Originally published October 10, 2012 at 05:07p.m., updated October 11, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

Bill Self to receive the Wooden’s Awards ‘Legends of Coaching’ honor in 2013

Kansas coach Bill Self greets several young Jayhawk fans following a brief interview with media members as the team arrives on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.

Kansas coach Bill Self greets several young Jayhawk fans following a brief interview with media members as the team arrives on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.


Kansas basketball coach Bill Self will be awarded the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2013, Coach Wooden’s daughter, Nan Wooden Muehlhausen, announced Wednesday at the annual Los Angeles Athletic Club Wooden Award tipoff luncheon.

The award recognizes coaches who exemplify Wooden’s high standards of coaching success and personal integrity.

The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999, as North Carolina's Dean Smith was the first recipient.

“This is a great honor and humbling, but non-deserving; plus it’s a legends which makes me sound even older than what I am,” Self said. “I had a chance to meet coach Wooden and get to know him fairly well back in the year 2000 because of an award we received. Cindy and I were able to spend a weekend with him and his family. That was a cool experience. To be thought of in this regard with some of the coaches that have won this in the past is pretty humbling.”

Honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes, coaching philosophy and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award.

Self will be recognized, along with the men’s and women’s 2013 John R. Wooden Award winners and the Wooden Award All-America teams, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the weekend of April 11-13, 2013.

“Coach Wooden would have been honored to present this award to coach Self in recognition not only of his coaching excellence, but also his character and commitments off the court," said Greg Wooden, coach Wooden’s grandson.

Self has won eight straight Big 12 regular-season titles and five league tournament championships in his nine seasons with the Jayhawks. His KU record is 269-53 and his 83.5 winning percentage with the Jayhawks is the highest in program history.

Overall, Self is in his 19th season as a coach with a 476-158 (.751 percent) record. His KU teams have reached at least the Sweet 16 six times in his nine years at KU, which includes two Final Fours and a national championship in 2008.

Away from the court, Self devotes time to his “Assists Foundation,” which directs funds to help children in a variety of ways, including scholarships and grants to school-based, private and public agencies.

In the classroom, KU has achieved an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of a perfect 1,000 in each of the last six years under Self. In the Self era, Kansas has had 25 Academic All-Big 12 selections, which is best in the conference, and 26 of 27 four-year players at KU have earned their degrees.

Self is the third Big 12 coach to receive the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor and the second KU coach chosen. Roy Williams, now at North Carolina, was the recipient during his time at KU in 2003, while Texas’ Rick Barnes was the winner in 2009.

Legends of Coaching Honorees

2013 — Bill Self, Kansas

2012 — Geno Auriemma, Connecticut

2011 — Tom Izzo, Michigan State

2010 — Billy Donovan, Florida; Rick Barnes, Texas

2008 — Pat Summitt, Tennessee; Gene Keady, Purdue; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse

2005 — Jim Calhoun, Connecticut

2004 — Mike Montgomery, Stanford

2003 — Roy Williams, Kansas

2002 — Denny Crum, Louisville

2001 — Lute Olson, Arizona; Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

1999 — Dean Smith, North Carolina

Georgetown series coming: KU and Georgetown are negotiating to play a home-and-home series starting in the 2013-14 season. KU officials indicated that no contract has yet been signed. Next year’s game will be in Allen Fieldhouse, the 2014-15 contest at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

This, that: No. 8-rated James Young, a 6-foot-6 senior guard/forward from Rochester (Mich.) High, is expected to commit orally to Kentucky today over KU, Michigan State and Syracuse. ... Clayton Custer, a 6-foot junior from Blue Valley Northwest High, will attend Friday’s Late Night in the Phog on an unofficial recruiting visit, reports. He is ranked No. 100 in the class of 2014. No. 43-ranked Elbert Robinson, a 6-10 junior forward from Lakeview Centennial High in Garland, Texas, also will attend. Seniors to attend include No. 5 Aaron Gordon, 6-8 forward, Archibishop Mitty High, San Jose, Calif.; No. 23 Wayne Selden, 6-5 guard, Tilton (N.H.) High; and unranked Joel Embiid, 7-foot center, Rock School, Gainesville, Fla. … Late Night will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Allen Fieldhouse, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. ... KU will hold its annual basketball media day this afternoon in the fieldhouse.


Laura Smysor 10 years, 1 month ago

Impressive list of coaches. Coach Self absolutely belongs there! Congratulations Coach!

Robin Smith 10 years, 1 month ago

HEM, that just may end up being asterisked away, based on probability, which we're fond of.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 1 month ago

You know I'm not defending Calipari .. I just don't buy into all of the righteous, self-serving, semi-jealous, Calipari bashing.

Really, we should be a bit above that .. meaning the d_prowess brings up Calipari. Like it's an infatuation.

Calipari is a tremendous coach. That gets overlooked. Amazing recruiter. Obviously relates great to top kids. Methods questionable, of course. But I believe he is great for KU. Creates a clear contrast in styles and methods. Someone to despise from afar, I guess. And proof will be in the pudding.

If the 2012 title gets revoked, all the Calipari bashers will be vindicated. If not, well .. then not.

Either way, I love beating the villan. We just need to beat them. And I must agree on the probability thing .. odds do seem good.

