Kansas University’s Bill Self has been named the fourth-best “X’s and O’s coach” in college basketball, according to 250 NCAA Div. I coaches polled by ESPN.com.
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo placed No. 1 in the poll and was followed by Michigan’s John Beilein, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, 11th-year KU coach Self, Davidson’s Bob McKillop, Utah State’s Stew Morrill, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Belmont’s Rick Byrd and Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings.
Cal’s Mike Montgomery and Temple’s Fran Dunphy tied for 11th, followed by Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan (13th), Indiana’s Tom Crean (tied for 14th), Marquette’s Buzz Williams (T14), and Kentucky’s John Calipari, Boston College’s Steve Donahue and Gonzaga’s Mark Few (all three tied for 16th). Georgetown’s John Thompson III, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Arizona’s Sean Miller, Miami’s Jim Larranaga and Denver’s Joe Scott tied for 19th. Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg tied for 24th.
Former KU coaches Roy Williams (North Carolina) and Larry Brown (SMU) did not place in the top 25. Williams has won two national titles at UNC and Brown one NCAA crown (KU).
Of Self, former KU guard Rex Walters, the head coach at San Francisco, said: “Bill is really good in getting quality shots in late-game situations. You have to have good X’s and O’s, good personnel and good presence. Bill has all three.”
Earlier this summer, Self was voted No.2 head-coach recruiter behind UK’s Calipari. KU’s Kurtis Townsend was named top recruiting assistant coach in the U.S. For ESPN’s rankings go to http://es.pn/1bTaqXh
Alexander likes KU: There’s chatter in the recruiting world that KU leads for Cliff Alexander, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound senior forward from Chicago Curie High. Alexander, who is rated No. 4 nationally by Rivals.com, also is considering Michigan State, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Baylor, Memphis, DePaul and Indiana.
“Most everyone agrees that Kansas is either the leader or the co-leader along with Michigan State, and it’s not just because Alexander is dating a member of the KU women’s basketball team, either,” writes ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. “The Jayhawks will likely have a spot for a big man after losing fifth-year senior Tarik Black and also potentially — even likely — losing talented big man Joel Embiid after just one season in Lawrence. Bill Self’s track record of getting big men the ball also comes into play, and his ability to land the No. 1 player in the land, Andrew Wiggins, doesn’t hurt in terms of momentum. The Jayhawks also recently added Jerrance Howard to the coaching staff, a former Illinois player/coach who has strong ties in the city and is extremely well-liked in the area.”
Alexander will be visiting KU officially for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog.