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Monday, February 25, 2013

Next KU victory will be Bill Self’s 500th

Milestone on the line tonight at Iowa State

Kansas head coach Bill Self slaps hands with the fans following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self slaps hands with the fans following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas head coach Bill Self slaps hands with the fans following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win over Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Self at a glance

Bill Self has 499 career coaching victories in 20 seasons heading into tonight’s Kansas-Iowa State game in Ames. Self is trying to become the fourth coach to win 500 games by his 20th season. If KU wins, he ties John Chaney for ninth quickest to 500 victories in terms of number of games.

Quickest to 500

  1. Adolph Rupp, Kentucky, 583 games (500-83, .858), in 23rd season
  2. Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State and UNLV, 604 games (500-104, .828) in 20th season.
  3. Roy Williams, Kansas and North Carolina, 627 games (500-127, .797) in 19th season.
  4. Henry Iba, Northwest Missouri State, Colorado and Oklahoma State, 633 games (500-133, .790) in 24th season.
  5. Phog Allen, Baker, Haskell, Central Missouri and Kansas, 646 games (500-146, .774) in 34th season.
  6. (tie). John Calipari, UMass, Memphis and Kentucky, 652 games (500-152, .767) in 20th season
  7. (tie) John Wooden, Indiana State and UCLA, 652 games (500-152, .767) in 24th season.
  8. Dean Smith, North Carolina, 653 games (500-153, .766) in 23rd season.
  9. John Chaney, Cheyney and Temple, 662 games (500-162, .755) in 22nd season.

Bill Self, Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas (661 games (499-162, .755) in 20th season.

Self facts/figures

Record at KU: 292-57 (.837). At home: 159-8. On road: 71-26. Neutral: 62-23.

Overall record: 499-162 (.755). At home: 275-32. On road: 122-93. Neutral: 102-37.

Conference games: 199-51. At home: 114-9. On road: 84-42. Neutral: 1-0.

Non-conference games: 300-111. At home: 113-9. 159-23. On road: 38-51. Neutral: 101-37.

Conference regular-season titles: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Conference tournament titles: Illinois (2003), Kansas (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011).

NCAA Tournament record: 34-13 overall; 23-8 at KU.

Self year by year

Oral Roberts (55-54, .505)

1993-94: 6-21; 1994-95: 10-17; 1995-96: 18-9; 1996-97: 21-7.

Tulsa (74-27, .733)

1997-98: 19-12; 1998-99: 23-10; 1999-00: 32-5.

Illinois (78-24, .764)

2000-01: 27-8; 2001-02: 26-9; 2002-03: 25-7

Kansas (292-57, .837)

2003-04: 24-9; 2004-05: 23-7; 2005-06: 25-8; 2006-07: 33-5; 2007-08: 37-3; 2008-09: 27-8; 2009-10: 33-3; 2010-11: 35-3; 2011-12: 32-7; 2012-13: 23-4.

— Mario Chalmers believes a kinder, gentler version of Bill Self chases his 500th career coaching victory tonight in Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum.

“He’s a lot more mellow than when I played at KU. I was telling him that yesterday. He’s a lot different than he was with us,” said former Kansas University combo guard Chalmers of the Miami Heat after watching his mentor lead a two-hour practice in Allen Fieldhouse.

While never admitting to becoming a softie — oh, how KU’s 10th-year coach hates “soft” basketball teams — Self acknowledges he’s a different “cat” (one of his favorite words) in Year No. 20 of his career than Year No. 15.

“I don’t know if I’ve changed from a philosophical standpoint or how we teach things. I think I’m more understanding, more patient,” said the 50-year-old Self, who takes a 499-162 record (292-57 at KU) into today’s 8 p.m. battle between the Jayhawks (23-4, 11-3) and Cyclones (19-8, 9-5).

“Previously, I’d worry about things that had nothing to do with winning,” he said. “I believe I am able to see the big picture better than I used to. I probably understand more about kids and how to deal with them than five years ago.”

Self, whose current players insist he remains plenty tough — evidenced by preseason Boot Camp, time on the treadmill and fieldhouse stairs at practice — certainly has evolved over the years.

One constant?

His burning desire to win.

