Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tyler Self to play for dad

Free State's Tyler Self drives the ball down the court against Shawnee Mission East on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Prairie Village. Free State lost in overtime, 49-47.

Free State's Tyler Self drives the ball down the court against Shawnee Mission East on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Prairie Village. Free State lost in overtime, 49-47.


It was several days after Free State High’s graduation ceremony that Firebird shooting guard Tyler Self decided to act on his dad Bill’s offer to join Kansas University’s basketball team.

“It was my mother, him and I eating dinner at a little Mexican restaurant. I said something like, ‘I want to play.’ They were both kind of surprised. I think they both said, ‘Really?’ at the same time. It was pretty funny,” said Tyler, a 6-foot-2, 160-pounder who told the Journal-World on Monday he’d decided to become a non-scholarship walk-on player on Bill Self’s KU team.

Tyler, who averaged 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds a game for the Firebirds (7-14) a year ago, chose KU over dad’s alma mater, Oklahoma State, where he would not have tried to walk on the hoops team and instead would have solely concentrated on his career path in business.

“I just love Kansas so much. I think it’ll be an amazing experience,“ said Tyler Self, whose sister, Lauren, is starting her senior year at KU.

Both Selfs are looking forward to four years of what they hope are special times for KU’s basketball program. Set to begin his 10th season, Bill Self has led KU to eight straight conference titles, one national title and a national runner-up appearance.

“I don’t know if he has ever officially been my coach,” Tyler said of his dad. “Growing up, he’d help me all the time. He’s been way in the background. He doesn’t want to interfere with anybody else or anything like that at all. We’re always talking after the games about different things.”

Bill Self said that, indeed, he has stayed out of the way of Tyler’s coaches.

“I have never tried to pressure Tyler athletically,” Bill Self said Monday. “In high school, junior high, I always let his coaches coach him. This time, I actually get to do it.

“I am very pleased that he has decided to walk on. It’ll be a lot of work, but it’s a great opportunity for him and even a better opportunity for me to be able to see my son and be around him.”

Self is the latest son of a KU coach to join the program. Evan Manning, son of new Tulsa coach and former KU assistant Danny Manning, will be a freshman walk-on this year. Niko Roberts, son of KU assistant Norm Roberts, is a junior on the squad.

“I think that KU is just an awesome place. I honestly don’t see how anybody would want to go anywhere else,” said Tyler, who was a Free State starter until hurting his ankle in a game last winter. He regained his starting spot once his ankle fully healed. “I am excited to be part of the team, to do whatever I can to contribute. I think ‘excited’ is the right word for it.”

“It’ll be great,” noted Bill. “I haven’t had a chance to spend as much time with him as I’d like, but this is a great opportunity. He loves KU. He loves the guys on the team. He’ll be a nice asset to our program, primarily through practice. He’ll be good in practice and a great teammate.”

By the way, it’s unlikely Bill and Tyler will be playing any one-on-one basketball during breaks in practice.

“Not in a while,” Tyler said of the last time the two squared off in the gym or driveway. “I think he knew when to quit playing me as I got older because I don’t think he wants to lose.”


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Jaybate, you are indeed correct that I agree with you. You elaborated it even better in your follow-up "real rant". I believe it is a fact that the 3 walkons offer very little to making the top 5-7 players any better. So I totally agree(d) with you.

But, for the rest of the kusports readers (not Jaybate): my point was specifically about Tyler Self. I do feel it is improper for many reasons for me to try to judge him specifically. I have never seen him play. I have too much respect for his dad, to bag on his son. I am an optimist and a dreamer: wouldnt it be a cool fantasy if Tyler could earn/deserve some meaningful minutes at some point in his 4yrs (purely wishing for his sake). Partly a man-code thing here: Why on earth would I bag on Bill Self's family if I go around saying I respect him so much? (see choice of avatar). Self himself did say "practice player", probably to deflect some inevitable "bullets" from the ku fanbase, eh? (isnt that sad, if thats why he made a point to say 'practice'). I'm simply trying to have a heart & compassion for Bill Self's own son. My post/rant was less about Niko or Evan Manning, than it was about looking out for Tyler Self. I dont know anything about Evan; and not much more about Niko (other than he is short, and is no Sherron Collins). I simply see Tyler Self as Bill Self's discretionary perogative. Extending that to making bench "appointees" begins the generalization, and can of course be argued against...but, again, I'm using the rarest/off-limit mindset of father's perogative-->It doesnt get any more specific than Bill Self's own son. Lets see what he does, if he really wants to be part of the KU story.

