Monday, August 5, 2013

Bill Self shares credit at Hall induction

Coach Bill Self laughs at a call in the second-half of the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.

Coach Bill Self laughs at a call in the second-half of the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.


Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self was one of seven individuals inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

“Bill has won a lot of games, but he’s a great ambassador for KU and for Kansas Athletics,” said Bill Self Sr., who introduced his son at the ceremony. “He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone, he supports great causes, and it’s a great honor for me to present my son for this award.”

The other inductees in the 2013 class were Wayne Baughman (University of Oklahoma wrestling), Clay Bennett (owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder), Nadia Comaneci (Olympic gold medal gymnast), LeRoy Gutowski (Oklahoma City University and NFL standout), Jimmy Harris (Oklahoma football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State University two-sport All-American).

“I am proud to be here tonight, but I didn’t get here by myself,” Self said. “My parents were the best role models anyone could have, and I owe so much to my wife and kids. I’ve been blessed to coach great players, who have sacrificed personal goals for the good of the team, and have been fortunate to work with the best assistant coaches anywhere.”

Self’s wife, Cindy, and their children — Lauren and Tyler — as well as other family members and friends attended the ceremony. Lauren graduated from KU in May, and Tyler will be a sophomore guard on the KU basketball team this upcoming season. Also in attendance was former KU head coach Ted Owens, who is also a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and Jayhawk legend and current Tulsa men’s basketball coach Danny Manning.

A native of Edmond, Okla., Self was named the Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 while at Edmond Memorial High. Born in Okmulgee, Okla., Self went on to play at Oklahoma State University under coach Paul Hansen from 1982-85. While at OSU, he was a four-year letterwinner and was an All-Big Eight freshman selection.

Self began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kansas for the 1985-86 season under head coach Larry Brown. He then returned to his alma mater and served as an assistant coach at OSU under Leonard Hamilton and Eddie Sutton from 1986-93. Self’s first head coaching job was at Oral Roberts in 1993-94. His second head coaching stint came four seasons after ORU as he moved across town to Tulsa in 1997-98, guiding the Golden Hurricane to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2000.

In 2000-01 Self left his home state and took over the head coaching job at Illinois, directing the Illini to two conference titles and an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in 2001.

Self came to Kansas in 2003-04, and in his 10 seasons KU has won more games, 300, than any other school in the last decade. Self has steered the Jayhawks to the last nine Big 12 regular-season titles, six Big 12 postseason championships, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship and one NCAA runner-up finish.

The four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year (2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012) has twice been named the national coach of the year (2009 and 2012) while at KU. Self is 300-59 (83.6 percent) in his 10 seasons at Kansas and 507-164 (75.6 percent) in his 20 seasons overall.


Ralster Jayhawk 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Everybody brings up the Spurs/Popovich/RCBuford thing, but what does that really mean to Bill Self and all the tribulations & loss of control that NBA coaches labor under? Not fun. Plus, consider when David Stern actually fined Popovich for sitting his "star" players, as those arent young guys anymore, maybe even to protect the team and owner's investment...yet Stern was mad because advertising dollars ($$$$) were sold, yet the "product" sat on the bench. The game of basketball didnt matter at that point-->heck the bench guys almost beat the other team's starters...but Stern made a big negative thing out of it. The NBA is a real perversion of the game...and I dont know Bill Self would tolerate that. Of course they cannot play true 100% for 90+ games, as they'd have nothing left for the we have a dozens of games that are simply about seeing the stars do highlight stuff and get 25ppg/night.
Maybe he is watching how Brad Stevens is handled by the Celtics. I have serious doubts about a coaches autonomy in the NBA. Who really thinks Eric Spoelstra calls the shots? He may, but I have doubts. The days of Pat Riley and zen-master Phil Jackson are fading fast. Give me Div.1 basketball any day. And I hope former KU guys get their $$$ out of the NBA as long as possible. Get theirs. If Self goes to the pros, it wouldnt make sense on several levels, and college ball would lose one of its absolute best guys, not only as a person and coach, but good for the purer game of college basketball, played intensely on both ends of the floor.


