Bill Self 6. Gregg Marshall 8. ESPN 0.

  • Bill Self just got slapped in the face twice by ESPN.

    First, he gets picked sixth best coach. To quote Marvin Gaye…

    Oh, make you wanna holler The way they do my life Make me wanna holler The way they do my life

    Let’s put this in perspective. Self is the winningest coach the last 5 years. His ten year record at KU is .825. Ten straight conference titles. One ring. The guy was .733 at Tulsa. He was .765 at Illinois. He was only .505 at ORU, but .505 and building to a 21 win season at ORU without cheating is like winning .950 at any other mid major.

    And its the apparent lack of cheating that should catapult Self to number 2 on the ESPN list, behind Coach Consonants. Most anyone can win, if they (or those they claim not to know about) cheat enough. Think of Calipari. He reached the national finals playing guys that he didn’t know didn’t even take their own SATs. And Self beat him and all of his ringers he didn’t know about. Hell, Self almost beat Calipari in the national finals the next time they met, when Self didn’t have a single Mickey D, or OAD on the roster. Hell, Self almost beat Cal with Conner Teahan. Right there, Self is the best coach in the country. Period.

    One face slap from ESPN ought to be enough, right?


    Second, Gregg Marshall gets ranked eighth best. Putting Marshall on any list with Self is a joke. Gregg Marshall may be the second best mid major coach behind Mark Few the last couple years, but the 8th best D1 coach overall?


    Ranking Self 6th and Marshall 8th makes absolutely certain that ESPN’s rankings mean zero.

    Self is .825 in 10 years at KU.

    Marshall is .710 in 7 seasons at–drum roll puhlease–Koch State, er, Wichita State.

    Here is what what there is to say about ESPN ranking Gregg Marshall the eight best coach in D1.

    Hypothesis: Koch PR.

    The funny thing about outfits like ESPN appearing to jerk persons like Self, and schools like KU, around, is that when they appear to do it, they appear to make themselves look like idiots.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate 1.0 While I appreciate your sentiment - I think most of us think Self is great and would love for him to get as much recognition as possible - I think this is a slight overreaction. First off, when I made my own thread about ESPN counting down the coaches, I discussed the criteria they were using. While I agree it’s severely flawed, they are judging the coaches by “who is doing the best job now.” They leave that fairly open-ended, as it cannot simply be a singular season. So something in the 3-5 year range. Because of this, Self’s record at Illinois, Tulsa, and even Oral Roberts are irrelevant to the rankings.

    So let’s say it’s 5 years, and as you say Self has the winningest record the past 5 years. However, there has to be added weight and consideration given to tournament success. In the past 5 years, Self reached the title game. That’s great. However, he has twice lost in the round of 32, once as a one seed to UNI, once as a two seed to Stanford. Those two teams bookend the five year span. In between he also lost in the elite 8 with the heavy favorite MorrisHawks to VCU, and he lost to Michigan in the sweet 16. Both losses came as one seeds. I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that in 4 of the 5 years, he has lost before it was expected, in some cases much sooner.

    As to the runner-up team in '12, you point out that KU lost to Calipari without a single Mickey D or OAD on the roster, and with having to play Connor Teahan. Whose fault is that? Self’s the guy in charge of recruiting. Simply put, you can’t give the guy credit for coaching up lesser talent without also recognizing the recruiting shortcomings that led to having to play said lesser talent.

    Anyway, where does Self truly belong, factoring in tournament success and not simply overall winning percentage over the past 5 seasons? Coach K won a ring 5 years ago, and you have him #1. OK. Pitino also has a ring, as well as a Final 4 appearance the year prior. So I don’t really have a problem with him being in front of Self. Calipari has a ring, a runner-up, a Final 4 appearance, and an elite 8 appearance. He does have the one NIT embarrassment, but if you told me Self could have those results over a five year period, I’d happily take a year in the NIT. As to the lack of cheating…as slimy as I think Calipari is, it doesn’t surprise me that ESPN doesn’t rank him at 10th and say “well, he cheats, so we dropped him a half dozen spots or so.” With his recent track record, until something is proven, he has to be ranked ahead of Self.

    So that’s three guys who have rings in the past 5 years that for now seem ahead of Self. The other two champions during those 5 years were both won by UCONN, one by Calhoun who isn’t coaching and most recently by Ollie, who they ranked behind Self but in the top 10. So rings alone don’t determine the remaining 4-6 spots. Izzo, Donovan, Self. I would definitely argue that Self be ranked above Izzo. Izzo has one Final 4 five seasons ago, but unspectacular tournament result since (a couple of sweet 16s and an elite 8 ). So I’d put Izzo at 6. So really it’s Donovan vs Self to see who goes at #4. Donovan made the Final 4 this past season, and had three consecutive elite 8 trips prior to that. I’d say Donovan has more tournament success over the past 5 years, despite not advancing to a championship game as Self did. But should Self’s conference titles and overall winning percentage give him the edge. To me it’s a coin flip.

    So really, Self might have been slighted two spots. Not sure how much of a slap in the face that is, since it is a very subjective ranking and the criteria was poorly defined.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Your theory is right up there with snipe hunts, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness monster. ESPN wouldn’t pee on a Koch bro if they were on fire, let alone pimp their coach.


    Not a theory, just an hypothesis.

    Rather than smear the hypothesis, propose a counter hypothesis that better explains the data; i.e., why Marshall in Wichita, KS, and with such a brief run of good teams, is ranked within 2 of Self.

    I am willing to listen.

    I actually tried to come up with something better and could not. It just seems a glaring, almost absurd anomaly that Marshall would be ranked only two slots behind Self. Either Self is too low, or Marshall too high, or some of both.

    One other hypothesis I tried was: ESPN is trying to fuel some controversy between Self and Marshall from last season, but I just didn’t see any payoff there for ESPN. I mean national click whores don’t fight for clicks in Kansas. They fight for them in high population density regions.

    And, oh, my, how you underestimate the reputed history of corporate media making powerful corporate allies whenever and wherever they can. 🙂

  • @jaybate 1.0 Add me to the list of folk that are questioning Marshall. I’ve said it before, as have you - let him get into a big time conference and duke (not Duke) it out with the big boys for a few years (5-10). THEN, and only then, if his winning percentage is above .800 or so - OK, he may be a good coach. But right now, he’s had the element of surprise on his side and a marshmallow soft conference benefiting his W column.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Hello my friend. Greetings from somewhere near Araxos, Greece. Having a great time watching World Cup Soccer (futbol)! Was in Germany for the USA vs Germany Game. Most Germans were extremely overconfident. Will go to the main square downtown and watch the game near Araxos. Television screens are everywhere outside. Should be a great time. This is how I decompress after the season. I travel, take in the sites, and reflect on life.

