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Monday, March 18, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Under Bill Self, KU dazzlingly consistent

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during a news conference following the NCAA selection show, Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self takes questions during a news conference following the NCAA selection show, Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Bill Self is in his 10th season as Kansas University basketball coach but just his seventh without players who also played under predecessor Roy Williams.

Based on that, the 2006-2007 season is the best place to start for a true evaluation of how Self has performed in his dream job. (Jeremy Case, who was not in the 2006-07 or subsequent rotations, was the only player recruited by Williams.)

In that seven-year span, Self’s teams entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed five times, a phenomenal total in any era and even more impressive in the age of one-and-done elite players and impatient high school stars who impulsively transfer more now than ever. Only North Carolina can compare, with four No. 1 seeds in the past seven seasons.

The only other schools with multiple top seeds in the past seven seasons: Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Syracuse have two apiece. Connecticut, Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan State and UCLA each have had one.

Self’s No. 1 seeds came in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11 and this season, when KU earned the No. 2 overall seed, ranking behind only Louisville.

Self’s two teams out of the past seven that didn’t earn No. 1 seeds were the 2008-09 squad that entered the tournament as a No. 3 seed and lost in the Sweet 16 to Michigan State and last season’s team, which was a No. 2 and lost to Kentucky in the national-title game.

Another way to look at this remarkable run that could continue next year if Kansas is able to add Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle to an already-loaded recruiting class: Self has more No. 1 seeds in the past seven seasons than Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski combined, more than Izzo and John Calipari (three, one with Memphis, two with Kentucky) combined.

How has he done it? Obviously, he and his staff recruit well and create an environment that encourages unselfish, intense play. They come to learn that their coach isn’t going to change what he wants so they might as well change what they’re giving him. Great athletes such as the ones Kansas recruits tend to be stubborn. In time they learn their coach makes mules seem open to change by comparison.

Players improve a great deal under Self, in part because they are held to such high standards and are constantly dragged out of their comfort zones, in part because they practice daily against a lot of talent.

Also, athletes who have to wait their turn usually can look at players ahead of them who had to do the same and proved that it’s worth the wait. Travis Releford’s 3.6 points-per-game scoring average as a sophomore is higher than the top scoring averages of fellow starters Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson two years into their careers.

When KU tips off approximately 8:50 p.m. Friday against Western Kentucky in Sprint Center, there will have been 20 different players who started the opening game of the NCAA Tournament on the five KU teams that earned No. 1 seeds in the past seven seasons: Cole Aldrich, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers (2), Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry, Darnell Jackson, Elijah Johnson, Sasha Kaun, Ben McLemore, Brady Morningstar, Marcus Morris (2), Markieff Morris, Tyrel Reed, Travis Releford, Russell Robinson (2), Brandon Rush (2), Tyshawn Taylor, Jeff Withey, Julian Wright and Kevin Young.

The names change. The individual styles and talent levels fluctuate, but the results vary so little from year to year. Self has the most consistently excellent college basketball program in the nation.

Others have won more national titles, but it’s not a stretch to say that among active coaches not named Krzyzewski, Self has done the most impressive work.

Comments

Self_Esteem 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm confused..Shouldn't it have been listed that Tyshawn started twice as a 1 seed? Seeing as it has been well documented that he started all 4 years in his career as a jayhawk.

In the 2009-2010 season, Tyshawn started as a 2-guard alongside Sherron at the point and Cole, Xavier, and McMorris filling up the rest of the rotation.

