Monday, February 8, 2010

Self on Big 12 race: “There’s no way it can be ended tonight”

Kansas coach comments during Monday morning teleconference

Kansas head coach Bill Self grabs the attention of his players during the second half against UCLA, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 at Pauley Pavilion. Self is about to embark on the recruitment trail for most of the month of July.

Kansas head coach Bill Self grabs the attention of his players during the second half against UCLA, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 at Pauley Pavilion. Self is about to embark on the recruitment trail for most of the month of July.


Austin, Texas — Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self disagrees with those who say his Jayhawks can wrap up the Big 12 regular-season title with a win tonight at Texas.

“There’s no way it can be ended tonight. Hey, we started 10-0 a few years ago and lost four of our last six,” Self said, speaking from 10 until 10:10 a.m., Monday, on the Big 12 coaches teleconference.

He was referring to the 2004-05 season in which KU opened 10-0, then closed poorly in tying for the conference crown. “No way it’ll be ended tonight either way. There are a lot of games left.”

KU opens the 8 p.m. contest at 8-0 in the league, with Texas A&M; and Kansas State at 6-3 and Texas and Missouri at 5-3.

“I don’t think we’re going to have to talk about the league race to get our guys amped up to play. This is Texas and Kansas. I think that right there in itself is plenty to get the guys jacked up,” Self said.

Texas enters having dropped two of its last three league games and three of five.

“The whole thing is they are fine. As the season plays out, that will play out to be the case,” Self said of the 19-4 Longhorns.

This opens a stretch of three straight Big Mondays for KU. The Jayhawks travel to Texas A&M; next Monday then play host to Oklahoma on Feb. 22.

“It really is,” Self said asked if that is a demanding slate. “The thing is we played in Boulder and got back at 4 a.m. (Thursday). We took Thursday off and had one day prep for Nebraska and one for Texas. That’s not a perfect world for any coach. But it’s great exposure. You’ll never hear us complain about being on Big Monday, but three in a row like that with two of ‘em being on the road, I think it’s a tough draw. By the end of the day hopefully it’ll make us a little bit tougher and harder.”

Asked about entering as the country’s No. 1 team for the second straight week, he said: “Being No. 1 this time of year means very little. It’s nice from a fan standpoint. We don’t put our hope in, or our thoughts into, ‘Hey we’ve got to protect something.’ We don’t need to protect anything. We just need to play as hard as we can and enjoy and embrace whatever comes our way because it makes us tougher and harder. Maybe we’ve handled it better (than some teams), maybe we haven’t. We’ll find out a lot more. Just because you are No. 1 and lose doesn’t mean it’s because of the ranking. It’s probably because you played away from home and just got beat.”


Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago

"There is no way it can be ended tonight," HCBS said.

Totally agree--too many tough games left. Like K-State, this will be a big win on Big Monday, but that is all it will be---a big win!

Ben Kane 9 years, 11 months ago

always one game at a time baby.

Beat Texas!

pmohr13 9 years, 11 months ago

The short rest between games is a great warm up for the tournament, where you only have a day turn around from the first round to the second, and the third to the fourth.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I read a while back that a reporter from the Chicago Tribune was doing a perspective piece on Sherron. Not sure if anyone linked this Jan 10 piece. Not bad..,0,2672385.story

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Las Vegas oddsmakers have this game as a "pick'em"..I'm not sure if that is a complement to KU or an insult to Texas.

Bill has lost to Texas in Austin with better teams that had more experience so a loss tonight, if it happens, should not be a shock to any of us....frankly, winning may end up being a bigger shock.

For all their problems, Texas, more than any other KU opponent, has the talent to put it together for one night and be unstoppable. Obvious charging, over the back, hooking and blocking fouls by the Longhorns will seem to evaporate, based on watching the last three trips down there.

The current performance level from a team who will have played four games in 9 days won't cut it.

My saddened prediction [and I will jump for joy for every poster who blasts me tomorrow for being wrong,]

Texas 76 Kansas 68

[Quite honestly, I totally disagree with Vegas and I think KU is the underdog.]

