Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Energized Kansas basketball coach Bill Self at annual team banquet: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

Kansas head coach Bill Self pulls his team in during a timeout in the first half, Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas head coach Bill Self pulls his team in during a timeout in the first half, Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


For the better part of his 45-minute presentation to a crowd of about 500 supporters during the Kansas basketball program’s annual postseason banquet Tuesday night at the Burge Union, KU coach Bill Self spoke of being reenergized and excited about what’s ahead while looking back on the Jayhawks’ 26-10 season.

After it was over, Self doubled down on that thought, saying, in no uncertain terms, that he was at Kansas to stay and had no plans of going anywhere.

The need to address the topic came up partly because KU Athletic Director Jeff Long, during his welcome-to-the-party speech, referenced a pair of national stories in the past month that indicated that Self was leaving KU to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

“There is no one better to lead our program now and in the future than coach Bill Self,” Long said. “We have all heard the rumors about Coach Self leaving us. I’ve heard them. Bill’s heard them and we’ve talked about it. Bill has addressed the speculation with the media and with others who have used the rumors to negatively impact our recruiting. Well, I’ve got news for those (people). That tactic won’t work. These are just rumors. … Chancellor (Doug) Girod and I are thrilled that Bill Self and (wife) Cindy are the leaders of our basketball program, winning championships in the right way as he has done for the last 16 years. And we are planning for him to lead this program for many, many more years.”

Self backed that plan and shared a little bit about what followed in the days after the reports first surfaced.

“As soon as the NBA rumors came out, I went to our administration and said, ‘Hey, just so you know, I’m not going anywhere,’” Self explained. “And I certainly would not go anywhere right now at all. … Whenever there were rumors — and that’s what they are, rumors, with no basis behind any of them — that I was not going to be the coach here because I was going to a different place or (would) not be around because of the NCAA or whatever, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve still got three years left on my deal and hopefully, sometime between now and the end of that, there’ll be some talks about re-upping that. But I’m totally happy right now and I’m not going anywhere. Anywhere. I’ll be the coach at Kansas next year.”

Tuesday’s event, which featured all of the bells and whistles of past events just like it, included a brief intro from broadcaster Brian Hanni, a dinner for the KU fans in attendance and a 45-minute highlight video that summarized the season.

Self then thanked dozens of people in the KU athletic department for their efforts this season and introduced his coaching staff and players, many of whom will be leaving Lawrence in the near future for new challenges.

Dedric Lawson, who won the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk Award — the only award the KU program hands out on a yearly basis — is one of three players from the 2018-19 roster who have declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson also have announced their intentions to transfer. And Lagerald Vick, who was not in attendance on Tuesday, has exhausted his eligibility.

Despite all of the ups and downs of a rocky season that was filled with injuries and saw the Jayhawks’ streak of 14 consecutive Big 12 titles come to an end, Self emphasized to everyone in the room that he was not disappointed by the season, but encouraged, not frustrated by the 10 losses, but hopeful for the foundation it put down for the future of Kansas basketball.

After rattling off all that KU accomplished during Vick’s four years — three Elite Eights, a Final Four, three Big 12 titles and numerous other trophies — Self said simply, “The thing I’m really proud of is it’s not good enough. No matter what we do, we want more.”

He continued: “You know what happened this year? We got our butts beat by teams that were probably better than us this one year. But when we had our full complement of players, minus one (Silvio De Sousa), we were the best team in the country. And I don’t know if you take two of the top three leading scorers off Virginia, if they’re national champions. I don’t know if you take two of the top three scorers off (Texas) Tech, if they’re runners-up. I know if you take two of the top three off Duke or Carolina or Kentucky, they’re going to labor, as well. Well, our labor year was a 4 seed. So I take great pride in that.”


Tony Bandle 3 years, 1 month ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Now that's what I call a Coach ready to prove everybody wrong!

2] In way, I am happy the streak is over.....let's get back to business and concentrate on National Championships.

3] Duke is truly the Evil Empire and Coach K is the Emperor. This university was founded on the money from a product that has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world for decades!!

4] Maybe Kansas should go retro and have a recruiting class with no OADs or MickeyD's.

5] How ironic would it be for the Kansas NCAA streak which started because of probation in 1989 to end the same way in 2020. No one could stop us on the court so they had to find a different way to stop us off the court.

6] Grad Transfers to supplement Devon, Garrett, Big Mac, Mitch, The KC Kid and the two recruits may now be the best option to get through this next season until the NCAA mess blows over.

7] Every one of you coming back shoot 500 three pointers a day from now to the first game.

Brad Avery 3 years, 1 month ago

4] Maybe Kansas should go retro and have a recruiting class with no OADs or MickeyD's.

7] Every one of you coming back shoot 500 three pointers a day from now to the first game.

KU may well have to do what you suggested as an option. Texas Tech had no top 100 players on its roster this season and did ok. I would add 500 daily free throws as part of the shooting regimen.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago order for 500 shots daily to be worth a damn they have to make them.

