Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bearded KU basketball coach Bill Self ‘impressed’ with KU football

Kansas football head coach Turner Gill spoke to the crowd Friday during the sixth annual KU KickOff At Corinth Square in Prairie Village.

Kansas football head coach Turner Gill spoke to the crowd Friday during the sixth annual KU KickOff At Corinth Square in Prairie Village.



KU football pep rally at Corinth Square

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Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger, head basketball coach Bill Self and head football coach Turner Gill addressed a crowd of approximately 2000 KU fans at Corinth Square in Prairie Village, Kan. on Friday, August 19, 2011.

— Bill Self, who for the third straight summer is sporting a beard for the start of the school year, was asked Friday night when he’s next going to shave.

“When my wife tells me I have to,” Self, Kansas University’s ninth-year basketball coach, said with a laugh at KU KickOff At Corinth Square — a football pep rally attended by approximately 2,000 KU fans.

Self spoke to Jayhawk Nation from a huge stage, as did football coach Turner Gill, athletic director Sheahon Zenger and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

“I’ve had a chance to watch the team work out a little bit, and they’re faster, they’re bigger, and they’re stronger,” Self said of Gill’s Jayhawks. “The thing I’m so impressed with Turner and his staff ... they are not taking shortcuts. They are doing it the right way. The right way takes time. I’m really excited for football season.”

Self was asked about last week’s big story — that Texas A&M; likely would be leaving the Big 12 Conference for the SEC.

“I don’t have a feel for A&M.; You know, last year I was worried. This year I think our league is fine,” he said.

“Hey as long as we know the other nine teams are solid, I’m OK with that. We may add (teams to league if A&M; leaves). We may not add. To be honest, nine is a perfect number for football and basketball for scheduling purposes because it reduces your league games to 16 in basketball and allows you to schedule four nonconference football games as opposed to three.”

Full-speed ahead: KU continues to plan an “NBA alumni weekend,” which would bring the Jayhawks’ NBA players back to Allen Fieldhouse for an exhibition game, possibly on the football bye weekend (Sept. 24-25).

“I hope that we have an announcement real soon concerning bringing some guys back for a Legends basketball game,” Self said. “It’s in its final stages of being confirmed. It’s not done yet, but we certainly believe we can have some positive news on it hopefully real soon.”

KU’s players in the NBA are: Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City), Darrell Arthur (Memphis), Mario Chalmers (Miami), Nick Collison (OKC), Drew Gooden (Milwaukee), Xavier Henry (Memphis), Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta), Darnell Jackson (Sacramento), Marcus Morris (Houston), Markieff Morris (Phoenix), Paul Pierce (Boston), Brandon Rush (Indiana), Josh Selby (Memphis) and Julian Wright (Toronto).

Motivational speaker: Gill took two questions from the audience.

One fan asked, “Are we going to beat Missouri?”

“Absolutely,” Gill bellowed to thunderous cheers. “We’re setting ’em up. We kind of let them have that first one (last year). We’re setting ’em up from here on out.”

The next question was the equally obvious: “Are we gonna beat K-State?”

“What a question ... we set them up too,” Gill cracked. “This year we’re gonna get the last laugh. All right? That’s hearing it from me and my football players.”

Waves of fans: Self was impressed with the huge crowd at the pep rally.

“Unbelievable,” he said. “If this group would show up for football games, we’d fill a couple of sections. School starting, in all honesty, on every campus, means it’s football season.”

He expressed an optimistic tone for the future.

“I feel as good about where our athletic department is going right now as I ever have,” he said.

Gill was equally upbeat: “We have more talent. They (players) also understand our schemes (better than first year). This team knows how to compete. They have shown they have mental toughness. They have shown they have a great work ethic. We’re faster and more explosive. We have playmakers. As I said the first day I got the job I’m here to build a winning program. I feel more confident today than I ever have before.”