“One thing he does that is very good … he knows every win is a big win no matter what,” said KU assistant Norm Roberts, who has worked with Self two seasons at KU and also at previous stops Illinois, Tulsa and Oral Roberts. “It doesn’t matter if we are playing Southeast Missouri to start the season or playing Oklahoma State in the conference. He understands you have to go for every single one because it’s so hard to win at this level on a consistent basis.”

‘Mind-numbing’ percentage

Self has said many times he remembers the losses more than the wins.

“I’ve only been around him nine years, but I’d say more than hating to lose, I think he gets a lot of pleasure in kicking somebody else’s butt, especially on the road,” said ninth-year KU assistant Kurtis Townsend. “I think there’s no better feeling to him than going in somebody else’s house and beating them.”

This would certainly explain Self’s uncanny .837 winning percentage at KU and overall win mark of .755.

“It’s mind-numbing,” 10th-year KU assistant Joe Dooley said of Self’s winning percentage, the best of any coach in KU history. “When you are out among our peers, I think those people have an unbelievable appreciation for what he’s done and accomplished.”

Self’s assistants have theories as to how he’s managed to win so many games en route to eight Big 12 titles in nine years at KU with one NCAA title and one runner-up finish.

“He’s not stuck on something,” Dooley said. “He has principles he’s going to follow, yet if he needs to tweak, change, tighten, he’s able to adapt, where a lot of people are, ‘We are going to do it this way and if it doesn’t work this way we’re in trouble.’ He is not afraid to change if change is necessary.”

First-year KU director of basketball operations Doc Sadler said it’s a simple matter of belief in oneself. Self knows things he’s borrowed from previous bosses Larry Brown, Eddie Sutton and Leonard Hamilton — as well as his college coach (Paul Hansen, Oklahoma State) and high school coach (Mike de la Garza, Edmond Memorial High) — work.

“He has a lot of great qualities, but confidence is at the very top,” Sadler said. “He knows what he wants and knows how to get it done.

“At Nebraska (where Sadler coached against longtime buddy Self for five seasons), I knew everything they were going to do from the name of the plays to when they were going to run them, but what separates coach is the execution of those things.

“He gets the guys to execute the plays the way he wants them to get them done. It’s the confidence. When you have a plan, the players see you put in the time to identify the things that are going to be important to help you win. That gives confidence to the players. They know, ‘This guy didn’t just show up today. He’s studied it and looked at it and prepared and now he has us execute it.’’’

Norm Roberts says that by holding “everyone (players and assistants) accountable” they ultimately deliver most of the time.

“A guy can make a shot and everybody is happy about the shot, but what coach will do is stop the play (on tape) and say, ‘Hey great shot. You made the basket, but one thing you didn’t do is post up strong. Against a real defense you wouldn’t have gotten that shot off.’ Then he’ll say, ‘Two plays you didn’t block out and on one you didn’t hedge the ball screen,’’’ Roberts said.

“Where a guy is trying to feel all happy about himself making a bucket, coach is pointing out three errors he made that if this were a game, he’d been out of the game or we’d been down six points. Holding guys accountable in that way is one of the reasons we have been so successful in close games because guys know, ‘This is the way we do things. This is the way we have to execute.’’’

‘He instills confidence’

Townsend points out an obvious reason for Self’s winning percentage.

“We’ve had pretty good players. Coach gets guys who are top players in the country to buy into the defensive side. I think that’s a skill in itself,” Townsend said. “He’s had guys like Thomas Robinson, Elijah (Johnson) and Jeff Withey buy into staying around, then when it’s their turn, they really produce. Jeff didn’t play (early in his career). Elijah didn’t play. Thomas didn’t play his first two years, but when it’s their turn, they end up being the guy. They end up being ready.”

Self’s players tend to be unselfish players.

“Coach tells them the pie is big enough for everyone if you win. He gets them to believe it,” Townsend said. “Guys like Russell Robinson sacrifice from being a scorer in high school to playing a role and helping the team win, then he ends up doing well for himself (winning 2008 national title and playing overseas).”

Many of Self’s wins have been blowouts; many nailbiters; some come from behind. His Jayhawks rarely are out of a game. KU trailed Memphis by nine points with two minutes left in the ‘08 national championship game. The Jayhawks forced overtime against Iowa State earlier this season on Ben McLemore’s last-gasp three that banked off the glass.