Joe Black 3 years, 1 month ago

Exactly, you don't shoot 500 shots a day, you make 500 shots a day. No matter how long it takes you to accomplish that feat. Of course Dok might never be able to leave.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 1 month ago

Wanted Coach Self the first time Roy thought about leaving. Got Coach Self when Roy did leave. Want Coach Self until he decides to hang it up. He may do so, but I don't want him to coach anywhere else but KU ever.

Matt Gauntt 3 years, 1 month ago

This will disappoint the Chicken Littles that think the sky is falling at KU and Coach Self should be replaced.

He's proven to be one of the best coaches this school has ever had. Highest winning percentage of any coach at KU, National Coach of the Year, and very importantly, the young men he coaches have had a great Graduation Success Rate, so even if they don't make the NBA, they have come out of school with something valuable.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 1 month ago

Also remember, just one season ago, the Jayhawks were in the Final Four. So it's not like Self forgot how to coach. He just had the wrong mix of guys and not enough available guys.

Craig Carson 3 years, 1 month ago

People are making too much of the FBI fiasco and its impact on recruiting...AZ and Louisville are both way more entangled in the FBI mess than KU is and they had no issues with getting good they secured their top classes months ago...the KU staff just dropped the ball...I'm glad Self came out and said he is staying put, but now he and his staff need to recruit like they actually want to avoid the NIT this year..cause at this point that's where they're headed

Joe Black 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Chicken Little, Please see comments above. Thank you.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 1 month ago

It'll be interesting to see if Self and his staff are as soft as last year's team. They've put themselves in a major jam, partly by having dead weight like Howard on staff, I'll be watching to see if they can actually do anything.

Craig Carson 3 years, 1 month ago

There's nothing little about what I said...they lose 6 of their top players and only replace them with 2 lower rates freshmen who probably won't be ready to contribute...they most likely will whiff on the last 3 top recruits since none are picked to choose KU...Self will have to convince a couple of D2 grad transfers to join the team just to have enough players...its called reality...we are the only top program who didn't have their recruiting class set and now have to pray that the scraps that are left choose us..Self is a great coach but even be needs players...we have 7 players in the fold right now and we don't appear to have any strengths...the 2018 FF team was short handed but they could at least shoot..this team will appear to struggle in EVERY area

Brian Wilson 3 years, 1 month ago

Just wait until this summer when the two other tennis shoe trails begin. Those investigations began before the Addidas trial and are now just beginning and the number of schools and persons involved are greater. To me it indicates the size of the case and its complexity. It won't surprise me after testimony flies and those implicated start turning over it will be a big mess and KU will hardly be on the radar.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 1 month ago

Just because Adidas is not on trial doesn't mean we can't be implicated.

Joe Baker 3 years, 1 month ago

Thank you and good night...moving on...

Brett McCabe 3 years, 1 month ago

The two most useless statements in the world are: "I'm happy where I am" and "When I'm elected....."

Self has screwed this up as if he was David Beaty. Convinced of his own greatness while every actual indicator suggests that the effing house is on fire.

He'll throw together something, I mean, he's paid $3 million a year, you'd think he'd be able to at least keep 10 guys on a basketball team at one time. But here's a news flash, even though AFH was a magical kingdom last year, you might actually have to win a game or two somewhere else next year.

He earlier mentioned that he might be looking at JUCO's and what he really needs to be looking at are JUCO coaches. They know how to handle one-year rosters far better than Self, and he probably can board one in his guest room and give the guy a pay raise.

Everything about this program now says big, dumb, fat and happy. It's a sloppy ugly mess. I had hoped that UCLA would have come calling and we could get a fresh start, but that school just came up short of Tennessee in the worst coaching searches in the history of college athletics.

I'd like to hear less talk and see more walk from coach "we good". Why not offer to forfeit salary if "we" are found guilty? How about signing a new contract with a massive buyout? How about actually doing something?

Craig Carson 3 years, 1 month ago

@Brett...are you stupid or something? like seriously...think its time for you to kick rocks and find another team to root arent welcome here anymore

Brett McCabe 3 years, 1 month ago

Cogent comments by Craig Carson. There is, literally, nothing to dispute in your remark.

I actually had a lot of fun kicking rocks as a kid, it was fun and challenging.

If you are saying I am not welcome in a format that endorses cheating, mindlessness and sliminess, then you are again right on the spot. But, mistaking criticism of poor performance as a lack of love for my university is a bit simple-minded. But, hey, you'll probably get a lot of likes for being banal.

Jay Scott 3 years, 1 month ago

Kicking rocks was "fun and challenging"? Your therapist will need to know that...

Jay Scott 3 years, 1 month ago

Did you forget that virtually every publication picked Kansas to win last fall? Were HCBS and staff "big, dumb, fat and happy" when assembling and developing that group?

How about you stop posting deranged nonsense and get counselling?

Is it safe to say that you liked your own post? God forbid there's another loon like you.

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