Thursday, April 5, 2012

Danny Manning moves on

New Tulsa basketball coach Danny Manning smiles during an introductory news conference, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Tulsa, Okla.

New Tulsa basketball coach Danny Manning smiles during an introductory news conference, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Tulsa, Okla.


Danny Manning, who has lived in Lawrence 14 years of his life — and spent summers here during his 15 seasons in the NBA — says it took a special opportunity to lure him away from Kansas.

That special opportunity: the chance to work as head basketball coach at Tulsa University, a school that has employed the likes of Bill Self, Nolan Richardson and Tubby Smith.

“We were comfortable there,” the 45-year-old Manning said of Lawrence and KU, where he won national titles as both a player (1988) and assistant coach (2008). He was speaking at a news conference Wednesday on TU’s campus.

“But the more I spoke with coach Self and the more I spoke with coach Brown (Larry, his coach at KU) about the opportunity of coming to TU and being a part of this rich tradition, it became a no-brainer.

“To get a job of this magnitude as my first job is unbelievable,” added Manning, who named former KU player, staff member and Baker head coach Brett Ballard and former KU manager Justin Bauman (an assistant under Rex Walters at San Francisco) as members of his Tulsa staff.

“We’re going to have a good time. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to play competitive. We’re going to be respectful young men and humble, but hungry to get better ... committed to one goal, representing Tulsa to the highest honor we can.”

Manning said he always wanted to be a coach after watching his dad, Ed, work as an assistant coach at KU. Danny Manning was asked to reveal the best advice given him from Self, his boss at KU.

“Win games,” Manning said with a laugh.

“No, no,” he quickly added. “Coach Self and his wife, Cindy, rave about Tulsa. They rave about TU, the athletic side of it, the university. They had nothing but love. It has made the transition easier for me and my wife (Julie) and my kids (Taylor, Evan) as well. Coach Self has a lot of friends. We were around a lot of these friends the last couple weeks. They had nothing but wonderful things to say about TU.”

According to the Tulsa World, Manning receives a four-year contract worth about $2.5 million total.

He replaces Doug Wojcik, who went 140-92 (68-44 in conference games) but never reached the NCAA Tournament in seven years at the Conference USA school.

Since getting fired in March, Wojcik has since landed as head coach at College of Charleston. He directed Tulsa to six straight winning seasons, including 25-win campaigns in 2007-08 and ’08-09.

“Absolutely. We’d like to do it next year,” Manning said of making the NCAAs. “It’s a process. We understand that. But we’re going to put our best foot forward, build and work every day. Hopefully when you count them (wins) up at the end, we have the right number to be there.”

Manning was the No. 1 pick in the 1988 NBA draft after being named MVP of the NCAA Tournament. He was a two-time All-Star in his 15-year NBA career.

He was asked why he wants such a demanding job when he’s already set for life financially, courtesy of his NBA riches.

“It is hard work. (But) it’s a lot of fun,” Manning said. “I enjoy the game of basketball. I enjoy learning, figuring out different concepts, techniques and strategies. That’s always been part of who I am. I grew up around the game. I enjoy challenges. It’s a work in progress. It’s a recipe. There are a lot of secret ingredients for recipes. We’re looking to come up with the right one to get where we want to go, which is to be competitive and hang banners.”

Manning thanked Self for “giving me the chance to be a part of his staff for the past nine years. I have learned a tremendous amount about the game and the profession from him and all of the members of his staff.”

He will employ Self’s philosophy.

“The biggest thing for us is on the defensive end, we don’t want to give up any easy buckets,” Manning said. “The philosophy is, if the team can’t score, it will be hard for them to beat you.”

Self said he is thrilled for Manning.

“Although we’ve known this for several days, Danny (Manning) being named officially in a press conference at Tulsa is a great thrill not only for him but for all of us,” Self said. “We’re so happy for Danny because in large part we understand what a great job the University of Tulsa basketball position is. He’ll represent the school in a first-class way. He’ll recruit good kids that can play and he’ll coach their tails off. He’ll have Tulsa competing for championships in a very short time. I personally think it will be a great marriage for both parties.”

Noted Tulsa AD Ross Parmley: “Danny epitomizes everything our university stands for. His impact on young people will extend far beyond the TU basketball program and reach well into our campus and community. His 15 years in the NBA combined with the last nine years under one of the best coaches in the country, have helped mold him into a great teacher and coach of basketball. He most definitely brings the excitement, the style of basketball, and character that we were looking for in our head coach.”