Scott Smetana 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Congrats Bill! I wonder if Boone was hiding in the back row and slipped him a congratulations card with a couple of $Mil in it.


mikehawk 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Read between the lines. Yes...he is happy at Kansas. As long as he can attract elite players to come to Kansas, he is happy. He is also intrigued by the NBA. He will go there when the time and opportunities are right. Right now, his son is a sophomore and he gets to spend a lot of lost time with him. When he graduates, given the right opportunity, that will be the next point of possible exit to the NBA. I can assure you, the fact Calipari and Pittino crashed and burned in the NBA has no bearing on his decision to jump, or not. All of these guys have extreme confidence and they all believe it won't happen to them. Every coach fails in the NBA on some level and gets fired only to get hired by someone else somewhere else. I think what is hardest for these college coaching elites is to be on NBA benches with drunk losers sitting behind them riding them and their own players in their own home cities. Bill Self is King in Lawrence and in Kansas., Can he make the transition to "what have you done for me today" mentality of professional sports in the absence of outpourings of adoration he gets every day from the Jayhawk Nation.


Michael Pannacciulli 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Not sure coach being so casual about the NBA is great for recruiting. Pitino and Cal crashed and burned there. I am hoping he takes the Coach K route. Stevens will be in the college ranks in 5 years tops or whenever the IU job is vacated by Crean.


Tony Bandle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Let's see, 30 - 6 for ten straight seasons....I guess we'll keep him!!!


David Hall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes indeed congratulations to Coach Bill self


Joan Kalivoda 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill's toupee was a little off to one side I noticed. He still looks good with it anyway.


William Blake 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Congrats, Coach Self!

Job well done in the land of the distinguished bird!

I hope this is just the beginning...


JakeBarnes 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Who wouldn't be proud of a son like Bill Self?


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 8

Self doesn't have to anticipate using smoke and mirrors. He can leave the rabbits in the hat this season. It is probably impossible for this team to win 30 games, unless it goes on a six game tear in the Madness and wins a ring.

Self gets to coach the kind of basketball that he loves. Players guard. Bigs set hard picks. Impact players impact. Point guards distribute. Talented wings receive the ball and do one of Bob Knights's four decisive things to initiate offense:

1) drive;

2) shoot;

3) feed the post staying on a spot; or

4) reverse the ball.

Life is simple again.

Bill just gets to work with guys on the basics.

He'll probably not even show the guys the last 500 pages of the play book this season.

Until the first injury, that is, and the first green wood that does not have the "character" to "play through" triggers a hole that "Mr. Smoke and Mirrors" has to mask.

And the whole crazy, counter intuitive experience that is Bill Self solving unexpected problems triggering unforeseen consequences unfolds before our eyes yet again.

Rock Chalk!


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 7

The Designer is now about to learn the loneliness that Marcus Morris and later Thomas Robinson knew inside. It is the loneliness of walking on the court, when the team seems unable to find a way to win, when the teammates grow so frustrated that they start looking to "their daddy" to do something, anything, to make it rain again. When Coach Self has given them the look that there are no other wrinkles left; that there are no other options; that great players make great plays, and he turns around and walks to the bench without looking back, or shaking a fist to exhort the "main course" player--the "get it done" guy.

The Designer will find that basketball will be easier, but the burden of being "the main course" will be greater.

No rest for those destined to do great things.

And I suspect that Self is feeling more chipper this season in part because he does not expect to have to dip so very deeply into his bag of paradoxical improvisations this season. He does not expect to have to sand bag games due to lack of depth, as he did with the Tyshawn-Thomas team two seasons ago. And he does not have to resort to the spread hi-lo as he did last season due to the team lacking sufficient muscle.

This season Self gets to have "fun" again.

No more XTReme tight rope walking.

This team seems to have numbers. It seems to have length and athleticism. It seems to have muscle. It seems to everything...

But experience.

It is young. It's youth will cause Self to pull his hair out, whether his hair is real, or not.

But here is the thing. Being young is unequivocal, uncontradictory problem to deal with.

In some ways, it is not even a problem. It is more of a given. This team will do many dumb things that no coach can even hope to avoid.

Self will actually have to simply for a change with this team. He will have to ask green wood simply to play at it natural position and help it get better--help it reach its "ceiling."


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 6

Think for a moment about what Perry Ellis did last season. The Designer in effect got a Ph.d. in Bill Self basketball in his first season, despite everyone saying he wasn't living up to expectations. Perry Ellis merely adapted to D1, while playing out of position, and then having to surrender the only style of play he had any inkling of how to play at this level, and then had to do first a 180 back into playing the way he first had to surrender, and then what would have been nearly impossible for many seasoned veteran bigs, which was to play "both" and come in and do it off the bench, and do it when nothing else was working.

And he did it.

It wasn't pretty to watch him founder and nearly drowned at times. It wasn't the kind of season that anyone hoped for him to have. It wasn't Ben getting to jump into his most comfortable role from the start and doing what he was born to do. It was instead the ultimate baptism of fire.