Larry Smith 9 years, 6 months ago

Self said of Gill’s Jayhawks. “The thing I’m so impressed with Turner and his staff ... they are not taking shortcuts. They are doing it the right way. The right way takes time. I’m really excited for football season.”

The right way does take time my friend. It will get better, KU will be better, Gill will succeed.

100 9 years, 6 months ago




(& give that sunflower field a little time to get out of the dirt)

Cmill1221 9 years, 6 months ago

Recruit what!?!? The same old b-list talent we have been getting??

Coach your players!!!!

Coach your players!!!!!!!!

Coach your players!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have plenty of talent we just need someone to coach them!!!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

"The same old b-list talent we have been getting vs.We have plenty of talent"

Which side of your mouth will you speak out of next, or is it which ever side is easier to criticize Turner, et al?

The reality is they brought in a great class when plenty of people were on here in the middle of last year saying that all the commits would be defecting. And it just got better and better. We're even getting players capable of starting that are willing to walk on.

And there has been half a starting line up from KS & KC that has defected to (primarily) OU reently, so there is lots of talent instate as well as what the staff is doing about going national. Sounds a lot like KU BB & bug-boyz FB, both of which have had at least a little success doing it.

Rock on Turner & Co.

Cmill1221 9 years, 6 months ago

We have b list talent. You can still win w/ b List talent but you must be able to COACH!!! We are getting the sane b-list talent that we got w/ mangino and Allen before him. But he was able to get the most out of them. So yes we have b-list talent but that is enough to get results if you can COACH YOUR PLAYERS!!!!! That's what side of my mouth i'm talking out of. Let me ask you what team has more talent, NDSU or KU...... If it's NDSU then KU lost to a better team if not then KU was OUT COACHED!!! Get it yet???

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

If "the same old b-list talent" is acceptable, then why are you questioning the recruiting? No, I don't get that rationale.

As for the same talent that Allen and Mangino had, you are severely mistaken. Allen didn't recruit anywhere near like Mangino or Gill has. And while some of Mangino's classes were solid, do a little research and see how many left the team early - an entire class. Half a class while MM was still here, and another half when he left. What that means is that Gill & Co didn't even have the same b-list talent that MM took to a 7 game losing streak.

So let's consider being able to coach. MM took the team from the OB to the Insight to a 7 game losing streak and a level of dysfunction that took most of a year to correct. Fortunately, the team made progress through last year (ie. thy didn't stop after NDSU as you seem to) and has continued through the off-season so they (appear) to be better this year than last. Is that coaching?

Cmill1221 9 years, 6 months ago

Get in touch w/ reality. Mangino took a 2-10 team to a 6 win season and our first bowl game in 10 years!! That was only in his 2nd year. And yes allen didn't leave him anything. Reggie Duncan our best player left and Zach Dyer was qb BUT mangino still made them successfull. He had a 7 game skid in his last season but he was the only coach to take us to back to back bowls in our HISTORY!!! And we were bowl eligible 4 years in a row. He made it work with what he had. Gill has not. And if you really think we got better as the year went on last year you are crazy!!! We were STOMPED by Baylor!!!!! And the only reason we beat Colorado is because Dan Hawkins may be the only coach worse than TG. My point is if TG can't coach (proven by his reccord as a head coach) and is only signing 2 and 3 star recruits what's the point!?!?! But whatever, he has 4 more years then we can really start to rebuild.

Sam Constance 9 years, 6 months ago

Mangino gets credit for back-to-back bowls. However, the fact that it is the "first time in our history" is a testament to the former futility of KU football more than it is a testament to Mangino's amazing coaching ability.

And if he gets credit for the Orange Bowl, he must also be criticized for having to settle for the Insight Bowl with a roster that was very similar in terms of talent.

Mangino was an average coach who's reputation was overly-inflated by reaching the Orange Bowl due to a lot of circumstances working out just right for KU. That doesn't invalidate the OB appearance, but it is certainly fair game to question how much of the OB was Mangino's "coaching" and how much was the right circumstances. The schedule, the fact that MU lost to OU in the Big 12 title game, the fact that the OB committee didn't pick it's Big 12 representative based on game results--all of those factors enabled KU to go to (and win) the Orange Bowl.