Michael Leiker 9 years, 11 months ago

C'mon Bill, really, just like you guys were focused on the NU game on Saturday and not thinking about Texas. What kind of idiots do you take us for. Of course if KU wins tonight it's over. Really, it's over already.

Someone with some time on their hands do the odds on KU winning the Big XII regular season. Has to be at 97% +.

kvskubball 9 years, 11 months ago


We've only played half of our Big 12 slate, so no I don't think the odds are (or currently can be) at 97%. I would say that it is probably about 75% right now, with a three game advantage in the loss column. I'd say it would be about 90% if we beat Texas, and not much better than 50% if we lose the game and get our egos damaged tonight - for an outright Big 12 championship...

So we are in great shape, and a win will make it very, very difficult to overtake us, but we will still have to play 7 games after tonight, so I agree with Coach. If we don't continue to play hard and win the close games, we won't get there. I can't see us not doing it, but until it is mathematically impossible, I hope we keep stepping on the gas and don't try to coast!

Hope we put forth our best effort tonight and stampede the herd! Then we'll be sitting pretty!

Rock Chalk

caddie733 9 years, 11 months ago

I like what Coach Self is saying, but a win tonight would pretty much end the Big 12 race. I know the schedule isn't easy, but any fan would agree that it would be a huge disappointment to not win the conference if KU wins tonight.

Coach Self isn't going to say, "We win this one, and it's all over." So, this article is pretty stupid to begin with. What did you think he was going to say?

Michael Leiker 9 years, 11 months ago

I think if you run the actual numbers it is pretty much locked up. 75% is way off. Don't forget that the other teams have to play their schedules too. KS may have a 75% chance of not losing 3 or more games the rest of the year, but the odds of KU losing 3 or more the rest of the year, and any specific team that has only lost 3 games already not losing another game, and the odds that that specific team who already has only 3 losses (3 teams, one of which we're at a minimum 50/50 with) has the tiebreaker against KU (given that KS does not lose more than 3) are pretty astronomical.

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 9 years, 11 months ago

How many times is HCBS going to be asked about being ranked No. 1? He gives the same answer every single time (and it's the correct answer), that it doesn't mean anything this time of year. The reporter who asked that question is a hack, hope it wasn't you Gary.

Beak 9 years, 11 months ago

Vote for Sherron:

You can vote once every 24hrs. We're getting killed by Kentucky and Harvard.

Phoggin_Loud 9 years, 11 months ago

The reality is that KU won't win the conference tonight, but UT can be eliminated from the discussion. A fourth conference loss would be devastating for UT's Conference Title hopes.

KSU, Texas A&M, and Mizzou would stay in the battle for the top with 3 losses. The problem for these teams is that if KU wins tonight, they would have to lose 3 of the last 7 and 1 of these teams would have to win-out.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 11 months ago

True enough it can not be locked up with a win tonight.

But they can sure damage any other team's will to fight for it with a win.

longhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Hate to disagree with the head coach, but if KU wins tonight, it's over. We didn't have a 3-game lead when we were 10-0 in 2005. Win tonight, and KU has a 3 game lead over everybody (4-game lead over Texas) with only 3 road games left.

No one in this league other than Kansas has shown that they can win 7 or 8 league games in a row. Second place in this league is guaranteed to have at least 4 losses. If tonight is not a loss for KU, there aren't 4 other losses on the schedule.

Lose tonight and about 3 or 4 other teams remain on life support.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Texas has been overrated from the start and is getting exposed as the season goes on, as all these kinds of teams do.

As Roy used to do, you can beat a lot of teams early playing 9 guys equally and wearing opponents down.

But by February, when teams have jelled, and everyone is hardened up, 9-10 man teams are fools gold.

