Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Self reflects on season’s highs, lows

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to the media outside the Jayhawks' locker-room Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to the media outside the Jayhawks' locker-room Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.


More than anything, Bill Self wishes he was in Cleveland today, preparing his Kansas University basketball team for an NCAA Midwest Regional Sweet 16 game against Notre Dame.

Instead, Sunday’s 78-65 Round of 32 loss to Wichita State has put him on the road recruiting as he works on shaping the roster for the 2015-16 season.

“I am not making any excuses for our guys because we could have very easily advanced, but this was a team in which they did a pretty good job of piecing it together this year. The pieces didn’t fit great,” Self said Tuesday, speaking with one Journal-World reporter in his office instead of dozens of media members in Cleveland that would have descended upon the team hotel Tuesday evening had KU, not WSU, advanced.

“The kids adjusted and basically really did well to win the league and be a 2-seed against a monster schedule. Basically our inconsistencies certainly caught up to us at the very end,” Self added.

Self, who has not watched tape of the season-ending setback, obviously remembers all the key moments in Sunday’s defeat in Omaha.

“It was a disappointing end to a good season,” Self said. “We lost to a really good team. They were a really good team on Sunday. They made shots the second half (16 of 27, 5 of 9 from three). We never got in a rhythm offensively and didn’t get into a rhythm defensively to start the second half. The game came down to 10 minutes — the last five minutes of the first half they go on an 11-0 run (13-2 to grab 29-26 lead). The first five minutes of the second half they were able to extend the lead from three to 10. Other than that, we basically traded baskets. Certainly they were better.”

KU had a chance to go up 10 with 41⁄2 minutes left in the first half. However, Landen Lucas missed an inside shot that was followed by an Evan Wessel three on the other end.

“We had numerous opportunities in the first half to be up by more than eight,” Self said. “They finished the half right and we didn’t, then they started the half right and we didn’t. When you play with a lead, the basket gets bigger. When you play from behind, the basket shrinks. I thought we played really hard, especially the first half. I thought we lost our poise some to start the second half. The guys tried.”

Self did not elect to complain about the fact the (30-4) Shockers entered the tournament as a 7-seed, instead of say a 3 or 4.

“This is a team that has won 90 games or whatever (95) over the last three years. They are better than a 7-seed, but it doesn’t make any difference because you have to play whoever is in front of you,” Self said. “So much comes down to matchups. We had a young team going against an experienced team. It was something we were capable of playing better than we did. I wish I’d gotten my guys prepared better to make more of a legitimate run, but it was a situation whoever you play in the second round will be a hard draw. Last year we drew a team that had unbelievable size, probably the biggest team we played all year (Stanford) and we played without our length in Joel (Embiid, injury). Not having our full complement of players probably did not help us. I’m not going to say it hurt us, either. Who knows how it would have played out?”

KU’s Cliff Alexander did not play in KU’s two NCAA Tournament games because of an NCAA inquiry into his eligibility.

“I am disappointed obviously because we didn’t have our full complement of guys,” Self said. “I feel bad for Cliff. I personally think that it’s sad, sad, sad for him moreso than anybody else, but it’s also sad for all his teammates, too, that count on him. You’ve got to deal with rules. I understand that. To me not having him was disappointing. I thought our players did a good job of handling it where it wasn’t a distraction. We never talked like he was coming back with our players. Regardless of what kind of talks we had as a staff, our players weren’t counting on it so I didn’t think it was a huge distraction.”

Self said nothing has been decided yet by the NCAA.

“Cliff is a member of the team. Nothing has been declared,” Self said, indicating KU would announce something when the NCAA rules on the player’s fate.

The bottom line on the season, Self said, “is we had a really good year. I’m proud of our guys. They fought hard. We had a lot of things to deal with. I wish we’d obviously played better at the end. They (players) do too. It wasn’t for a lack of effort or competitive desire. If we could have won one more game and got to this weekend ... I felt the pressure probably was on us to get to the Sweet 16. (The) next week there was no pressure, just to play (against Notre Dame, then likely Kentucky in Elite Eight).”

NBA talk: Without naming names, Self acknowledged some players will likely be turning pro within the next couple weeks. Oubre and Alexander arrived as almost certain one-and-dones. Nothing seems to have changed in that regard. Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr., also have not said for sure they will be back. As always, transfers are a possibility.

“I’m realistic to know we’re going to have a guy or two leave,” Self said. “I’m also realistic to know sometimes kids and families do things you don’t anticipate them doing, too. That’s the nature of this business right now — kind of wait and see. I anticipate losing a couple guys but I’m hopeful we’ll have the rest of our players back because we do have a good foundation but we do need to solidify that and add a couple more players.”

Self said he has already met with “a couple of them (players), but we’ll get together and start talking at the end of this week or the first of next week.”