Then in 2010-2011, Tyshawn started at the point with Morningstar, Reed, and the Morrii. This postseason is when I bought my tickets for the Tyshawn Taylor bandwagon. Always thought the BigXII tourney championship matchup with Texas was when TT's career took off like a skyrocket. Tyshawn had been a deluxe brand of streaky up to this point. I recall EJ playing in his stead due to Taylor being suspended for a home bout against Oklahoma State and lighting it up. But then Tyshawn came out in the game against Texas and took the team and never looked back. Sure he had moments of streakiness after this game but more within games rather than stretches of games and the good always seemed to far exceed the bad. Some might say the Duke game in Maui, would be an exception and it is but Kansas still wins imo without the questionable travelling calls and Tyler Thornton hitting highly uncharacteristic circus threes to pull the blue devils out of the fire. Sorry if I sounded like a resisdent of Ames, Iowa for a moment there. I promise I will not demand a statement from the state of Hawaii announcing that mistakes were made. Besides that story ended far happier for the hawks then it did for Duke in the important tournament. One last thought here. It is eerie how similar the stories of Tyshawn and Elijah and EJ has a place on both sides of this equation. It seems to me that history repeated itself when EJ put TT on the hotseat during that home game against OSU TT's junior year. Tyshawn comes back with one of the finest games of his career against Texas in the bigXII title game and never looks back. This year Naadir Tharpe has Fran the Man Fraschilla and Brent Musburger salivating harder than old Brent was over A.J. McCarron's girlfriend in that big monday beatdown of KSU. But then Elijah seems to show a few sparks flashing from his fuse at OSU before fouling out in OT as a result of calls I can't say I much agree with. Then he explodes for 39 against ISU and regains the acclaim of jayhawk nation. Love the no call on the flop even if I were a neutral fan btw. Mark me down as a one that has a passionate disgust for flopping especially by big men. Lookin at you Steven Moore. One would think pride would keep men like you from shaming the good Dr. James Naismith's game in that fashion. Anywho I have digressed vastly.

One long and convoluted way to ask this question, I know, first bomb I've dropped on the KUsports website and as a gigantic fan of the massive collection of Kansas basketball history that is rapidly and endlessly unfolding I had much and more to say.

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davehawkSWK 1 year, 1 month ago

In regard to Coach Wooden being the greatest coach who has ever blown a whistle, it might behoove one to check out all that is available considering that coach's past. Granted, he did win 10 championships and 88 straight games. A feat that will most likely never happen again. But let's look at the full coaching record of Coach Wooden. He started coaching at UCLA in 1948 (a great year!). From 1948 - 1963 he never won any NCAA championships.Then from 1964 - 1976 he won 10 championships in 12 years. What happened? Well, Sam Gilbert happened! He paid to have UCLA become the best team that money could buy. He gave gifts of money, cars, clothes, and about anything an athlete would want. He was also instrumental in keep Lucious Allen and Lew Alcindor on the campus when they were both dissatisfied. Coach Wooden can be compared with the dishonesty of another coach in which improper gifts, etc. were given by boosters to ensure quality of program. In fact, there was an investigation of UCLA in the 70's which was consequently dropped by the NCAA for no apparent reason when they knew of the improprieties in the basketball program. Gilbert not only paid the players, but also became the agent for many of the players including Allen, Alcindor, and Walton. (Public record, check it out). All of these violations would have caused UCLA to forfeit wins and vacate championships. One of Coach Wooden's stated the obvious quite succintly when he stated, "Among the things Coach Wooden was good at was knowing what he didn't want to know." A very nice man, yes; a great coach, no. A great coach would not have turnd a blind-eye to all the improper benefits for so many years. But then, I can only surmise that he felt the means justifed the ends. I would never be a fan who would welcome a championship through cheating. Maybe the 'Hawks will never win consecutive championships, but we can say that the 'Hawks' coaches do things honestly!

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Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

No doubt, DCLaw.

And for the record, the team itself thought its chances of receiving a 1-seed at "50-50". As did paid professional analysts. How that qualifies as a bone-headed, only the mind of Jaybate can know.

And stop acting like this thread is a court of law, Jaybate. It isnt. To summarize: You started all of this by railing against those of us who didnt see KU as a number 1 seed, and now you want to complain like a child when we have something to say back. Well if you cant take the heat, son, get out of the sun room. Or however that goes.

Your long-windedness means nothing. Go commiserate with Turner Gill.

