Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sutton proud of Self

Ex-OSU coach: Pupil doing ‘marvelous job’

Kansas coach Bill Self, left, congratulates Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton after the Jayhawks' 80-60 loss to OSU in their last trip to Stillwater, Okla. Self made his first trip to his alma mater as coach of the Jayhawks for that "embarrassing" setback on Feb. 9, 2004. His second trip back is today.

Kansas coach Bill Self, left, congratulates Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton after the Jayhawks' 80-60 loss to OSU in their last trip to Stillwater, Okla. Self made his first trip to his alma mater as coach of the Jayhawks for that "embarrassing" setback on Feb. 9, 2004. His second trip back is today.


Oklahoma State basketball coaching legend Eddie Sutton had a heart-to-heart chat with prize pupil Bill Self back in April of 2003.

Self, the wildly successful third-year University of Illinois coach, had phoned his former boss to tell him he was considering accepting a job offer at Kansas University.

Sutton wasn’t convinced such a move was a good idea.

“I said, ‘Now, the only way you are going to top Roy Williams is if you win a national title because of his record. There’s no way you are going to be able to do the same thing.’ And I said, ‘You’ve got a great job at Illinois,’’’ Sutton related.

“He said, ‘Ah, I’ve always wanted to be at Kansas.’ I said, ‘Well, you better go.’’’

Sutton was speaking Monday at Texas’ Erwin Center, where the Jayhawks downed the Longhorns, 80-68, for the 399th victory (against 146 losses) of Self’s 17-year coaching career.

What’s more, it hiked Self’s seven-year KU record to 192-41. That’s an 82.4 win percentage, which actually is a bit better than Williams’ 15-year KU mark of 80.5 percent.

Williams went to four Final Fours at KU and finished national runner-up twice. Self has won one national title and five league crowns in six seasons here.

“I told Bill … I said, ‘Kansas fans think you ought to win every game. Not all of them (fans), but a great many of ’em do,’’’ Sutton said. “I said, ‘When you don’t, you are going to get some letters that maybe are going to criticize you.’ I said it’d be best to overlook them (the letters).”

Sutton basically was playing devil’s advocate, simply making sure Self considered all possibilities before leaving Illinois, where his 2003-04 Illini team figured to make a huge run at the ’04 NCAA championship. Sutton provided the same counsel in 1993 when Self was thinking about leaving Sutton’s OSU staff for the head-coaching post at Oral Roberts.

“I said, ‘Bill, you go over there and really look at that situation.’ I said, ‘Mr. Roberts has offered me that job three different times.’ I said, ‘It’s a little different.’ He went over there and did a marvelous job and of course on to Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas,” Sutton said.

It’s at KU where Self will pick up career victory No. 400, perhaps as early as Saturday, when the Jayhawks tangle with Iowa State in a 7 p.m. tipoff in Allen Fieldhouse.

“He’s certainly done a marvelous job,” Sutton said. “Bill had been a grad assistant up there (under Larry Brown in 1985-86). He knew exactly what Kansas was all about.”

Self is on such a roll at KU that Sutton believes the sky is the limit for the 47-year-old coach.

In fact, Sutton wouldn’t be surprised if Self someday passes his own career victory total of 804 (against 327 losses in 36 seasons).

“Sure he can,” Sutton said. “You start winning 37 games a year, you will pile ’em up real fast. Here’s the thing ... I’m not sure how many young coaches will coach as long as Bob Knight (36 seasons, all-time record 902 victories). Coaches are making so much money now. It isn’t as easy in my opinion to coach as it once was. If Bill wants to coach, certainly he’ll have that opportunity. He may get tired of it in another 10 years.”

Some wonder if Self will tire of the grind of recruiting and head to the NBA.

Self has never discounted the possibility, but has never said it’s a dream of his to coach at the highest level, either.

“I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I don’t know if he has any desire to go (to pros) or not. I’ve not talked to him about that,” Sutton said. “I think he’s really a great fit for college basketball. We haven’t had too many college coaches go to the NBA and be successful. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t.

“I never had any desire myself,” added the 73-year-old Bucklin native, who coached at Tulsa Central High School and Southern Idaho Junior College, as well as Div. I schools Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Okie State and San Francisco.

“I had that opportunity to go, but I always thought of myself as a teacher, an educator. I always felt my calling was to stay in either high school coaching or college coaching.”

Sutton, who attended KU’s shootaround Monday afternoon in Austin and has attended Jayhawk practices in the past, sees Self as a perfect fit on the college level.

“I’m very proud of him, gosh darn, yes,” Sutton said “Four hundred wins is just a peg going up the ladder, and there’s no doubt he’ll get to 500 in short order and then 600. He gets to a certain point, he may make that decision (to retire). If he’s still enjoying himself, if his family is enjoying it, heck he may go to 800.”

Self, of course, is also part of the coaching tree of Larry Brown, who now coaches the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

“Bill worked my camp, then worked with me. The young guys we worked with at KU — (John) Robic, R.C. (Buford), Bill, John (Calipari), Mark (Turgeon) — when you look at the things they’ve accomplished, it’s pretty special,” Brown said.

“Bill was so bright. Working for Eddie was huge in his development. Watching him go to Oral Roberts and Tulsa and Illinois ... he just keeps getting better and better. We think where those programs were when he left ... they are all doing pretty well. He is real. He really cares about the kids. He is aware of the tradition of Kansas. He treats people the right way and is bright. That’s a difficult combination.

“I know he’s the head coach, and what he stands for makes me pretty darn proud knowing he worked with me.”


lv_jhwk 12 years, 7 months ago

“He said, ‘Ah, I’ve always wanted to be at Kansas.’ "

And that is why the next basketball arena will be named after Coach Self! (Obviously a ways away, but that just gives the man time to further cement himself as the true heir to Allen's legacy.)

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

Original caption for the photo above: Albus Dumbledore visit's former pupil Harry Potter.