KGphoto 10 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, but the questionable methods thing goes straight to the top of the list and nullifies all other qualities. He should be banned from coaching no matter how well he relates, or coaches. Cheaters gotta go. You can call me righteous or self-serving, but what do you want me to do? Let him continue winning with a stacked deck? Maybe even enjoy it?

The other thing is, I don't need 2012 to be revoked for vindication. 2012 is not what I'm talking about. Besides, I'm thinking Kentucky has enough slush money and moral latitude to keep any scandal quiet, so I doubt we'll see a vacate three-peat.

However, what's done is done and you can't undo it. Twice HEM. Twice already. I don't know how you can let that go and sort of just enjoy him for who he is as a coach. It baffles me. Who he is, is a twice convicted cheater.

To me it's like giving the good folks from KU's ticket scandal a raise, and a transfer to the cushiest most celebrated AD assistant job in America. Then saying it's good for the sport, because it gives a villain a job, and we need our villains to keep things interesting.

Yes, it would be especially satisfying to beat the cheater, but being lenient with a known cheater is a crime in itself, and it certainly isn't good for the sport, or KU.

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 1 month ago

What "questionable methods" are you referring to and how is Calipari cheating?

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 1 month ago

No sarcasm...guess you don't have anything to back up your statements!

KGphoto 10 years, 1 month ago

Are you saying you think he didn't know about Camby's cash or Rose's SATs?

Joe Baker 10 years, 1 month ago

HEM- I've reluctantly opened my mind a bit to your view of Calpari. I still don't respect him, nor do I think he's the coach that some think. However, until the ncaa proves all the trash wrong, he's clean. I don't care about UMass or Memphis.
What concerns me is the ncaa may turn a blind eye to some of his practices because he does bring something to collegiate bball. He keeps college bball interesting, right or wrong, clean or dirty, and the ncaa loves that about him. The fact he's at uk is also a bonus, one of the most storied bball programs in the nation. The million dollar question is, how is he getting these recruits. I want to know just one of his recruiting strategies, seriously, no joking about his car salesman approaches. I just want to know what he has over most coaches in the nation that lands the recruits. If it's legit, then he'll have my respect. If he is using some questionable tactics or practices, then all my negative views will be realized. What he did to UofW and Jones' recruiting was horrible. This is an exmple of my disdain for Calipari. He has no respect for the game or other programs. I guess this is why he gets the players and the big $$?

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 1 month ago

You asked how is he getting the recruits??? Maybe his track record of getting players to the next level is a start - Rose, Wall, Evans, Davis, Bledsoe, Patterson, Gilchrist, Cousins, Teague, Lamb, etc. Maybe it's Cal's dribble drive offense that these recruits thrive in. Maybe it's the basketball environment down in Lexington. Maybe it's Cal himself who players want to play for. Maybe it's all the above.

Alohahawk 10 years, 1 month ago

It's soooo obvious how Cal Lie Pari gets the top recruits, and why his W/L is what it is.

  1. Does WWW ring a bell? Who knows what goes on behind Kenstinky's closed doors (between recruits and Etc.)? I'd bet that a certain Chicago newspaper could probably fill in some of the blanks.

  2. Kenstinky has a large number of players leave after they play one year, creating a huge vacuum of playing time on the court. How many starters are left from last season's Kenstinky team? Top recruits are promised playing time, and it's readily available.

  3. Kenstinky's OAD players don't have to worry about graduating with a degree (spelled questionable attendance in classes and performance in those classes?), because they're never around long enough. (ie. It's not really college equivalent, or even a high school level, program, but an NBA development 'Playground', and I do mean 'Playground', with a capital 'P'. All Play. No work.)

  4. The dribble drive offense is a much simpler offense, a less complicated system (compared to Coach Self's X's and O's), so their playbook has a lot less plays to memorize. It has to be for all their fresh faces each year. So a player has less to be concerned with during games. Again, all play, no work. Has the word 'lazy' formed yet, in your mind? Remember those days back in grade school when there were one or two pre-teens who were so much better than the rest, that they didn't have to put out any effort to win?

  5. The top recruits (spelled OAD's) are already good enough to be drafted into the NBA, so they aren't concerned with how they might, or might not, develop better skills while at Kenstinky. Which could also mean less body development in the weight room and/or less stressful practices. Does Cal Lie Pari even have a pre-season camp similar to Coach Self's?

  6. As for how skillful a coach Cal Lie Pari is, let him start with a comparable team of recruits and see how well he would match up against other teams. With the OAD recruits he signs up, one would expect him to go undefeated and win the NCAA BB Championship each year.

  7. Then, there's the questionable reason which Cal Lie Pari has now imparted into the Kenstinky formula. He no longer wants to compete in small arena's. Only those large enough to compare with what teams play in during the NCAA tournament. That's his so called reason for dropping the game vs Indiana this coming season. Come on now, Cal Lie, we all know the true reason. You know Indiana is a top ranked team and you're afraid Kenstinky will lose if you play them. So much for Pari's W/L record.

  8. One wonders how important 'family' is within Cal Lie Pari's teams. Most of them are only together (as a team) for one season. Are they really close, like a family, or just there for the ride to the NBA?

Alohahawk 10 years, 1 month ago

(con't) 9. Finally, as for Cal Lie Pari getting players into the NBA, if a team is made up of OAD's, that should be the rule, not the exception. Who wouldn't expect the number of players Cal Lie injects into the pro's. As I indicated above, Kenstinky is a revolving door for recruits which, if it weren't for the one-and-done rule, would be heading directly from high school to the NBA, anyway. It just makes Cal Lie Pari's job that much simpler, starting out with those recruits.