Perry Ellis is likely to find playing basketball incomprehensibly simple this season. It is IMHO conceptually impossible for Bill Self to devise a more harrowing, challenging transition for Perry than what transpired last season. Perry Ellis can rightfully walk up to Andrew Wiggins and say, "You may be the next player of the decade, but you cannot even begin to imagine what I have overcome without folding."

Board rats are already not getting it about who is going to be the leader and core of this team. They are talking about Tarik being the experienced D1 player. They are saying that Naa is KU's first real point guard mentality that is destined to orchestrate this team. They are saying Andrew Wiggins is the next player of the decade that will strap the team on its back and carry it.

In all competitive endeavors, it is the man that has endured the greatest fire that becomes the tempered steel at the core of any organization.

Perry Ellis is the man of this coming team. He is the spiritual leader. He is the man that has been through fire and survived and flourished. He is the guy the players will look to when the team is down seven with 4 minutes to go to see if his eyes are confident and clear, or misted over with doubt. No one else has been through what he went through last season and lived to tell about it. It is unfortunate that Perry cannot have at least one season of confident fun without the burden that has been borne jointly in the past by Jeff Withey and Travis Releford, by Tyshawn and Thomas, by Marcus, by Cole and Sherron, by Brandon and RR and Mario.

And The Designer has pretty much bear this burdern alone, unless Naa grows a huge amount, which he seems within striking distance of doing, or unless Andrew Wiggins truly is super human, which I doubt is fair to expect of him.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 5

And for a time not even the genius had an answer, except to keep struggling and keep trying to get better, trying to hold on until some solution finally arose.

The solution, as is so often the case with Self, was both--to play both ways--not to surprise the opponent--but rather to keep the opponent off balance, but switching between the two versions of the high-low that many fans came to believe was not even being played at all, because of the unorthodox spacing, and the soft picks, and frequent passing forwards.

It took a game or two for "both" to work. Self said he saw hope after the OU loss, which looked like pretty much more of the same frustration to most fans, if I recall correctly. But shortly thereafter, the winning resumed. The winning was never the same order of magnitude dominance as during that euphoria inducing streak at mid season, but the W's keep coming nevertheless.

And what was happening was that on the one hand the team was coming to grips both with the paradox of playing "both," while at the same time climbing beyond the harrowing realization that they were never going to be an overwhelming team, but rather a team that could out work an opponent kept off balance for long enough. And at the same time, mercifully, EJ's partially restored knee and his grim resolve to move forward without hope of mastery of this weirdest of all offensive contrivances of Bill Self, came into good streak of games capped by perhaps the greatest single game ever played by a KU point guard.

And all the while The Designer, the five star that probably wanted to play the three, and struggled noticeably early at the 4, and who went into a complete tail spin trying to do the impossible that Self was asking of even a five star freshman; i.e., to not only adapt to D1 speeds, but to do so under three quick fundamental reinventions of the hi-lo offense so weirdly counter intuitive that for a time even sage and savvy old opposing D1 coaching staffs could make hide nor hair of what Self was doing.

Perry Ellis, aka The Designer, though getting scorn heaped on him for not living up to expectations, quite to the contrary merely survived and eventually flourished despite effectively impossible circumstances to bring the team the single thing it needed to play "both", i.e., an inside scoring presence that could both slide off the spots and stay on the spots in a ay that neither of our starting bigs could do.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 4

It was around this time that team began to enter its epic "funk." The players became obviously frustrated. What had seemed unstoppable had stopped. Success became recognized for what it was: catastrophic success. The success was so great that it triggered a defensive counter the team had no answer for. The team's spirit was broken. Fatigue may make cowards of us all, but it is doubt that breeds defeat--doubt in leadership's ability to solve problems in coherent and feasible ways that causes teams, militaries and nations to stagger and lose their unity of purpose required to win. It is deep doubt that causes a crisis in the can-do spirit essential for success. It is increasing doubt that causes once cohesive, swaggering bands of warriors to look more and more like deers caught in headlights, even as they wield their dangerous weapons and talk about how they just have to work harder and get more focused. Doubt in the ability to find one's way together finally is the most dangerous enemy of all daring enterprises.

Self was probably intentionally at first anyway putting the onus of finding a way to win on the team. He does this sooner or later every season. But this time, when the team faltered, when the team became confused by trying shift gears between the spread high low and the conventional high low and realizing that the opponents had doped out the spread, and that Self still did not have a way for them to succeed in the conventional high low without prison body bigs, a funk that not even the ultimate button pusher, Bill Self, could lift set in.