ParisHawk 12 years, 7 months ago

jaybate, that would explain the magic hairpiece! And the redhead who apparated behind the KU bench after halftime Monday: she must be Ron's daughter. Too bad Harry was unable to magically erase the apostrophe in "visit's" :)

Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 7 months ago

"..The young guys we worked with at KU — (John) Robic, R.C. (Buford), Bill, John (Calipari), Mark (Turgeon) — when you look at the things they’ve accomplished, it’s pretty special,” Brown said" (Larry Brown)

Larry -

Please reconsider that Calipari insertion. What he's accomplished IS pretty special. I wouldn't take any credit or list him on my resume!

jcepp 12 years, 7 months ago

“I said, ‘Now, the only way you are going to top Roy Williams is if you win a national title because of his record. There’s no way you are going to be able to do the same thing.’. . .’’ Sutton related.

Roy who?

bradynsdad 12 years, 7 months ago

can anyone tell me if the salty iguana is usually packed after a game or if its not that bad a place to get into.i talked to a few of you about my wife and i going to her first game and she loved it so much she is making me get tickets to the colorado game. even though they will be just general admission seats it is still a great time.

ryanzig 12 years, 7 months ago

Which is totally why I wasn't fully on board with Roy Williams. He didn't care enough to fully embrace his job at KU. He always had UNC in the back of his mind. Self is here to stay. And memhawk, I would never list Calipari amoung those solid, clean, hard working coaches either!

jayhawkinnc 12 years, 7 months ago

Hey Gary,

FYI.......Bob Knight coached 42 seasons at the college level, not 36. He coached from 1965-66 through 2007-08 (did not coach 2000-01 season.) 1965-71 at Army. 1971-2000 at Indiana. 2001-08 at Texas Tech. :)

slowplay 12 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't call coaching in the NBA a "higher level". It's like going from the Olympics to the WWF. All show, no substance.

Tim Bingaman 12 years, 7 months ago

Prediction: - Self leads us to a couple of National Championships - Leaves to Coach Spurs after Popovich retires - Sexy Rexy leaves San Francisco after a Final Four season to coach KU! - Walters leads KU to more National Championships!!!

Rock Chalk

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

“I’m very proud of him, gosh darn, yes,” Sutton said

Very kind words. Sign him up for the next 30 years...

Agree there would be much greater rewards coaching at the college level for the reasons Sutton chose to stay at the college level. I think Self has the same mentality.

E4KUJHawks 12 years, 7 months ago

Great article. Have always liked Coach Sutton! Very grateful to have Bill as our Head Coach. No better fit for KU, than Bill Self!

dynamitehawk 12 years, 7 months ago


Did you not see Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan in Wrestle Mania III? I wouldn't rank that above Danny or Mario's miracles, but I would rank it against Hakeem Warrick's block in 2003. Good substantive stuff.

NinjaJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Hope Coach Self never goes to the NBA for obvious reasons. Could he be successful? Maybe. The NBA is a whole different animal and not many college coaches could make the transition. If he does I think he should be an assistant coach for a while to get a feel which I doubt would happen. Self wouldn't be a great fit for the NBA because I think the lack of defense would drive him absolutely crazy. Bill Self is a defensive minded coach and no one in the NBA plays defense until the post season. Hope Coach Self is a Jayhawk until he retires 20 years from now after passing Bobby Knight for the all time win mark (Hopefully with a few more national titles).

Brett Arnberger 12 years, 7 months ago

I could see Bill going to OSU before the NBA. My feeling is that when...not if...Bill leaves, Mark Turgeon is going to be the next KU coach. There is a guy that bleeds crimson and blue. Look at the coaching jobs he's done at WSU and now this year with the Aggies. Kansas native and player. He would be here in a heartbeat when the day comes. However, I hope this is at least another 15-20 years down the road...

Tony Bandle 12 years, 7 months ago

Totally off topic and I am totally serious, .....

but after watching the UNC/Duke game last night, I feel you could take the top five players from each time, have Roy strictly coach the offense and Coach K strictly coach the defense and the current Bill Self Jayhawks would still kick their a$$!!!

Please, please, please let us play Duke in the Tourney,,we'll be able to start EJ,CJ, T-Rob, Markieff and Jeff and get a good workout.

Wow!! Do both these teams suck!!

Of course, neither suck as much as Dick Vitalis [not that he needs hair cream anymore]. He has Duke and UNC playing for the national title next year and constantly harped on the fact that there were no dominant teams this year. [KU, UK, 'Cuse combined records of about 70-3..gee Dick, maybe you should define dominant]

What the truth is, there are no dominant teams in the ACC!!!

jayhawkinnc 12 years, 7 months ago

Self is definitely the perfect fit for KU. He'll stay at KU for a long time....I just hope he spends the rest of his career in Lawrence. Great Coach and an even better guy. We're so lucky to have him.

RockChalkGuy 12 years, 7 months ago

This is a great article. Thanks for seeking out this story and bringing it to us.

Joe Baker 12 years, 7 months ago

I'm so glad Self didn't listen to his mentor. Greatest decision for all involved. This has been a win win situation.

I don't think Self would leave KU to coach another D1 program.

I think his next step, like Brown would be the NBA. I'm sure he's had a few owners/managers call to offer the position. I don't see him going backward to OSU.

Rock Chalk Beat ISU

youowethehawks 12 years, 7 months ago

To play basketball in anything other than "Allen Fieldhouse" is blasphemy.

Yes, I love the job Coach Self has done, but he'll never carry the moniker, "Father of Basketball Coaching"...

To accept anything else would be like adding the "woooo" to the Rock Chalk (which totally destroys what Teddy Roosevelt called "the most haunting chant in sports" and makes it sound more like a paen to Carson Daily on TRL). There's no reason to change a good and long standing tradition. Not that HCBS wouldn't deserve a building or two named after him if he keeps hanging banners in the rafters, but that building should not be "the Phog."

I would consider Bill Self Court at Allen Fieldhouse, or renaming Mass Street "Bill Self Boulevard" from 6th to 11th Streets in honor of all the celebrating we've done and will continue to do on that street thanks, in large part, to HCBS.