Svi to return: Freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk said in Omaha he’d return for his sophomore season. Self is planning on that.

“We’ve been talking to him about his summer plans and how to get better. He’ll be home (Ukraine) between the end of the semester and start of summer school, two or three weeks,” Self said.

Recruiting: KU currently has one scholarship to give in recruiting following the commitment of Carlton Bragg, 6-9, 225 senior from Villa Angela St. Joseph High in Cleveland.

“We’ve got one commitment. It’d be nice to sign another big. It would be nice to sign a guard,” Self said.

Prospects who are considering KU include No. 2-ranked (by Jaylen Brown, 6-7, Wheeler High, Marietta, Georgia; No. 3 Malik Newman, 6-3, Callaway High, Jackson, Mississippi; No.. 5 Thon Maker, 7-foot, Orangeville Prep, Mono, Ontario; No. 7 Cheick Diallo, 6-7, Our Savior New American, Centereach, New York; No. 8 Ivan Rabb, 6-9, Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland, California; No. 11 Stephen Zimmerman, 7-foot, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas; No. 19 Brandon Ingram, 6-8, Kinston (North Carolina) High. indicated Self and assistant Norm Roberts would check in on Diallo today in New York.


Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 6 months ago

came across this:

LOL.. i miss TRob and his classic block vs Mizzou.. still going and going.. even in NBA.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

OMG, that was a carbon-copy block of Phil Pressey, yet again!. Wooo, what deja vu! One of the all-time classic Jayhawk games. We need more TRobs, MorrisTwins, Coles, Shadys in the paint. 6'9 or taller, physical, tough bigs fit Selfball the best. And preferrable if they are top 11-60ish ranked guys, indicating not a total buried-on-bench project. The guys I listed are absolute poster boys for the BillSelfBigman template.

Mike Crosbie 7 years, 6 months ago

Too much is placed on the top ranked recruits...the rankings give players big heads with thoughts of the NBA. This has hurt our program, we need to get quality recruits who want a college degree and will grow into senior leaders. Only then can we fix what ails our team!!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

The rankings don't give the players big heads, media outlets like ESPN do because they are constantly hyping these kids to the moon comparing them to current NBA stars when they've done nothing to warrant to comparisons.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

What we DON'T need is another player who attender 3 different High Schools. Let Thon go elsewhere.

Trey Hohman 7 years, 6 months ago

Wish someone would form a kickstarter campaign to keep Kelly Oubre at KU for just one more season with the moral and financial objective of not becoming Xavier Henry part 2.

Joseph Leon 7 years, 6 months ago

i so agree. it drives me crazy that he's gone when he would benefit as a player so much from coming back. but here's my money pitch to him. he'll actually make more money if he stays and goes as a 5 pick, instead of an 11 pick as projected. if he goes this year as an 11, then he makes $6M over 3 years. But if he goes as a 5 pick, he makes $12M over 3 years.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

Unless he doesn't show improvement, or gets hurt. Then he's costing himself A LOT of money.

Greg Ledom 7 years, 6 months ago

Just curious Joe or anyone on this web site for that matter. Would you turn down $6 MM rich.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

You are asking for the wrong thing, you should be asking for an alternative reality. This sounds kind of selfish to be honest.

What would you do with the money? Make him ineligible? That is the first thing it would do.

Why can't we just wish the player well?

Wish that he makes an informed decision?

Hope he values a college education?

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

The website does something similar. ESPN ran a story on it this past week. Fans can donate to college athletes as an incentive to stay in school. 9% of the donations serve as an fee for holding the funds in escrow, and the remainder is given to the athlete when they leave. If the athlete leaves with "any" remaining years of eligibility, then the funds are returned to the donor. It supposedly does not affect an athlete's eligibility, because there is no coordination with the athlete.

As of this morning, it looks like Perry and Wayne have received no donations. Kelly ($107) and Cliff ($7) have received some.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

This makes even less sense to me. There is no way you are ever going to get near a professional contract value. The player gets nothing unless he uses up all 4 years of eligibility. You as a donor give money that you could earn interest on and pay a 9% fee while this site earns interest on it? Is the interest on the money also paid to the player? I doubt it. It is small but the value of money decreases every year so whatever you get back has less value than the money you gave. My estate planner takes 1% and he makes me money btw. 9% seems excessive.

How in the world does this make sense to anyone? It sounds like a scheme for the site to make money.

Randy Williams 7 years, 6 months ago

If it's just about the money, they're gonna leave. We should wish them well because they're doing what they think is best for them. However, imho OADs aren't good for college BB (outside of Kentucky that is). Better to have the football model and let the NBA take them after HS and pay them to develop if they are that good. Otherwise, 2 years in college before leaving. But that's just me.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Everyone knew that Xavier was an OAD from day one and though he didn't play up to the hype he had a pretty damn good Freshman year averaging 13.4 ppg and 42% from the 3.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

KSU dismissed more than Marcus Foster, they also dismissed freshman guard Tre Harris and starting PG Jevon Thomas is transferring.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if they were Webberized or it is something else. Having watched this first hand in IL this is how it starts with a Webber team.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

After the recent KSU "scandal" of not granting transfer requests, they sure are eager to wish some of these guys well this year.