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DCLawHawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Your summaries are longer than most people's posts. Try self-editing sometime.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

To summarize,

JLost made a bone head prediction, I poked fun at it, and in what appeared a massive reaction formation apparently substituting epithet hurling for an oceanic crest of self conscious humiliation, he began to iStalk my posts. A fellow poster tried to broker a stop. I agreed to stop. JLost did not. One of my posts, lacking any vulgates, was pulled, but none of his epithet based posts were pulled suggesting some supervisors of officials may have encouraged site referees to keep the clock moving. I decided not to hurl epithets, but rather to simultaneously give him venting opportunities on the one hand, while writing and speed posting a 4 parter about John wooden and bill Self. JLost swooned into compensation for apparent intellectual envy. He claimed a 143 IQ AND MILITARY AND psychological, training of only vaguely specified types, which I cracked wise about, before resorting to a mock therapist persona in an effort get him to some reality grounding regarding among other things wild, inadequately synthesized claims about a UCLA booster under Wooden and a UK booster under Calipari. Finally JLost appeared to decline to engage in a compare and contrast question by me that perhaps might have advanced the mock therapeutic process. I enjoyed the experience immensely, but was unable to tell if JLost felt the same.

P.S.: I was just having some fun, but I can't tell about jLost. Z. :-)

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hawkdds 1 year, 1 month ago

I loved his comment, "we laid an egg at Baylor". Coach Self demands team play and idividual accountability on and off the court as I hope Carlie Weiss does. KU is on the rise sit back and enjoy.Rock Chalk

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Steve Gantz 1 year, 1 month ago

Good grief Tom, you brought the Hatfields and the Mccoys here. There'd be half as many comments with them.

My two cents. Self is the best 1 championship coach in the game. Since winning it all is the best standard of excellence, he's still got a ways to go, which I firmly believe he will.

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jumpinjayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

When we play Roy in the 2nd round, lets give him a standing O, not just because of what he did for Kansas basketball while he was here but for allowing us to get the younger version of himself to replace him. Thank you Roy for your great contributions to Kansas basketballs great tradition, you will always be a Jayhawk.

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jeremy424 1 year, 1 month ago

Hahaha.. "comply so we can move forward together" ... That one made me laugh

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Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

Youve got a skewed/incomplete perspective of the Wooden "dynasty". Sorry to bust your bubble.

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Joe Ross 1 year, 1 month ago

You hate it dont ya...lol!!!!! :)

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jaycard 1 year, 1 month ago

Man, I read " war and peace" quicker than that post.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Part 5

It breaks my heart and fills me with awe to think how great Self could have been had things broken right, had Bill Self not had to coach through the American era of Breaking Bad.

Is he as great as Wooden? Hell no. He would say so too. Greatness finally has to rest on what was done, not what could have been.

But could he have been as great as John Wooden? Hell yes!!!!

Could he yet be as great as John Wooden. Hell yes, if he can ever keep the talent pipeline open for ten years without another scandal that robs him of his ability to land the greatest players of his time.

Hell, yes, it could still happen.

Wooden did hit his stride till 50.

Bill Self is 50.

It could happen.

But until it does happen...

Wooden has no equal.

No peer.

No one even close.

But he could on such person close.

Possibly.

Go, Bill, go!!!!

Don't let anything stop you, if you still want it.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Part 4

But the Roygate and Dblockgate robbed him of Kyle Singler and James Anderson in one felled swoop. And then Scalpinggate went on for two seasons in which any other major program could tell a 5-start KU could easily get the death penalty if the millions of dollars of ticket scalping leads into the basketball team itself. Then there was Mangino broomed for player abuse. Hey, 5-star, tell your mom that was the football coach. We don't abuse players here. What a great damper on recruiting that line had to have been. Then came the investigation of Perkins that opposing recruitiers could smear as possibly leading into a totally corrupt athletic culture at KU. Then there was realignment gates I and II that spanned a couple of years in which Self couldn't even tell 5 star recruits what conference KU might be playing in!!!!