Alex Peekeaton 10 years, 1 month ago have to be the most "ignorant" poster in terms of the game of basketball I have ever read and I'm guessing a number of KU backers would silently agree with me after reading your last post. Have you ever played the game of basketball at any type of organized level? If so, I would be curious to know at what level.

lahothan 10 years, 1 month ago

I believe there was mention of graduation rates, namely, they must be excellent.That would explain that, among other things such as I hope his name never makes that list.

DRsmith 10 years, 1 month ago

My guess he is out on the recruiting trail or evaluating talent? Take a bit more if you are looking to recruit the elite instead of 3 star guys no one has ever heard of.

Andy Godwin 10 years, 1 month ago

This is why Bill is the best fit for KU and for college basketball. It is difficult to question how he recruits and why not all are highly ranked. Listen to the podcasts. We are lucky to have Bill and not a bunch of one and done guys. (2 to 8 minutes)

Andy Katz has picked Kansas as #2 in the ESPN preseason poll. Bill thinks that is much too high at least until January ( first 16 minutes.

Steve Reigle 10 years, 1 month ago

This says something we here in Kansas already knew. I'm glad to see Coach Self receiving national recognition for what he has done. Well deserved award. Congratulations to Coach Self.

Geezer 10 years, 1 month ago

Lute Olson and Jim Calhoun??? Really?

Steve Gantz 10 years, 1 month ago

Calhoun has won three NC's, Lute stole one from what I think is the best KU team I've seen. I know there's some character issues but these guys are among the best.

pizzaboy225 10 years, 1 month ago

+1 How did Calhoun pass the graduation rate part?

Robin Smith 10 years, 1 month ago

Olson and Calhoun are all-time greats.

My question is are we going to see John Chaney, Gary Williams, Bo Ryan, Bob Knight, or Rick Pitino?

And before you say it, each of these coaches has many more merits than demerits and is deserving.

Also it appears they only award active coaches... or at least living ones

79ictjhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow! A well deserved award for KU's great coach.

Alohahawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Don't feed the trolls!!! They stink bad enough as it is.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 1 month ago

I believe the HEM is on the short list for this award next year. Or is it Jaybate? I get the gumps confused.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 1 month ago

From the "perfection" discussion on the other thread. You agreed that coach Self is not perfect .. then went on to attempt to insult me, name call, etc. I don't care about that stuff.

But if coach Self is not perfect, then he obviously makes mistakes.

The discussions here are not about anyone suggesting that they are a better basketball coach than Self, or know more than coach Self about his job. That is a strawman. That's what makes it easier for you to post. You have nothing of substance to say other than .. "Self knows more about his job than any of you so shut up." That's all you have. I looked back on your posts. You literally do nothing other than attack jaybate, call people "idiots", or say folks "don't have a clue." Impressive contributions.

I would challenge you to think, be critical, analyze, and then offer real opinions. Attack the substance of my opinions with facts or rationale. Some may be wrong, some may be right. But challenge yourself.

Now, since you admitted Self is not perfect, that means he makes mistakes. What you apparently mean then is that he beyond reproach. Meaning, he is god-like and should not be criticized, his decisions not scrutinized, and his moves not analyzed.

He's good, but he isn't that good. No one is. He makes mistakes in judgment.

Here's one -- he went "all in" on Kaleb Tarczewski, and missed. He disregarded other top post recruits to go "all in", and he missed. That left us with Landon Lucas, as opposed to a possible top 50 player. Not saying he was wrong to do it. Maybe it made sense from the inside. But the result proved the choice to be incorrect. Everyone makes mistakes.

Look closely at what I say. I rarely criticize him. And most here don't. Most are discussing the situation. On Mason, it's more of a frustration with KU .. us .. our team .. not getting one of the top 6 or 7 point guards that Self wanted ahead of Mason; and why; and the future; and the implications.

You incorrectly turn it into someone calling Self an idiot .. which is not what is done. It's what you do. Name call.

I don't know one person here who has said he would rather have another basketball coach than Coach Self.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 1 month ago

HEM, I don't know how you did it. But I think you or Jaybate have taken the mantle of most hated poster on this site from me.


jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago


Copy and paste.


I'll get back out in front on this thing ASAP. :-)

Jack Wilson 10 years, 1 month ago

From Gump-Central: Found this nugget. Answers maybe why Bedore compared Mason to Sherron Collins:

"More of a power floor general who lacks elite athleticism similar to former Kansas guard Sherron Collins, Mason's relentless scoring ability could help make him an intriguing option in Self's rotation in a few years."

Robin Smith 10 years, 1 month ago

I thought it was because Mason and his coach both mentioned Sherron, in part because he's short and strong and in part because Sherron is his idol.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 1 month ago

that comparison implies that Sherron Collins was a "power floor general" who "lacked elite athleticism"

the first assertion was true, the second is incredibly false.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 1 month ago

Right .. I have no idea how one would say that Sherron was not an elite athlete? The guy could dunk, float, drive, cut .. he was quick, strong, agile .. he was pure energy. Actually, I think he was one of the best pure athletes in Self's tenure. Some forget he was stud football and baseball player, too, in high school.

