Monday, August 26, 2013

Bill Self fired up for start of school year

Kansas’ men’s basketball coach predicts practices will be ‘competitive’

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.


The start of the 2013-14 school year had Bill Self beaming bright and early on a sunny Monday morning.

“I’m real excited about this year, this team, the entire athletic department, the prospects of everybody,” said Self, starting his 11th season as head men’s basketball coach at Kansas University.

“I’m probably as excited to get started coaching my guys as I have been at any point in time,” added Self, speaking before his 16th-annual Boy Scout Classic golf tournament at Lawrence Country Club.

The man who has led KU to nine straight conference championships, an NCAA championship and a runner-up finish, said he’s raring to see what his young team can accomplish. He brings in seven new players expected to battle for spots in the rotation and offset the loss of five starters off a 31-6 team.

“Yes, it will be competitive,” Self said of practices.

The Jayhawks, who welcome back rotation players Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor to go with the Andrew Wiggins-led class of newcomers, will work out with coaches two hours a week (in accordance with NCAA rules) in anticipation of the new, early start of the season on Sept. 27.

In past years, the season began the Friday closest to Oct. 15.

“I think for a young team, you’ve got to be careful, because starting Sept. 27 as opposed to Oct. 18, which is what it’d have been this year, that’s a lot more wear and tear,” said Self, who will hold Late Night 2013 on Oct. 4.

“I think practices will probably be shorter. I also believe you have to take two days off a week if you start that early, so we’ll rest our guys. I think it will be good for us. To have a young team, we can get a lot accomplished hopefully before the start of the season maybe where we couldn’t have in the past.”

Playing time will be up for grabs with such a deep roster.

“Competition can be a negative because if guys don’t produce, they may not play as much,” he said. “Of course, it’s great if you have injuries. It’s great for sharpening each others’ skills in practice sessions so you can’t help but get better. The other thing it does ... if guys maybe don’t do the things that you expect out of them they could find themselves seated behind somebody else. That’s motivation that way, too. I think it’s going to be great.”

On a personal note, Self said he’s happy as can be as he begins his second decade at KU. He was reminded that he was well-traveled during the first 10 years of his 21-year head-coaching career.

“Yes, we stayed four, three and three (years at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois respectively), and we’re in Year 11 now. Hopefully we can figure out a way to stay here a little longer — a lot longer. We love it here,” Self said.

“Cindy (wife) is very happy. Of course, having Tyler (son) on the team, I think, is great for me, but also great for her. She gets a chance to be part of that as well. It’s pretty good for us right now.”

Emergency point: The starting point-guard position figures to be a battle between returnee Naadir Tharpe and newcomer Frank Mason, with freshman Conner Frankamp playing both shooting guard and lead guard. Self was asked if 6-foot-5 freshman Wayne Selden could play point as well.

“I think Wayne could maybe be an emergency point, maybe in certain situations,” Self said. “I think Andrew (Wiggins) could be a guy who could eliminate pressure by bringing the ball up too. Those guys are pretty gifted as far as handling the ball goes. Those two are natural wings. We use them to initiate maybe every now and then.”

Fore: Self said he loved lending his support to the Boy Scout Classic, which benefits the Heart of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America serving northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. Proceeds go to camp scholarships and outreach support for the Boy Scouts in the area.

“It’s grown,” Self said of the tourney first started by former KU football great John Hadl. “It’s sold out for a good cause. A lot of people come out to support it (more than 100 golfers). They’ve made it a first-class tournament.”


kayjku 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I totally let Nick Bradford copy my answers on Econ quizzes. I mean, come on, it's do what you can to support the team...


Joan Kalivoda 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We are in deep dodo (Tharpe), just like we were when Morningstar was here.


actorman 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I saw the first three words of that headline and practically had a heart attack!


jahawker2004 7 months, 3 weeks ago

ralster--you forget the 10 second violation by EJ in the final two minutes of the Michigan game last year?