“Down nine against Memphis, he was unbelievably positive: ‘Guys we are going to do this. All we’ve got to do is get a few stops,’’’ Townsend said. “We had to catch a couple breaks. They had to miss a few free throws. But it happened. Against Missouri (last year in OT victory) we were down 19. It looked like we were dead in the water. He was positive where some coaches would be negative and jumping on guys. Players respond to what he says.”

As Dooley put it, “He instills confidence, comes up with a plan and puts guys in position to make plays. If the guys have practiced it, it gives them a better chance. There can be stern words (in timeouts) but it always ends up being positive: ‘Here’s what we are going to do, and here’s why we’re going to do it. Now we need to do it.’”

‘I have a great job’

As to how much longer he’s going to lead young men … well, Self has said there’s no way he’ll be in the game long enough to catch Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who has won an all-time NCAA best 950 games with no end in sight.

“Coach is a guy who is going to want to enjoy life, I think,” Sadler said. “He is one of the great ones and the great ones do have a hard time walking away. You can count them on one hand. Darrell Royal (Texas football) walked away. Frank Broyles (Arkansas football). Al McGuire (Marquette basketball) was not old and walked away after winning it. Joe B. Hall (Kentucky) walked away at a relatively young age. There’s not many who can.”

Winning 30 games a season can vault Self up the all-time win list in a hurry.

“I’d love to see him do it a long time and get a record because I think he’s a Hall of Fame coach, but I’d also like for him to enjoy life, because he really deserves it,” Townsend said.

Self, who considers golf his main hobby, has said he’s not yet burned out on the ever-challenging college recruiting game. He’s said there’s no burning desire to try the NBA, though he hasn’t discounted moving on to the next level.

What he knows is he loves college coaching and working at KU.

“I have a great job,” Self said. “I enjoy coaching kids, trying to put a team together and see a team through October to March. That’s what is fun and challenging. A lot of people ask me, ‘What do you do in the offseason?’ I get that all the time. ‘When basketball is over, what do you do?’ I get busy. I don’t think the normal public would envision that. This is a 12-month-a-year job, no question. I have one of the best jobs basketball has to offer. I can’t see wanting to be anywhere else.”

He has no regrets as he approaches win No. 500.

“I thought that we were good at Illinois and good at Tulsa. We knocked on the door,” he said. “I thought Kansas would give us the best product to have a chance to be great. It’s played out beyond expectations for me, personally. The worst team we’ve had was a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament. I’m pretty proud of that, a model of consistency. We will not win 80 percent of our games, I know that. We’ll take dips. I know that. It’s been pretty consistent so far even though we’ve had peaks and valleys.”

He and wife, Cindy, who run the Assists Foundation, have been active members of the Lawrence community. Self is approachable by just about every group imaginable — players, boosters, administration, media. He’s been spokesman for the entire athletic department on a number of occasions.

“It’s been a humbling and great privilege to work at Kansas and work for Bill,” Dooley said. “He’s a Hall of Fame coach and better person.”

“He’s more than a friend. We’re family. We’ve always been family,” Roberts said.

“He never changes day to day. He’s considerate of everybody. I hope I can be like him if I’m ever a head coach,” Townsend noted.

“He’s remained one of the most humble people I’ve ever come across. That’s a credit to him, an unbelievable quality. He’s always a guy you can pick up the phone and call and he’ll always be that way,” said Sadler.

Comments

JayhawkRock78 1 year, 1 month ago

EJ, God bless you! And you don't have to forgive me for being all over your a** about a comment I made earlier this season about losing a game for us. I totally jumped on you about a game earlier, but I can't remember someone I was so down on putting a KU team on their back and having such a performance to carry them in a crucial game. I hope your 39 point game gets the ESPN and prime time recognition it deserves all around. You are a studd, and I hope ESPN recognises you Monday Night Performance for decades to come!!! THANK YOU for leading us to a critical win tonight in Ames.

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bennybob 1 year, 1 month ago

This season is Bill Self's 20th as a head coach.

500 wins/ 20 seasons = 25 wins/season his career average.

Coach K has 951 wins

that means Self is 451 wins behind the all time leader.

at 25 wins/season that would mean Self would have to coach 18 seasons after coach K retires(assuming relatively equivalent amount of wins/season until K retires)

Coach K is 66 yo. Self is 50 yo. (16 year difference)

assuming they both retire at the same age, If Self wins at his historic rate he will fall 2 seasons short of passing coach K.