This is "personal" for Bill Self, way, way more so than any generalization about "appointees"...thus, I am treating the case of Tyler Self differently, only because of my respect for his father. End of discussion, as I have nothing else to offer.

Best regards to Tyler Self, and welcome to the Univ. of Kansas and KU Basketball! RCJH!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

At the Self household this past weekend:

Cindy: Bill, do you think Tyler could play at KU? Bill: Play what? Cindy: Basketball, you idiot. Bill: Sure, Robinson has many opportunities. I'm sure his frat ... Cindy: No, for your team. Bill: Yea, right .. what's for dinner? Cindy: I'm serious. Why not? Bill: I'm serious .. Why? Cindy: Because he's your son. Bill: That shouldn't matter. It should be merit. Cindy: Yea, and life's always about merit? Bill: I don't do that. Cindy: Right, Evan Manning? Niko Roberts? Brady Morningstar? Bill: Hey, that's hitting below the belt. You know how I feel about Brady. Cindy: But Tyler's your son. Brady isn't. Bill: Hey, Hey .. that's enough! That's enough! Cindy: With hard work, Tyler could be at least as good as that Milton Doyle you had in for a visit. Bill: No way. He's a diamond in the rough. A sleeper. Cindy: And what is our son? Chopped liver? Bill: Look, Tyler's not a D-1 player. He's not even a JUCO player. Being honest, he wasn't even much of a high school player. Cindy: But it's your team, you make the decisions. What's Zenger going to do? You're the boss. Bill: That's very true, but I just can't do that. I mean most of our walk-ons were standouts. Many could have played at other D-1s. What would people think? Cindy: Who cares what people think? Bill: I'm actually most worried about what those guys at will think on the message board. You know that. I am provided much guidance by many of the insightful posters. I need that advise. What if they revolt? Except that damn jayhawkinnebr. He got what was coming to him. He's gone. That's power. Gone! I snap my fingers and he's done. And what was with the cucumber? Cindy: Well, I think it would be a great idea. Bill: What, the cucumber? Cindy: No fool .. Tyler playing at KU. Bill: He can play at KU, just not on my team. Cindy: Bill, I think he can play on your team. I watch the games. He can play. Bill: That sounds ominous. Cindy: I just think that your son has worked hard, and it would be great for you to finally coach him. Bill: Can't I coach his slow pitch softball team? Cindy: Bill ... Bill: Do I have a choice? Cindy: You always have a choice. Bill: That's good, because it ain't ... Cindy: Think about your "choice" .. think hard .. we all have a "choice" .. I have many choices I can make. Bill: What number do you think he'd want?


jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

I am for players having to go through open tryouts for spots.

I am for the best player being picked.

I am against coaches sons, or anyone else, being given free passes onto the bench, when better players might be found on campus.

Basketball is a competitive game.

The best basketball players enrolled at KU are supposed to make the team, not thirteen scholarship players plus three appointees.

The open tryout is the only way a non scholarship player should be allowed on the team.

Three coaches sons with free passes on one KU team dishonors the merit-driven aspect of The Legacy.

KU basketball is about merit, not appointment.

Appoint these young men to be undergraduate assistant coaches in training.

But it is wrong to take three seats on the bench away from potentially better basketball players enrolled at KU, because three happen to be sons of the coaches.

It is wrong to make 3/5s of the third string free passes.

If KU basketball is going to appoint these three bench slots based on family relationship, then why not appoint Self's daughter, if she wants to play?

Again, it disrespects The Legacy to do it this way.


dmc8142 1 year, 10 months ago

All i know is the kid is going to get worked/pushed so hard it's not even funny. Great experience for him. Way to go!


danmoore 1 year, 10 months ago

Tyler Self, coach-in-waiting


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

Tyler has aged since this story first hit the site. He's no longer "Young Tyler Self"!

How does this happen, do you think? Did HCBS dislike the "Young" label? Did WOTS dislike the label? Or, did somebody at LJW just have misgivings for the label? Just wonderin'.


REHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Welcome aboard, Tyler. You and Evan can already see what a meatgrinder of daily posts await you, every time your names are mentioned in an LJW article. Consider it part of the toughening process, something of a 4-season extension of your 2-week bootcamp. You each bear the genes to handle whatever comes your way in the sport of basketball. Personally, I can't hear enough of the names Self and Manning. Will be great to see your names in print, as well as cheer for you any time you might enter a contest. Sounds like joyful possibilities, spending so much time with your dad and being involved with the essence of his life's work. You are blessed to be the offspring and one of the players for the best college coach on the planet. You, Evan and your sister obviously cherish the university and proximity to your family legacies.


42jayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

if feel bad for the better basketball player who wants to walk on but can't because all the available spots are taken by coaches sons, and title 9


cvhindustries 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think there's a thing wrong with this. He'll be a non-threatening asset in practice. I have no way of knowing, but I'm sure he has a good head on his shoulders and a pretty good basketball mind.


Brak 1 year, 10 months ago

Let's not forget that West kid who won the walk on tryouts last year quit shortly after the season started because it took too much of his time. Something tells me Tyler and Evan won't be quitting at all. It's not like they are going to be playing any major minutes so I'm not sure why all the hate.


Jeeveshawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't know if I like the idea of having someone who averaged 4 points and a rebound a game at a sub-0.500 high school team play for Kansas, even if he is the coaches son.

There are alot of average people who could have made a HS bball team and averaged 4 ppg.


AverageCitizen 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, think of this from the other side. Why should Tyler (or any other coaches son) be automatically DENIED the ability to be a walk on on his dad's team. Tyler and Evan aren't gong to be embarrassing their dad's by slacking off. I have no idea what their competence level is but if it is not up to par, I would guess they would realize it and not continue to play. These young men seem to be at least the equal to the Witherspoons and Hawkins of the past teams.


Sam Constance 1 year, 10 months ago

[Insert obligatory comment decrying the shameful practice of nepotism in college basketball and how those valuable walk-on slots could have gone to a "more deserving" player that didn't have the benefit of being a child of Danny Manning or Bill Self]

Oh what's that? Jason7of9 already took care of that? Oh, sorry.

But in all seriousness... of all the stupid, pointless things to get up in arms over. Being upset that a coach wants to have his son (or the son of a close personal friend and colleague) walk-on for HIS team is a case of outrage just looking for a reason to exist.

There is only one drawback to this choice: two kids who are definitely deserving and have most likely worked as hard or harder than anyone else who could possibly come to the open walk-on tryouts get to be on the team instead of two kids who may have worked as hard as Evan Manning and Tyler Self. The most important traits Self needs from his walk-ons are: dedication, attitude and toughness. I'm willing to bet that Self has more knowledge of and ability to elicit those traits from two kids he's known for so long than Random Walk-On Tryout Participant A, B or C.

Welcome to the team Tyler. We'll love you just like every other Jayhawk--walk-on or schollie--that has been a part of the Family.


daytonahawk2 1 year, 10 months ago

On another note:

If the Thunder beat the Spurs on Wednesday, then at least one Jayhawk will be going home with a NBA Championship ring in 2012 ...


Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Like a posted awhile ago, it's a shame Danny moved on to Tulsa in one respect...Kansas could have set an NCAA record on Father's Day for the most father/son combos on one team [the Selfs, the Mannings and the Roberts]

Digging through the NCAA Recruiting Rules, it appears that there is no limit on the number of walk-ons allowed for any team, so, hypothetically, you could actually have five 5 star recruits from rich families come in as walk-ons and still be allowed your 13 scholarship limit. [extreme example of course]


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

Walk ons are similar to a JV or scout team in reality. Their function is primarily as practice players who challenge the starters and rotation players off of the bench. Every now and then, there are walk ons who are talented enough to actually contribute and some who eventually are rewarded with scholarships. Juenemann was one of the better walk ons recently. Don't forget Moody, also.

I love the nepotism factor and Jayhawk Pride angle. But, as with making offers to the best possible "players", we need the best possible "practice players" to maximize the preparations for games.

I would think there would be a long line of athletes who play CC ball and/or Jr. College ball who would trade their jerseys in a heartbeat for a Kansas Jayhawk jersey even as a walk on. If there is a limit to the number of walk ons, and I'm sure there must be some limit, we need to stock those ranks with players who not only want to be Jayhawks, but those who deserve to be Jayhawks by being able to fulfill the roles as practice players who challenge and push players to be the best they can be..

If there is an unlimited number of players allowed to be called walk ons, I'm all for sons, nephews, friends etc. to be used during practices. If there is a limit, the "boot camp" is supposed to weed out those who can't hack it. But, the practice of "legacy" walk ons should not be permitted, in my opionion.


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


jgkojak 1 year, 10 months ago

I always thought that HCBS really wanted to coach Tyler and he would stick around for those years. That will put him entering year 14 when Tyler leaves - you'd think he'd stick around at least for 15 to match Roy. After that is when I'd be worried about the Spurs or Thunder's head coaching jobs having an opening.


oldalum 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't know about the total number either, but I think there is a travel number limit. I seem to remember a couple years ago when the walk-ons were on a round robin schedule for away games because they couldn't all go to every game.