John Pritchett 7 years, 6 months ago

Marshall has no class. That I know for certain based on what I've seen and heard from him. Based on that, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he ditched his program and his kids for more money and more fame. At least Coach Roy had a good reason when he left KU. He wanted to go home to his alma mater. That I can understand, as hard as it was at the time.

Marshall makes me respect and appreciate Coach Self and our program that much more.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I am curious why you hate Marshall so much. He has been at Wichita State for 8 seasons, and done well. Before we give Self all the credit, he coached at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and ended up here at KU so he wasn't doing much different than any other coach as far as finding the next great opportunity. It just so happens that he ended up at a basketball blue blood. I have coached, and coaches leave schools for a variety of reason, and I would understand if Marshall found a bigger job, but personally I don't see Alabama as a bigger gig, just a bigger conference, which is why if I were him I would wait for a better job than middle of the road Alabama basketball, but that is just me. If Texas opened up, I can see him sprinting down the highway to Austin in his Joe Boxers.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

Mark, the issue germinated from Marshall, and his Shox fans picked up on it, and its almost KSU-level hate for KU for some of them. Marshall's comments directly calling KU "chickenhawks" is exactly the kind of disparaging comment you have NEVER heard Self say publicly about any opponent, even hated Mizzou. No, "chickenhawks" isnt the worst thing in the world, but John's point was about "no class", and that's a fair thought by John, imho. Us fans can poke fun of teams and mascots, but for a coach to get into disparaging name-calling is just 'not classy'. Bill Self, and Roy Williams have epitomized class as the 2 most recent head coaches KU has had, and we are lucky for it.

The year after Self rode the motorcycle on a carpeted path during LateNight one year recently, Marshall was being interviewed by the Wichita paper, and I literally read his quote: "you wont see me riding a motorcycle on our arena floor!" I am eager and willing to grant the guy some competetive fire, and he has proven to be an excellent coach...but again, he cannot stop with the needless butt-hurt behavior about KU. Is it envy? If so, then dear Gregg needs to take the UT or Bama job and just go build his empire, and take the $3mil. Maybe he wont act so scorned?

Actually, eventhough we KNOW Bruce Weber hates Self, he's done a much more respectable job with his public comments towards KU, as he was teased for years about that whole funeral-for-Bill-Self stunt of his at Illinois... Marshall, of course, sounded much more tolerant of KU now that he got a W against KU. Of course he did.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

For whatever reason, a large percentage of WSU fans and alumni are anti-KU. I would be speculating of course to suggest that WSU fans and alumni would be split between pro-KU and pro-KSU, but it seems that much of their base aligns with the KSU base when it comes to their distaste for all things Jayhawk.

This attitude toward KU has existed at WSU long before Greg Marshall was the coach, so I would suspect that his unprofessional comments about KU are more in line with pandering to his fan base. Much like all of the euporia at KSU when Huggins arrived about how they would beat Kansas. And the following year when Huggins was gone but Beasley stated that they'd beat KU in AFH, in Manhattan or in Africa.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 6 months ago

weir but yet interesting indeed Brett. KSU just took a major hit, not surprising but still a major hit. Foster was a cancer, players like this hurt a team more then help, so this really doesn't surprise me. But when you lose Foster, Harris, & Thomas? that's a little surprising. Harris & Thomas both had some good moments if I remember right for them would of thought those 2 would have played a prominent roe for the upcoming year. Not really that surprising on Marshall there has even been some talk if Texas decides to part way with Barnes that they may want to talk with Marshall and God only knows they have the money to back up their talk. as far as misery- - - - who the hell cares about those pieces of crap ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Brad Watson 7 years, 6 months ago

The chemistry wasn't there this year and at times the team was very hard to watch...but guess what?...there is still another banner to hang....How many coaches with no consistent team chemistry can still hang banners?...Very impressive stuff if you ask far as the Wichita state rivalry....its probably best that the teams don't schedule each other...the reason?....the overlap of fans...including myself...I like Wichita State....and I love the Hawks.....and there are a lot of people throughout the state just like me....I hope Wichita wins the whole thing....and my guess do a lot of you.....Thank you for reading my post and have a great day!

Lance Cheney 7 years, 6 months ago

I used to like Wichita State. Until I realized their fans are almost as bad as K-State's (they hate KU as much as anybody - little brother syndrome). And especially after Marshall's wife ran her mouth after they beat us.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

It's interesting that Marshall or his agent would be commenting on any job openings at this point. The usual course of action is to deflect any questions about the future until the season is over.

