour span, the Big 12 announced Thursday. KU will play host to ISU at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 before traveling to Ames, Iowa, for a 2 p.m. Feb. 13 tipoff at Hilton Coliseum.

That scheduling adjustment was one of two that involve the Jayhawks, whose planned rematch with TCU, originally set for next Tuesday in Lawrence, has been pushed back two days to 7 p.m. Jan. 28 — COVID-19 protocols have also put the Horned Frogs’ program on pause.

KU's second matchup with TCU now represents the start of a three-games-in-six-days stretch for Bill Self's squad, which travels to Knoxville, Tenn., for a 5 p.m. Jan. 30 game against Tennessee in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge before playing host to rival Kansas State at 7 p.m. Feb. 2. The Jayhawks will then play five games in an 11-day window — at West Virginia (1 p.m. Feb. 6), versus Oklahoma State (8 p.m. Feb. 8), the Iowa State two-step and a Sunflower Showdown rematch at K-State (8 p.m. Feb. 16).

Self said Thursday that he is “fine” with the Big 12’s rescheduling decisions.

“I’m not gonna complain about us having an opportunity to play this year," Self said. "I’m good with it. Everybody’s going to have to do some things this year that’s a little bit out of their comfort zone, and certainly playing, what, Saturday-(Monday)-Thursday-Saturday or whatever it is, I don’t think is ideal for prep, but you look around America and some teams are playing games coming off of not practicing for a week. As long as we stay healthy, I’m just happy to get the games in.”

KU's first matchup with TCU on Jan. 5 in Fort Worth, Texas, resulted in a 93-64 victory for the Jayhawks, who are 10-4 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play ahead of an 11 a.m. Saturday contest against Oklahoma at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Self, whose No. 9-ranked group will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, labeled the Sooners (8-4, 4-3) a team “that can beat anybody in our league, especially at home.”

“It’s a hard league, but this is one of those years that I’m not going to get hung up on ‘what-ifs,’ not going to get hung up on being thrown a curveball, none of that stuff. I’m just going to roll with it and hopefully the players can do the same thing,” Self said. “That to me is the best way to get through this year and attack this year.”