KUFan90 1 year, 10 months ago

Clearly KU hired Bill Self to lock in Tyler Self to KU.

Wait till the accusations start flying from MU. ; )


championhawks 1 year, 10 months ago

"wow, I guess there will be no walk on tryouts for the next 4 years with Self and Manning getting to wear jerseys and sit on the bench due to their last name."

Really??? I'm pretty sure that both Self and Manning have earned the right to have whoever they want walk on. These are 2 of the biggest names to be associated with KU basketball in KU history. If that means that 2 other kids won't get to live out their dream of walking on, then so be it!


chalked 1 year, 10 months ago

Does anyone know if there is a limit to the number of walk ons a team can have. True, they are not on scholarship, but there is an expense involved having them on the team (training table, travel, hotels, etc.). It there is no limit, why not do what Larry Brown did- and what they still do at North Carolina? Let's assemble a JV team.


Ron Prichard 1 year, 10 months ago

"but I guarantee they will work as hard as everyone else." Actually, I bet Tyler has to work harder than everyone else. If he ever takes a night off, drill off or just has a bad day, he'll probably hear about it afterwards. I was a coach's son in highschool basketball and jr. high football, and there were days I wished the coach was anyone but my dad. Looking back, I wouldn't change it for anything and I have some great memories, but I think sometimes your dad will go harder on you so it doesn't look like he is playing favorites.

Best of luck, Tyler! We're glad you're a Jayhawk!


Jason Montgomery 1 year, 10 months ago

wow, I guess there will be no walk on tryouts for the next 4 years with Self and Manning getting to wear jerseys and sit on the bench due to their last name.


mikehawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Everyone is missing the real points here. Tyler and his sister love KU. This is a kid whose parent's have OSU orange in their blood (whether the we want to admit or not), and he rejected OSU to be at KU. His dad rejected the Poke call to stay at KU, also. Bill Self gives his soul for KU, and families of head D1 coaches suffer. And their sons suffer even more. He wants to spend time with his dad, and his dad wants to spend time with his son. I think Bill Self has earned the right to invite his son to walk on if he Tyler wants that, and apparently he does. Let's celebrate we have Tyler and his dad at least 4 more years.


Carter Patterson 1 year, 10 months ago

I think its great that he's on the team, so don't take this story wrong! This brings up a great fieldhouse memory for me back in the early 80s playing against Billy Tubbs' Sooners.

"Tommy Tubbs is on the team because his Dad is Coach"!

Poor kid was harassed all day. I think our walk-on guys take a lot of pride in being great practice players. Who knows...Tyler may be a coach someday.


IrishCharlie 1 year, 10 months ago

WOW what a f'ing JOKE - mr BS earns millions $$$$$$$$ a year, and stoops to this ????

Just amazing........................

Tyler, who averaged 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds a game for the Firebirds


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

Evan Manning vs. Tyler Self. Who wins 3 of 5 one on one games?

This won't be like a Bobby Knight/Pat Knight scenario. "Young" Tyler will learn a lot but not see more than 15 minutes sum-total this season.


Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 10 months ago

"Young Tyler Self to play for dad". Is there an old Tyler Self out there too or something?

What a great opportunity for Bill. He has sacrficed a lot for us fans...sure he gets paid for it but as a dad I know how much it sucks to have to travel for work and miss important events with your family. Money can't always fix missed moments. Now they have a chance to really do something special. That's huge. I only see positives here.


billhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Welcome! We are happy you chose to be a part of KU basketball. I'm sure it will be a special time for your entire family!


BillSelf4Prez 1 year, 10 months ago

The only questions are can he survive boot camp and how loud does the crowd cheer when he checks in during a blowout. ( if bill even puts him in)


SWHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe Tyler can be the Cole Aldrich of the OKC Thunder...every team needs a towel waver at the end of the bench. Good luck Tyler!


ukanjhox 1 year, 10 months ago

Averaged 3.9 points points at Free State, woohoo! OK, so the kid obviously isn't D1 talent, probably not even DII or DII talent. But if he busts his butt at Boot Camp and pushes the guys every day at practice, I see no harm in him walking on to the team. You know the kid won't slack off in any manner with his dad coaching him. He should be a positive role model and teammate for the other guys, even if that means waving a towel at the end of a bench.


AverageCitizen 1 year, 10 months ago

Welcome Tyler! This ought to be real interesting. I hope this assure HC Self will be around for at least four more years. Maybe he will be the real one to retire from KU..........


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