Just my humble opinion. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU (sans the woo!)! Viva Self!

Brett Arnberger 12 years, 7 months ago

The reason I think he might some day head to OSU is because 1.) obviously an alum 2.) great coaches love a challenge.

knayte 12 years, 7 months ago

“I told Bill … I said, ‘Kansas fans think you ought to win every game. Not all of them (fans), but a great many of ’em do,’’’

Why is Eddie Sutton reading comment threads at

Joe Baker 12 years, 7 months ago

The next coach would be Danny Manning, unless Manning goes to the NBA with Self, which would be totally understandable with D-Man's experience at that level.

There are two options: Retire from KU or end with the NBA!! I want 2-3 more NC hanging in the Phog before he goes anywhere.

Kye Clark 12 years, 7 months ago

Did anybody else think that Eddie Sutton was trying to dissuade Coach Self from taking the KU job in hopes that he would take over the OSU job once he left? I'm sorry, but trying to convince him to stay at Illinois to bypass the greatest coaching gig in the land just because expectations are high? That's weak.

As far as Self's tenure here at KU, I still worry that maybe in the twilight of his career if he had another crack at the OSU job he would take it. If that were to happen I would be dissappointed for sure, but I know for me and I would think for all fans that there wouldn't be the widespread bitterness like there was when Roy left. HCBS has done so much more for this program (not to discount Roy's contributions). The obvious being winning a National Title here, but also when the OSU job came up and Lew gave him a new contract he negotiated upgrades to our facilities.

The lure for college coaches to make the leap to the NBA are two-fold. First, the money. The money almost lured Billy Donovan to the NBA (or it did, then he reconsidered, whatever. Those Florida coaches are the kings of the flip-flop). The second reason is the challenge. These high-profile coaches are highly competitive, and maybe at some point they talk themselves into taking on the challenge of managing a bunch of over-blown egos and competing with even more talented athletes. I can't stand the NBA and hope HCBS never makes that leap, but if he did I'd follow him just like I follow former Jayhawk players.

Lastly, I like the Rex Walters & Mark Turgeon coaching ideas, but what about Danny? How awesome would it be to have that icon roaming the sidelines? I don't think there anyone has ever won a NCAA title as a player and head coach at the same school. I think Danny might have to leave and come back for that to happen; cut his teeth as a head coach somewhere else before taking the reigns at the greatest basketball institution ever. Hopefully not for many years and championships later!

Ben Kane 12 years, 7 months ago

everyone needs to get their butts over to espn college basketball and vote for best basketball town. Lexington is winning for crying out loud. we are tied for third with Syracuse!!! that's just insulting.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 7 months ago

Your thinking that Bill would eventually love another challenge is correct sometime in the future...however, your destination is wrong.

When [not if] Bill moves on it won't be a lateral move to a lesser program [Okie ST] will be to an NBA team. A team that resides in his home state, a team that is starting to build a great base of talent. That team..The NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder and, yes, I feel Danny will move with him.

Not sure when but definitely sure eventually.

[Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois,'s not like he's never moved before]. And when he does, I will thank him with all my heart for the joy the Jayhawks have brought into my life and wish him only the absolute best!!

Kye Clark 12 years, 7 months ago

chuckberry - done. Thanks for pointing that out. East coast bias will probably skew that vote regardless, but ask people in the know (coaches, sports writers, etc) and Lawrence always wins out. Check out Pat Forde's "Forde Minutes" article on the best college basketball towns. Now he breaks it down by conference, but "Lawrence was the lone unanimous pick in the entire survey". Enough said.

P.S. In the Forde article, Manhattan received a vote for worst town, which made me smile.

thmdmph 12 years, 7 months ago

Coach Self will stay put for a simple reason - he has a great opportunity to build a dynasty and better Larry Brown, Ted Owens, Naismith and the Phog himself. He's in great position to build a dynasty and belong on the club with the likes of Coaches Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, John Wooden, and Eddie Sutton. This is taken in consideration that it's not just a dynasty at any school, but at KU with an already rich basketball tradition.

-Being a great basketball coach - 10's of millions of dollars -Cheating your way in recruiting and always be "CLOSE to winning national championships" - 10's of millions of dollars and a slap on the wrist -Leaving a school who thinks your Harry Potter or the second coming of Christ to constantly wander around through different NBA teams - 10's of millions of dollars -Building your own dynasty and being one of the greatest coaches of all time - priceless.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

It was posted above but needs to be posted again. Come on Jayhawkers. Currently Kentucky leads. We cant have that. Best basketball town is definitely Lawrence KS!

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago


First, I'm with you regarding KU being way up on talent and level of coaching, and level of play this year on UNC and Duke. They, like Texas, have been wildly overrated all season long. Texas can't shoot. UNC's green wood is too weak. And Duke lacks an inside game..

That being said, there are certain extenuating circumstances that perhaps need to be made clear about UNC's and Duke's plights this season.

Regarding Duke, except for John Wooden, every great coach with a long career has slipped into lesser success that last ten years of his career. They can't, or choose not to recruit the very best players any more. Competitors say they are getting old, have health problems, and may retire. The aging great coach gets some top players, but never enough and always has holes to fill. The aging great coach also finds it increasingly hard to indulge and cajole players and so get the very best out of them. Coach K is in this phase. They let up just a hair to balance work and family. But beauty walks a razor edge and so does great coaching. Most aren't as deeply, systematically disciplined in their greatness, as Wooden was. Most do not understand as deeply as Wooden did, how he did what he did. Minor let ups, minor errors in judgement, have unforeseen consequences that leave their teams very good, but not in the top five, or ten. Over time, the wholes in talent expose that even all their shrewdness and knowledge cannot over come holes in talent. They are no longer the flavor of the month among high school players. What they did 8-10 years ago is a dim memory to recruits.The program equilibrates at a level that is hard to fire the aging great coach, because he's got so many IOUs floating around inside the university and the alumni. He coaches momentous international teams to self actualize further and to burnish his reputation. It makes him harder to fire, but it keeps him from recruiting as intensely as he should. Eventually, the aging great coach realizes what is happening and takes a year or two and really bears down. Things improve, but not quite to the old levels. And the end of his career is now in sight and the competitors really begin to use it against him. This is where Coach K is right now.He is not revolutinizing the game with any new ideas, any new schemes, at least any that are boosting him back to the top. He not busy being born is busy dying to quote Dylan.