This, that: Manning’s high school coach, Ted Juneau, attended the news conference, as did former KU head coach Ted Owens ... Tulsa, which is expected to be one of the best teams in its conference next season, has just one scholarship to award this year and again the following year. ... Tulsa sophomore center Kodi Maduka, who attended the news conference, was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at a pickup basketball game later Wednesday afternoon. The school told Tulsa media that Maduka is in stable condition and will be kept for observation overnight. The reason for the player’s collapsing was unknown.

This, that II: ESPN’s Andy Katz ranks KU as No. 3 in the country in his first preseason poll behind Indiana and Louisville. Other Big 12 teams: Baylor 10th, Texas 16th and Kansas State 20th. Now in the SEC, Missouri is No. 25. ... Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated ranks KU No. 17. ... Baylor is listed ahead of KU at 13. ... Tony Parker, a 6-9, 250-pound center from Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Ga., will announce his college decision on April 11, reports. He has a current list of KU, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Memphis, Georgetown and Georgia.


Kye Clark 2 years ago

It should be noted that most staffs don't have designated "big man" coaches. It is entirely probable that the position will not be filled by someone who specializes in this area. Is it possible? Sure. It's possible Self has gotten comfortable delegating that responsibility to a specific coach. But I don't think it's likely. Someone mentioned Norm Roberts as the likely candidate. I think that would be a great hire.


coloradojayhawk 2 years ago

I also think a reason the second half belonged to KU, above and beyond the foul situation, was Hudy's strength and conditioning. I think KU saw how it was challenged by VCU and some of the other teams that were able to out-quick KU late in the second half and Hudy managed to get the guys to be the ones with the fresher legs at the end of the game.


jaybate 2 years ago

There are a whole lot of coaches that do not have the mental flexibility to handle that kind of strategic inversion.

Dooley not only could, but he might well have come up with the crazy idea in the first place. And if he didn't come up with it, he certainly found the way to quantitatively analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and timing requirements, and made it more than Bill Self's genius of intuition, or Tyshawn's, or maybe Larry Brown's, or Eddie's, or Cindy's, or god knows who's. Danny, because he has been a student of the game and of some of the wiliest, most improvisational coaches in the game, could, too.

Self is a crazy, flexible, nonlinear genius within the confines of his Okie Baller philosophy.

Bill Self likes both. The only things he remains singularly devoted to strategically are m2m defense and hi-lo offense, and in both of these he has over the years found ways to morph them into strategic both-ness.

m2m defense morphed this season into a triangle and two defense, because it was "both" zone and man to man.

the hi-lo is structurally a both offense: 2 bigs play in an inside game, while 3 combos play an outside game. And both are interpenetrating. And then Self morphs these inside outside games into pick and roll sets where the insides and the outsides become a system on one side and another system on the other, and then they slip back out of the both-ness into the hi-lo game again.

All great strategists discover and accept sooner or later that all strategy is about both-ness until one begins to strike to kill, then the choice is made on greatest advantage. Further, both-ness is crucial to compensate for the fluid nature of strategic development of situations. Each decision to strike for the kill triggers an opponent to make a counter measure; that counter measure not only reduces the advantage, but alters the opportunity set of choices available to counter the counter move. And so on.

You have to have a certain kind of mind to coach basketball well.

You have to a phenomenally flexible mind to coach the kind of basketball that Bill Self coaches.

You have to be able to handle both as easily as you breath.

The assistants he hires, both the perimeter and the big man coaches, have to be able to recruit, they have to know the game, the have to have expertise in the facet of the game he asks them to coach, they have to be able to understand young men's personalities, they have to not want to break the rules, but push them as far as they will bend, and they have to eat "both" for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Linear guys need not apply.


jaybate 2 years ago

The big man coach to replace Danny will be a very interesting choice. Its not enough to be tall and a former NBA guy. You've got to have a great basketball IQ and an incredibly strong presence to do what Danny did in the shadow of Bill Self, without undermining what Bill Self is doing. Danny had the amazing ability to plug his players' loyalty into a hierarchy of loyalty to Bill Self, and so not be divisive. Its easy to go out and hire some tall guy with a giant personality that either can't coach, or can't plug himself into the hierarchy and deliver the bigs into Self's incredibly demanding nature.

One guy is in charge at KU. One guy makes the calls on the kind of team KU should ultimately field each season. Assistants are supposed to recruit, develop players to fit into a scheme that Self has decided upon, and then be ready for Self improvise on that scheme during the season.

Not just any assistant coaches are smart enough to keep up with Bill Self. He does things that are often counter intuitive. He takes counterintuitive advice from one staff member that could send another staff member up the wall, unless he is as flexible as Self.