    I think Coach Self is a top 3 Coach! He is my favorite Coach and he runs a top notch program. Go Jayhawks!!!

  • @KansasComet

    Oh, you lucky devil!!! I am so glad for you. Are you island hopping and swimming every day in that beautiful water?

  • @nuleafjhawk

    “element of surprise”

    Perfectly said.

    I’m not down on Marshall. I hope he proves to be a great coach. The game needs great coaches and the more the better. But they have to actually have a great record before we hardened old veterans hang the honor on them. 🙂

  • @KansasComet “most Germans were overconfident.” — Right, until they got to Stalingrad!

    Also, I would have never guessed that Self was your favorite coach. Not in a million years!

  • It’s ESpin, what do you expect? There is more insight from the people who post on these boards than from the college basketball analysts at ESPN. Err… there is more insight from some of the people who post on these boards than from the college basketball analysts at ESPN. Admittedly, the list did irk me slightly, but it’s just a list. We all know the quality of HCBS and we’re all happy to have him as our coach.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Personally, I’m having a hard time imagining 5 better college coaches than Self. I constantly nag on some of his moves… but I would nag far more on all other current coaches in D1.

    Some of my favorite D1 coaches include: Bill Self (#1) and then a grouping including Izzo (HOFamer), Hoiberg (love/hate relationship), Boeheim (just teasing!), Donovan (sometimes), Larry Brown (HOFamer), Calipari (he’s so fun to hate)… and probably a few more. I wouldn’t have Coach K at the top… unless it is a list of the most-fortunate coaches. There have been too many easy pathways for Duke… in tournaments, in games (bad calls).

    It is time for Bill Self to win another NC… time to prove the first one wasn’t just a fluke.

    I give him a lot of credit for holding that 2012 team together after the loss of Robinson’s mom. And how they took a rag-tag team all the way to the finals and still put up a challenge to a team of all stars.

    We have lost too many March games that we should have won. That is the one chink in Self’s armor. He really really really (using Self language here) needs to figure out that glitch so he can catapult his March records to match his season records. Maybe he should exchange one of his assistant coaches for a fast-talking preacher man who can talk the team up into a fever pitch every time they come on to the floor.


  • @drgnslayr Just for clarification sake, TRob lost his mom during the '11 season, not the '12 season. Not sure if you knew that or forgot, but the way it reads makes it sound like TRob lost his mom in the middle of the '11-'12 season that we made the Championship game, when in fact it was the season before.

  • Again…read the criteria that ESPN outlined for the list. Ict made a good case for why Self is not too far off from where he should be - again, based on the criteria ESPN selected. We can all agree that Coach Self is at or near the top of a list that ranks coaches based on (maybe) more conventional criteria; this is not that List.

    Instead of saying “Putting Marshall on any list with Self is a joke.” the question (again, based on the ESPN criteria) should be how can you not? The previous season he was couple of baskets away from beating eventual champion Louisville and moving to the finals. Last season he had and undefeated regular season, albeit against softer competition than KU, but played Kentucky, an eventual finalist, to within seconds of a win. He had two of the more successful seasons of any program and he did it with players no major program wanted. Marshall can flat out coach. Maybe as KU fans we don’t like hm because some of the comments attributed to him, but to say he is not a good coach is silly. He has won consistently at both schools he has coached and if decides to leave WSU, every Division I program needing a coach would seriously consider him…and a few would fire their current coach to get him; not many coaches can say that.

  • I’ve also been following this ESPN poll, and I’m always interested to see who is placed where. So let me throw my hat into this debate.

    However, I’m not going to argue the validity or justification of placing Self 6th, Marshall 8th, or Hoiberg 15th because the idea of ranking coaches based on this stringent criteria seems incredibly flawed to me. What I mean by that is, what is the difference between Greg Marshall and Shaka Smart? Pretty much nothing. Yet one of them is ranked in the top ten and the other at 13th. If Wichita St. went out and lost ten games with their garbage schedule and missed the tournament, would it surprise you? It wouldn’t surprise me. However, I would be surprised if VCU missed the tournament, but even then, VCU has what, two tournament wins since going to the Final Four? Is that top 15 caliber material? Debatable. The name of the game is consistency. That word is synonymous with Bill Self.

    My main point here is to pose the question: “who would you want running your program right now.” Let’s pretend anyone is available and your school needs a coach. THAT is probably the best criteria for ranking current coaches.

    SO! Let’s begin…

    If Self is sixth, the other five will undoubtedly be Calipari, Coach K, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, and Rick Pitino.

    Coach K is 70 years old. Automatic dismissal. I would want no part of him. I’m not saying he’s not a great coach. I’m saying he’s old. Self could coach for another 20 years at KU and surpass Coach K in wins and it would not surprise me. Hell, I’m halfway expecting it. I also can’t stand the floor slapping crap on the sidelines. Jumping up and down like an angry chimp. I pass on K. Next!

    Let me preface this by saying, I like Calipari. I think he’s a better coach than a lot of people give hime credit for. That being said, Calipari is obviously a scumbag. The baggage that he carries works perfectly for UK and their black eye history. Calipari’s approach to coaching is…let’s call it unique, that you almost forget that Calipari is affiliated with an academic institution (although I do truly love listening to Kentucky fans laud the Jordan Junemans of their program for graduating from college as if it’s some amazing feat). Calipari has been extremely successful at UK, and I find myself envying some of their success, but the problem is that absolutely, under no circumstances would I want an immoral man like that representing my alma mater. I cannot imagine the mortification I would feel for having to vacate Final Fours, or god forbid a national championship due to impropriety. Think of the stories you hear about Self in and around Lawrence…helping people push their cars out of the snow, going to the festivals downtown during the summer, taking pictures with anyone who asks. Self, in my opinion, is hands down the classiest coach in college basketball. THAT separates Self by a mile from Calipari.

    That leaves us with Pitino, Izzo, and Donovan. I don’t really have anything against these three. But I’ll begin by saying Pitino and Izzo are in their early sixties, and although that’s not that big of a deal, 50 is simply younger than 60.

    Billy Donovan is certainly an enticing candidate. But again, consistency is the name of the game. Following back to back titles, Florida missed the tournament two years in a row, then lost to BYU in the first round on their first trip back…we would be calling for his head…

    So I’ll turn my opinion over to all of you. But I’ll end by saying this… The simple question you have to ask yourself as a KU fan is…would you take any of these coaches over Self? To me,…no chance in hell.