So, we should not be too surprised that Duke, which was always wildly over-hyped in Coach K's salad days would continue to be in his professional eclipse. It is just that the gap between hype and reality was smaller in his salad days and he won some rings. Now, the gap is wide and he struggles just like so many others to even get to the Sweet 16.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

That's all the tenderness I have for Duke and Coach K. Frankly, I always hope they get the snot beat out of them severely, so he will just leave the game. I never liked him. He, like Knight, and Lute Olson, were from the school of injure the opponent if he gets up 15 with ten minutes to go. I always despised him for it, and that lack of sportsmanship that Knight and Olson exuded, too, is what has kept me from respecting, or admiring any of the three. Heck, anyone can win another ten percent of their games by threatening to injure anyone who gets ahead of them with ten to go. Bodily injury is eternally the ultimate trump card in disruption in college basketball. Coaches K, Knight, and Olson played it repeatedly. May all three rot in hell for it.

One of the reasons I have admired Wooden, Dean, Brown, Eddie, Roy, Carril, Bill Self, even Pitino, Calipari, and Donovan, so much has been that they have all believed in playing clean and hard to the buzzer, but have never resorted to unilateral muggings when down 15 with ten to go.

When you look at Bob Huggins (and his disciples), and Ratso Izzo, and John Thompson Version 1.0, all they ever did was start out playing from the buzzer the way Coaches K, Knight, and Olson played when down 15 with ten to go.

So: in a way, I hold Coaches K, Knight and Olson significantly responsible for what became of basketball in the current thug ball era. They started down the slippery slope. Huggins et al just put on the skis and accelerated the decent.

Now, about Roy (and lump Billy Donovan into this too). Roy's big fall is not unlike Billy Donvan's big fall. Both had dominant teams. Both won with senior PGs and dominant, experienced bigs that jumped to the next level after the ring (the second ring, in Donovan's case). Both used the rings to go after nothing but the same talent the NBA wanted (the OADs). Neither had, during those ring seasons, a great underclassmen PG who came back to lead them through transition. Neither had, during those ring seasons, a dominant freshman big man getting great experience in practice while sitting on the bench during the ring season. Both UNC and Florida started out massively over hyped in their rebuilding season based on great recruiting classes. And both had the same problems with their great recruiting classes. Most of their new guys couldn't learn to play D1 grade ball as a team, or be physically strong enough to do same, their first years. And the few that did, on Florida, anyway, jumped to NBA, leaving even more holes the following seasons.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

Self, partly by intention, and partly by dumb luck, got to rebuild with Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich. Sherron carried the team on his back until mid season, when Cole finally figured out how to keep from being pushed around like Blue Bird at a kick fighting contest; then KU had a PG and dominant center to let Self fit the glue pieces around.

It is hard to compare coaches. So much of what coaches do involves intangibles; things very hard to quantify and measure.

But there is one thing Bill Self can do head and shoulders better than any other coach I have ever seen, even better than Eddie Sutton.

Bill Self can mask weaknesses, hide holes, gloss over being only one deep at a position like Brady at the 3 last year, and Brandon at the 3 the three years before. Bill Self can hide what he doesn't have and scheme away from when the opposing coaches decide that's KU's achilles heel.

Self is a bonafide wizard at this masking. And he doesn't so much hide weaknesses, as he makes you unsure just how important the weakness is to the KU team.

He does this by weaving every team like a tapestry of player threads. You pull one and he pulls another.two. You pull the same thread harder and he pulls three or four threads. Everyone talks about doing this, but Bill Self, Eddie, and Larry Brown, actually do do this routinely.

Roy, as marvelous of a coach as he is, has never been able to do this. He runs a system that is really more like a machine. It has moving parts. If one is missing, the machine gets clunky and eventually breaks, if he doesn't insert the right part.

Billy Donovan, who learned his game from Pitino, has a little more finesse about masking. But not enough to do what Self does seemingly every game.

Kaun can't rebound? Okay, so we'll have the guards rebound and get more strips.

Rush can't go left? Fine, let Mario and Julian go left, or just forget about driving entirely and Julian, or Arthur, or Jackson, just beast all over them so no one can think about Rush's weak left.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

Collins isn't the greatest defensive PG? Fine. Surround him with so much defensive help that every mistake he makes gets swallowed up in a swelter of pressure and gambling to strip, or is backed up by a mad storking super shot blocker.

Don't land Kyle Singler, or James Anderson after a ring? Fine. Play an inexperienced 6'3" Brady 32 minutes a game and completely eliminate the 3 position from the offense, except as a post feeder.

I don't know how Self gets away with it, but he does. He always gets away with it.

Roy and Billy ascend to the heights and then get their butts kicked reloading.

Bill ascends to the heights, makes the Sweet 16, and if Mario Little had been healthy, very well might have made it to the Final Four, might even have sneaked a ring.

The man is a genius at masking.

But here's the thing...

Bill Self could have masked for all he was worth last year, but if he had not had Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, he would have been up feces creek without an oar.

Bill Self' knows he was as lucky last season, maybe even luckier, than he was the year he won the ring.

But as everyone knows, who has ever tried to do anything at all. The luckiest persons are almost always smarter than every one else, too. Smarts are a luck magnet. Bill Self has smarts. And he has luck. Its a tough combination that neither Roy, nor Billy Donovan really have in such great quantities, even though they have more rings.

Everything has to align nearly perfectly for Roy, or Billy D, to win their 75-80 percent and occassional ring.