It appears almost certain to me that the rope-a-dope strategy this season came almost certainly from Joe Dooley's statistics. Its impossible to say whether Dooley, or Self first saw the tendency and suggested it, but the tendency was in the team from the beginning. Early on the staff appeared to fight the tendency and try to make this a team that took it to the opponents and tried to play pretty much as Self's teams always have. But the team kept NOT starting quickly, because Self and staff were harping on all of them not to foul early. This effort to not foul early triggered a series of slow starts that the staff early on seemed to try to counteract with various tactics, but without much success. Sometime during the two game in 3 day stretch of the conference season, the statistical pattern probably began to emerge that the team really could just spend the first half of each game playing containment, no foul defense the first half, and focus not on winning the half, but on getting the opponent's key players fouled up; then turn on the gas the second half. The strategy seemed to be to try to blunt the other team's first surge after half with defensive adjustments, then come with offensive adjustments 5 minutes in, let both close the gap, and then at the ten minute mark tell the team to go balls to the walls with what ever worked on offense, plus a withering defensive assault and win it in the second half.


jaybate 2 years ago

"Linear Guys Need Not Apply"

Self is a great one for making the most of any departure. He has a history of giving up one coach, with one set of strong positives, and finding another with similar, but fresh approaches.

Self had Norm Roberts and Billy Gillispie at Illinois, maybe Janks, too.

At Illinois, he lost Gillispie and grabbed Janks off Vanderbilt.

At KU, he brought Norm Roberts and Janks, and he added Danny immediately to the bottom of the staff, and had him developing in the pipeline to become a full time assistant in a couple years.

Self lost Norm to St. Johns, and he slid Janks up and added Joe Dooley and Kurtis Townsend.

Self lost Janks and he slid Joe and Kurtis up, added Danny full time. He also added Hinson and Kyle Keller in administrative positions.

Out in college ball right now, he's got Michael Lee and Jeremy Case just starting to develop.

Former assistant Kyle Keller is at College Station and might like to come back and would be a big help with recruiting Texas.

Awhile back I mentioned Cory Williams on Leonard Hamilton's Miami staff.

These are just the obvious possibilities for adds.

Self probably meets dozens, if not hundreds of assistant coaches out on the recruiting trail every season. He's been meeting them for several years, since the last coaching staff vacancies. Self will have a huge virtual data base of assistants to contact and he probably has five that top his list--guys he's had his eyes on for awhile in anticipation of this very situation.

Foremost on his list should be a guy with a talent pipeline in the southeast, though we finally seemed to crack that area in our most recent bunch of recruits.

We need a Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland guy, too. Self has been out of Illinois now just shy of a decade. We have not been getting many guys from that region. Julian, Sherron and Jamari are just the tip of a huge ice berg of talent there.


angusmcpherr 2 years ago

If Tulsa makes the NCAA tourney next year, count on them being in KU's region.


REHawk 2 years ago

I imagine that our incoming big men are on heightened alert regarding the naming of a replacement for Danny. If Parker should commit to the Jayhawks, will one of our current commits depart for quicker ascent to playing time at Tulsa? Probably not Ellis, and not Jamari (who would have to sit out a year). I can envision the Kansas coaching tree, Boyle, Turgeon, Self, Brown, assisting Danny to get his career underway in landing promising recruits who might not quite meet the immediate mettle for major conference programs; high school and j.c. kids who experience late development or look to be potential promising projects. Does sound as though his roster is already about full, however; so anyone he brings in must be a key figure in the foundation of his beginnings. Just some rambling thoughts here, not meant to stir the furor of contradictory declaration.


Travis Shinkle 2 years ago

I hope next season, the Journal-World will (at least every so often) keep us up-to-date what's going on in Tulsa


GorillaJHawk 2 years ago

I think Wayne Simien would be a great addition as the Director of BB Operations.


KGphoto 2 years ago

Good luck Danny. I can't wait to start following Tulsa basketball.

In other news, the KU women ended the season ranked 25th.

Just thought I would post this here because it's not on the women's page. Can't wait to see Angel and Co. tear it up next year. Hopefully Bonnie turned a page and learned something during those last few games.


seattlejayhawk68 2 years ago

I have nothing but praise and good wishes for my all time favorite Jayhawk. Danny gave us all he had for years and years. Best of luck in Tulsa.


Benjamin Piehler 2 years ago

Good luck Danny! Hope we never meet Tulsa in the postseason!


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years ago

Losing Danny Manning is almost without question our "biggest loss of the year". He was a force-multiplier for our program regarding his work with our bigmen. Soooo instrumental in what he did with Sasha, DJax, Shady (!!), Cole, Twins, Withey, and Thomas Robinson.