  • No way I want anyone but Self. I just thought we’d have two NCAA titles under him by now-and maybe the Embiid injury gives him a pass. I also thought Roy should have delivered a title. Happy with HCBS here-just think we should have had another NCAA title by now-so if he delivers in the next year or two-I’m good with that, He is a class act, funny, handles himself extremely well, etc. etc. etc.

  • @jaybate 1.0 You better believe it! Thanks! Having a wonderful time. Water is very clear and surprisingly warm.

  • @HighEliteMajor Too funny! They do feel the World Cup is theirs for the taking. You better believe Coach Self is my favorite Coach. No doubt about that! Thanks!!

  • From the ESPN article on Self:

    “That’s another of the debates that has occasionally haunted Self. The tournament has not always been kind; Kansas has been upset more times than it has prevailed. What if Mario Chalmers hadn’t made that shot in 2008? How would we look at Self then?”

    As unfair as the “what if” is regarding Chalmers’ shot, is as fair as the criticism of premature tourney exits is. The only way for Self to increase his stature is to win more NCAA titles. That’s it.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Just for clarification sake, TRob lost his mom during the '11 season, not the '12 season.”

    Thanks… I was counting on my fingers and goofed!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “What if Mario Chalmers hadn’t made that shot in 2008? How would we look at Self then?”

    As unfair as the “what if” is regarding Chalmers’ shot, is as fair as the criticism of premature tourney exits is. The only way for Self to increase his stature is to win more NCAA titles. That’s it."

    That’s it. Winning conference championships is important and does help lift his reputation, but at a certain point the focus has to be on NCs. At a certain point, he even damages the B12 by owning it and then never winning another NC. Bill Self needs another title soon, and so does our league! We’ve had that discussion in here recently, too… how can our league be so highly valued without winning the big prize more often?

    Last year was kind of a unique situation. We had one of the youngest teams in the country. We lost all the vital players off our team from the year before. So even though we laid an egg in March, I do think it was helpful that we played one of the toughest schedules. We should keep that up.

    Self needs to find the reasons why we under-perform in March. Why do we often come out flat? Why don’t we mix up our strategy more when games get off on the wrong foot? Why don’t we focus more on executing better in the last 2 minutes of a game?

    I know we better do well representing our country in the World University Games. That will reflect on Self’s reputation (and Kansas) in a big way if we lay an egg on that one.

  • @drgnslayr

    “I constantly nag on some of his moves… but I would nag far more on all other current coaches in D1.”

    This is sound insight well writ.

    The real difference between one time wonders and persistently successful persons, especially those in the public eye, is the long term successful really have to know what they are doing, how they are doing it, how to adapt known principles to new circumstances, be able to recognize a new principle when it arises without losing sight of the core purpose of their enterprises, and withstand the psychically wrenching torque of XTReme Praise coupled with Constant Criticism.

    Persons always forget how much the truly great are doubted and constantly criticised, even scathingly criticized as they do the great things they do. You and I remember John Wooden well. Recall how savagely he was criticized for not letting his players talk with the press, for simply holding his tongue and not contributing to the pro Vietnam War propaganda that was being expected from public figures, for being an old prig, about not being slick enough for Westwood and LA, losing to Pete Newell and Sam Cunningham for ten years, for not recruiting for ten years, kicking Edgar Lacy off the team, for kicking Lucious Allen off the team, for playing Alcindor with a scratch cornea in the Astrodome, for being past his prime the one year he did not win a ring after 10 straight rings or whatever it was, for playing African Americans early on, for playing too many African Americans later on, for not playing enough African Americans later on, for being henpecked by Nell, for being too devoted to Nell to recruit like a D1 coach, for waiting too long to go to the press, for sticking with the press to rigidly, for being too controlling of his players’ shooting form and shot selection, for playing Lynn Shackleford who could “only shoot it out of the corner,” for playing Mike Warren, who was too short, for playing Freddie Slaughter at center who was too short, for depending on hot heads like Gail Goodrich and John Vallely, for playing the high post in an era when big postmen were dominating with low post play, for making wing players shoot bank shots, for making his players play too mechanically and unemotionally, etc., etc., etc. And all of this while the guy was winning 10 rings in 11 years or whatever it was!!! He had to live with this relentless questioning and doubting and criticism just as he had to live with the insane idolization, the early fumbling attempts at media packaging of coaching stars and ALL of the ridiculously envious and vindictive put downs of him in university politics among the frustrated, tenured, solipsists on the faculty of a university. He had to have had the most strength of will and purposefulness of vision to have endured that for ten years without any comparable prior, or contemporary role model!

    People endlessly doubt and criticize the great, because they do not understand what has to be done and how it has to be done. They endlessly lose sight of both the changing constraints of context and generally lack the ability to forecast accurately what adaptions those changes will require. And without grasping the end goal, Most folks can figure out what the goal is in something as simple as basketball, but few can define the ultimate objective that must be achieved in order for hard work, superior resources and luck to weigh fully in one’s favor. Thus, they are reduced to criticizing and doubting, because that is what one tends to do when one is not yet clear about what to do.

    One of the reasons I often find your posts worthy of praise is that you often appear to understand and appreciate the difference between ultimate objective attainment and desirable goal outcome.

    Self winning rings is the desirable goal outcome that will at the end of his career define his ranking, even though as Dean Smith told Roy, after Dean won his ring, I am the same coach today as I was before I won the ring. It is the nature of a profession. The lasting ranking of generals and Admirals and Presidents and Kings, and PMs and CEOs are not defined by any one awesome performance. They are determined by the scope and duration of their towering dominance. For this reason, John Wooden is king, even though Allen brought more to the game, Rupp purified it, Iba influenced it for the longest, Dean corporatized it to modern program organization, Knight distilled the strategic principles of each position and their interplay most clearly, and Consonants won the most games. Wooden totally dominated every aspect of the game for 11 years; that is longer than anyone. And if one wants to introduce Sam Gilbert into the mix, one need only respond that all the muckraking books I have found the last five years indicate that Wooden only stepped up to what most every major program was already doing, when Wooden merely began to level the recruiting playing field.

    Which brings me back to Self.

    Self, if we are to believe our own public relations, has done something truly extraordinary. He has run a clean program for ten years at KU, as Wooden did his first ten years of not winning rings, and won at a higher rate than Wooden, and won a ring that Wooden did not win. This is nothing short of phenomenal. He has out-won in percentage terms, Bob Knight, the previous definitive non-cheating big winner in his first ten years at Indiana. Knight may have won one more ring that first ten years, though.

