Monday, November 25, 2013

Self: USA Basketball speculation ‘not realistic’

USA Basketball men's national team coach Mike Krzyzewski watches a scrimmage during USA mini camp practice, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Las Vegas.

USA Basketball men's national team coach Mike Krzyzewski watches a scrimmage during USA mini camp practice, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Las Vegas.


One thing Kansas University’s Bill Self and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski did not discuss at this year’s Champions Classic was the possibility of KU’s 11th-year coach succeeding “Coach K” as head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team.

Though Self’s name has been mentioned in media circles as replacement for the two-time gold-medal winning coach, he’s not wasting any time stressing about the job or campaigning for it.

Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse have also been mentioned in successor-speculation stories.

“Actually, I used to be on the Selection Committee for picking kids in the 21-and-under, 20-and-under and 19-and-under (USA Basketball) teams that travel,” Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show. “I’ve never coached with USA Basketball. We planned on doing it a few times, but because of Tyler and Lauren’s (children) schedule, it was never the right time to be gone in the summer.

“It’s just not real. There are some guys named Popovich and Rivers and some others that would be, I’m sure, high on the list as possible replacement whenever he (Krzyzewski) decides not to do it. My understanding is he feels great and will do it one more time at least (2016). He has done a lot for our sport and USA Basketball. For anybody to logically think that (Self being named) is a possibility or realistic would be pie-in-the-sky-type thinking. Those jobs don’t fall off trees,” Self added.

Boeheim is in the Hall of Fame, while Self and Izzo, who have won national championships, are both considered locks for induction. Popovich and Rivers have been considered two of the top NBA coaches for some time now.

“Though it’s flattering to hear things like that, it’s something I don’t put a lot of stock into because the reality of that happening is that it will not occur. My plate is full here. I’m just focused at what is going on at Kansas. It’s flattering but not realistic either,” Self said.

Tulsa 0-4: Former KU All-American Danny Manning’s second Tulsa team is off to an 0-4 start. The Golden Hurricane have lost at home to Oral Roberts (74-68) and Wichita State (77-54) and at Missouri State (96-93) and most recently Saturday at Creighton (82-72).

Tulsa, which will compete in the upcoming Great Alaska Shootout, still must play at Oklahoma, TCU and Maryland in the nonconference.

The Tulsa World has pointed to free throws as a major problem. In the home losses to ORU and WSU, Tulsa hit 30 of 66 charities. Tulsa went 11 for 18 from the line at Creighton.

Former KU coach Larry Brown’s second SMU team is 4-1. The Mustangs have beaten TCU on a neutral court, Rhode Island, Texas State and Arkansas Pine Bluff at home and lost at Arkansas.

Bahamas trip next: KU will next meet Wake Forest in a first-round Battle 4 Atlantis game at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, in Paradise Island, Bahamas. As far as the eight-team field ... Wake Forest is 5-0, Iowa 5-0, KU 4-0, Villanova 4-0, Xavier 4-0, USC 4-1, Tennessee 3-1 and UTEP 3-2. Other first round matchups: Nova vs. USC, Iowa vs. Xavier and Tennessee vs. UTEP. KU will leave for the Bahamas on Tuesday. News conferences will be held Wednesday with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Scholarship talk: Self was asked on Hawk Talk how he plans his scholarship situation for next season when he doesn’t know how many players will be leaving the program. So far, he’s awarded the program’s two available scholarships to Cliff Alexander, 6-8 from Chicago Curie, and Kelly Oubre, 6-7 from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada.

The Jayhawks lose senior Tarik Black to graduation with Andrew Wiggins expected to be the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“It’s kind of like, ‘What’s the percentage play?’” Self said. “I learned a while ago it’s better to have one too many (players committed) than not enough. That sounds kind of weird. The thing is if you look at national stats across American, kids are transferring at alarming rates.