Self preaches something rather different from their perfectionism. In some coaching circles, it might even be considered heresy. Self tells his teams from the git-go that a third of the games they will play great, a third middling, and a third they will suck. Their big task is to learn to win the games they play rotten in. He is giving them something dangerously close to a self-fulfilling prophesy. It is strange. But apparently, when you play for Self, a coach who can mask many of your weaknesses, and scheme away from some of the ways you suck most, it adds up to 10-15 point wins at about an 82% rate, whether you're playing great teams, or also rans.

Self's is one of the strangest wizard acts I've witnessed

We are fortunate to see it 35-40 times a season.

It is really remarkable.

Ryan Wilson 12 years, 7 months ago

I think Mark Turgeon would be a fantastic candidate for the head coaching position following Coach Self. He took over a ravaged Billy Gillespie A&M squad and now they are sitting third in the Big12 behind a strong KSU team and the dominant Jayhawks. Mark knows how to get it done and he is a loyal Jayhawk.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 7 months ago

Yikes!! I didn't realize Bill won't be 48 til nexr season. He could coach another 17 seasons and at his current rate retire close to 900 career victories!!

Maybe in the long run we owe Dean Smith a debt of gratitude!!

Well written Jaybate...I like Bobby Knight a lot more as a color analyst than as a coach!!

Alec White 12 years, 7 months ago

I think Self moving on is an interesting subject, although I don't envision it happening for another 7-8 years. But what if he goes on a rampage and captures 2 more NCAA championships in that time span? He certainly has a great chance these next two years to hang another banner (or two...). At that point, when does he consider the next challenge? After all, once a coach reaches that level there is nowhere to go but down. Coach K hasn't done anything since contemplating the Lakers job, Billy Donovan is slipping, Ole Roy can't win a game for his life, and Pitino and Izzo haven't won the big one for the last decade.

Now imagine that Coach K took the Lakers job a few years back. He would almost certainly have an NBA finals ring to go along nicely with his three NCAA rings (I think I could've "coached" the LA Lakers to a tite last year), and would be cemented as one of the greatest coaches of all time, regardless of which sport you're talking about. Now that's a legacy, one that has to factor into a decision of leaving the college game for the pros. Bill will never get the respect he deserves from NBA people regardless if he wins 5 NCAA championships; he has to do it on the big stage with the big players.

The next question is does Self have any ambitions in the NBA? I think the obvious answer is yes, considering he hasn't denied the possibility and in this day and age that means he has thought about it long and hard. Would he do well? Absolutely. He knows how to manage players' egos (which is mandatory for an NBA coach), runs a great and clean system, and works tirelessly until the team succeeds. I think if he were to spend one off-season learning the NBA game he could be a coach next year if he wanted...let's hope though that he doesn't realize this until after a few more banners! RCJH

Ben Kane 12 years, 7 months ago

did anyone else notice that on the espn commericial for big monday, where they throw some logos over the states of a few schools, that where they used to throw a jayhawk on the state of kansas they now have a wildcat? I guess we can let the mild cats have a moment of glory.

this UNC down year just threw me into some serious deja vu. that was how i felt every time KU lost a bunch of good players under roy. He just has never figured out how to keep the cupboard stocked and always goes back to square one. that is perhaps the best thing about coach self.

100 12 years, 7 months ago

Dynamite Hawk,

Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan was almost as good as Mike Tyson biting off Hagler's ear....

Both of these events far surpassed the viewing quality of watching Warrick slap away our national championship in 2003.

Which reminds me, speaking of planning & strategizing properly in advance for such competition (like the Cuse)...

Yesterday I think Jaybate is onto something. Here's his lineup to go against the vaunted 3-2 zone of Syracuse, the zone that "never tires down":

  1. Cole Train
  2. Withey
  3. Mars
  4. The X Man
  5. The Bowling Ball

We have agreed generally on a principle, since the back of the zone, by it's nature is susceptible to overload, that it is opimal to have both of our athletic 7 footers down low, making it essentially 2 7 footers versus 2 Syracuse 6'7" guys.

Already we have a mismatch problem for Syracuse.

Now bring in the paint a KU "3" off the wing for a couple back picks per possession on their big men & Syracuse's two 6'7" big men are now guarding two KU 7 footers & are trying to navigate past a big pick setter in Marcus.

By the nature of Boheim's 3-2 zone, the wing defenders tend to stay close to home, they will keep a distant eye on Marcus as he's inside setting picks but they will not put three defenders directly under the basket because they rely on help defense from the bigs inside if Marcus happens to get the ball (Boheim hates the ball to be popped back outside for sn open 3, he wants all three point shots contested so his wing defenders rarely touch the paint & stay in their "zone", although sliding a bit, but never going under the basket).

This is their biggest weakness.

So Jaybate, i do like your idea of using Marcus for the 3...

The problem I have is that we are asking the X man to be "the other ballhandling guard" (besides Marcus) could be problematic. By the game I'm trusting X more & more, but I think we can all agree that X still has some work to do with his ball handling. He will absolutely be a guard in the NBA, he's not a tweener at all to me; his ballhandling needs to be worked on.

So my point is, I do like your lineup, & I think we both agree what we'd run is more of a 2-2 on offense with a roving pick setter, capable of hitting from 15.

Throughout the course of a game like this, I think Boheim would be forced to draw up a makeshift defense which would be Boheim's downfall (the only reason their 3-2 is so good is because that's all they practice!)

We just have too many tools & can slice up a zone like this with too many angles.

Lastly, if you have watched Cuse play zone this year & they're not tired at the end of the game, to me that's the best news of the year...

That means we can really move the ball on them & control them with or without the Marcus backpicks for our 7 footers!!!!

Rock Chalk

Brad Farha 12 years, 7 months ago

@ ParisHawk -- you are cracking me up with your post. I saw that redhead in UT t-shirt appear behind the KU bench., and I thought it looked a little suspicious. We are in Texas' house, our guys are playing well, and then suddenly an impossibly statuesque attractive redhead appears behind our 18-24 year old male basketball players. An interesting coincidence ; )

@Jaybate -- thanks for all the posts. I like hearing your perspective. Keep 'em coming!

rawkhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

I am happy that Coach Self is at KU and hope that he sticks around. It seems that this is likely, as it seems like he is part the family in Lawrence...