    Knight eventually collected 4 rings reputedly without cheating, so Self has a way to go to catch the master of the straight and narrow.

    I am to lazy to check out Consonants first ten years. I suspect Consonants might have had a comparable first ten years at a major. And he has won 4-5 rings. So: again, Self has his work cut out for catching another reputed non cheater.

    Among other reputed non cheaters, there are Dean and Roy. Self is one ring from equalling and two from exceeding them. Equalling at least seems probable.

    But you make a key point: to win again, he has figure out the Madness principles and the logics required to make them operational come crunch time.

    Self was not a great player. Neither were the other great coaches mentioned above, except for Wooden. Wooden understood profoundly what playing great required. But understanding it, did not grant him the instant ability to coach players to great team AND great individual performances simultaneously. And there in lies the key to greatness of the greatest of the great coaches. He learned how to get great team play and great individual play simultaneously and more often than anyone before or since. It isn’t even close.

    Self not having been a great player seems to have driven him to substitute probabilities and strategy for that lack of first hand experience of how to get great team play and great individual play simultaneously. In this regard, Self is not different than Knight, or Consonants, Smith, or Williams, or Rupp, or Allen, or other great coaches. Self has just systematized the substitution of statistical explanations for team and individual play.

    The moment I heard Self say that everyone plays good a third of the time, bad a third of the time, and mediocre a third of the time, I feared for his ring accrual in the long term. I feared he was conceding too much to the probability distribution to ever find a way to bias it to attaining the ultimate objective sharply in his favor.

    The ultimate objective is now for me creating teams capable of simultaneous great team and individual performances under high stress circumstances against every kind of opponent for 6 games.

    Self argues logically from his premise that that is impossible and so you train to grind on your mediocre and bad nights and rely on athleticism to fly high on your good ones, The only constant is defense. (Note: his apparent assumption that defense can be played great every game is either invalidated by his 1/3-1/3-1/3 premise, or could reasonably be extended to offense IMHO). And whenever you meet an under matched opponent, you send them out flat to skew the emotional distribution highest for the best opponents. This is 180 degrees opposite of one of the greatest players of the early era and greatest coach of all time. But Self is one of a long line of great coaches that have made that assumption to more or less of a degree. Self has just purified it to stark essence.

    Self’s brilliant, transposition of Wooden took great genius on his part. But great genius, while it is something I marvel at and admire, is rarely the personality type that consistently stays on the mountain top for long periods.

    Orson Welles made the greatest movie of all time. Every movie he made evidenced his demigod level of genius. But in the end, Orson Welles was not the greatest director of film history.

    Self made Wooden’s choice after the 2012 runner up title. He took the probably repulsive (to him) steps needed to level the playing field in terms of recruiting.

    But he has NOT done something Wooden also did.

    He has not radically altered his defensive strategy from half to full court defense, or some equally radical alternative.

    And he remains wed to the 1/3-1/3-1/3 philosophy that generates high winning percentage but with an obvious structural error factor over the course of six games that Wooden’s principles and logics of endless pursuit of peak performance at both team an individual level came to eliminate.

    Wooden’s teams did not have to get hot for 4, or 6 games. Wooden’s teams were trained and programmed to operate at maximum efficiency all the time, whether they were shooting it well or not. Emotional lows and players with widely swinging personalities were selected out. Wooden sought players with fire in their bellies, because he knew how he had learned to direct the fire in himself to sustain burning intensity for as many games as it took and not one but several of his teams went undefeated. Wooden would absolutely kick ass in today’s 6 game tournament. He would easily win 10, maybe 15 rings in a row in this format, because this format practically guaranties the early outs of so many great coaches that approach the game from a wide swinging level of play, rather than consistency, as Wooden did. Self’s 1/3-1/3-1/3 approach is being modeled by so many now. Everyone believes the psych research that peak performance is not sustainable that they ignore the fact that Wooden proved it was for up to 30 games a season and most definitely for short bursts of 4 to 10 games.

    Self cannot be Wooden.

    But he can evolve who he is as Wooden evolved who he was.

    Self has already taken the first step by leveling the recruiting playing field as much as he can.

    But now he has to find a way to take the 1/3-1/3-1/3 from a March weakness to a March strength. He has lead everyone into its weakness. Now he has to be the first one to figure out a way beyond it.

    He has to in effect draw two graphs: one of team performance and one of individual performance. They have to coincide with lower lows. That is all, but that is everything. No more inefficient wasting of high individual performances on lesser teams. No more inefficiently low team performances. A higher foundation has to be built in level of minimum performance expectation.

    There can be no more superstar performances like Andrew Wiggins against Stanford ever again. There can be no more Thomas Robinson first halves against UK in 2012 again. Our fans foolishly focus on the weak link hypothesis that has always proven fallacious in all forms of strategy; that any organization can be no better than its weakest link. Fallacious! A team is no stronger than the lowest level of performance of its best three players. All glue men can always be compensated for. The only fatal flaw in any team is its great players playing at less than their best when their best is needed. Period. That is the bottom line on that issue. Everyone has to be at their best when they need their best, but the glue guys by definition are going to get pasted from time to time. And those times are when the great players on the team have to play to their potential. They have to show up with competitive greatness of a kind Self probably never once evidenced himself, because he was at most a slightly above average player.

    It does no good to recruit great players and then coach them to perform according to assumptions about normal players.

    Self has to let go of the idea that great players are 1/3-1/3-1/3 types and coaching them accordingly. Andrew Wiggins didn’t need button pushing. He needed great expectations and benching until he would play to his potential. Period. Great players have to play great every time their competitive greatness is needed. They have to do it within the team scheme. And they have to do it now. Chamberlain and Jabbar and Russell and Robertson were great the moment they stepped on the floor, because they required to be by their coaches. Great players playing great only occasionally either are not great players, or being told to protect the merchandize. A great team cannot get near winning a ring without great players playing great. It is axiomatic.

    It was clear that Andrew Wiggins was a new level of greatness Self had no clue about. He admitted it. But Self had to go through such a contact to learn what he didn’t know he didn’t know. When Wooden finally got great players he understood their greatness completely. Like Knight, Smith, Williams, and others, Self has to learn about greatness of players, because he wasn’t one.

    But Self also has to find a new unfair advantage strategically, too.