Steve Kubler 10 years, 1 month ago

The one thing I picked up from the youtube vidios I took at face value was the winning percentage of the teams Mason has played on. His quote about wanting to be on a winning team from the article HEM linked interests me as well.

There are some people out there that just want to win so bad they find ways to make it happen. A group of friends were discussing this in relation to football the other day and Joe Montana came up. He was not the biggest, nor fastest, and his arm strength was middle of the pack but he knew how to win and you just knew he would find a way.

Perhaps that is what people see in Mason in relationship to Collins more than physical ability.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Jim Calhoun and Mike Montgomery?

Horrible picks!

Self? YES!

Robin Smith 10 years, 1 month ago

Calhoun and Montgomery are both outstanding coaches. Though Calhoun has had a few issues they pale in comparison to his merits.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Gott dang it, Robin, you're like ralster.

Always having to be right!!!!


I did over simplify a bit there.

I just cop to an unsightly prejudice about Calhoun. I will try to get better. The guy could coach. There's no doubt about it and he did it the hard way at a nothing school like UConn. He deserves respect, but he was such a flipping "cheater-without-knowing-it" doing his good stuff that I have to lump him in with Cal. Both are good coaches that are even more superb at not know how the cheating was done.

Monty I think is overrated, though, and now that everyone is roughing everyone up, he can't win at the same rate he did when he was pioneering west coast butcher ball.

DDDHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

How many reminders do we regularly get that we are SO LUCKY to have Bill Self as our coach? Wow! Congratulations, Coach Self!

REHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

Congratulations, Mr. Self. Quite an honor for such a young Jayhawk mentor.

REHawk 10 years, 1 month ago

p.s., jb and HEM, I will strive to join the club at Gump Central. Congratulations to the two of you for the glowing recognition.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 1 month ago

HEM- I am really not interested in reading your long-winded musings. You might consider reading Hemingway and note the style. He was a master at beautiful brevity, but always meaningful. It is just a suggestion.

And no, Hemingway was not perfect either. But he was damned good and better than 99.99% of the other people attempting the craft. Kind of like Bill Self is at running a major basketball program.

But hey, I am sure you know better.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 1 month ago

Again, you refuse to comprehend. Can't help you. But of course, continue your line of impressive and thoughtful posts. It must be a wonderfully simple life ...

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago


No one but your own serial aliases have ever been interested in you being no longer interested.


Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 1 month ago

Interesting that no "Legends" have followed Wooden at UCLA.

Also interesting is that there are two KU coaches and a former KU player on that list. No other team is represented with such multiplicity.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

UCLA has been plagued by a lot of bad ADs that hired a lot of questionable coaches, some of whom were Wooden's assistants. Wooden's AD was, frankly, a swell head who thought because Wooden won so much that he knew what he was doing. But the AD didn't know what he was doing and proved it thereafter repeatedly.

Larry Brown would have been a legend had he stayed at UCLA.

But ifs and buts...

pizzaboy225 10 years, 1 month ago

Who was the one four year player who didn't graduate?

kellerman411 10 years, 1 month ago

I hope we get everyone coming to late night. Add Gordon, Seldon and Embiid in with Frankamp and Green and that would easily be Bill's best recruiting class since he got here.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

We likely won't get all three, but I'd be perfectly satisfied with just Seldon!

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Response to DCLawHawk from yesterday's thread....


"I see jaybate has started the rotors on the black helicopters again."

I love it. Great expression. Now go sell it to SecState Hilary and her standing private contractor army at State. :-)

I hear State is starting a black ad campaign for the re-re-revamped Academi. Its a black screen with the sound of muted black rotors and then the following chirons scrolling up the screen STAR WARS style...

"Once up on a time In a republic, long, long ago, There was a young alias Named DCLawHawk And it heard black rotors On a black helicopter And then felt microwave battle field and crowd Control technologies That made it hear voices That said:

"Be all that you can be. In the Academi!"

"Don't call us Blackwater! Don't call us Xe! Call us Academi!"

"Sis Boom Bah!"

Only in America can we afford not one but two standing armies in permawar peacetime.

Now I ask you: who else can afford so much security without being able to afford it except in push button Fed Notes, eh?

Here is another swell microwave battle field and crowd control inspired dream.

Hilary and Congress fund the building of the Academi Academy somewhere underground out near the underground FEMA COG, then Army, Navy, Air Force and Academi academies join the Big 12 to make it a super conference.

Then SecState Clinton retires and becomes Big 12 Commish.

KU develops a great new rivalry with Academi Academy coached by "A Large Man Formerly Known as Mangino."

Academi Academy teams wear the new DoD invisibility suits--the ones that use fiber optic threads to bend the visible light spectrum around each player. Coach Self and Coach Weis joint develop strategy that helps KU teams become the only Big 12 team to stay above .500 with Academi Academy.

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

J-J-Jenny, would you tell TactlessHawk .22short that life is a box of chocolates and that as in "Islands in the XTReme Stream" there is no one thing that is true, its all true, as the ants burn on the log in the hard rain as I walk away drinking wine with tenente thinking about caporetto and standing up to type.

Yeeeeee hawwwwww!