100 12 years, 7 months ago

I.e. If Cuse's D isnt tired after 40 minutes, they're not really working, or haven't gone up against a team that "makes them work"....

That is great news from KU's perspective....

Make Cuse work!!!!

Carter Patterson 12 years, 7 months ago

Gary, you have an old caption under the picture...this will be Coach's 4th trip back to Stillwater.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago


There are only two reasons we could get away with X at the 2.

  1. Sherron.

  2. The very fact that Cuse plays zone.

Sherron can always handle the ball distribution chores himself for significant stretches.

X standing three feet in front of the seam between the 'Cuse point and the Cuse wing opposite Sherron, seems able to receive the pass from Sherron juking toward the seam in front of him and then passing to X. X the seems to be a threat from three that requires both point and wing defender to converge. X then seems capable of feeding to either footer coming off a back pick on the low blocks, or also capable of splitting the point and the wing with a few dribbles, and either go airborne to the rim, dish to a big, or kick back to Sherron at the trey stripe standing alone at the top of the key because of the point having had to collapse on X penetrating.

Yes, it would be safer for Sherron to do much more of this ball handling, but X seems able to what I have outlined right now. And interestingly, if X were to commit too many TOs, we could move Marcus out front, let X back pick and Marcus definitely now has the tools to dribble drive to the rim from outside. That's getting to be a regular move of his against m2m and against zones.

Bottom line, your take that we have too many ways to slice the zone not to eventually crack it I agree with.

This is why I am jazzed about KU's chances of running the table and ringing it.

I really think Cuse is a cut above everyone else, and KU is a cut above Cuse.

March can't come to soon, but for the chances to get Withey 3 Saturday games before Big Monday games, where Self gets Jeff ten minutes in the first half, and maybe 2, or 3,in the second half, under the pretense of resting Cole for Monday...but in fact killing two birds with one stone--the other stone being getting Withey ready for ten minutes in the first half of the first of two Madness games played one day apart...and for Cuse in the Final Four. :-)

Rock chalk.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 7 months ago

All: Great stuff about Coach Self and all the other big-time coaches in College Basketball.

Joe Baker 12 years, 7 months ago

kansasfanatic8808- a&m wasn't all that "ravaged" when Gillespie left. He is the only coach that beat KU in the Phog with Acie Law's shot. BTW, Billy G is the one who recruited Orton for uk. Gillespie is a great recruiter of talent. This is why him and Self get a long so well. They are so much alike. Billy G got a bum wrap from the hillbillies!

The mysterious girl at the UT game was the Yellow Rose of Texas!!

slowplay 12 years, 7 months ago

Why is everyone assuming that Manning is going to follow Self anywhere? Don't be surprised if Danny has own gig somewhere else next year.

MDHawk 12 years, 7 months ago

There's only one good reason to watch NBA basketball: to see new facial hair on former Jayhawks. Seriously...the NBA is as boring and passion-less as it gets.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Dean May Be Trying to Replace Roy:"

Roy's Sear's Double Knit baby blue blazer is missing.

"Remember Matt Doherty" bumper stickers start appearing all over Chapel Hill.

Wanda gets anonymous offer of a free double wide outside Asheville from a wheezing, chain smoking caller with a Midwestern twang.

Phil Ford rumors start again.

James Taylor refuses to sing "Goin' Ta Carolina in My Mind" for Roy's birthday party.

Local Civil War re-enactments have Union soldiers wearing Roy masks.

Joe Holliday and Steve Robinson apply for assistant coaching jobs at KU.

North Carolinians stop saying "Dadgummit" and start shouting "Michael, Michael, Michael!!!"

Dean spending more and more time at Roy's office in the Dean Dome answering Roy's phone and saying, "Roy who?"

Recently commissioned bronze statue of Roy suddenly melted down for scrap.

Stencil reading "Roy William's Court" found in waste basket by Dean's paper shredder.

Game programs start listing Roy's UNC tenure as ending 2010.

Dean carrying a Walther P-38 with a lazer sight around the Dean Dome most every day now.

Dean heard screaming, "He's not my son! He's not my son!" after learning that UNC is likely not to get into the NIT.

Note: All fiction, no malice, just recallin' and satirizin' Dean's reputed behind the scenes work when Matt Doherty struggled and Roy got the Baja KU job.

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 7 months ago

What if Danny Manning isn't a great head coach? It's obvious that he can coach big men on the floor, but little is known about his ability with x's and o's. Also, what about recruiting? Townsend and Slick get a lot of the credit for landing the recruits, but I don't recall hearing Danny's name tied to many of the recent high-profile recruits.

He definitely would need to 'cut his teeth' somewhere else before returning to Kansas. He has mentioned that he plans on staying put long enough to see his children graduate from high school in Lawrence. I'm sure he plans on taking the next step after that.

It would certainly be awesome if he became the next great coach at KU, but I'm not sure it's best to pencil him as the 'coach in waiting.'

dynamitehawk 12 years, 7 months ago

In what world would a massage therapist sound more reasonable than Roy Williams? I honestly could not make up something more bizarre. In fact the other day my one legged pot dealer was saying....

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Local Civil War re-enactments have Union soldiers wearing Roy masks.

"Remember Matt Doherty" bumper stickers start appearing all over Chapel Hill.

BADA Boom, Boom!! Good ones. .......................

one legged drug dealer, priceless:) What's his street name? pogo?

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago

Chuckberry---My butt ran to ESPN and I voted---I kiss the ground you talk on!!!!!

Jaybate---I, too, like Bob Knight as a commentator, than a coach. Although, he was a good coach, as far as, overall victories.