    Easy to say, hard to do. Wooden couldn’t bring himself to press until his job was in danger and Jerry Norman convinced him to do it by testing it on the JV. Self has no JV. Not having a JV is really killing innovation in basketball. Young coaches produce innovations. They need a low cost environment to innovate. Self cannot afford to do it in prime time, but he also cannot afford not to innovate for the home stretch run of his career. If he doesn’t, he will wind up like Knight. Tilting at windmills of corruption, or “teaching the game,” instead of advancing it decisively.

    But with all my comments, the point remains: Self is LSD on wood as a protean force in the game. He keeps changing in ways we don’t catch for months or years after. The last season or two the acid seems to have weakened some, but in fact the magnitude of the changes he is making are greater now than at any time of his career. He is a genius in basketball coaching. If he doesn’t burn out, some more great things to marvel at are in store.

    But to win the rings, he has to fix the error factor in March inherent in the 1/3-1/3-1/3 approach.

    And he has to come up with an unfair advantage strategically.

    Do those two things, with the leveled recruiting playing field, and we’re looking at another King.

    Fail to, and we are looking at a genius that may or may not win another ring.

    It up to Bill and to do it he has to have the kind of steeled will that Wooden had to continue to develop under control in the face of crazy idolization and crazy criticism.

    Nothing I am saying is intended as criticism of him however this plays out. KU basketball is blessed to have the guy for as long he can do what he already does. Anything else is icing for this fan.

    Wooden made it clear.

    Greatness in coaching team sports is based on the embrace of the paradox of great team play and great individual play simultaneously occurring.

    He also made another paradox abundantly clear, one few recall.

    One cannot win rings by focusing on winning rings.

    One can only win rings by focusing on what it takes to win rings and working until one cans sustain mastery of what it takes at a higher level than can other opponents one faces.

    There in lies the mystery of basketball.

    And perhaps of life.

  • P.S.: Now all Self has to do is ignore everything you and I and everyone else writes and analyzes about him and he will get better and become the best he can be in spite of all of us! 🙂

  • Interesting discussion. The year prior to WichitaState’s Final4 appearance, they got bounced in the 2nd round by Shaka Smart’s VCU team, still with many of the same players that bounced the 2011Jayhawks. Here’s my point about BOTH Shaka and Gregg Marshall: Let’s see what they do with more than 1 set of players, eh?

    Regarding Bill Self, I think there has been excellent (positive) discussion on this site by some that suggest we could be throwing some additional wrinkles in our game…This is at once a complex discussion, because we know Self tries his darndest to build a strong foundation…and all the freshman quick-yanks, and last year’s inexperienced roster+results remind all of us again that Self’s team-building process takes time. Can we definitively say it takes longer than the 5mos last year’s team had together?

    But the next part of this complex construct that is KU basketball, is the introduction of additional things that can alter our game-style, when needed (yet still within the confines of what Self will approve).

    People need to realize that some of the BIGGEST VARIABLES year to year are the players themselves. Closing out the last 2minutes of a Tournament game? How about those 08 guys? How about the 2012 guys, who had several big wins in the last 2min during the season (Mizzou) as well as in the BigDance? Notice that in 2013, that roster seemed to lose its fire…making me think the heart and soul of the year before was Tyshawn + TRob. Both gone vs Michigan, and we blow it in the last 2min. There was NO alpha-dog on that 2013 team. And if EJ was an alpha, then he was the most enigmatic/perplexing alpha I’ve ever seen in a Jayhawk uni. Last season, Ellis, Tharpe, and Wiggins proved NOT to be alphas. Some dont have the persona, some dont have the experience, some frosh just werent consistent enough to be alpha-by-example.

    Again, there are at least 7 coaching DVDs out there on the market from Bill Self (where he’s allowed cameras into KU practices, as he teaches and has players go thru the motions of executing correctly), on ALL the topics, ALL the things his teams are good at: Complex ball-screen offense, Team+individual defensive concepts/drills/positioning, breaking zone-Ds, breaking specifically 1-3-1 traps, Offensive skill-building, etc…So it most definitely comes down to time-in-system for proper execution. And, as HEM and a few others have suggested, we hope Bill Self comes up with a few new wrinkles to give opponents grief, such as pushing the pace, etc…

    This Tournament performance simply must get more consistent. The VCU, UNI, Michigan, Stanford type unexpected exits simply do not do justice to the amount of work the players and coaches put in for all the months (&years) prior. That being said, anybody can have a bad shooting day, even MJ back in his heyday…But if there’s any recurring theme, it deserves scrutiny and our future hall-of-famer head coach’s full attention. We love Bill Self, we love KU, we love our players…they all deserve better, but that isnt enough–> they’ve got to go take it from the other guy.


  • Life will simplify things when we let it.

    If you want a high complexity system, your core has to stay 3-4 year guys.

    Self has opted out of that for the time being. Younger troops in impact roles are the new normal.

    Thus he has to simplify offense brutally into something hard for opponents to recognize. Not just less of what he has done in the past.

    Green troops have to be given a tactical edge to compensate for their inexperience. Cal got this first. Simple offense that is different than what opposing teams are used to seeing.

    On defense, it is time to zone press all game not for pressure but to eliminate the lead time opponents have to recognize what half court defense KU WILL PLAY? It is crazy to give opposing offenses that lead time.

    Only High foundation OADs. No more guys who will be great later.

    Recruit hard noses, not characters to be hardened. No more hardening time for characters.

    Also Self no longer has to like being around impact players. They are gone in one or two years. Still has to like his glue guys though.

    No more individual high scoring games against chumps. It’s fools gold and makes girlie men and girlie fans.


  • One more very important thing Self has to anticipate. Powerful boosters and the chancellor and AD each of whom likely want their own man at head coach, WILL likely be laying the foundation for replacing Self as soon as possible without another ring. He is in a bureaucracy and he has been riding bureaucratically naked since Lew got run. I doubt he could last two .500 seasons at KU with CBernie and her hire ShayZeng not having hired him. They are probably not invested in him, just clipping his coupons till he slumps and they can get one of “their” guys in; that seems how the game is played. Without them, his fate defaults to the rule buyer, if he slumps. Anyone know how tight he is with the rule buyer?

