Saturday, April 5, 2008
Get your March Madness fix at KUSports.com.
Bill Self's attorney, Stuart Campbell of Tulsa, Okla., caused a commotion when asked by the Tulsa World if his client could become Oklahoma State's next basketball coach.
"I never say never," Campbell said. "Kansas is one of the top five jobs in the country. Any school that would (approach) a Kansas or Kentucky or Duke or North Carolina coach would sure need eye-popping-type numbers (money).
"I am completely in a wait-and-see mode. I never say never. They would have to be eye-popping numbers. I know Bill is very happy at Kansas. He loves the fans at Kansas. But I don't close any doors, if I can help it."
Self was not amused at Campbell's comments. Self has said he is "not a candidate" for the OSU position.
"Stuart Campbell is an attorney that looks over my contracts. He does not speak for me," Self said Friday. "I have not spoken with him about this. I have not spoken with him in a month. Anybody speaking on behalf of me doesn't know what they are talking about because I will speak for me. If that was said that way I'm very disappointed. It's not an indication of how I feel or how I would feel or anything like that."
Self was asked if he wants a contract extension next week.
"Do you want one?" he asked a reporter, who replied, "Every day."
"Yes, yes, I would love and I hope Lew (Perkins, AD) is talking about something in that regard as opposed to where we're going to golf when he said he wanted to meet with me after the season," Self said. "You'd have to ask Lew that, but I'm hopeful that's the case."
Perkins has said Self can expect a raise after the season. He was not amused when asked about the issue Friday, saying "nothing had changed," with Self indicating he'd be at KU next season.
"We talked about it. Lew asked me, 'Do you want to go anywhere?' I said, 'Heck no. I don't want to go anywhere,''' Self said. "I take him at his word (that they'll talk after season). He takes me at mine. So I'm sure that will be the case."
Senior Russell Robinson said: "It is not a distraction at all. Coach Self told us he wasn't a candidate. He made it clear he loves Oklahoma State, but he is focused on one thing, the Final Four. To me, all that talk (of OSU wanting Self) went in one ear and out the other. Coach Self has had a big smile on the face since the Davidson game. This is all he cares about."
Case meets with Roy: Fifth-year senior Jeremy Case, who was recruited to KU by Roy Williams, chatted with North Carolina's coach at Thursday's Final Four banquet.
"He was coming out of the rest room, and I was walking in. It was a little hug. He said, 'Hi,''' Case said. "I don't hold it (leaving KU) against him. That was five years ago. He had to do what's best for his family. I've got no hard feelings at all."
Williams posed for a picture with four of the Jayhawks at the low-key banquet.
"I was thrilled four of their players asked to have a picture made with me," Williams said. "Jeremy, I recruited. Brady (Morningstar) I've known forever. Brandon (Rush) I've known a long, long time. Russell Robinson I think is the most important seven-point scorer in all of college basketball."
Rush matures at KU: KU's Robinson, on how Rush has changed for the better: "I played against Brandon in the AAU circuit. I thought he was cocky, arrogant, living off his brothers' name. I got to meet him and have him as a roommate and found out I was wrong. I didn't know the great person he actually was."
Underdog status: Robinson loves the fact KU enters as an underdog.
"I remember the two games we were not favored in my career - my sophomore (year) against Texas in the Big 12 tournament and last year against Florida. There was something different about us in those games. We came out real aggressive. Hopefully it'll be true tomorrow," he said.
Dream fulfilled: This is a culmination of a dream for Robinson. "The first time I watched a Final Four was in '99, I remember Duke and UConn going at it. I cheered for UConn so badly. I remember wanting it to be me, but thinking, 'I can't do that.' I kept working hard. Now I'm here."
Darnell Jackson on the game: "I really feel it'll come down to the last possession. It'll come down to that loose ball, that 50-50 ball. I believe it'll be a defensive game. We have to get stops."
Larry speaks: Former KU coaches Ted Owens and Larry Brown attended Friday's shootaround at Alamodome.
"It's nerve-wracking. I didn't want to come. My wife made me come. She said it was a win-win," said Brown, a North Carolina graduate who was head coach at both KU and UCLA and is good friends with KU's Self and Memphis' John Calipari, who worked for him at KU, as well as Williams, one of his Olympic team assistant coaches.
Brown stayed at the home of his pal, Lawrence businessman Doug Compton, on Thursday, before flying to San Antonio Friday.
Carolina country: Rush received a lot of media attention from Carolina reporters who remember him playing at Mt. Zion Academy in Durham.
"It was Duke and North Carolina, that's all anybody talked about," Rush recalled.
Defensive stance: KU's Sherron Collins on possibly guarding 5-11 Ty Lawson: "You have to stay in front of him, can't get your feet all twisted," said Collins, who said his bruised knee has healed and his health is good. He's over a recent bout of tonsillitis.
"We like to run. They like to run. It'll be a war, a dogfight," Collins said.
Buford is from San Antonio: KU walk-on Chase Buford, the son of San Antonio Spurs' general manager R.C. Buford and former KU golfer Beth Boozer, has been the Jayhawks' unofficial tour guide.
"We are stuck at the hotel most of the time, so there hasn't been really any time," said Chase Buford, whose dad is one of KU coach Bill Self's best friends. "I have pointed out a thing or two on the bus when we have been going from place to place."
On being in his hometown: "It would feel great being at the Final Four no matter where it was being held, but it is extra special that it happens to be in San Antonio. To have a chance to win a national championship is an unbelievable feeling, and then to be able to play in front of friends and family here in San Antonio, that makes it more special for me."
So, just how would you capture the euphoria of victory - or, god forbid, the agony of defeat - in just a few words?
As the Jayhawks get ready for their big game against North Carolina in the Final Four, we're giving everyone a chance to submit their suggested headlines for Sunday morning's paper.
Some advice: Be clever, descriptive and, of course, concise. Remember: Your optimistic words just might end up being prophetic.
For now, we'll stick with taking ideas for the national semifinal, the one pitting Bill Self and the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks against Roy Williams and his No. 1-seeded Tar Heels.
Show off your headlines by going to www2.ljworld.com/headline and leaving your suggestion in the comments.