“The national averages are somebody is going to leave. You can’t keep everybody happy. Then the averages (say) if the players are good enough, somebody you don’t anticipate will probably leave for the NBA or whatever. I don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable in signing or committing to one over to what it appears to be. I think when you get in the two to three range (over limit) that could create a problem. We could have one, two, maybe three more than it looks like on paper depending on how well guys play down the stretch.”


Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

Wiggins, Embiid, Selden and Ellis are project to go 1, 4, 12 and 17 ( The "lower" picks, Selden and Ellis, are projected to go with the Lakers and Heat! Embiid grades out at 98, with 10s in size and potential...9s in athleticism and defense. All that even with a NBA ready score of a 6!, It will be like having Jordan and Olajuwon in the same draft again but from the same team...our team!! We all want the guys to do great but if they do, we will lose them all. I hope we sign Turner!

Dirk Medema 8 years, 7 months ago

I think Turner is waiting to see if he can succeed Embiid or needs to go someplace else. Could be the same way with Selden and Vaughn (Oubre's teammate).

Sean Doherty 8 years, 7 months ago

The fact that they place Perry Ellis above Aaron Gordon makes me skeptical about their predictions. Yes, Perry Ellis is better than Aaron Gordon right now, but we all know that NBA backseat drivers with power always want based on hypothetical potential. I agree with the's prediction. But I have to go with the history of NBA picks. Remember Anthony Bennett? First overall out of left field? Yeah, we even have to cross sport platforms to describe what happened during the last draft.

Sae Thirtysix 8 years, 7 months ago

You have to love the plain spoken way with which Coach Self addresses these questions - USA Basketball / the NBA. Wonderful ambassador for KU Basketball.

Benz Junque 8 years, 7 months ago

Just a reminder to Coach Self that Gregg Popovich would be SEVENTY TWO at the 2020 Olympics. He is looking old and worn out NOW. I can't imagine that he will be wanting to go through the rigors of the Olympic basketball schedule at that age.

Doc Rivers is only 2 years older than Self. I wouldn't be shocked to see both on the coaching staff of the 2020 Olympics. Which one is the head coach? Who knows. That's a LONG ways away.

Asad Zoberi 8 years, 7 months ago

AsadZ here.

You can’t keep everybody happy. Then the averages (say) if the players are good enough, somebody you don’t anticipate will probably leave for the NBA or whatever.

Reading between the lines, since Greene has been in Self's doghouse, I feel that he is the one who could transfer although I hope it does not happen as he seems to have size and talent to become a great player at KU. He had also committed much earlier to be a Jayhawk and I hope that he stays with the program.

Rich Hetherington 8 years, 7 months ago

I really like Greene and hope he keeps his composure and stays at Kansas for his college duration. I remember when he signed he was ranked 22nd, and Bill Self raved about how he was a good, smart kid. While his ranking slipped about 25 spots his senior year, I have no doubts what was said is still true. He's such a great catch and shoot player, I really hope he figures things out and has a great career here at KU!

Benz Junque 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't read between the lines. Self is honest enough that there isn't a need to. He isn't writing off a kid to transfer four games into the season. EJ and Taylor were both in Self's doghouse and everyone did the same thing.

Some combination of Selden and/or Embiid will be gone to the NBA. Self just covers all bases when he speaks to the media. It's refreshing to have a coach that doesn't just blow the standard BS up the arse of the media. He is actually open and honest about his thoughts.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self would make a much better TEAM USA coach than Ratface would by any stretch.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 7 months ago

Mike Krzyzewski has done an outstanding job, that cannot be denied. Self would do great too. We ku people may hate losing to Duke, but no reason to slam the USA basketball coaching job by K that widely has been considered to be an excellent piece of work by him.

Benz Junque 8 years, 7 months ago

NBA players have huge respect for Coach K and he has done great things for them. I don't like him because he is competition for titles, but I completely respect the work he has done. You'd be crazy not to.

That said, I feel that the amount of time before the next Olympics will highlight what an amazing coach Self is. He has accomplished so much already and is only now starting to get his hands on larger numbers of elite recruits. The ceiling has been raised for KU basketball over the next decade.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 7 months ago

You couldn't do much better than Mike Krzyzewski has done.