Self's window of opportunity for a renaissance in recruiting seems to have reopened. But there was a lost 4-5 year window during which he could have been powering from one ring to the next and putting impossible distance between himself and the other mere mortals in his profession. Things got so bad last season Self couldn't even build a full 7 man rotation of legitimate major program grade players. Self, the greatest coach of his era, was reduced to playing mud ball and sand bagging all season long. Self the greatest coach of his era had to bite and claw and scratch for victories by stealing possessions here and there, instead or sending eight 4 and 5 stars onto the floor and steamrolling opponents. During John Woodens and Dean Smith's great years they used to slaughter everyone in their paths. Every player on the floor and 3- 4 on the bench could overwhelm an opposing team. Self in the prime of his career, on the heels of a brilliant coaching job winning a ring in 2008, was beggared talent wise in comparison to the games legendary "wrong way" types like Jim Calhoun and John Calipari. Even a no talent dweeb like Ben Howland could fill his bench with guys Self could only dream about at times. Even coaches like Rick Pitino slumming it in Louisville could load 8-10 deep on talent. Jim Boeheim could fall asleep on the bench a full ten deep. Roy Williams could have so much talent that even he could win two rings. Meanwhile, the greatest coach of his generation, was trying to figure out how to play mud ball and turn his beloved impact greyhounds into muscle bound hulks that could grind it out.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Part 3

People that think that Wooden and UCLA were doing something the major programs were doing are just naive in my opinion. All Wooden had to do was level the playing field by recruiting and paying players the same amount the other majors were paying, and suddenly the size of Los Angeles population, the beach scene, the Hollywood glamor, the year round playground play converged to give Wooden an unfair advantage and so turn the tables at long last. Then all Wooden's assistants had to do was go after the future super stars like Jabbar and Walton (most of the rest of Woodens players were really no better than what Dean Smith was recruiting at UNC, or other top programs of the time were recruiting (as the undazzling professional careers of so many UCLA players proved).

My point here is the Wooden was an incomparably great coach. Had the playing field been level and there been no recruiting and paying of players, he would have kicked everyone's ass, just as he did when he leveled the playing field by reputedly doing what the other big time programs had long been doing.

Now look at Bill Self. He is a similarly brilliant, if very different basketball mind, with respect to John Wooden. He became an accomplished, dangerous coach by 40 by surviving a long climb up a very unforgiving ladder. He was at Illinois where he could recruit top talent, but not have all of the advantages of recruiting that the uppermost tier of programs had. He made the jump into a KU program that Roy had built up to amazing excellence. Bill Self had already proven he could take a Tulsa to an Elite Eight. Taking a Tulsa to an Elite Eight in such a short time has to be one of the great coaching jobs of the last 30 years. It was a little like Wooden getting into the NCAA tournament from a commuter school during the time when each conference sent only one school to the tourney. Everyone knew Self could coach like nobody's business. Everyone knew that at 40 he was entering the prime of his career. And then at KU he gets on a recruiting role that quickly leads him up to a ring in 2008. My god, if anyone was positioned to challenge what Wooden did, it was Bill Self the season after his ring team. All he had to do was start to recruit the number of 5 star players that other great coaches of the time had been getting through out Self's developing career, and there was no telling how many rings this incredible man could win.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Part 2

For instance, if Wooden had not spent the 1950s trying to win without recruiting and paying players the way all other major programs reputedly did in that era; that is, if Wooden had had a level playing field, he very likely would have won 20 rings. Why? Because he was practically beating Cal and SC when they were paying players and Wooden was not. Imagine that. You ought to be able to. For ten years, Wooden's experience was like Bill Self's KU team going up against Calipari's Kentucky for the ring. Self was such a great coach that had his starters not been injured, he very likely could have beaten a team of vastly superior talent brought in by reputedly dubious means. This was what John Wooden was up against from 1948 til about 1963-64. Wooden couldn't sign Bill Russell. Wooden couldn't sign Wilt Chamberlain. Wooden couldn't sign the likes of Fred Taylor's Ohio State teams in which every starter would go on to the NBA. Wooden couldn't sign Oscar Robertson. Wooden couldn't sign the talent that Pete Newell and Sam Berry signed at Cal and UCLA. And it appears he couldn't because he didn't actively recruit and boosters didn't pay his players the big bucks as happened at the major programs. But Wooden, maybe like Bill Self after him, won a big percentage for that time of his games against the great programs repubtedly recruiting and paying players. By 1963-1964 Wooden was so good that he could win two rings with players most of the major programs recruiting and paying players weren't willing to recruit and pay.