I like EJ, but it was a crucial violation at a critical time of the game. And Self could have bailed him out by calling a time out, but didn't.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Regarding Naadir: KU "fans" and their selective memories again--so here's CliffNotes on Naa: You've already seen evidence he can distribute well over 2:1 assist/turnover ratio. You've already seen he took good notes on penetrating to the rim behind an unsuspecting defense from good-Tyshawn. You've already seen he took notes on shooting 3s from EJ, and has had some great/some not-so-great outings from 3-land. You've already seen his fieriness, grumbling at himself with his fist pumped after a turnover or miscue--I like his game-focus and swagger. Be happy for Naa: this is his team, and he's got a TON of targets to pass to. He doesnt have to carry the load, which makes him even more dangerous to the opposition, as they have no idea what he may choose to do.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Regarding EJ: Never had a 10sec violation his entire KU career, thus not predictable by Self nor you, nor me. Have we ever had a 10 sec violation at KU under Bill Self? We dont win BigXII #9 without EJ. How about no ill will towards past players? Forgive EJ, and forgive the following: frosh Twins get manhandled by MichSt in 2009 (KU out of Tourney), Sherron greenlight senior-shooter has bad outing vs. UNI 2010 (KU out), Reed greenlight senior-shooter 1-7 vs. VCU 2011 (KU out), TRob/Withey miss 3 dunks+2-3 bricked FTs (Tyshawn) vs. KY'12 (KU out). Or Collison/Langford FT woes vs. Syracuse '03 (KU out)...shall I keep going???. Time to put the bitterness to rest, and watch the new season, as far as Self & new crop of kids can take us. RCJH.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Another point about Mason: he's a 5'11 guard. Probably was 5'9 a couple of years ago... Does anyone think he does NOT have ball-handling skills??? My main point is that Mason is an unknown, and a lot of the speculators here havent seen him play. You & I know nothing about his game-face/swagger, or his inner drive, focus, or motivation to prove naysayers wrong. One can say the EXACT same thing about Naa.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Man, lots of debate (as usual) about Tharpe vs. Mason. Tharpe starts, no question. Can Mason improve? Likely. Can Mason improve enough to become the "starter"? Doubtful. Remember the 08Champs and the '12TyshawnHawks (where he was paired with EJ): One of Selfball's MAJOR principles is to have multiple ball-handling guards. So, if he's capable, Mason may get some minutes. His ranking may reflect he may be a late-bloomer skill-wise, but he has been described by many as a 5'11, lighter version of Sherron. A kid with some swagger. Just lets all wait-and-see what he can do. People forgot that 3-4 game stretch last season where Tharpe had 21 assists and only 1 or 2 turnovers??


Joan Kalivoda 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill sure looks good in his new toupee, it looks a little darker then the first one.


gchawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

First 3 words of this article scared the heck out of me, just caught the headlines on a glance.


Number_22 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Chris Walker not enrolled at Florida for the first semester. He won't be able to play until Dec. 13th at the earliest. We play in Gainsville on 12/10. Did we dodge a bullet? Probably not.

Did Self back off in his recruitment? Probably not.

Interesting though.


Michael Luby 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Just finished watching the KU/Okie st. 2OT game from last season...again. Watched the Kstate/KU Big 12 tourney final &watched the 08 Champ game fairly recently too.
Seriously, its time for the season to start already. Cant wait to see what they do this year!


joeloveshawks 7 months, 3 weeks ago

There is not a great deal of love for Tharpe on any of our boards. I know that he was erratic last year, took a lot of bad shots, occasionally fell asleep on defense and looked almost disinterested at times. All that said, I think we saw a few games last season that showed just how much talent he really has. He has a great stroke, he can pass, he can dribble and he is incredibly fast. This is going to be his break out year where he does not have to share time with an older guy like EJ. Last year in the Michigan game (I can't believe I am even mentioning that day) Tharpe played pretty great b ball and it was a preview of things to come for this year. With the incredible athleticism surrounding him look for him to put up 7-10 points, 7 assists and just a couple of TO's a game. Honestly, I don't think there is a competition for PG. I think there is a competition for who backs up Tharpe.


Tony Bandle 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Formula for keeping Bill Self at Kansas.

1] 2013-14, Tyler redshirts his sophomore year.

2] 2014-15, Tyler plays his redshirt sophomore year.

3] 2015-16, Tyler plays his redshirt junior year.

4] 2016-17, Tyler is granted a injury hardship redshirt.

5] 2017-18, Tyler plays his redshirt senior year.

OK...I've given you guys five all take over from here!! :)


Vince Brown 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I had Bobby Douglas in a physical education in fall '68. Saw him the first couple of sessions and had to go to football games to see after that.


William Blake 7 months, 3 weeks ago

This year's team is messing with my head.

I always attend homecoming and that is my marker for getting excited about basketball season. Homecoming feeds the excitement and the excitement feeds homecoming.

Now... I've got to figure out how to get excited for homecoming on it's own, because the cat done left the bag!

Maybe we can win a few football games... that might do it!


jaybate 7 months, 3 weeks ago


Could you are commiting an imitative fallacy?

You jumped on what Self said before anyone else!!!!!

Yeeeeee haaaaaaw!

The floor is painted and just a hint of fresh shellac is in the field house. The nets are tight. The practice court is ready for sweat drops and screeching slides by new tennies.

The hangovers of country club week are receding and the barn parties loom just around the bend. The girls are still showing some alabaster tan lines on the side walks as the boy-men dream of how to meet them.