Not sure what's best as far as eliminating distractions for your team... Maybe not a bad idea to come right out and say "I would consider talking to them after the season is over, but it will take a heck of an offer to cause me to consider leaving such a great job as this one."

It also puts WSU on notice, that they may need to get ready to pony up if they want to keep their guy.

Often when coaches choose to just deflect questions, that leaves the fan base uneasy.

Or if they flat out deny interest (don't give a bleep in Carolina), and then they end up leaving, that obviously leaves a bad taste.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

"leaves the fan base uneasy"...Hey, you know what? --> The stupider some of these Shox fans act (more KState-ish), the more I like mentioning these swirling rumors about UTex and 'Bama using Nick Saban to contact Marshall, and the phrase "$3 million". Using these phrases has been like throwing a stick of dynamite in the middle of their WeBeatKU-Party...

So, here's the immediate future for Wichita State and their fans: Very soon a season-ending loss at the hands of NotreDame (maybe) or KY (most likely), followed by very possibly, the loss of their coach.

So, what's KU's future? Svi is next-man-up to replace Oubre. MickeyD Bragg replaces Cliff. Or better yet, Cliff+ncaa allow Cliff to return for Yr2 (oh, he's got the correct mentality, but was just too green like frosh TRob or Twins...), and Self returns a bunch of juniors and seniors--> Bill Self finally gets to go to war with seasoned troops. Now add the July mini-season in Korea (team-bldg exercise of the highest order, an absolute gift from NCAA rules, no less.)--> KU should be several steps ahead of where they are currently. Priceless chance to see Self with an experienced roster.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

Haha, lets make WSU's a pyrrhic victory: BigXII or SEC gets Marshall, KU takes womens bball coach, and Self's manhood-in-Omaha-thumpin' causes him to schedule his 10-deep, upperclassmen-heavy KU team for a rematch with WSU in Koch Bros. Arena next season. Take it all. So what kind of Tshirts would the Shox fans print then? (well, if you are back in the stone age, there's no printers...)

John Boyle 7 years, 6 months ago

We don't want WSU women's coach. She is scary looking and wears too much makeup. (said with tongue in cheek)

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

KU is coming up short in this discussion about overall stats:

Coach forgot to get the team ready ....... or else he may have been thinking WSU perhaps was not going to win.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Why would KU be in the discussion. They had already lost.

Brad Watson 7 years, 6 months ago

There is no shame in losing to a team that has won a 100 games in the last 3 years like I posted earlier...the chemistry was baffling....still trying to figure out how we were able to hang another banner as bad as we looked at times in every game we played....we never played a complete game that I remember watching......the kid from Jonesboro was a bright spot for me...I really enjoyed how hungry he played....Where was he against Wichita?....I think Self is outstanding...he will figure it hungry...get after people .......something totally off topic...that Dekker kid from Wisconsin reminds me of the Great Hondo Havlicek of the Celtics....I love watching that kid play.... .Thank you for reading my post and have a great day!.

Benjamin Clay Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Not hard to go 16-of-27 in the second half when you're mainly shooting layups, Bill.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 6 months ago

The explanation for our eleventh conference title despite the range of team chemistry spanning from inconsistent to lacking altogether is that even with 5 losses, we won the title outright, because, with the exception of KU who is expected to beat everyone, virtually every team in the Big 12 beat someone no one expected them to beat.Our secret is 8-0 at Allen Fieldhouse.

I really like my marketting idea for next season...KU 2015/16, The Big Dozen!!!!

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately a Big 12 conference title is becoming less valueable each year. Lets hope OU and WVU can win some games.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

As we know, Self is looking to add some nasty to our post maybe we can make it a DIRTY DOZEN (#12). Its time for dominating KU post play to return to the fold. If Self has any trick hidden under that toupe...we need to see it!

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

Is Alabama the best Marshall can do? Got to think he would be in line for a better job.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I was thinking the same thing personally. Alabama could end up being a downgrade from his current spot.

Theresa Walker 7 years, 6 months ago

Theresa Walker: Who cares where Greg Marshall goes. All KU fans need to just Rock Chalk on!!!!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

If he goes to Alabama, then it's not relevant to KU. If he stays and waits and eventually takes a job within the Big 12, Texas and KSU should be opening up in the near future, it does impact KU because he then becomes direct competition to KU.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I think it is just a matter of time until Texas has an opening, and if I were Marshall I would bide my time, which could be this offseason or at the latest next because Barnes brings in recruits, but except for when he had Durant, has had little success there.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Marshall does bide his time. He was at Winthrop for 9 years and turned down a lot of mid major offers there and he's now been at WSU for 8 years and has turned down a lot of major conference offers because he's not looking to take any job, he's looking for the right job.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.