Somewhere along that time new assistant Jerry Norman, who helped Wooden win two rings with the strategy of the full court zone press, and a couple of surprising recruits that developed beyond expectations, Wooden apparently decided to let Jerry Norman recruit the way the other major programs were recruiting. He apparently let Norman go out and lineup up some rich boosters like Sam Gilbert and it is reputed that UCLA began playing the recruiting and paying game the same way the other major programs had reputedly long been playing it. It appears in retrospect that from the moment that Wooden leveled the playing field on player payment,he started winning at a stunning rate.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

"Its Still Possible"

Part 1

If Wooden had been able to move to an established major basketball program the way Self got to move from Tulsa to Illinois, and then up to a dominant basketball power the way Self moved to KU, instead of having to build a nothing program from scratch at what was then a new commuter school built on an old juco, Wooden almost certainly would have won another half dozen rings, if not more.

If John Wooden coached at UCLA today, with a Nike shoe contract, that allowed him to hall in even more of the great players than he used to get, Wooden win every ring and Bill Self would find himself like Dean Smith at UNC during his years in Wooden's shadow.

Here's what I will say for Bill Self, though. If Self were to be coaching at a major basketball program that were easier to recruit to, he have a 50/50 chance of challenging Wooden's ten rings. It is unbelievable what Bill Self has done at KU the last five years when everything turned against him in recruiting. What Self has done under the adversity he has been under and been trying to recruit through, is flat out the greatest performance of any basketball coach of all time in my opinion. Wooden never had to recruit through the kinds of scandals and shoe contract constraints that Self has had to overcome. No other potential all-time coach, except maybe Adolph Rupp has had to overcome greater scandals to win at this kind of a rate. And to Bill's lasting credit he hasn't been responsible for any of the scandals that have made his recruiting so difficult.

I will always look back in anger at Roygate, Dblockgate, Scalpinggate, Lewgate, and Realignmentgates I and II. These scandals and the rich, but dumb shoe contract with adidas, shattered the window of time, when Bill Self might have started a streak of ring winning, instead of just the phenomenal 84% W&L and the run of conference titles. Without the scandals, none of which were his doing, KU would have had each recruiting class half full, or completely full of 5 stars, and no current coach could have touched him. Self would be 5-6 rings into a streak and the world would all be asking: will he match Wooden's incredible streak and the world would all be saying: winning 6 straight rings in the 64 team era might actually be a greater accomplishment than Wooden winning 10 in the small tourney era.

But great coaches like Wooden don't get to choose the era and many of the circumstances they must coach through.

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Chad Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Bill Self is the BEST thing that could have happened to KU Basketball. You saw his pedigree at Illinois and yes it was tough with the losses to Bradley and Bucknell. But he has found his groove. He knows when to be tough on players. He knows how to coach defense. Some were scared that when Danny Manning left, our post players might stumble. But in fact, they have been as good if not better this season. And let me go back to defense, it's not a coincidence that KU is at the top of % FG Defense EVERY SEASON. Bill Self knows discipline and taking away opponent advantages. He knows ball spacing and creating opportunities both on the offensive and defensive end. And I've always loved his approach to the NCAA tourney. He has always said that each tournament weekend is a TWO GAME TOURNAMENT. And he treats it as such. He never looks too far ahead, but enough to be prepared. I always try to temper my expectations for KU bball. We've been upset sometimes, but almost every year we are a sweet 16 squad. HCBS has delivered and this is his legacy now. He can be the coach for 20+ more years as far as I'm concerned. He recruits, he shows strength and he teaches impeccable fundamentals, especially to the defensive side of the ball. Cheers to Bill Self, perhaps the best coach in college basketball!

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ku2004daniel 1 year, 1 month ago

Stephen F. Austin State Univ from Nacogdoches, Texas and the Southland Conference almost made it. They were 2 points away from dancing in the big dance

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Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 1 month ago

it is stunning, to see the success. five #1 seeds...that's unbelievable frankly. with so much talent moving in and out....a true credit to Coach Self.