Self was in the worst positition a coach, or a leader could be in. He had changed horses in mid stream, and it made things worse. He was asking his team, which he had already asked to go through the looking glass about style of play once (to learn the spread hi lo), was now asking a demoralized team to go through the looking glass of paradox and learn to play the old style of hi-lo that they already knew they could not play effectively.

The bottom fell out.


Steve Gantz 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't care about Oklahoma hall of fame's, I just want to see him cut down 4 or 5 more nets on the first Mondays in April before he's done.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 3

But in the spread hi-lo offense that traditional role was turned on its head. The point guard became the offensive player reacting to what everyone else did. It was like the point guard became a kind of mobile hub around which all the other players were improvising around and making cuts to the rim or breaks into open spaces that the point guard had to react to.

EJ seemed to have an uncanny instinct for "passing forward" in transition that basically became the ability adapted and used in half court--in the spread hi-lo that I have been describing. Still, EJ had to practically turn himself inside out mentally learning to play this way all over the floor. And it is a great credit to him that he was able to make this adaptation at all in his first full season starting at point guard. I really don't think Tyshawn, great as he was as a get to the rim guy, could have pulled off what EJ did last season, even though EJ never got the strokes for what he did, because it was at times so counter intuitive and occasionally ugly to watch.

But EJ had little choice but to try, because his knee was so bad for much of the season that he couldn't really play the traditional point guard role of cutting and penetrating like a whirling dervish, even if he and Self had had heavy, muscular bigs that could have stayed on spots and set hard screens and so allowed traditional point guard play.

The element of surprise made it all come together so well for awhile around late December/early January that KU went on a winning streak with lop-sided scoring margins probably significantly in excess of the talent level that they actually possessed.

It seemed at that point that KU might have evolved a way to play that would make them unbeatable for the rest of the season. It was at first like watching a magician's trick. No one could figure out the illusion, or in strategic parlance, the defensive counter to this freakish twist in offensive play.

But then slowly good opposing coaches began to catch on and began to tell their prison bodies to not just shove but then keep hold of the KU bigs after the shove. Basically, from early January on KU's offense became a prisoner of defensive holding. It got so bad that Self tried to go back to the traditional high low, thinking that EJ's knee had gotten enough better that they could again surprise the opposing defenders by using the holding to stay on the spots.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Part 2

KU bigs began to stop trying to "stay on spots" inside, and they began to stop trying to sustain picks. Suddenly, our mobile bigs began moving ahead of defenders with each push all over the front court and usually with arm hooking began slicing through stretched muscle defenses and "getting-to-the rim" to receive high passes that let them slam, or bank, or what have you. Kevin Young became the master of this for awhile.

When some desperate innovation works so surprisingly well, creative strategists then try to apply it systematically through out an offensive scheme. Shortly, the Jayhawk hi-lo offense began to feature more spacing at all positions, and more going with the direction of the shoves. Shortly, everyone was setting soft picks and using horizontal movement leveraging off the force applied by the opposing defender grew ubiquitous. For a time the whole purpose of the point guard, Elijah Johnson, became finding ways to "pass forward" through the seams of the defenses stretched by first going sideways with the push, and then arm-hooking and slicing toward the rim. The passes were much more difficult for a point guard to make than the traditional entry pass to a big, stud post man stationary on a spot. Elijah was being asked to constantly hit moving targets, to constantly anticipate when the big, and later the wings too, would stop going with the push and make the 90 degree angle break toward the rim.

The stretch hi-lo depended heavily on EJ's uncanny ability to "pass forward" while he himself was on the move. Fans that ragged on EJ's inadequacies at point guard apparently never grasped that Self was asking him do something orders of magnitude more difficult at point guard that what he had ever asked of a point guard before. Naadir struggled mightily for the longest time with it, because Naadir had to unlearn soooooo much about how to play point guard to play the position the new way. To some extent, Naadir never did master "passing forward."

Note: Naadir is a natural point guard, when the conventional point guard role is required. By this I mean Naadir is in motion and his teammates are revolving around him and getting to predictable spots, or coming off picks, or flare screens for predictable feeds, or breaking predictably for a lob, or calling for an entry pass from a stationary position. In this traditional form of offense it is the point guard that is determining everything, directing everyone, and it is his teammates that are reacting to him. The point guard decides who gets the ball, where and when, in set plays where he is the distributor mostly to known points on the floor.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"On Sliding off the Spots and a Tangent about The Designer Being the Core of this Coming Season's Team"

(Preface: Yesterday Lulufululu kindly asked me what in the world I was referring to when I spoke of last year's team "sliding off the spots." I decided to respond to his query here today. If you just want only to luxuriate in reflecting on Bill Self's entrance into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in this thread, as I already did higher up in this thread, please begin hitting page down now.) :-)

Part 1


U R 2 kind. Thx.