    In order to stay on he has to have a lot more clout than a big contract. The idea afoot here is already that he has to get another ring quick or he is suspect. I think this is nuts but how the game now works. Once enough doubt about him can be sewn, not by folks here, who seem not power boosters, but by the power boosters, then KU’s rising number of affluent NBA players will soon be pooling resources to hire his replacement and we know who they will favor: one of several of his recent assistants. Self has gotten some good advice about how to play the game it appears. The former players can become a formidable monetary lobby for keeping a Self Baller Mafia in the seat. The power boosters get this of course, so they not only have to be willing to fork out more bones, but also have to be cagey in bringing about a climate that would prevent that. Byzantine stuff, but…

  • @jaybate 1.0 Truly one of your best discussions about Wooden’s greatness, and where Self may rank amongst the “reputed non-cheaters”. So I will try to add a few thoughts as a supporting “wingman” here (my trusty P-40E ‘WarHawk’ got a few shells left… ).

    I do recall Self saying that 1/3 “great play”, 1/3 “avg play”, 1/3 “subpar play”…what if this belief of his isnt necessarily a ‘concession’ of his, but more rather a statistical breakdown of many many games? We know he is a ‘stats’ guy to begin with, as his whole “will never be outside-in” (3pt shot dominated offense) comment illustrates…as we all know, even little Freddie Hoiberg knows, that outside of the NBA, the 3pt shot is a low% shot. Jamari Traylor’s FG% is higher than Ray Allen’s 3pt% in any year. As soon as an outside-in team goes cold, they lose. WE beat IowaState at home on a bad shooting night for us, but they shot worse. IowaState got past UNC in the Tourney, but no farther. Shaka/VCU’s miracle season, they lost in the Final4 when they went cold. KU, on the other hands, has had several wins in the Self era, when we couldnt buy a 3, yet still won. Grinder games. All together in unison, we should thank this Eddie Sutton-contribution to our playstyle ability. But that means the bigs gotta finish (themselves or get nifty assists), OR we need a dynamic attacking set of guards, putting heavy pressure on the opponent, going to the FT line, getting opposing bigs in foul trouble. Notice we couldnt finish in the paint once Black fouled out…and NO dynamic PG (no Tyshawn), and the other dynamic guard (Wiggins) was effectively gameplanned in major fashion. And less “nifty” assists, as we had a dumbed down offense, and only a simple repertoire of go-to set-plays (unlike Self’s past experienced rosters).

    My point is that maybe Self’s “response” to the 1/3Rules is his religiosity mantra about “high%looks”, “make the other guy ugly” (so their FG% goes down), “defense” (steal extra possessions/terminate possessions), and “rebounds” (again steals away extra possessions) --> ALL of these factors conspire together to slowly add up to reflect in the score by the middle of the 2nd half. Ever wonder how KU always seems to get alot of double-digit wins (with experienced rosters)? And conversely, where’d all those usual high-5’in double-digit, chest-bumpin W’s go this season? Well, the answer lies in those same details: poor ball movement, poor guardplay, pisssspoor-D, soft bigs (poor finishers, poor rebounders).

    Self also knows (as anybody who plays this game does) that there are 2 types of players: passive and aggressive. He needs a few dutiful role players, but there are times for aggressive swagger. Contrast one of Self’s best post-feeders, defender, and trey-shooter BStar with Sherron Collins. Brady played hot potato when his team needed him most against VCU. Sherron when healthy wasnt to be denied (the shootout with Willie Warren defines Sherron’s mindset: he was shooting when Self was telling him not to). We later saw that an 80% Sherron was actually guardable, and stoppable (UNI game).

    My point here about mindset, is that Self saw yet again what non-aggressive mindset does from the lead guard position: see EJ, see Tharpe for examples of this. See Brady and to some extent Reed whenever they had occasion to bring the ball up. Now contrast Sherron, Mario, Tyshawn, and RussRob. Put Selby in this category, but he didnt stay long enough to learn the offense or get healthy (woulda been truly devastating in Yr2). Self calls this “ornery”. He also calls this “a goto guy in crunchtime”. He described Keith Langford this way. When pressed repeatedly about the 08 guys, he said it was either Chalmers or Rush, depending on the game. “Those 2 took the most big shots for us” (add okie drawl, and most of you may remember this). Dukie Vitale covers this quality in his “PTPer” phrase.

    Having a tough, never-say-die mindset on the roster is important. It is a factor that other teams may have no answer to. Plus it makes the passive guys believe stronger, and play better. TRob made Withey better, made the whole team better…as they all knew TRob was a MAN, but he needed help…so they rose up. Tyshawn kept penetrating into the heart of danger, mostly positively his senior season…took a lot of pressure off EJ and Releford. Tyshawn literally was a vocal leader, as well as by example–lived at the FT line. Aggressive. Even Teahan played with fire.

    So my analysis of the last 2 KU team’s issues comes down to this: 2012-13 team (topekaY, “no PG”, Michigan choke) was a bunch of very well rehearsed role players/followers (all starting 5 were role players prior season), and in crunch time, who was going to be the leader, vocally and by example? (EJ’s final play as a jayhawk sadly underlines this point–since he wasnt in his anti-Cyclone mindset (key, key point)…his usual passive personality made him uncertain/no swag on that play, and he kicked it out to Tharpe, going against the coach’s playcall (he was to finish at the rim). I know what Sherron or Tyshawn would have done. Im not slamming Releford here, as he was never ever asked/groomed to be in a Smart-type of lead guard role. BMac’s handles werent even as good as Wiggins (Wiggy actually was a slasher), BMac was a classic shootingG/2G (like Giddens skillset actually). Withey and KYo=2 role players. Frosh Ellis. The starting 5 experience was there, but where was the mindset? Certainly not as an alpha. Who was yelling for the ball in the last minutes? Anybody? You dont point to someone and say ‘you’re the leader’…leaders emerge because of what they carry inside of them.

    Now for the 2013-14 WiggyHawks, with 2 x top3 NBA lotto picks, was in a dead heat for worst-Self-KU team in 10years…why is that? Well that is the other side of the swag coin: the repetition and experience and all the little details that consistently executing all-those-Self-mantra things, conspires against opponents to stack our odds for winning…well, none of that was done with any consistency AT ALL, all season. We got beat at home by some “west coast” team. We couldnt attack zones. We couldnt defend. Even that ultra rare KU/Self gets beat big by double digits, bordering on 20pt-blowout…Yes, that actually happened this season. It happened a couple of times a season under Roy, we lived with it then, and UNC lives with it now…that’s just Roy’s system. When the pretty MJ-pullup-J’s (lower%ball for anybody but the NBA stars) arent dropping, UNC will have a long day. UNC fans all carry chin straps, because too frequent long-faces can age a person prematurely, ya know… Plus watching rat-face get your coach’s goat routinely as well as getting bounced out of the Tourney regularly by your coach’s former blueblood program gets old real quick, as is seeing him put another school’s sticker on his mourning-black shirt is just another painful visual…bordering on a jayhawk-jinx for poor UNC, not to mention flirting with losing control of the team…

    But a double digit loss of a Self-team? This is new stuff for us. But good news is already here, Jayhawks: The critical requirement of a core-experienced roster now returns once again. The 2 returnees who seriously underperformed: 1 is working harder than ever at a skills-academy (Ellis), and the other we only wish the best in life (Tharpe), as he has departed for only partly-revealed, but all-too-evident reasons. We also seem to have not only return of swagger, as BigWayne and “ornery” Greene evidently feel embarrased by last season…but also an infusion of brute confidence, as apparently both Cliff and Oubre possess such a mindset. We shall see how well this all translates, but at least we have a huge core of ‘system’ guys returning, along with exciting young talent…but at least we do not have to expect 18yr olds to carry the team as Wiggy + Embiid tried to do because they had to last year.