Now he can take a big step in this year's tourney....by actually getting this 1 seed to a FF. he's 1-4 in previous years of doing that....(one time at Illinois) so it's time to get this moving in the right direction.

i don't like our bracket...and then i love it. it's the toughest one....so no matter what, we will have earned it. we have no prima donnas on this team....lunch pail guys who have paid their dues....and that always seems to be the best fit for Coach.

it's going to be fun to see how we do......let's Go Jayhawks!

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kerbyd 1 year, 1 month ago

Thought it was interesting that the state of Kansas had all 3 of their Division I teams make it in and the entire state of Texas had (drum roll please...) zero

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Kevin Huffman 1 year, 1 month ago

What I liked in the Big XII Tournament is seeing different players rise up during the different games pending the circumstances.

McLemore had an excellent game against TTech.

P.Ellis was HUGE in BOTH of the last two games - all of the Iowa State game and particularly the 2nd half of the K-State game.

Kevin Young had a good 1st half against K-State.

Tharpe had a very good game against K-State.

Withey also had a good game against K-State.

Iowa State appeared confident that they could play with us, but they were THOROUGHLY SURPRISED by what Ellis was able to do against them!!!! :) It was almost like they were like, "Where'd this guy come from?!?!" We didn't see him do this to us the last two times!

The intensity I would argue was more there for the Iowa State game.

We started slow in that K-State game. Down 8-4 and it was probably 5 minutes in (on pace for 35-40 early). But then we went into "lock-down" mode defensively & K-State realized that they didn't have enough firepower.

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Phoghorn 1 year, 1 month ago

I am afraid that with all the parity, the Final Four could include Colorado State and VCU. That could have some serious ramifications.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

CS brought intensity to the ISU game... that was a warm-up for the intensity he'll bring in the big dance.

He's largely kicked back during this year so he could bring it down the stretch and have an impact.

Effective coaching is largely about timing. Knowing WHEN to do WHAT. CS has saved his intensity to bring it down the stretch, and the difference in intensity will help lead this team when they need it most. No one on the court is truly leading this team. CS will do it from the bench and this team showed us how it responds when he does (ISU game).

I haven't had this optimism in March since '08!

Rock Chalk!

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KGphoto 1 year, 1 month ago

Loosely related:

Cal’s inconsistency landed him in the NIT, with the top seed. What is so damn amusing to me is that they have to travel to Moon Township, PA instead of hosting in Lexington, because some real basketball teams had to play a real tournament there instead.

Aaahahahahaaaaa!!!

Question to Randle and Wiggins: Do you really want to be playing in Moon Township for a chance to advance in the NIT at this time next year?

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iamakufan 1 year, 1 month ago

Someone send this article to Randle and Wiggins. Please.

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njlinderer 1 year, 1 month ago

Myron Medcalf (sp?) out with a huge dis on KU this morning. I'm sure the boys have already heard about it and will use it as a motivator.

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conlawgrad 1 year, 1 month ago

The thing that stands out for me about Bill Self is that he's honest about his team and their team's play. A lot of coaches don't like to criticize their team a lot, especially in public but Self has no problem with it and it seems to make the players respond in a positive way.

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Ron Prichard 1 year, 1 month ago

"...there will have been 20 different players who started the opening game of the NCAA Tournament on the five KU teams that earned No. 1 seeds in the past seven seasons: Cole Aldrich, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers (2), Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry, Darnell Jackson, Elijah Johnson, Sasha Kaun, Ben McLemore, Brady Morningstar, Marcus Morris (2), Markieff Morris, Tyrel Reed, Travis Releford, Russell Robinson (2), Brandon Rush (2), Tyshawn Taylor, Jeff Withey, Julian Wright and Kevin Young."

Unless I am mistaken, of these 20 players, the only one that has not played at least some level of professional basketball is Brady Morningstar (not counting the players on the current roster, obviously). That is a remarkable fact!

After this season, I think the only player that may not play pro ball is Kevin Young, although I do think he could probably play overseas if he wanted, which is where I anticipate EJ and Releford playing.

Strangely enough, the other one that probably played the least amount of pro ball in that list is Sherron Collins. We all knew he had problems with keeping weight off and being disciplined about it, but I thought for sure he would play several years of professional ball at some level.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 1 month ago

"Take care of the ball and we can win it all".