I watched the Duke/Carolina game last night. You know, I was a Dickie V. fan when he first started his gig at ESPN. I even have the laminated article on him when he visited Wichita State (Henry Levitt Arena back then) and was a guest speaker. However, lately, it's ACC this, Duke this, North Carolina this. . . . . I mean, come on, Dickie V.----really? Vitale was saying that look out next year---North Carolina is really going to be good next year---will get them back to the promise land----blah, blah, blah! I say, what about KU? I don't think we'll going to drop off. Then, Vitale says, Mr. Barnes, he will hold his keep at Tar Hill Land---I say, has he made his final decision? I think he has "verbally comitted," but that doesn't mean Barnes could change his mind. All I wanted to do, is watch a good game--yea, I was pulling for Duke, but wanted to see a good game. Vitale is so biased toward Carolina. It was like Howard Cosell being biased toward the NY Yankees. I was a KC Royals fan at the time and I hated Cosell because, like Vatale, especially recently, Cosell was so biased. The Duke/NC game was ruined for me because of Vitale. He is starting to be quite annoying, and, it's disappointed because when Dickie V. started at ESPN, I liked him a lot. Sorry that I rambled but these are my true honest feelings. When a Bob Knight or a Jimmy Dykes does a game on ESPN, I know, most of the time, I will get knowledgeable information and no biased reporting from those two. It is quite refreshing!!!!!

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago

"One-legged pot dealer, named Pogo, who eats breakfast at IHOP from late night dealing" ---Pretty good, Dynamitehawk!!!!!

If I had to see someone replace Bill Self---God, please hope doesn't happen too soon---I would love to see Mark Turgeon get that position. Talk about a rags to riches story!!!!!! Mark Turgeon, from Topeka? He even said it was a dream to play for the Jayhawks on hallowed ground--imagine what he would be like as the coach for the Jayhawks? As long as, Danny Manning was around to coach the bigs.

slowplay 12 years, 7 months ago

"When a Bob Knight or a Jimmy Dykes does a game on ESPN, I know, most of the time, I will get knowledgeable information and no biased reporting from those two. It is quite refreshing!!!!!"

Knight has quite a man-crush on Aldrich and I'm sure this irritates a lot of non KU fans, so it's just a matter of perspective. I can't stand Dickey V's raspy, screaming voice. By halftime you are struggling to hear what he said. Knight just goes with the flow and knows what is going on.

waywardJay 12 years, 7 months ago

Hate to disagree oakville and bate, but against the "cuse zone...

Sherron Tyshawn Xavier Marcus Cole....

Weak spot is up near the free throw line and i want cole there either screening the point guard ( tyshawn) or passing the post to Marcus or a posting Xavier..... I want him attacking down wind wrecking havoc on every miss..... That's a game where Cole could have 7-10 dunks on put backs.

Think about it.... Xavier's a scorer and a good free throw shooter.... Marcus is also a shooter and is inconsistant from up close but can be successful at the line.... all of those guys are above 70 percent free throw shooters and with the glaring exception to tyshawn.... x, sherron and Marcus CAN hit the perimeter jumper..... but will get fouled when they use their athleticism down low.... we can count on Xavier putting the ball on the floor for about two steps... and that's all he would need to uncork a nasty dunk ( as his maturation will progress over the next few weeks )


Sherron Tyrel Brady Markieff Cole.....

When second team is in.... have sherron run the point you have 3 wing shooters who all hit above 40 percent ( i know markieff's 60 is a mirage but i think he's got better than 40 percent if he had to shoot more ) PLus this is a team that will whip them in shapedefensively... Brady's man on Wesley Johnson would be key, as brady is Langford to Anthony in this case......

Either way.... attack the key ... swing the ball to the shifted side of that zone and you will crack that zone .... imagine the attack strategies we could use.....

Sherron Tyrel Brady Xavier Markieff

The 5 man motion 3 machine.

Tyshawn Sherron Marcus RObinson Cole

The DUNK-umentary.

I think the Orange will practice man to man for the day leading up to the game extensively

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago

slowplay---stop being the Devil's advocate and agree with me, one time!

Just messin' with you, man! Good point on Knight. Probably someone from Syracuse hates Bob Knight a lot because of the love he gives to our beloved Jayhawks and to Aldrich, in particular.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Harrison Barnes May Be De-Committing:"

In a scene eerily reminiscient of the shining, millions of gallons of tears start flowing out of the elevator leading up to Roy's office in the Dean Dome.

Giant bonfire of baby blue stationary found burning in a trash barrel behind the Barnes house in Iowa.

Text messages from Barnes reading "Help me, help me, help me!" suddenly appear on Bill Self's cell phone.

Goodwill truck comes to Barnes' home and picks up a box full of UNC sweatshirts and caps.

Dean sighted flying from Des Moines back to Chapel Hill with money still in brief case.

Bobbing head statuette of Roy removed from Mother Barnes' dash board and left out in the street to be run over.

Barnes sighted in KU book store buying accounting text books and trying a key at Jayhawker Towers apartment with a sign on the door reading "Welcome back, Harrison!"

Reputed cellphone conversation over heard between Xavier Henry and Harrison Barnes in which Xavier says, "Yeah, man, I made the same mistake last year. Don't worry, the fans are going give you a lotta love when they find out you've decided on KU."

(Note: Entirely fictional, satire of recruiting sans malice. Harrison will probably soldier on with Baja KU, but wouldn't it be great if he changed his mind and picked the real KU?)

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago


We don't take it as disagreeing. We take it as finding yet another way to run the Orangemen through the juicer! :-)

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago


That's tooooooo funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hawkin8r 12 years, 7 months ago

I too was distracted by that redhead. Apparently she's made herself into an internet sensation. Arielle Angelovich

Interesting story and nice to hear some of these details, but the comments from Sutton to Self seem kind of dumb. OBVIOUSLY he knows expectations here. OBVIOUSLY it is a HUGE college coaching job. If you want to be the best, how could you turn away from an elite program knocking on your door? And to tell HCBS that "There’s no way you are going to be able to do the same thing (that Roy accomplished)" is pretty insulting to someone who has huge aspirations.

HCBS is is own man and will do what he wants, but I don't think he was just blowing smoke when he talked about how much he wanted to create a legacy here.