Eddie Saldanha 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree. He's a talented coach, and has definitely achieved quite a bit in his career. I echo the sentiment that the only thing not to like about the guys is that he's competition. But that could be said about every other coach we go up against.

In the context of USA Basketball, he's earned his share of respect. I do think Self would be fantastic at the job, and if he were to take over for Coach K, I'd be beside myself with excitement. When looking at something like the Olympics, I think Self's desire to bring out the best in his players, both on and off the court, is a perfect fit for the spirit of the games. He's raised the bar so much at KU already, but taking over for K in the games would be a big next step in him becoming an all-time great.

John Randall 8 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self is one of several I expect could do the job well, but I really doubt any of those could really do 'much better' than "K" has done, at some sacrifice to his own program because he places a high value on the USA label.

Do you realize, Bryce, that your pre-adolescent comments with no basis just clear the basepaths for any number of coaches who actually deserve to be denigrated but skate along because "everybody has haters"?

I, personally, enjoy a KU win over UNC, Syracuse, Duke, MSU more than most victories because my respect for their great coaching and ethical approach to the game, but there are other teams I want to see lose because they deserve to lose, coaching and ethics considered.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago


1] Reading between the lines, I think the USA coaching job is Bill's if he chooses to take it.

2] Wiggins begets Oubre, Black begets Alexander, Embiid begets Turner, Selden begets Vaughn...biblically speaking, book it!!!

3] For any of you who haven't been to The Bahamas, Paradise Island is this oasis of luxury...while the rest of the country isn't!!

4] Don't let the other teams records fool you...Kansas is, by far, the superior team in the field, however, also being one of the youngest teams, let's see how they handle the distractions that come from a tourney like this!!

5] Best part of my weekend?? Went through an endoscopy procedure that forced me to miss viewing the KU/ISU football game. I can only hope that the crack at the bottom of the glass is getting closer to being closed, because that game left me with an empty feeling....again.

7] JUST A THOUGHT. Evidence of KU's team depth, player number 11 in the rotation, Brannen Greene, would be a starter on a majority of Division One NCAA Programs right now!!!

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 7 months ago

For the fun of it, look at the NBA mock draft for 2015 ( Turner, Alexander and Oubre are all projected to go in the top ten...1, 4, and 10! Lyle and Vaughn will need to come in ready to work harder than they ever imagined if they want PT away from the colors.... White/Greene. With all the great competition everyday White and Greene will be ready for any challenges that come their way .... on the court.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

Oh my, Hunter and Jamari are listed in the second round!!!

Anthon Bowleg 8 years, 7 months ago

3 is an interesting comment. I doubt you realize the following:

1) That New Providence is not the entire Bahamas (you can not just rent a car and drive through the entire Bahamas)

2) That on that island alone Atlantis is not the only luxury resort nor is it the most exclusive or expensive. (or most modern)

3) That there are luxury communities peppered through out the island catering to pre-madonna American celebrities and European Monarchs (whose taste for luxury may be slightly more discriminating than yours just a tad)

4) The American Ambassador does not live on Paradise Island (maybe the US govt should find her more suitable, comfortable accommodations)

5) The Bahamas enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean

6) The Bahamas unfortunately is one of the most expensive places to live in the Caribbean

7) This is duplicated on multiple islands throughout the archipelago (chain of islands) which is the Bahamas

Furthermore it's nonsensical for an entire place to be luxury, exclusive, especially when the cost of living is already higher.

Your cruise ship must have made an extended stay outside of the usual 10 hours on the mainland for you to comment so broadly and confidently on the entire Bahamas. Yes I am Bahamian and I did graduate from KU.

Colby Hebert 8 years, 7 months ago

Say no Bill, I am "Selfish" I want to keep him focused on Kansas basketball a bit longer. After he wins another couple titles he has my blessing to go to the NBA or USA basketball! ;-)

We are so lucky to have Bill Self here.

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