"Sliding off the spots" was a component of my widely doubted hypothesis of Self resorting to a new variation on the high-low offense. I argued that he went to what I called the "spread hi-lo" in which spacing between players was greatly increased, and the philsophy of the offense shifted from trying to fight for and hold "spots" on the floor, to using the greater muscle and defensive shoving of opposing teams to propel your offensive moves. As in judo, the big men took positions, but then turned the defenders use of force against them by using the push to break away in the very direction the defender was pushing in, then once the bigger, stronger, less agile defender struggled to catch up, the KU player arm-hooked and broke at sharp angles to the basket, or to positions across the lane that stretched the defense for someone else. It all seemed to start as a solution to skinny bigs that could not "stay on spots," to muscle for high percentage shots, became an approach to screening/picking, too.

Instead of Self having his skinny bigs trying to set "hard" picks that they invariably got shoved out of position trying to set, Self appeared to begin have the bigs set "soft" (usually moving) picks, where the idea was to simply slow the pursuing defender briefly, rather scrape him off completely. In these ways, Self appeared to solve the problem of having to start not one, but two skinny bigs and come with two undersized bigs as backups in the Age of XTReme Muscle Ball.

Recall that for the first month or so of the season, Withey and KY tried unsuccesfully to "establish position" aka "stay on spots" in traditional hi-lo fashion. But each game they would run into opposing players that could muscle them off their "spots"; i.e., shove them farther out, or shove them sideways, or "flat out" knock them down. Our guys simply could not set up on the low blocks, and sustain their position long enough to catch a post feed and make a high percentage back to the basket scoring move, or even just stay in position to offensive rebound on the backside--the two bread and butter activities of KU bigs in the past. Self complained about it for a month or so, maybe two. But at a certain point, Self and staff appeared to re-think the offense.


Tony Bandle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill's folks missed a bet...they could have named him 'Truetothy" and it would have been perfect!!

Congrats coach on one of many more inductions you will receive before you are done. [I turn 65 next Monday and I plan to live another 20 years...why don't you just be the last KU coach I ever see?? :) ]


iamakufan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Just a side note... if he was born in Okmulgee, then is is NOT a native of Edmonds. He grew up in Edmonds but he's a native of Okmulgee.


KUFan90 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"One of these things is not like the others..."

The other inductees in the 2013 class were Wayne Baughman (University of Oklahoma wrestling), Clay Bennett (owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder), Nadia Comaneci (Olympic gold medal gymnast), LeRoy Gutowski (Oklahoma City University and NFL standout), Jimmy Harris (Oklahoma football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State University two-sport All-American).

Curious why Nadia Comaneci was inducted?


nuleafjhawk 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I was going to have " 83.6 " tattooed on my chest to commemorate Coach's great accomplishment but then I thought that would just be stupid.

That number will get better and I'd just have to have it changed.


jaybate 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The good get better.

The great get better at getting better.

Congratulations Coach Self!

Way to go, Mother and Father Self!

And thank you Oklahoma for honoring Coach Self and for lending him to us.

Next, thanks to James and Forrest, to Henry and Doyle, to Don, Eddie, and Jack, to Paul and Leonard, to Larry, and to Oral, the legacy of shoulders Coach Self stands upon.

And thanks to the players that make the game, and as Coach Self so rightly said, bring their talents and sacrifice for the good of the team every practice and every game.

And finally thanks to Cin for the ultimate sacrifice of sharing the love of her life with the greatest game ever invented and the cradle of college basketball.

Rock Chalk!


Michael Luby 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I really really really want to see Bill get 300 more wins. Will he also get an induct into Kansas sports hall of fame?


chicagoeddie 8 months, 3 weeks ago

only the best coach on the planet! congrats coach!


bradynsdad 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I know it's completely unlikely he would do it but I was thinking about playing time and how deep the team is. What would stop Bill from playing two teams in four minute blocks? Challenging them to see which one gets the most production and running other teams out of the gym? Starting 1st Tharpe AW3 Wiggins Ellis Black 2nd Mason/Francamp Selden Greene Traylor Embiid/Lucas

I know it's crazy but just a thought.


Scott Smetana 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I wonder if Boone Pickens was present with a congrats card for Bill. One of those cards that holds a $100 Million dollar bill.


Suzi Marshall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Congratulations Bill Self. Very happy to see Ted Owens and Danny Manning in attendance.


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