Texas can't FT. Can't trinitize. Bradley, their only good 40% trinitizer can't shoot FTs. Dexter can't FT (.51). Dexter can't play more than 20 minutes a game still. They are small, small, small on the perimeter. X has a major matchup advantage. We can go two deep on Damion and they fall off after him. Texas goes two deep in the post and we now have some insurance there with Withey.

TX is KU without trey shooting and FT shooting and that spells a loss for Texas.

The only factors favoring TX in this game are:

a) they are designed to play 9 deep every game, and on one days rest with no travel, that will give them an energy budget edge against KU;

b) they are better offensive rebounders than KU; and

c) home court energy favors them.

Every other way you slice this game, KU should club Texas.

If KU keeps TX from getting a lot of offensive rebounds, and KU shoots well from trey, KU will win by 15.

Hot Tip: Quantum T gets loose tonight. Its a big game and he's a big game guy. He's been consolidating his glue role for a few games now. Its about time for Self to ask him to do something extra to make up for Marcus not pulling 20 because of guarding James.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

How likely is it that KState, A&M or Missery wins out. The league is too balanced.

Winning tonight does not insure a title but does put another nail in it.


Tuskin 9 years, 11 months ago

Apparently journalists have to ask questions like this (please predict the future so I can have a good quote). Good coaches have to respond the way Coach Self did.

I'm glad Coach Self didn't answer this in a way that makes the Jayhawks look cocky or sound arrogant - or worse, instills those traits in his team.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Texas Is in Trouble:"

Barnes calls Dubya in Dallas for strategy tips.

Barnes love dolls no longer big sellers in Austin.

Barnes veins on his forehead stand out even in his sleep.

Seven of Barnes ten players are nominated for the Free Throw Hall of Shame.

Dexter Pittman has O.D.ed twice on Crisco the last two weeks.

Frank Martin put the Cuban kiss of death on the Texas team and it does not expire till March 31st.

Associates of the Bush family hold the management contract on the UT endowment that is now strangely missing.

The Super Corridor is full of Obama Fund raising kiosks.

UT basketball tickets are now priced in grams of China White along the border.

People's Republic of China military units back from combat maneuvers across the border, keep driving up to Austin from old Kelly Air Force Base and demanding Barnes comp them tickets.

People's Republic of China keeps dropping oil wells off Cuba and saying they want to expand Kelly to include Austin and Havana.

Gulf oil wells keep recharging faster than they can be pumped dry, so no one but Texas cheerleaders still believe in Peak Oil Theory.

DNA tests really slowing down executions from death penalty, so Texas economy is sagging from all the foregone beer and corn nut sales.

Texans are so desperate for dollars now that the Bush gravy train is over that Hook'em Horns bumper stickers have been replaced by Hooker'em Horns.

Note: All fiction, no malice aforethought.

Layne Pierce 9 years, 11 months ago

One thing about Bill Self is the constant pursuit of excellence. And I mean excellence. Larry Brown had that. Roy sometimes, but not always. By that I mean all phases of the game, shooting rebounding, passing, defense, defensive help. Crowd support.

Roy just tried to put up as many points as possible, and hope the rest would take care of itself.

Texas is most important as a road barometer. We want to put a little fear in the hearts of opponents down the road in the Big Tournament. We want Dickie V to talk more KU, less UK.

Dustin Gudde 9 years, 11 months ago

Why does everyone still use HCBS? Everyone knows what you mean when you say Self, Coach, Bill, Badass, Stud, among many others. HCBS just sounds really geeky!

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, I would love to audit one of your lectures.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Sorry I use HCBS to signify respect, not worthy to call him 'coach' but want to signify that he is Head Coach...kinda funny he was towel coach 20 yrs. ago...

don't know about others...

PS if we get the W tonight, then yes, many many ways the league race is over....turn out the lights...


Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Jay Bilas...............are we great yet?

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Coach Knight, please just one more comment on Kentucky coach....just one more time.

okiedave 9 years, 11 months ago

Self's game strategy tonight was brilliant on Defense. Pittman was neutralized by a sea of blue everytime he touched the ball. Texas simply had no game plan to answer. Great win.

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