Never thought of combining Groom and Hemingway until the monumental indolence of TactlessHhawk.22short.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 1 month ago

I can't believe because of Self's inability to recruit and coach I have had to suffer through 53 losses in the last decade. Uggghhh, Makes me Sick.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago


I know I for one think Self is such a good recruiter that he has been able to swim up stream against whatever the forces are that operate against him and KU. And I think this whether the forces are:

a) traditional geographic issues of KU's location far from the marine layers, or the small town environment in a time of players largely from big cities, etc.; or

b) recent circumstantial issues of Scalpinggate, Lewgate, and Realignmentgate; or

c) ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex driven.

Self has brought a lot of talent to KU.

Self has won a ton of games and a ring and become recognized as one of the greatest basketball coaches of his generation, and now one of the greats of all time (at a very young age).

Self has done the impossible and eclipsed the shake of another Hall of Fame coach: Roy Williams.

Self is now the best basketball coach I ever saw, except for Wooden. He has eclipsed most things Wooden did in his first 15 years.

But at the very moment that Self seemed primed to begin to attract more than his share of the top players, something has plateaued the recruiting juggernaut that he seemed to be building.

It became noticeable IMHO around the time of the 2008 ring team.

It has prevented him from landing his share of OADs outright, rather than having to catch them on the bounce out of collapsing programs (Xavier fleeing Memphis; Josh fleeing UTenn).

Something has been working against him and his assistants Norm Roberts and Billy Gillispie in recruiting. In the case of Norm Roberts, it was explained by a New York newspaper quoting locals that Norm was being denied talent, because he was trying to do it the right way. Nothing as blatant as that NY newspaper story about Norm Roberts has surfaced about Gillispie, but we know that any guy that can put TA&M on the basketball map with the kind of talent he put together and coached well there ought to be able to do it on cruise control at UK, with or without personal problems. And he should have been able to do it at TTech, too.

Something is keeping Self from optimizing on 84% W&L statement and a ring.

The Addidas contract sticks out like a sore thumb.

So does the "ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex".

Its a complicated "complex."

It will take time to write about and unsnag the three parameters of it, whether it is the cause of Self's issues, or not.

One thing for sure: it is early enough that we don't know what we don't know yet.

Rock Chalk!

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

I think your shoe-allegiance theory goes hand-in-hand with my OAD theory. I know you probably cringed as you read that, but I really think it's true. OAD players (the 5-star, Top 20 variety) are concerned with going to places like Kentucky for draft status reasons. They want to be on the team with all the "cool kids." They want to wear the latest Nike's. They don't want to have to earn their starting spots - they want those to be handed over and gift wrapped.

You say that it's clear that something happened around the time that KU won it's championship in 2008. I think the underlying "thing" actually happened in 2005-06, when the NBA's OAD rule went into effect. That happens to be the last "excellent" recruiting class Bill Self had, with two 5-star, Top 25 recruits in Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins. Since then, Bill Self has had a series of "really good" recruiting classes, but it'd be a stretch to call them "excellent".

I think, once the OAD rule went into effect, all of those players that would have turned pro straight out of high school opted to start following Calipari. Why? Because he treats them like rock stars, builds up their egos, promises them playing time, generally makes it very easy for the player to get through one year of college (legitimately or be the judge), and I'll even throw in that the schools where he coaches have contracts with cool shoe companies like Nike.

The 5-star, Top 20 recruits that don't go to KU tend to choose schools where they will be "the" guy. They don't want to go to a place like KU, in the middle of the U.S., with all our crazy weather, far away from their families, where they will have to earn every second they get on the court. For players who are only going to be in college for one year, that's just too much work a lot of the time.

DRsmith 10 years, 1 month ago

You do realize when you play with a bunch of other stars you have to earn your keep right? If anyone on UK wanted easy PT they would have just committed to KU and all the other mid major recruits. What happened is KU lost the Pump and Run brothers. Of course the complete mismanagement of the 5 stars guys they actually got probably is not helping. I give Self a lot of credit though, no on does more with less. He is a excellent coach..

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

Ha, go back to Kentucky DRsmith! Everything you said is completely false, save the last two sentences.

Glen Miller 10 years, 1 month ago

Look, love him or hate him.... once Calipari gets the recruits he can coach them and harness all those egos. I personally don't like the guy, but anyone who says he's not a good coach is just not being honest with themself. He CAN coach. That being said, I wouldn't trade Bill Self for any coach int he country. When it comes to recruiting, coaching and turning boys into men (the complete package) nobody does it better in my opinion. I'm proud to have coach Self and will always trust in his plan because he's never let me down as a fan. He's always put a great product on the court and brought responsability among the players and their classwork off of it. Keep it up coach RCJH!!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 1 month ago

Man, why does everyone always choose my avatar? Kind of comical actually.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

Congrats to Bill Self! He is already a living legend here at KU, so it's nice for him to get some national recognition. Nobody in the NCAA is more deserving (despite what our humble coach says).

But some of the reasons why Bill Self won this award are the same reasons why he has had some recruiting struggles recently.

First off, his character. Bill Self doesn't take short-cuts. He doesn't sugar-coat things for incoming recruits. He is honest about how hard each player will have to work to see any amount of time on the court. He's honest about how hard each player will have to work in the classroom while at KU. You're kidding yourself if you don't think that turns some of those 5-star, Top 20 future NBA lottery picks away from KU.