I also think it's a bit premature to directly compare Mangino's and Gill's coaching ability. One year is not a valid sample size, and our talent level last year was down from what it had been at it's peak under Mangino.

mandomax 9 years, 6 months ago

my starting fives:

Blue: G Chalmers G Selby G Rush F Kieff F Collison

Bench: Cus, Jackson

Red: G Hinrich G Henry G Pierce F Arthur F Gooden

Bench: Wright, Aldrich

DDDHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

No Marcus Morris starting, or even on the bench?

Laurence Cooley 9 years, 6 months ago

cus means marcus morris. they were called (even by HCBS) cus and kieff

jayhawkintx73 9 years, 6 months ago

I could go with that, but then again I would have someone other than Selby in there like Vaughn or Collins.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

I think the list is for current NBA players!

notjustbread 9 years, 6 months ago

don't forget to get wayne simeon some time of that floor. the man is the real deal.

lee3022 9 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self has always been a strong supporter of the football program. He needs to be, as KU is a basketball school. But coach Gill seems to have excited him more this year than he has indicated in recent years.

An alumni game might not get Pierce back (can't remember him being here over the years) but enough of them to have an entertaining game. Look for Pollack and some of the retired guys (Big Dub?) to be mixed in. A good weekend to have an few recruits on campus except they would miss a football game.

Michael Gentemann 9 years, 6 months ago

Maybe he meant Pellock? I'm sure Mark is in playing shape

LAJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Jackson Pollock? Not a KU guy, and I don't know what his basketball skills are like. Plus, you won't get much out of him with out some serious smelling salts and a heater...

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

It was fun to see a program about a room Paul had put together at Inglewood for his HS team to hang out/study in. It included some "Rock Chalk" graphics.

Matt, Jesse - You guys arm wrestling over who gets to go to LA to write up the special on PP's room? Too bad you couldn't have scooped the event and been there for the opening, or was the show a delayed broadcast and older news now.

BewareOfThePhogOnTheWater 9 years, 6 months ago

I was there. BG-L was far from exciting. Sheahon, on the other hand, was awesome. Don’t understand why his comments weren't included.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

Should win McNeese St, Northern Illinois, Kansas State, Iowa State,

Should be competitive with a chance of an upset Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Baylor

Potentially compete, but winning would be a big upset Texas, Missouri

Won't even be competive Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M

It'll be a rough road to get 6 wins, but let's hope it happens.

haydenhawkco 9 years, 6 months ago

Admire your optimism. I'll take 1 game at a time. However, I do think KU will put a scare into OU. They will be coming off an emotional win vs UT and stroll into Lawrence and will put on a mediocre performance. I don't know...I could be a few weeks off and the above scenario will occur in Manhattan.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

We don't go to cowtown again this year either, and they're not particularly happy about that. :-)

Kirk 9 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't count on OU automatically beating UT.

OU may be coming off a loss.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 6 months ago

I feel your optimism! I see this being possible too. Lots of things have to go our way along with the team being much improved like they have been hyped all summer. I really think our defense will be nasty this year IF we can keep some pressure on the QB with the D-line. I'm glad we switched to a 3-4 think that will allow us to utilize our strengths and that is our linebackers and d-backs. Funny last year we were so anemic at LB and this year it's one of our strongest positions. I think the offense will be able to score some points too. Your 4 wins are very possible and winning 1 or 2 of the others is possible to but that said I think we should be much more competitive this season and surprise some people. I DO NOT think we will finish last in the Big-12 this season. Here's hoping for optimism! Rock Chalk!

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Northern Illinois is not a should win, they're returning most of an 11 win team from last year. Northern Illinois is in the category as Georgia Tech and Texas Tech although if KU's run defense is as bad as last year, NIU could make that one ugly.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

Whenever a Big XII teams plays someone from that should always be a should win.

