Bill Self sees a ‘hungry’ West Virginia team now

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Prior to Kansas’ 65-57 Big 12 quarterfinal victory against Texas on Thursday, Jayhawks’ coach Bill Self saw plenty of West Virginia’s 79-74 upset of Texas Tech.

Self said the Mountaineers are a different team now than when the Jayhawks beat the Mountaineers, 78-53, on Feb. 16. That was just five days after Bob Huggins dismissed starting forwards Esa Ahmad and Wes Harris for a violation of athletic department policy.

“When we played — they beat us at their place, obviously — but that was to start the league,” Self said. “Then, we played them, eight games ago, maybe, but that was right when they had just let some guys go. They obviously weren’t together like they are now. We kind of played probably at one of their lowest points and every teams goes through ups and downs.

“The team that I watched play tonight is hungry. They’re playing with a free mind. The basket looks big to them and certainly they’re rebounding the ball like [Bob Huggins’] teams have historically done at West Virginia. Forget about the records. When Kansas and West Virginia play, you usually get your money’s worth as a game.”

Third-seeded Kansas (24-8) and No. 10 seed West Virginia (14-19) will meet at 9:30 p.m. Friday in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

The Jayhawks had four players in double figures against Texas, led by freshman Devon Dotson’s 17. Dedric Lawson added 16 points and forward David McCormack added 13 points and nine rebounds. Quentin Grimes added 12 points for Kansas.

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