Self is fired up, through his ring of fire and happier than Johnny Cash ever could be..

Charlie and The Heap have their work clothes and hats on and chin straps buckled out on the synthetic north forty--Harvest heat forging December steel and titanium balls.

The Campanile and Daisy Hill dorms stand watch like Transformers overall.

Yet another senseless invasion looms like a bombing storm beyond the seen horizon--the Kosovar-Ing of Syria counting down in a squal of false flags and drone death.

But on the ground--here--now--the simultaneity of sublimity and season following season.

Custom combines have turned the waving wheat to golden stubble yet again and the leaves of corn and bean fields in the bottoms hang deep green in sunned breeze waiting silently the needle nosed pickers.

Summer fights a losing battle with Fall.

Board rats type goosey with anticipation.

Basketball time.

Pick up the balls.



mikehawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Just take Coach's comments, change the names and the year of the story. The man always knows how to say just the right thing, always getting maximum purpose out of each statement. He says essentially what he says here every year. On the other hand...who wouldn't be excited about coaching this team. In the meantime, basketball fans, let's hope for some football success which helps all of KU sports, including...yes, basketball.


Jack Wilson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

From above:

The starting point-guard position figures to be a battle between returnee Naadir Tharpe and newcomer Frank Mason, with freshman Conner Frankamp playing both shooting guard and lead guard. Self was asked if 6-foot-5 freshman Wayne Selden could play point as well.

“I think Wayne could maybe be an emergency point, maybe in certain situations,” Self said

Ok, then. Selden is not a point guard. Can we put that to rest now? "Emergency point" is not your back-up point guard.

Can someone at the LJW, when asking questions, simply ask Self if Conner Frankamp has strong enough ball handling skills to play point guard? And then maybe follow-up?

If it is "expected" that Frankamp will be "playing" both shooting guard and point guard, then it is seems likely that Mason's playing time will be minimal, if at all, assuming Tharpe wins the starting spot.

But if Frankamp is not a strong enough ball handler to play the point (as the information had tended to indicate to this point), then that changes the whole dynamic of what the rotation might look like.


VaJay 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Poor coach Self... he has to be SOOOOO careful about how he talks about his future at Kansas, "Hopefully we can figure out a way to stay here a little longer — a lot longer. We love it here,” He caught himself mid-sentence to correct himself because if he stuck with "a little longer" the prognosticators would have had a field day wondering if he's leaving...they'll probably jump on this "correction" anyway.


clevelandjayhawker 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I dont think teams are going to want to try and press us this year. On the flip side I wouldnt mind us trying to press other teams. Especially if Black, Embid or Lucas can play "The Eraser" in the lane.

If Coach is .001% as excited for this season as I am, then he is pretty excited!


Michael Pannacciulli 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I had Scot Pollard in a class. He came a handful of times. Problem was he was too big for the desk so he sat on the floor. Dude was long!


jaybate 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Along with Bill's enthusiasms there seems a lot of thinking about how to handle early start-up. At first I suspected early start up would be a real problem to program effectively. I still think it will be and I expect that the coach that gets it right this season will win a ring and be widely emulated next season.

But whether Self gets it right, or not, I think this early start is tonic for his mid career and mid life crisis last season. This early start makes it all new again. After 20 seasons, it must make it feel a little like it did back when he was figuring it all out the first season at ORU--about how to start a season. its real coaching of the kind coaches like. its not about refining what you've already got wired. Its a clean sheet of paper. Its a new chance to match wits with your peers on a new problem.

And it's a team with not just new players but with new levels of talent he has never worked with before.

And one of his players, Snaks, is now his top assistant, so his career is bearing fresh fruit that way, too.

And the the guy he believes may be the smartest coach he ever met, LB, is lurking out there and a possible matchup come tourney time. Talk about matching wits with the best!

And Fred and Doc will throw something at him that he has never seen!

And Tyler's on the team.

And most of...

Cindy's happy.

And as any man can tell you.

When the woman he loves is happy, a man feels like he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Yo, Adrian...

Go, Bill, go!!!!!


Cysquatch 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I had a huge essay on how I wanted the team to play, but I realized that HCBS has already thought of all that.

Cannot freaking wait for this season. I love my alma mater, I love our head basketball coach and I love our players representing our university.


Dirtyphog 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Every year Bill says, it will be a work in progress, or we have a young team we should let them develop.. I can't remember him ever having this much excitement or at least publicity saying it. On a side note, after the first day of classes, Justin Wesley is in my history class... Over/under he shows up 4 times this semester


milehighhawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"Wake me up - When September ends!"

Cannot wait for bball!!


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