However, if you examine Selfs record as head coach at kansas, he has averaged 29.2 wins per season. which after 16 seasons:

29.2 X 16 = 467.2

467 > 451.

In other words, Bill Self has the best chance of any current coach to become the eventual all times wins leader

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sarcastichawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Kevin Love wasn't on the UCLA team that beat us in the Elite 8

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DanR 1 year, 1 month ago

One reason Self is such a good coach is the way he'll take a strategy another team/coach uses to beat KU, and add it to his own arsenal. For example, that big man hard hedge that UCLA used to knock us out of the 2007 tournament in the regional final--it was so frustrating to watch Kevin Love slide to half court and cut off Chalmers...and our offense never got in sync. Maybe Self's teams used it a little bit before that game, but the hard hedge has been a big part of his defense since then for sure. Smart sure didn't know what do when Withey flew out there at the end of regulation at OSU. So there is perhaps one win due to Self not getting stuck in his ways.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

I like Hoiberg... but it's time to show him the difference between good and great!

Bring out the big guns tonight, Hawks... and make a statement that we own this conference.

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 1 month ago

It's interesting that until 2008 Self had a reputation of being a good coach who couldn't coach in the big games. He'd had Illinois, Tulsa (think about that!) and KU in the final 8 quite a few times but never advanced past that point. Coach K had a reputation too, until '91, he knew how to get teams to the FF, but he had quite a few disappointments. Once he won it however he became elite, and has added a few more, and will likely win a few more before he hangs it up. Last year showed that the same is true of Coach Self. 08 removed the pressure, and he dang near won another against one of the better college teams of recent years. I believe that FF's and championships will be a part of Self's future at KU. We're in for a great run the next decade!

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Look for some tentative early blocking to see how the refs respond to it; then look for more frequent and skillful blocking schemes if the refs are as tolerant as they were in the OSU game.

Mostly spread high-low during the whistled portions. Blocking during the unwhistled portions.

P.S.: Blocking individually and in schemes works even better on defense. Just ask Kevin Young. Blocking is the new normal for skinny teams dealing with teams with weight advantages.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

KU seems to have a significant unfair advantage as it goes into Hilton tonight, unless The Mayor quickly adapts the same thing Self and KU are doing.

What Self and KU are doing is using their spread hi-lo during the whistle blowing stretches and use their bigs and Travis as blockers during the no whistle stretches.

I have a feeling this blocking approach, which Self has started showing a little, will see a lot of application tonight in Ames.

I really think shifting from a screening, to a blocking, offense during the no whistle periods is inspired on Self's and his staff's part.

The only reason basketball ever used screens was because the vector contact of blocking was originally illegal.

But now in the whistle free periods, it is only habit and conventional thinking that has kept basketball coaches and their teams using screens instead of blocking.

Blocking is the most effective way to move bodies through space to create openings for other players to offend through.

In football, it is called opening a hole between the tackles.

And when one runs student body right with pulling guards and pulling tackles, it is called turning a corner and sealing off pursuit.

In kickoff receiving, it is called creating a blocking wall up the middle, or blocking wall up the sideline to create a corridor for the ball carrier to advance along.

Basketball is ripe for this approach now.

Football uses screens too, to scrape off wide receivers, for example, so basketball will not abandon the screen. Rather it will add blocking, i.e., exploding into the opponent and driving him out of position, as a means of opening up holes for perimeter players to attack through.

Given how quick a study Fred Hoiberg appears to be, this could be the first true "blocking basketball game" in which both teams use the strategy and related tactics. If yes, then it could be quite a remarkable and close game.

But if Fred does not make the adaptation, then I suspect KU will win this one handily.

This new blocking approach to basketball seems kind of like Ben Howland's Hack'n Slap defense. It gives a huge edge in the beginning that melts away as everyone else adopts it.

This game is on ESPN, which means there will be a lot of pressure to keep the game in the broadcast window. It seems like the phenomenon is more noticeable on ESPN than ESPN2, ESPNU, etc., but who can say for sure? Regardless, one should expect at least 5-10 minutes per half, where nearly unlimited fouling will be permitted (i.e., so long as the fouls are not aimed to maim the fouls go uncalled), so as to keep the game in the broadcast window.

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Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

And yet I keep hearing about Bruce Weber as coach of the year.

Bruce Weber, The Norv Turner of college basketball.

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Navyjayhawker 1 year, 1 month ago

Did anyone else see the Facebook post about HCBS. Some dude's car was stuck on the side of the road after the big snow storm. Guess who pulls up to help.... none other than HCBS. Not only a great coach but an even better man! RCJH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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idahawk 1 year, 1 month ago

"Who's to say he wouldn't take Tyler on as an assistant when he's done with school?" khuff80

Well I do think that helps keep CS at KU for another three years at least. But I see Tyler going somewhere else to cut his coaching teeth, say with Danny or Jank. After all he will have been around his dad long enough to soak in the Self-way. But maybe Self will take Evan in under his wing to get him started on his career, hopefully still as a jayhawk.

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 1 month ago

Tough game tonight.

I would say "bring the pain." But that's not really a fitting motto for this team. So I'll stick to, "Just survive, boys."

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justinryman 1 year, 1 month ago

Milestone victories can be hard to get. There is a weight that is put on the shoulders of the person trying to get them. Sometimes they happen right away, some times they become a mental road block not only for the coaches but the players trying to help too much as well.

Here is to Coach Self and the whole KU basketball program getting the quest of 500 wins tonight.

May he not have to suffer what C. Vivian Stinger is going through while trying to get her 900th win. http://www.nj.com/rutgerswomen/index.ssf/2013/02/politi_c_vivian_stringer_at_a.html

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

Great write, Gary!

CS should stay until he can't relate to his players any longer (or vice-versa). There is no challenge in retirement, except practicing patience until you are planted in a box. CS isn't the type to wait around in that scenario.

CS has the rare opportunity to work with youth.... and even though the challenges are tough, it is the path for him and Cindy to stay youthful in the process. Another aspect that helps people stay youthful is to know they remain relevant with others. I'm pretty sure Coach and Cindy feel plenty of relevancy in their current roles.

It gave me hope that CS will be around a while longer after reading the story about the Jayhawk version of the Harlem Shake. Up until then I was feeling like maybe CS was starting to disconnect from the youthful minds of his players.

Rock Chalk, Coach and Cindy, and I hope you can reach another milestone tonight!

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JayhawkRock78 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm going to show this to my kids. When you get to be in a top program High School or College you find a coach who critiques a lot more than gives pats on the back. The focus is all about helping you improve. "You made the basket great, but you also need to do this and that." I was fortunate enough to have Hall of Fame coaches and they are far and few between. I think our players know this. Perhaps the youngsters don't know it yet, but they will.

And Jaybate. LOVE the Roy Hobbs/Kevin Young comment.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

Four Step Program for Winning Ninth Straight Conference Crown.

1] Survive Hilton Magic and The Mayor and eke out a tough road victory at ISU.

2] Take care of home roadkill with West Virginia.

3] Take care of home roadkill with Texas Tech.

4] Play a Scott Drew-coached team anywhere.

5] Icing on the cake - Wildcats lose to OSU on the road on the last game fo the season!!

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

Second Biggest game of the year tonight! Lot's at stake!

1) Keeping pressure on K-State

2) A loss puts K-State and or Okie State in the drivers seat for a "Shared Title".

3) Bill Self's 500th win

4) Need to close out the season strong.

5) Keep improving PG play/Guard play against another good backcourt in Korie Lucious and company.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 1 month ago

I posted this on another article, but I've been hit by the ad twice now. Why oh, why, is KUSports.com running an ad for Mizzou Online? Seriously, LJW...you may need money but that is ridiculous! One of--if not the--premier website for KU sports news and you are running an advertisement for MU? Doesn't anyone screen these things?

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Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