Second, graduation rates. Bill Self is concerned with developing students for the long haul. He wants them to be successful after they leave KU. Recruits who are only interested in playing NCAA bball for 1 year are not interested in graduating or thinking about anything other than making millions of dollars in the NBA within 12-14 months. Sure, Bill Self wants the most talented prospects every year (every coach does), but he holds a special place for those players who stay at KU for 3-4 years and leave with a degree in their hands.

Third, his coaching philosophy. Bill Self has always taught the philosophy that the team is above the individual player. Kansas basketball doesn't live or die with any one recruit or player. If a recruit thinks the name on the back of the jersey is more important than the name on the front, he is not the kind of player that KU is looking for. Bill Self is concerned with KU, not with some big recruit with a unibrow using the school to catapult himself into NBA stardom.

Lastly, Wayne Selden, please be one of those players that Bill Self is looking for. :-)

TexasHawk44 10 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to ignore you Jaybate. You are still the number one idiot on the board. Your son, BennyBob, is of course the prince in waiting HEM is only a pompous pretender to your throne -- he is far too coherent to ever be a true threat.

So you can grab a cooking pot and wooden spoon and begin your glorious walk through the trailer park in your Power Ranger slippers and Toy Story PJs. What a magnificent parade it must be as the stray cats and dogs blindly follow you in hopes that some Captain Crunch falls from your tattered bath robe as you bask in your glory!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

John Wooden was a great coach because he was able to buy players for over a decade. He was a mean-spirited, bastard who cursed at opponent players during games [I was there, the Final Four, 1971, the Astrodome, courtside, KU vs UCLA]. Also, he used his influence to brow beat the NCAA into making him and his program at UCLA "untouchable".

The rest of you can buy into his sainthood...not me. He was the greatest cheater of all because he got away with it and still emerged as the perceived pinnacle of coaching virtue.

The spirit of the Award remains legitimate....the reality of the man is much, much less. This takes nothing away from Bill's honor and the other worthy recipients, but to me, it sure explains a bunch of the other names on the list.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

PS The spirit of it all is coach without sin.....the reality of it all is just win baby...just win!!!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 1 month ago

kD...just playing MSU and OSU rates an 8 for me...but, are so right about Texas...YIKES!!!

Steve Kubler 10 years, 1 month ago

Absolutely love this quote from that article.

 "This season’s nonconference schedule is actually somewhat weak -- but only by Kansas  standards. At almost any other school this would be considered a brutal slate."

Eight is close, I consider it tough enough based on the number of newbies Self has to work into a team.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 1 month ago

BTW....................12 hours and 35 minutes until basketball season starts! Thank god!

ClydeTurnbuckle 10 years, 1 month ago

Who's the One four-year player that didn't get a degree???

C.J. Giles?

daytonahawk2 10 years, 1 month ago

Two Kansas coaches on the list and one Kansas player ... not bad.

justinryman 10 years, 1 month ago

Love the picture. Coach Self isn't looking at all the cameras or media outlets, he issmiling at some young kids that are fansof the school he gets to coach at.
He is paying it forward for future generations. The media all get thier alloted time, good to see him take afew moments to makea kids year!

Class act in action

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Part I

HawkKlaw, this is in response to your remarks to my post above.

I like your angle that the OAD rule signals an earlier origin than 2008. I like it, because it caused me to think back further to Self's pre '08 recruiting at KU.

As nearly as I can tell, Self has never landed a Top 5 player like Xavier and Josh without it being a rebound from a program imploding from serious infractions.

And when I go all the way back to Brandon Rush, he had narrowed his list to going elsewhere than KU for a time, while he was awaiting to see the fall out of the then just new, or just pending OAD rule. Self got him at the last minute and then he had to go through a delay in getting clearance to play.

My point here is that your observation of 2006 and my observation of 2008 may just be spiked points of transition away from his favor in recruiting that were operating to less apparent degree from the moment he started at KU.

This is potentially VERY interesting.


Think back to Self at Illinois. Self inherited Frank Williams, but Self recruited a couple phenomenal players to Illinois. One of them was maybe better than any perimeter player he has recruited to KU. And he left Bruce Webber an awesome team with some incomings.

What I'm saying here is that Self arguably recruited better at Illinois than at KU, or at the very least, as good as, in terms of his top recruits. Self's top recruits at Illinois were not, if I recall correctly, guys rebounding from imploding programs, as they have tended to be at KU. This is most remarkable, given KU sharply greater brand recognition and status in basketball. Why would Self be able to recruit as well, or better at Illinois? Champaign-Urbana is out in a corn field. Its never been a destination basketball school. It had often been a chess pool of recruiting corruption, according to Bob Knight. It didn't really get cleaned up until Lon Kruger and Bill Self made it a right way program, or so it has been reputed.

Next, think about who Self replaced and the circumstances of who Self replaced when he came to KU.

Roy Williams came from The Corporation. He came from UNC, which was Dean Smith's towering achievement. He successfully corporatized a college basketball program. His model became the business model for many big time D1 hoops program.

And Nike shoes and Michael and Sonny Vaccaro were long time players around the Dean's Corporation.

Roy has reputedly admitted that Dean and Roy made what Roy suggested was a gentlemen's agreement in which Roy recruited west of the Mississippi, and Dean stayed east. Its a nice tidy version of events for human consumption, isn't it. Faithful assistant loves former boss so much that he agrees not to recruit east of the Mississippi. We almost respect Roy for it. What a great guy!