    At least we saw the top 3 lotto picks, that NONE of those 18yr olds were able to carry their team. That, along with the knowledge of Self’s and Kryzyewski’s “teamball” systems, as well as seeing what the Spurs did with “teamball”, should disspell the misconception that a superstar will carry his team all the way, especially in college. MJ couldnt win it all until the Jordanaires developed. LBJ couldnt win it all until he got a stronger cast (Heat). These things “hint” at team-play, the Spurs showed what that looks like, as did Self’s 08Champs. So its all about team design, with the right amount of role vs. swag, coupled with a critical mass of experience on the roster.

  • @ralster

    You know the old war movies? I am the old guy grounded giving advice. You are the new wing leader in the flipping air on the stick.

    Awesome flipping take.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Love the old war movies…I’m old enough that I grew up reading about WW2, and that remains a hobby interest. Ive got so many reference books on WW2…Main hobbies are KU bball/ftball, cars, 80s rock guitars, guns, military history…(too many). Favorite Jayhawk logo just happens to be the '41 “Fight” Jayhawk.

    My hope is Self gets the guys in NASTY mode for Tournament games…no more ‘Jayhawk Down, part ___’…


  • If Bill Self had no NC ring, and no champ game appearance…then he would be just another Thad Matta, who in his 10yrs, has compiled a .800 win rate at theOSU, but has never made the champ game. Matta got his hopes erased by a Craft-led-collapse against KU in the '12FinalFour. The other painfully evident issue in that game, was that Sullinger evidently wasnt coached well enough to pass out of KU’s quick double-teams, creating several turnovers. Back pain shouldnt affect passing the ball. And that last FT flub (planned?) by Craft, followed by total team unawareness, truly cost theOSU maybe another possession, in a 1-possession game…

    Contrast that with this past season’s KU team, clearly an aberration for Self, as very little team experience. They got embarrassed by zone-d’s and traps. Again, enough data on Self teams to know he teaches better than that, but that same data shows his best teams are his experienced (2-4yr players) with also a balanced aggression. The last 2man team Self had was 2009 when it was 2 McDAA’s: Cole + Sherron. Unfortunately, as returnees, Ellis + Tharpe proved nowhere close to the level of play that Cole & Sherron gave, surrounded by 2 frosh starters (TT, McM) and a glueman (BStar).

    It all gets better, Self’s system pays dividends when guys return, and when guys go thru Huditioning…

  • @ralster Just for point of clarification, Matta has championship game experience. Back in '07 the Greg Oden-Mike Conley Jr. led Buckeyes lost to defending champ Florida in the title game.

  • @icthawkfan316 Aaargh! I just looked that up, as I had a feelin’ what I typed was ‘out there’ (lol, not the first time…). Thanks, ict for the assist.

    Actually, it makes me think about the “flip” side to jaybate’s idea of Self under “national championship” pressure…Actually, with a champ game appearance in 07, and a Final 4 appearance in '12, perhaps Matta is a bit better than I give him credit for. And one could say the same for Bill Self. For many KU people, and we are bordering on 1/3rd to 1/2 a generation now: KU always wins or shares the BigXII crown. I personally wonder just how comparable almost ANY other coach would do at KU? Self is just as good a recruiter as he is a coach…and that is what has propelled him. Cant run in the big race without the horses, and he is able to bring the horses, as well as his ‘surprise’ developmental-track guys. SO, I am very uncertain another coach, unless he has similar take over the room charisma like Self which goes hand-in-hand with his effectiveness in being a leader & recruiter, as well as his coaching philosophy…can duplicate Self’s baseline success of conference dominance, and having the BigMoney donors believing we deserve or “should” make the Final 4 almost every year. Bill Self is the man who has built this belief into people with the dominance he has built with KU’s program–> How do you replace that? Show me the short list of NChampionship coaches. “They” (the KU BigMoney folks) know Self is worth the $$. Why on earth else would Bernie Gray-Little have “her man” SZenger offer Self the $52mil, 10yr deal he got last year? They know they are “buying” a perennial 1- or 2-seed, with a legit shot at a Final4 most years. How crazy is that, actually, when you think about just how lofty our fan fantasies are each season? Keep feeding this Oklahoma boy, he delivers, and will again. No worries.

    If I use my own criteria for being a bit harsh on Marshall+Shaka (show me E8 or F4 with a second set of players), then I should commend Matta for showing lasting high-quality results (deep Tourney runs) with different sets of players. And obviously, he is a decent recruiter. I guess I have felt like bagging on Matta a bit, since Self has beat him in deep Tourney games twice now. Same reason I have room to bag on Roy’s system, as Self’s beat him in all 3 Tourney meetings in the last 6yrs. And by this same criteria, I have a growing respect for Billy Donovan, as he has done additional things compared to solely what he did in 06+07 with 1 group of players.

    Maybe I should just be thankful KU pulled out a W against a dangerous theOSU team, as well as defeating some loaded (but ‘soft’ ) UNC rosters? We have had our share of Tourney fortunes, too, it shouldnt be forgotten…

  • @jaybate 1.0 Ha, another good post of yours, regarding Self “opting out” of the high-complexity system, as we have “younger troops in impact roles” with a simplified offense, but one that is something hard for opponents to recognize. Very tantalizing stuff. So does this mean we covertly, or partly, or consciously emulate what Calipari is doing at Kentucky? We know the last 3 yrs, Self has been A LOT more focused on ‘aggressive’ guard play. Tyshawn “driving it” was a great success story his sr. season. EJ was told to copy, but didnt have the personality. Tharpe initially looked like he could, but lost his mojo or confidence after a few bad outings. “Wondering if Self liked me” is the wrong wounded puppy response. Self put pressure on Naa, and he cracked. Pretty much the same for Elijah, god bless him…as I never saw that coming.