Granted, It might be a push this year, but at home we should win.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

NIU - There was an article linked from a week or so ago that showed NIU was one of the best O's in the nation last year, though they did compete against the MAC for most of that. Far from a gimme as you said.

A&M has plenty of attitude, especially for a school whose program has been pretty mediocre for most of a decade or 2, but they are a few years ahead of KU's situation. The majority of their 2 deep was underclassmen a couple years ago after a HC switch, and those guys are now upperclassmen. Not ready to annoint them leaders, but don't see top 20 being unrealistic at all. Top 15 sounds reasonable, though top 10 is a bit more hype IMO. A lot like the shorthorns being ranked after 5-7 and virtually a complete overhaul of the coaching staff. They get plenty of the top recruits, but rankings based on recruit rankings is folly IMO.

2_Phoggy 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed with majority of this except I think the Kansas State and Northern Illinois games should be moved to the competitive with chance of an upset list. Northern Illinois went 8-0 last year in the MAC Conference (I know, it's the MAC) and return their star Quarterback. It'll be a tough game to come away with a win. Kansas State is a better team than us. They murdered us at home last year and now they have Bryce Brown. It'll be an upset if we win that game.

Other than that though, pretty much agreed. I expect about another 3-9 season with hopefully 1 win in conference. I think we'll be an improved team but our record won't show it. But, as always, I'll be at every game hoping to pull off an upset every week. Rock Chalk

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Is Bryce Brown even on the 2-deep yet? Arthur is making a name for himself, but it sounds like Bryce's name is scribbled on the walls of the dog house.

focojayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

kstate is back in lawrence this year because of last year's conference changes. even better.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 6 months ago

I really hope its not a beard, butt that Self has been so busy recruiting this summer he has forgotten to shave

LAJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

A beard butt? Don't need to know that much about our coach... :)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

Okay..officially doubtful about the future of the Big 12. What the heck is going on? I thought the Big 12 was the (or at least one of the) top football conferences and a very solid basketball as well as other sports. We should have moved quicker and added TCU and maybe one other school..Boise, Utah etc.. Am I overreacting? Living in NY and can't seem to get a good perspective..

William James 9 years, 6 months ago

If you thought the Big 12 was the top football conference you must of missed the last 5 national championships. You guys get directtv up there in New York?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

I guess the 'or at least one of the' went over your head fabio. Most fans understand having a competitive conference is not always conducive to winning fake championships... Still, the Big 12 has played in 7 of the 13 BCS Championships which backs up my statement. Only the SEC has been better during that period and your mind obviously cannot extend past that time span. But thanks for taking the time to address my question as to the future of the Big 12 and not taking petty swipes to bolster your 12 year old ego. Your the 'man' fabio.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope they bring back KU's retired NBA players, too. Some of them can still play. Those who cannot play can be coaches or cheerleaders. That would be cool.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah it's played in the New Yankee stadium. Last year was it's first year!

Ethan Berger 9 years, 6 months ago

Ahh yes, the one with a shorted endzone and the bogus call against k state, i remember.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I would've felt bad about that call if had been just about anyone but KState, but since my family gave me so much crap about the game I couldn't help but rub that one in their faces a little...okay a lot.

Ryan Mullen 9 years, 6 months ago

I am almost 100% positive the guy meant to say K-State.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow, we are picked for a preseason bowl game...that is amazing.

Here is to some real optimism.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like Brad Edwards needs koolaid detox program, and I consider myself a pretty optimistic fan. I'm not saying that a bowl game is out of the question this year, but definitely not going to try making my living predicting it on a national level.

jgkojak 9 years, 6 months ago

IF A&M goes we'll add BYU easily (remember if Baylor hadn't been forced into the B12 by Tex.Gv. Ann Richards (I love Ann otherwise) BYU would have been our 12th member.