When I was a kid I played for a Litlle General named Bill *, years before he was at Lawrence High. Man he was a mean so & so. Small guy, about 170, but he'd get down on the line with 250#ers & just knock the complete krap out of them. Blood & bruises were real common. And he'd occaisionally take a kid with an attitude into the locker room area for private tutoring. If they emerged with any trauma, they'd say "I fell," or nothing at all. I've no clue how many he had play in the NFL from LHS, but he had several from prior years at really small schools. Many of his guys played D1 ball, & alot of his guys played at Ft Scott JC that won several JC Nat Championships in the early 70's, also at Pitt State, & some of those kids played pro too. Some just have no idea what these types of coaches do to "motivate" kids. If some hate losing bad enough there are few lines un crossed. Most kids were so scared they had little problem complying or giving the best effort possible. I also played hoops for him, as back in those times it was rare for schools to have more than one or two coaches. Hell, we didn't even have sweats to run in, in the dead of winter. And we ran till HE got tired. Warm ups were for games only. These type things were not all that uncommon back then either. Now, if a coach just grabs a facemask or jersey, he's reprimanded or out. There are tons stories some of us could tell about the not so kind & gentler dudes we played for. Much of the PT we did was straight from Marine Boot, and as many of us went on to war, it was confirmed. Glad Self is finally "mellowing out". HA. If you ever have run the steps or the grind, or had lunch on the "hamburger line", the you get my drift...at least a little.

otivate" kids. I guess if

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Rock_Chalk_25 1 year, 1 month ago

Can somebody tell me how Bill Self is so goddamn cool?

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leonard 1 year, 1 month ago

"Two years from now, KU could field Self's greatest team, if Randle were to come and play two years" -- jaybate

I like your take on the future...but allow me a little backwards dreaming about the bar that could have been established for Self's greatest team.

The 2010-11 squad with the Morris twins and Aldrich returning for his senior year -- and the 2011-12 team with TRob and the Morris twins returning for their senior years...could have won 2 national championships and approached the 88 game win streak by Wooden's UCLA Bruins.

"When she was fifteen if you'd told her that when she was twenty she'd be going to bed with bald-headed men and liking it, she would have thought you very abstract." H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

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wrwlumpy 1 year, 1 month ago

Toughest arena. Ask Danny and Larry.

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Kent Richardson 1 year, 1 month ago

I imagine they will realize because of the prolific info blanket. I would see mildly applaud and if they win wild times.

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Kansas_101_Furman_60 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm sure Bill Self won't even think about it being his 500th win until after he gets it. Right now, I bet he just wants to get KU a step closer to a league title.

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RJ King 1 year, 1 month ago

This will be a very tough win. If he gets it, will the ISU fans

a) mildly applaud

b) boo, or

c) not realize or care?

1

jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

He and Cin need to adopt a 14 year old, so Bill can have him for a walk on to replace Tyler in 4 years. That should keep him here till 58, or so, then it's off to Bora Bora.

Seriously, he might well coach a long time, if he were allowed to slump down to 60-70% winning. He clearly gets a huge kick out of helping kids grow up.

I also could see him following the LB model and taking a job at a lesser school after some time off to help assistants get head jobs.

And Self is signaling next year will likely be a year down in the 60-70s% range.

Lotsa good, green wood coming that won't be ready to do more than shoot till they are sophomores. Average returning sophomores. Probably no immediate draft choices even though Randle thinks he will be. Not one every night MUA, though Perry could be very, very good. Its a 25-10, maybe 27-8, kind of team that would likely win a ring the following year, if Embiid ramps up to every night MUA by then and Randle stays two years. Perry, Embiid and Randle would become Self's greatest front line. Ring city. Just with what they already have now lined up on the perimeter. And Self will land his next great point guard next year.

Two years from now, KU could field Self's greatest team, if Randle were to come and play two years, which, given the learning curve of most bigs seems probable. Randle seems more TAD than OAD.

Next year could be very rocky, even with Randle. Roy Hobbs types like Kevin Young walking in out of the mists to have two fairy tale seasons are a once in a coaching career kind of deal. Way more rare than the 5 stars. And losing Zach, which could be masked this season, will be very tough to hide next, unless Jamari finds a J.

But Self is the master puzzle man. And if Embiid, or Randle were to come on early, don't count the Oklahoma Kid out of 30 again.

Go, Bill, go!

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actorman 1 year, 1 month ago

How often, in any walk of life, do you find someone who's the best at what they do and is also the classiest??? We are so blessed to have Bill Self at KU.

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Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 1 month ago

Good article. Going to be a tough game, but Bill will get it done

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madamhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Elijah is fixin to go ham in Hilton.

Coach gets his 500th win.

KU by 8 points.

Damn snow.

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KUFan90 1 year, 1 month ago

Pretty sweet to see that of the top 10 fastest to 500, three coached at KU, and two others played at KU.

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dylans 1 year, 1 month ago

Here's hoping for #1,000 in crimson and blue.

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