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Part 2

But stop and think about this for a second. How many other coaches have ever imposed such vast regional recruiting restriction on a former assistant. I can't think of one in the history of college basketball. Not one.

So what was really going on here, if the Dean-Roy yarn was apocryphal?

Well, we know that Roy was very close to Michael Jordan, close enough that at the very peak of Michael's career he could get his KU players face time with his airness. Michael could, if I recall correctly, find time to put in a good word for Roy...if the player were west of the Mississippi, of course. At the same time, I recall that Michael could put in a good word for Dean's recruits, too.

So what?

So: at this time, according to Wetzel and Yaeger's "Sole Influence" book published in 2000, Sonny Vaccaro and Phil Knight had turned Michael Jordan in an unprecedented money making spokes person for Nike and many other companies. And Roy, before coming to KU, had been at ground zero of the evolution of this then largely unprecedented in scale relationship between a shoe maker and a basketball player.

Without putting too fine of a point on things, Roy was not only a Mike guy, but a Nike guy from the get go. And as Mike is quoted in "Sole Influence", Sonny and Phil made Michael into something vastly bigger than a basketball player. He made him into a money making machine for himself, and for many of those around him.

Is there any reason to think that Roy and Dean were not a least loyalists, and probably beneficiaries in certain ways, of the Sonny/Phil/Mike nexus?

And what do you think happened to Roy as he grew more and more popular and more and more successful as a Nike guy at KU?

Well, among other things Roy began to develop relatioships with certain private schools like Pem Day where players like Jaron Rush that he was very, very interested in having play for KU, went to high school. And KU alums like Tom Grant apparently stayed close to these players as they readied to go to college. And someone like Grant ran an AAU team with a coach like Myron Piggie. And Myron Piggie had reputedly been in scrapes with the law for drug dealing. And such players were supposed to go to the schools they have been being shepherded toward.

Only Jaron Rush got caught in an ugly scandal about Grant enabling him improperly for KU and Piggie had his skeletons leaked. And Roy quickly said he would no longer recruit Jaron, apparently in hopes of keeping the NCAA from leveling infractions on KU, at least this was the version put out by Wetzel and Yaeger in Sole Influence.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Part 3

And sometime during this period some new forces entered into the Sonny/Phil/Mike thing that it might be argued that Roy and Dean were riding the coat tails of to some pretty rich years of Nike driven recruiting east and west of the Mississippi.

German based Addidas, which actually pioneered the modern track, football, and basketball shoe, though never getting much credit for having done so, waded back into the frey.

(Note: I can recall when my junior year of highschool in 1971 or so, my team kicked the Chucks and dawned the Addidas, or were they Pumas? Anyway, they were light years better, if not lasting style icons as were the Chucks. But I digress.)

But so did an outfit named Reebok and Reebok high jacked Shaq and Shaq's dominion began in the wake of Mike leaving the game for good.

The question to me has always been: who behind Addidas and Reebok was so powerful that they could muscle Nike aside even for awhile?

I don't know that answer, but I bet its out there. Addidas is German money. And German money has solid ties in Kansas, or so I have heard. But Reebok? I don't know that legacy. Does it track to some place? Is it overworld, or underworld, or money? I don't know. But it matters in unsnagging the whole story of shoes on hoops.

And it was during Shaq and Reebok's reign that Sonny left Nike and George Raveling wound up with Nike.

And we find ourselves suddenly witnessing a major upheaval and power struggle between Roy Williams and former KU chancellor Bob Hemenway, who had come from UK's trouble near death penalty and hiring of Rick Pitino.

And what we see is long time Nike-guy Roy with his Nike shield fading and his recently assaulted virtue regarding Jaron Rush, suddenly getting his trusted AD shield fired and replaced with Al Bohls of that well spring of the right way...Fresno State (tongue sticking out my cheek here).

And so, despite having said many times he was staying at KU, and despite having perhaps his greatest team, Roy suddenly missed grits and took Wanda to be closer to Wrightsville beach and Dean's Corporation, that was falling into disarray from lack of good coaching.

This was the deep situation that Self walked into at KU. On the surface he was taking over for a legendary coach who had had the KU program on a role and had managed a squeaky clean image for 15 years.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Part 4

But underneath the program was getting hollowed out by a Chancellor trying to retake control of the basketball program by firing Roy's boss and replacing himself with a guy perhaps likely to make Roy leave. And the program that had risen to power on Roy's skills and on Roy's riding the coat tails of the Mike/Phil/Sonny hoops machine that probably had some kind of still little understood connection to The Corporation of Dean Smith, was beginning to have to go it alone without those coat tails.

But here is the real doozy. After Self walks into a program that is apparently not on Nike's and not on Reebok's and not on Addidas most trusted list any longer, Lew Perkins becomes the AD and signs a mega deal with Addidas, the shoeco with the least summer game chops and the least WWW style agency chops for such big bucks it was like a thumb in the eye to Nike and Reebok. And Nike has regrouped and is on the come big time.

So: KU is odd man out, but the richer for it. But KU's Self is having to recruit naked. KU has just stuck its thumb in the eye of Nike at a time when Nike has shouldered out Reebok, and bought Converse, and George Ravelling has finally seen old friend and then arch rival and then nemesis Sonny Vaccaro marginalized. Big George and Phil are suddenly in the driver's seat.