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Rock Chalk 1 year, 1 month ago

Wish we knew if the team and prospective recruits read these great articles (this, and JoePo's) about Self.

Recruits, I would think, would be lined up clamoring to play with Coach Self.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Traveler12

Good question. Answer: yes. Its an oddly constructed sentence, but I find the subject and verb present. I might have put a colon after "they learn" to make it easier to read, but can stand as is IMHO.

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traveler12 1 year, 1 month ago

In time they learn their coach makes mules seem open to change by comparison.

Is this a sentence?

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Boouk 1 year, 1 month ago

Mark these words: if we land Randle we're a 1 seed next year.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

"In Which jaybate tries to Emulate JLost's Fearless forecasting"

=> James Naismith will not invent basketball.

=> The three point shot will not alter the game.

=> The shoeco-summer game-agency complex will not influence recruiting.

=> Adidas will never try to make KU wear odd uniforms to spike USA revenues during the Euro depression.

=> Santa Bennie will join D1 and beat KU out for a 1 seed.

=> The Earth will not stay round.

=> Barack Obama will reveal he prefers lawn bowling to basketball.

=> Chris Rock will never use the f-bomb again.

=> referees will not keep games in the broadcast window.

=> Jeff Withey will not become a draft choice.

=> it will not be hot in needles, CA this summer.

=>

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jhox 1 year, 1 month ago

To me there are three coaches who stand well above the others right now. Self, Krzyzewski and Izzo. Self has been the most consistent overall the past several years but it would be unfair to ignore Krzyzewski's accomplishments or Izzo's tournament successes. If Self can add a couple of additional National Championships it would be hard to argue against him as hands down the best, but Krzyzeski's long term success is pretty impressive, especially whe you consider the strength of the conference many of those years and the fact that Duke's entry standards are so high. He's certainly had recruiting help that Self hasn't enjoyed, in the form of the ESPN marketing machine and being the head coach of Team USA. Izzo has a knack of getting teams ready for the tournament.

Just below those guys...Donovan, Williams and Pitino.

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FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe that Bill Self is well on the way to becoming the greatest basketball coach of all time. I would take him over any coach living today. If John Wooden would have been coaching today, there is no way he would have had the same kind of success he had at UCLA. Had Bill Self been coaching during the Wooden era it would have been a different story.

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mojayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Enjoy the ride, Jayhawk fans. We are living in and enjoying the best era of Jayhawk basketball in the history of our storied program. I watched the great teams of the Ted Owens era before his teams started downward, then the revival by Coach Larry Brown, the continuation by Roy Williams' teams which were some of the most exciting to watch in my lifetime. Then came Coach Self. I didn't know what to think at first. His style of play was a tougher style than Roy's, sometimes slower paced which he was criticized for. But as time has gone by, it has become more and more obvious. Coach Self's teams don't always play the same style, they play the style according to the type of talent they have. Some teams run more than others, some faster paced, some more deliberate. But there is that one glaring consistency. Tough, smothering defense that can be consistent on any given day. Nerves don't hinder defense like they can offense. Good defense leads to good offense. Selflessness leads to great defense which leads to great offense. His teams are flat out good year in and year out. Coach Self's teams are a pleasure to watch. His teams improve because individual players grow up on the court right before your eyes. Watch Perry Ellis this year. Remember Jeff Withey's evolution, the Morris twins growth. Rush, Reed, Russell Robinson, Aldrich, the list goes on and on. If I was a recruit, I would beg to play for Coach Self! Enjoy this time in Jayhawk history. We're making history again! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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1 year, 1 month ago

Tom, loved your HCBS discription "their coach makes mules seem open to change."

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Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 1 month ago

Tom, you nailed it! This is a fact, in my opinion. :) But thanks for the comparison. Sometimes, normally after the loses, I complained the way he orchestrated the same play over & over again, but after reading your article, I have to say CS is the reason why KU bball program is one of the 2-3 tops in the nation. Great job!

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Lonnie Ross Dillon 1 year, 1 month ago

An opinion piece without the author identified?

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