It is true that it is Self's philosophy on using bigs the way his offense does that has him recruit the type of bigs he does (versatile, athletic, skilled...), but to extract maximum out of them (think about turning Jackson+Kaun into pro players...Twins into lotto-picks...), it required the players to have respect for Danny's NBA abilities & credibility. SImply put, Danny achieved what these young men want. Unspoken, instant credibility--> How do you replace that?????????

Best regards to Danny Manning, but this hurts.


Tony Bandle 2 years ago

The way I look at it, we haven't lost Danny, we have "loaned" him out to Tulsa for the next five or six years or so while Bill completes his legacy with Kansas.

Then in the 2017-2018 season Bill will move on to the NBA and Danny will return a seasoned head coach to take over Kansas for the next couple of decades.

It's pre-ordained in the stars. [As long as the world doesn't end next Christmas!!]


Tony Peck 2 years ago

Great news for TU and Tulsa. I will actually attend a Tulsa game next year because of Danny, and I'm guessing more people will feel the same.


FLJHK 2 years ago

Amazing that we can lose someone we naively thought might stay forever, an outstanding coach and a wonderful human being...and still feel happy. Wishing only great things for a true Jayhawk legend.


cool_beans 2 years ago

good luck danny. i hope somebody is on the phone with Raef Lafrentz or Greg Ostertag.


yates33333 2 years ago

Tulsa's gain is sure as Hell our loss.


cklarock 2 years ago

Noted Tulsa AD Ross Parmley: “His 15 years in the NBA combined with the last nine years under one of the best coaches in the country . . ."

At this point, do we really need that "one of" anymore?

Rock Chalk!


Dan Harris 2 years ago

would love to get Parker, he"s an absolute beast down low but I think he goes to Coach on a hot tin roof Howland along wtth Shabaaz. Good luck Coach Manning and thanks for all you've done for KU .


LSHawk 2 years ago

Luke Winn must be a total idiot, why do sports mags hire such loons?? He has VCU ahead of KU and Ohio State, Really dude?? exactly the reason I NEVER listen to any of these a-*&%#s


jayhawkinmullen 2 years ago


"Parmley served in the interim capaciaty since October 14, 2011, a day after Bubba Cunningham left TU to become the athletics director at the University of North Carolina." This surprises me to say the least.


jayhawkinmullen 2 years ago

What happened to the A.D. Bubba? Did he just jump ship the next year at Tulsa?


John Mueller 2 years ago

Mr. Miles: I have zero insight into Parker's decision, but I doubt very much if the departure of Coach Manning is the deciding factor.

Psst, we have this guy Bill Self who is going to be in the Hall of Fame one day and is arguably the best coach in college basketball under 50 yrs of age.

And, I don't know if you noticed, but he molded a team of men with great character and work ethic, but probably not the greatest pure basketball DNA to the National Championship game on Monday night.

I think we'll be ok....

Best of luck to Danny Manning! We appreciate all you have done for KU as a player and a coach but are happy for your success!!


s6u6r6f 2 years ago

Godspeed, Danny, thanks for everything, and come back soon. Rock chalk.


shelleysue 2 years ago

I was so sad to see him go but more so after watching the Pres conference. Such a loss for us but thrilled for him. He looks extremely happy and he deserves it. Thanks for everything Danny. Well be cheering for you all the way! God bless.


Michael Pannacciulli 2 years ago

Who is replacing Danny and Hinson?


KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

With Manning leaving Parker isn't coming. We were thought to be the leader but doubtful now even though he loves Hudy and the work she does with the players.


rodriguez33 2 years ago

The title of this article makes me sad.

I wonder if Coach Manning had any say/input on who KU should hire to fill his spot. It's obvious there's only one D-Man but I'll be anxiously waiting to see who will attempt to fill his shoes.

Keep on Rocking and Chalking at Tulsa, Danny!


Hank Cross 2 years ago

Wonder what would happen if Danny does a great job in Tulsa for a few years and Lon Kruger moves on/is fired. Would the Sooner Nation consider hiring the very person responsible for OU's biggest BB defeat?

All kidding aside, congrats to Danny!


Scott MacWilliams 2 years ago

Congratulations, Danny!!! We will miss you bigtime, but this is a perfect opportunity for you, seems to me.
I'm looking forward to seeing Tulsa in the NCAA next year!!

Rock Chalk, even in Tulsa!!


okiedave 2 years ago

Sounds like Tulsa is becoming Lawrence South. With Danny here, I can pretend that I am still in Lawrence.


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