BeakofLight 12 years, 7 months ago

  1. Love the 'TRL' reference in the earlier post when discussing adding the 'wooo' to the Rock Chalk Chant.

  2. OSU would not be a step down for Coach Self as its his alma. Eventhough Okie St. is a second-tier program relative to KU, given his track record, recuits would follow him anywhere.

  3. Would love to see Mark come home eventually. If memory serves me correct, both Turgeon and Few were contacted after Roy bolted; however, both gave immediate, 'NO's' as they felt they werent ready to be given the reigns of a program with such magnitude.

  4. Anyone interested in checking out a great game should tune into Gonzaga v. St. Marys tonight at 10:00 CST. If the sloth-esque Samhan can stay out of foul trouble, the Gails should give the Bulldogs a run for their money.

Jack Wilson 12 years, 7 months ago

For some of you bagging on Roy, let's not have short memories. This guy was a great coach and invested 15 or so terrific years here. We had our little revenge (closure) in the 08 game, and what does he do? He wears a Jayhawks sticker. He's got two rings. And I know of few of you will agree, his style of play is plain fun to watch. He is a KU legend.

How many of you would accept 13-11 in our first 24 next year for a national championship this year? I would.

jayhawkinnc 12 years, 7 months ago

Roy wore that KU Sticker on his chest as a PR move. He knew he would be on TV that night and that KU fans would see that. That was his way of trying to make peace with Jayhawk nation. Did you see the comments he made this past week comparing UNC's season to the Haiti disaster? google Roy Williams Haiti. of course, he backtracks and later changes his statement after getting hammered for his quote. what a douche.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 7 months ago

BeakofLight----I have no work tomorrow and so, I will be watching my second favorite team in the Land---well, that would be the Zags---my first team, of course is the Jayhawks. I agree--should be a good game. I like Mark Few, as a coach. The knock on him he is not as defensive-minded as other coaches--like Bill Self.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago


Oh, how I wanted Roy to stay and play his brand of ball at KU.

Oh, how he made me proud of KU basketball with Hinrich and Collison's team.

But then I learned that he had not recruited half the country to protect UNC, where I knew he had wanted to return to eventually all along.

And then he bolted on us in the middle of a ring run.

And then when he went to UNC he did not recruit only half the country for UNC, as he had done at KU.

And then it was obvious that Roy, much as I loved the guy when he was here, had to be treated exactly as he was a threat to the continued success and improvement of the KU basketball legacy.

Until Roy retires, it is crucial for every KU fan to understand that KU and UNC are essentially locked in a zero sum game for recruits, for wins, for rings, and for preeminence as the foremost college basketball program, unless Roy agrees to recruit half of the country at UNC and protect KU the way he protected UNC.

Roy signing Harrison Barnes makes the point quintessentially. Roy recruiting Perry Ellis repeats the point.

Roy and UNC are one of the biggest obstacles to the success and improvement of Kansas basketball that there are.

Precisely because Roy is so good, and is unwilling to protect KU the way he protected UNC, it is vital for KU to compete with Roy in every way possible to try to beat him every way possible to try to get him forced out of coaching at UNC as soon as possible.

UNC is almost certainly not going to find another recruiter as effective as Roy. He is one of the best. UNC is almost certainly not going to find another X's and O's coach better than Roy. He is one of the best. He has already won two rings in Chapel Hill and he will win quit a few more and take many more crucial recruits from KU even if KU and Jayhawk nation mobilize for full scale war against him and UNC.

KU, because it is a small media market school with no ability yet to attract eyeballs on the eastern seaboard, is literally in a fight for its life every year.

As I write, forces in the Big Ten are trying to carve up the major regional/time zone advantage that keeps KU on the radar screen at all--The Big 12 conference. Take MU and Texas out of the Big 12 and this conference will shortly sink into the TV equivalent of a mid major conference like the Missouri Valley, or into something like Conference USA was with Memphis.

The play for the Big 12 if MU and Texas leave, is to merge with the Pac 10, another conference constantly under-reported and under-valued by the east-centric sports media. By spanning three time zones, The Big 20 could not be ignored.

KU has to forget what great things Roy did for the KU program, while recruiting only half the country. It has to forget about them until he retires, and then it has to invite him to celebrate the great things he did when he wore the crimson and blue.

Steve Brown 12 years, 7 months ago

10 reasons for hope:

Barnes seen tie dieing 12 pale blue t shirts crimson. Barnes loading Wescoe beach into his GPS. Barnes practice singing for spring Rock Chalk Revue. Barnes taking crew lessons on Potter Lake. Barnes asking Reesing for favortie booth at the Wheel. Barnes sends Pollard $100 month rent check for Taylor's 59 Bonneville. Barnes tells X "yes you will be lottery pick." Barnes googles which states join union in what order. Barnes buys Kansas Turnpike toll pass.

1 Barnes: returns Mayberry RFD to Netflix unwatched.

100 12 years, 7 months ago

Per Harrison Barnes:

Has he not signed a letter of intent yet with Carolina?

If not, we need to start attending his high school games and fill his gym with the Rock Chalk Chant.

wyansas 12 years, 7 months ago

Devil's Advocate here to comment on some of the posts in the top half of the comment section. Perkins's hire of Self was the hire of the century, and he's doing a spectacular job, but he's not as squeaky clean as some on this board think he is. Not going to completely sour the mood by listing specific examples, but I'll just say five of our top six players on the '08 championship team had shady stories behind either their recruitment or eligibility. It's naive to say things like "I would never list Calipari amoung those solid, clean, hard working coaches either!" or that Self "runs a great and clean system." Truth is, we don't know how clean it is.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

Truth is KU may be even cleaner that its reputation, Wyansas.

youowethehawks 12 years, 7 months ago


Roy wore the sticker on his chest to match the one we tatooed on his @$$ two days prior.

...and thank you for picking up on my TRL reference. Did you know that they teach that BS at Traditions Night now! I really feel that people would start to get my point if I added "woo" after every post on this board.

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