Robert Brock 9 years, 6 months ago

Common mistake. Actually, it was Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock who pushed Baylor into the picture. Bullock was very soft-spoken but a very powerful man in Texas politics; Ann was the visible (and amusing) figure who took the credit/blame.

David Atchley 9 years, 6 months ago

you're right-on Rob..Ann Richards, single-handedly got Baylor into the Big common mistake whatsoever. It was the final straw that pushed Arkansas to the SEC.

David Atchley 9 years, 6 months ago

What other school has to parade their basketball coach out in front of the alumni, put him on the campaign trail, to rationalize and justify the decisions of their football program?

David Robinett 9 years, 6 months ago

maybe one that HAS a basketball program, MUstlehustle.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

Pretty much every school with a losing or rebuilding football program....Kansas isn't the only program where football is the poor stepchild.

Ask Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, etc., etc......

LAJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Agree. Look at the top 8 winningest basketball programs: Kentucky, KU, UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St John's, UCLA.... none of which are known as having a big time football program. Some have had a couple of decent years, but nothing beyond that.

You have to get to #9 Notre Dame before you hit a typical "football school."

kureader 9 years, 6 months ago

Last year, your UT football team lost to 6 of the 8 Big 12 teams you played. You're hardly in a position to sign on to a KU blog and trash our football program.

jaymar74 9 years, 6 months ago

actually it's supporting the football program, not justifying it. The answer to your question - the cradle of college basketball, KU. When you gave birth to the sport and is it's life system year in and year out for the last 110 years you do things like this. Nice try.

Dan Harris 9 years, 6 months ago

You must have a boring life to have to come on here and trash our program instead of cheering on your own team. I guess having to root for Barnes does get old though!

David Atchley 9 years, 6 months ago

actually you're inaccurate on many fronts. I wasn't able to respond when you left this comment at 9:30 p.m. last nite. Comparatively speaking, it appears my "boring life" didn't find me on a Saturday night playing "hall monitor" or worse attempting ownership. I enjoy the the banter, and the continued guesses of where my allegiance is, much less my alma mater.

Sam Constance 9 years, 6 months ago

So what is your allegiance?

Your Alma Mater?

Because as you sit here patting yourself on the back for having a life because you couldn't respond to a post on a Saturday night, you reveal a much more pathetic trait:

That you get enjoyment out of the fact that people wonder/question who you root for because you won't be forthcoming about it.

DalTXJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Dont think mu plans on parading their bb coach out any time soon. Maybe they should find someone since they have not won a conference title since 1968, not good for a 'football' school.

rob4lb 9 years, 6 months ago

When was the last time, we won a conference title? It was 1968; MU won the next year in 1969.

Funhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Ouch! LOL. I remember that KU team that lost to Penn State in the Orange Bowl. There were not near as many bowls back then and the Orange Bowl was really the prize. I remember that night in front of the TV, yelling to my dad after the game that we would go back next year and win the Orange Bowl, and go every year to the Orange Bowl! I was a little optimistic kid, just learning the game. I liked KU because of the happy, smiling mascot, and I was too young to know KU's football history. I can still see my dad sitting behind me in his livijng room chair, still looking at the old TV screen and soberly shaking his head after my little kid remark. He knew.

rwhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Really LJW? You made this story about Self's beard when you put that in the title and then attach a picture of TG addressing the crowd?

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

But then Roy didn't win it, and Bill doesn't need to worry about much.

I'll take one "Memphis" game vs. a dozen 'Cuse, Maryland, ... games. Fortunately, Bill has shown that he is committed to KU and won't be running home, except maybe for an off-season, non-recruiting weekend. (I don't necessarily fault Roy for leaving, but really glad we have now have a coach fully invested in the program - see articles from '08 about Self parlaying the NC into facility improvements instead of salary.)

Dan Harris 9 years, 6 months ago

Brad Edwards of ESPN has KU in the Pinstripe Bowl??? What the hell has he been smoking???

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

What the hell is the Pinstripe Bowl???

Maybe it's a bowling tournament!!

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