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4 thoughts from head coach Bill Self as Kansas men’s basketball’s offseason continues

LAWRENCE — Kansas men’s basketball’s players and coaches have been able to enjoy the summer-camp experience this month.

Last week, a scrimmage inside Allen Fieldhouse even saw a collection of current athletes compete alongside a couple former stars in Tyshawn Taylor and Ben McLemore. On Wednesday this week, Taylor did so again alongside Brandon Rush. And following this latest one, head coach Bill Self took some time to address the state of the team as the offseason continues.

Here are four takeaways from what Self had to say:

Christian Braun is making Kansas proud in the NBA

Christian Braun helped the Denver Nuggets to a NBA championship as a rookie after spending his college career at Kansas.
Christian Braun helped the Denver Nuggets to a NBA championship as a rookie after spending his college career at Kansas.

Christian Braun’s college career came to a close with the Jayhawks’ latest national championship in 2022, and propelled him to a professional career in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. As a rookie, Braun kept on winning as Denver won a NBA title in 2023. With that championship, Braun became the fifth athlete in NBA history to capture those respective titles in back-to-back seasons.

Self has been following Braun’s journey the whole way, and highlighted how much the Nuggets’ coaching staff already trusts Braun. Braun carved out a key role for Denver because of the extent to which he can contribute in a number of different areas, not just scoring. And that has made Self proud.

“In the last … seven years, he’s won three straight state championships (in high school), a national championship and a world championship, and had a legitimate chance to win another national championship the year with COVID when we would have been the No. 1 overall seed,” Self said. “So, yeah, it’s been great watching him.”

How many more scholarship players Kansas may add

Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self speaks with guard Dajuan Harris Jr. during a game against Texas Tech this past season inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self speaks with guard Dajuan Harris Jr. during a game against Texas Tech this past season inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Because of an ongoing NCAA infractions case and a set of self-imposed sanctions, Kansas is facing a reduction of three scholarships over the next three years. If that’s distributed evenly, the Jayhawks will be at 12 scholarships this upcoming season and the following two. And as of Wednesday, after the various roster moves that have occurred since this past season ended, Kansas is at 10 scholarship players.

Self said the Jayhawks may add one more player, and go into the season with 11 scholarship players. Of those, just three are returnees. However, those three returnees were starters for a team that won a Big 12 Conference regular season title and the other players are a collection of talented freshmen and high-profile transfers.

“I like where we’re at because I think everybody could be content, at least maybe not with the actual number of minutes, but at least the role they’ll play considering we have less guys on our team,” Self said.

Bill Self is already praising Nicolas Timberlake’s ability to shoot

When Kansas earned Towson transfer Nicolas Timberlake’s commitment, it added one of the best available three-point shooters with collegiate experience. Timberlake, who spent the past five years at Towson, shot better than 40% from behind the arc the past two seasons. And in the practice time Self has had with the team, he said it’s been a welcome sight to have Timberlake in Lawrence.

RELATED: Kansas AD Travis Goff provides renovation updates on Allen Fieldhouse, ‘Gateway Project’

Inside Patrick Cassidy’s move from manager to walk-on

Kansas announced earlier this month that Patrick Cassidy, a manager with the team, would adjust his role with the Jayhawks and become a walk-on. Self explained that Cassidy had asked him if that change would be possible, and that Self agreed to make the move because he thought Cassidy was competitive enough to make it work. Self described Cassidy as someone who can help Kansas in practice.

RELATED: Transfer Nicolas Timberlake is eager to compete for a national title with KU men’s basketball

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association’s sportswriter of the year for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at jmguskey@gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas coach Bill Self on Christian Braun's NBA championship