Bill Self, whose head hit the pillow at 5:30 a.m. Sunday after Kansas University's red-eye charter flight back from San Jose, Calif., was back at work Monday morning, admittedly worn out after last weekend's season-ending Elite Eight loss to UCLA.
"Everybody is tired. It's a long season," Self said in a mid-afternoon interview in his office.
"Every college basketball player would tell you this: Nobody wants it to end, but whenever it does, they are ready for it to end. Coaches feel the same way. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to play another week, but by the end of this weekend, all those Final Four coaches will want it to be over.
"I'll get my batteries recharged like all the other coaches, and the players will. A lot of good things happened this season. Right now, we don't remember the good things. We remember the last game. As time goes on, we'll reflect on the good things and look at this year as a great success, though we're not satisfied by any means."
The Jayhawk players, who went hard from the start of Boot Camp on Sept. 25 until the conclusion of the season March 24, will be awarded a full week off - though, they will, of course, be expected to attend their regular regimen of classes.
"They will get their books back together if they are behind from travel," Self said. "After that, they'll get in the weight room. We'll make a committed effort in that area to get stronger, more mobile and more flexible. Another good offseason in the weight room will bode well for us.
"The big thing will be individual improvement. Everybody will be on their own routine and workout program that fits them."
For Self, the immediate future will include meeting with each individual player before heading to Atlanta on Wednesday for meetings at the Final Four. There will be no time for a family vacation until summer.
"My son (Tyler) will be playing baseball three nights a week. Lauren (his daughter) has a million things going on. We'll probably get away in late August," Self said.
KU's coach, who has answered question after question the past six months, fielded many more in a postseason session Monday.
Here's a sampling:
Q: When would you like to know for sure which KU player or players will enter the NBA Draft?
A: "I would like to know something before the (April 29 early-entry eligibility) deadline. Even if someone let his intentions known, the way the rules are set up, you could declare and not sign (with an agent, and pull out by June 18) or you could declare and sign (and not be eligible to return to college) or you put off making a decision and wait until the last second.
"I will need to investigate and look into some scenarios. I'll wait and talk to them and their families before I tell you what our game plan will be because I don't know right now.
"I do not believe our guys' minds are made up yet. We'll say, 'Do what's best for your family and yourself. We'll support you 100 percent, but don't make a bad decision and potentially ruin a career.' If guys are top-20 picks or guaranteed first-round picks, they may have something to think about. If they are not, there actually will be no decision to be made. Right now I don't know where our guys are on most draft boards."
Q: Brandon Rush considered turning pro last year. How do you see his decision-making process this year?
A: "He'll be totally up front (with me). His family will be totally up front. Whatever is best for him, I'll support him. Right now, I'm not convinced what is best for him. He needs more information. I thought he made a lot of improvement and played well in the tournament. He played pretty well on a big stage."
Q: What about the other players with NBA potential (Julian Wright, Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Sherron Collins)?
A: Based on what our guys have said, I'm pretty confident the rest of the guys (besides Rush) will be back, but that could change, too. I certainly hope it doesn't.
Q: What about Darrell Arthur's specific situation?
A: "I do think from a career standpoint, let's forget about next year, from a career standpoint we have guys that can benefit from another year in college. I think there would be a strong contingent of people who would say, 'For you to have the best chance to have a career in the league, you could use another year of school.' Then again, there could be another contingent of people who feel otherwise. We have to figure it out."
Q: Julian Wright is listed as a certain first-rounder, yet he has indicated he'll be back. Have you ever had a certain first-rounder who decided to return before?
A: "Frank Williams (Illinois) probably would have been a lottery pick. He came back. Julian is a guy ... I do think he has a chance to go high. I know he can graduate (in three years) and benefit from a year strength-wise too. We'll have to wait and see."
Q: (Amid Arkansas rumors and possible Kentucky rumors), will you be back at KU next year?
A: "Yes. I guess, unless Lew fires me," he cracked, referring to KU athletic director Lew Perkins.
Q: Are you committed to KU?
A: "Oh yes."
Q: Will you add any additional players in recruiting besides Cole Aldrich, Tyrel Reed and walk-on Conner Teahan?
A: "We are at such a disadvantage. Our hands are tied (because of a full roster and not knowing if any players will turn pro)."
Q: Will Aldrich and Reed contribute immediately?
A: "I would say we recruited them to contribute immediately, but we've got good guys. They are going to have to beat somebody out."
Q: Could there be chemistry problems next year if everybody returns? (Sherron Collins could conceivably beat out Russell Robinson at guard and Darrell Arthur could pass Sasha Kaun at center).
A: "No. I hope we have our whole team back. Guys who practice the best will play, will start. Sherron this year was not ready. He really didn't start kicking it in and playing until after conference. We already had our rotation. Russell ... since he came back from (a foot) injury, I'd say he may have been as good a guard as we had. Mario (Chalmers) was great in Chicago. Sherron had his moments against Texas. Russell was a pretty consistent performer for us and shot it well, too."
Q: The fans appear to be pleased with the season. Do you sense that?
A: "I have not sensed fan stuff since I've been here other than what other people from the outside have come in and told me because I don't know. I don't listen to talk radio. I heard some people say, 'Hey don't listen to everybody else,' which basically tells me there are some people not very happy with me. I will not lose too much sleep worrying about that."
Q: Could you have done anything differently to beat UCLA?
A: "From an Xs and Os standpoint, you can always look back and say, gosh, I wish we could have done this, that. I never dreamed we'd get 17 steals and not convert. That is the thing that's frustrating. What have we done better this year than anything else? Convert on defense. We did get a lot of shots, especially early, but not turning 17 steals into points just blows my mind."
Q: Will you complain that your top-seeded team was sent to play on the West coast against UCLA?
A: "No. You could say, 'Why was Ohio State sent to San Antonio when (Texas) A&M was in the same bracket?' You can always say things like that. I don't think the venue had anything to do with us not playing as well. I do think it gave their team some energy."
Q: How do you feel after this year's NCAAs as compared to the last two?
A: "I would say my spirits were not as terrible last year. They were down but not rock bottom. The year before was pretty low. Last year I thought we gave ourselves the best chance and this year I know we gave ourselves the best chance. We came up short."
Q: How will you get past the Elite Eight and reach the Final Four in the future?
A: "We'll keep doing what we're doing; we've knocked on the door several times and we're going to get through it here one of these days, hopefully real soon. You've got to win a lot of big games to play in that Elite Eight game. I don't think we're too far off."