And so what I am saying here is that Self, the legendary recruiter that could pull them into ORU, Tulsa and Illinois, suddenly wasn't recruiting in free space at the margins of the heavyweights. He had joined a heavy weight that had joined the light heavy weight in shoes--Addidas.

And so: Self probably began to get the cold shoulder among the Nike guys.

And so Self and his assistants, Norm Roberts and Billy Gillispie, began to get the cold shoulders from the Nike guys.

And the summer game teams that depended heavily on shoeco subsidy to get their wheels greased, began to give Self and his assisstants the cold shoulder.

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Part 5

And maybe Self and Norm and Billy got their backs up and said we'll show these guys. We'll go recruit anyone we want anywhere we want anytime we want and let the chips fall where they may.

And the chips have been falling every since. And harder and harder.

Kansas seems to have allowed Self to recruit deeper teams on average, than at Illinois, but I believe it has not let him recruit one of the Top Five guys unless off a rebound, or really quite the quality of a guy or two he landed at Illinois.

So when the OAD rule came along that you mention, HawkKlaw, this only worsens Self's problems and strengthens the ShoeCo valve on the top talent, plus emboldens them to move further down market in trying to valve talent.

And when Self, at a school that has thumbed the eye of the status quo in ShoeCo pecking order, keeps angling to get enough talent to win big, in spite of the cold shoulders, then especially after the ring in '08, we are talking about a cowboy, a noncompliant, that the status quo begins to work harder at marginalizing.

Or so it seems to me in this opining and speculating.

Thanks for your response, HawkKlaw.

And remember: we are only dealing with the ShoeCo angle so far with a slight touch on the summer game angle and with no exploration of the Agency angle.

What we can be pretty sure of is that the ShoeCos, summer teams, and agency create a someone variable, but ultimately reinforcing regime that cause those outside of its informal institutions to have to swim against the current in recruiting.

And we have yet to explore threads between this complex and the media-gaming complex.

Perhaps you, or someone, else will.

I'm tired for now. :-)

jaybate 10 years, 1 month ago

Note: All 5 parts of the above are guessing, specualtion and opining from the outside looking in. I have no insider knowledge whatsoever and am just commenting as a layman who reads popular media.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

I always wondered why KU, one of the top programs in the nation, has a contract with Adidas. It has never made sense to me when most of the other top programs go with Nike/MJ. Don't get me wrong, the Adidas jerseys are far cooler than those Nike jerseys (the ones that look like t-shirt cutoffs with the weird watermarks on the back that make no sense). It just seems like Nike would be the more popular choice for a big-time program like KU. After all, as you know, Nike was KU's apparel company before Adidas back when Roy was still here.

I looked it up and the contract between KU and Adidas was signed in, you probably guessed it, 2005. The last year that Bill Self had what I'll call an "excellent" recruiting class (as opposed to his "really good" recruiting classes he's had ever since). The same year the OAD rule went into effect.

Maybe that's just a coincidence. But I think it's quite possible that both are working hand-in-hand, intentionally or not.

I didn't know about "Sole Influence" or any of the shoe-company drama throughout the history of basketball, but that was a very interesting read. I was about 11 years old when MJ won his third NBA ring, and I remember the absolute pandamonium that surrounded MJ everywhere he went back then. Everyone had Nike's, including me. Everyone knew who MJ was. He was bigger than life itself. The basketball player version of The Beatles. It makes sense that all of that money could potentially influence certain aspects of college basketball (not unlike how corporate money influences our goverment's policies, but I digress). Nike's were very popular back then and they still are, thanks in no small part to Michael Jordan being probably the greatest example of "celebrity marketing" in the history of the world. Thanks for the reply jaybate and this is definitely a topic I'm going to try to learn more about.

Nathan Scholl 10 years, 1 month ago

KU was with Nike for many years. When they signed with Adidas, it increased money going to other sports and the university got a lot of benefits that Nike wouldn't offer. Who cares about Nike? We aren't North Carolina, and MJ IS a legend, but a bitter, mean man. Roy Williams is gone, we don't have to kiss his a%% anymore.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 1 month ago

"Who cares about Nike?"

I don't. But if having Adidas as KU's apparel company really is causing KU to miss out on top recruits who prefer/are sponsored by Nike, I think it'd be worth it to switch. But that's a pretty big "if" at this point.

I know the Adidas contract was huge, money-wise, for the university. But I'd personally prefer better recruits/players than bringing in a lot of money to KU (and yes, I'm an alum). I'm not saying KU should kiss Roy Williams' a$$. I'm just saying that, again, if KU really is losing out on top recruits because of this, it would probably be worth it to most of us fans/alumni to make the switch.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't know why this image was in my head. But, after reading and reflecting on Jaybate's storied body of work, it just came to mind.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! by memhawk

Nathan Scholl 10 years, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Coach Self! So proud to have a coach with such a good heart and so much pride in building his players and molding them as men. Best graduation rate in the country the last few years.

I know people get mad at bashing him, but "Coach Cal" as the annoying Kentucky fans so disgusting call him will never win this award! Horrible graduation rates for his players (he could care less about their education, just winning), no integrity (Memphis and UMass), and his success on the court will be taken away eventually based on new NCAA violations that will come forward. Following in the footsteps of the even cheating, even racist Adolph Rupp.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 1 month ago

See- King of the D-bags still. Congrats, Jaybate. Do you take a box of Ex-lax everyday before you erupt your B.S. on here?

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