    The only thing is that Calipari’s SystemForMaximalExtractionOutOfFrosh isnt foolproof either, and frankly the Kentucky pendulum is even more maddening: NChamps-to-1st-rd-NIT-defeat? And last year’s KY just didnt look very good almost all season…until the light-bulb went off in the game vs. KochState (er, WichitaSt). Man, you should have seen about 30-40% of the Kentucky comments on their own fansites prior to their Tourney run…(anti-Calipari). I think I looked at the KY website a couple of days after Frank Martin’s S.Carolina squad beat KY. But maybe a RunnerUp finish will have them realizing that Calpari’s system also delivers Final4 results, but they will be on a roller coaster…and they better not get too attached to their players.

  • @ralster

    Nothing is fool proof.

    And, yes, I think the things to borrow from Cal are:

    1. quick offense for freshman impact players to learn to impact within; and

    2. the idea of an offense that is something different than what six teams in the Madness will likely have grown used to defending.

    We can’t be taking till March every year to figure out how to get OADs to impact within the offense. The offense has to be so easy, they learn it in a week and then spend all their time learning to impact within it. Say a month. Then the team just works and works on execution and is street legal by December.

    One idea that occurred to me after being stimulated out of my ruts by your recent posts is that Self might revive the old UCLA high post offense, and keep playing inside-out.

    Except for Embiid, many of Self’s years he has not been able to keep the Hi-Lo staffed with two 5s, just two 4s. And I keep recalling how sweet it was to have Kieff stretching defenses with the Hi trey. Anyway, the old high post offense worked for Detroit with Laimbeer and for UCLA many seasons, because it centers attack on both low wings. I suggested this set once for last years team before I realized how good Embiid was.

    KU regularly has a Sidney Wicks and a Curtis Rowe–bigs capable of being trained to put in on the deck and going for the inside three. Teams are not used to this today and it could give us a real edge. But you have to have someone like Kieff, Laimbeer, or Steve Patterson, or any big that can drain the Hi trey to make it work. They don’t have to be a bruiser, but in today’s game it sure helps, and traditionally they have been bruisers. But what if Self puts his muscle and athleticism on the low wings going hard to iron off the dribble first to create the inside, then out to–drum roll please–Brannnen Greene, at the high post. Perry on one low wing and Jamari on the other low wing. Or Alexander and Oubre on the low wings. I think people are really underestimating Alexander’s skinny legged mobility and that he could put it on the deck from a low wing and go to glass just the way Sidney Wicks once did. What if Hunter, or Landen have a Hi trey in them? Then you’ve got Greene as a small high post backed up by a big high post, or vice versa. The point is: this is NOT a hard offense to learn and it yet it lets you maximize the inside trey before going outside to say Svi, or whoever is the 2 guard, or to the high post.

    Just a thought.

  • The story was written by Eamonn Brennan for crying out loud. Someone who thinks he knows everything about college basketball. So full of himself.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    Lots of nice reading… thanks!

    In my books, the one missing piece to Self (and what will help him succeed in March) relates to having a chip.

    Let’s examine Self’s two most-successful NCAA March seasons.

    2008 - We were just stacked with everything. What didn’t we have on that team? Nothing… we had everything. We should have stomped the entire field but we had to rely on some luck to win it all. We were one shot away from losing.

    2011 - We didn’t have a single McDs AA on that team and we finished runner up to an all star team. This is the only team we’ve had during the Self era that had any kind of chip on their shoulders… I venture to say, without the tragic loss of TRob’s mother, we probably wouldn’t have made it to that championship game. That team played inspired basketball in March with the limited tools they had.

    Pretty much all the other years we had plenty of championship-quality talent and teams and they were all beaten by teams that had more inspiration. Our 2011 team came together as a team and they didn’t want the season to end because when it did end, Thomas was going to have to face a bigger chunk of his loss. That team had something to play for… they were inspired to win to see another game in front of them. I’m pretty sure if there was guaranteed an extra game for the winner of the NCAA Finals, we would have beaten Kentucky.

    Self never really talks about a chip. This is the only area I think he could use real big improvement. He needs to get his guys on the same page and on the same chip every year. Do that and we’ll go a long ways in March every single time. It is almost impossible to lose if a team has developed the right chip.

  • @drgnslayr I might be mistaken, but the year we lost to Texas the day after TRob lost his mom, was the team with the Twins on it, who then lost to VCU? We went to the ChampGame in '12 vs KY with TRob+Withey & KYo as the sub. God I wish we had Markieff vs KY. (Selby would have helped, too–imagine a 6’2 ‘Sherron’ with a chip on his shoulder coming off the bench to help TT and EJ, man!!).

    That 2011-12 RunnerUp Jayhawk team was ALL heart, and a lot of guys with chips on their shoulders–agree 100%!

  • @ralster

    You have indeed all the information correct. I have always been of the opinion that Selby leaving early cost KU one Championship in 2012 and more importantly to Selby, an NBA career. I still believe Selby has NBA talent and hopefully one of these days he gets a break.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agree 100% about Selby. Classic bird in hand chosen over 2-in-bush. I wish him the best however…

    I also think, may never know for sure unless Self spills the story, but I think Selby just decided on his own, left KU to workout and got earfuls from his ‘people/entourage/etc’, and told Self from afar. I honestly think specifically with how Josh’s season went, but compared to the actual talent he has (when healthy) that Self if given a chance could have told him “stay 1 year, and I can make you a lotto pick”. But I dont think Self got that chance because Selby didnt meet with him, is my hunch. It was in Self’s/KU’s EVERY interest to see a #1ratedPG actually succeed and go lotto. How sad that all parties actually wanted the same thing…

  • @ralster he’s one of the first guys I thought of when Self said we could take some ex-players w/us next summer. Something like a guy that needs to have another chance to be seen.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yep, hope it happens if possible

  • @ralster

    I believe you have right. What I remember hearing at the time is that Selby made a decision without consulting Coach Self and did not work out well for him. Coach Self is well connected with NBA scouts and can get a pretty good idea of where a player will go on the draft; he has done this before and has advised players on whether to go or stay, I imagine Selden was advised to wait one year; too bad Selby did not take advantage of the information Coach Self could have gotten for him. Again, if I understand correctly, Coach Self has been more proactive with payers in relation to the drafts since then.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think selden’s knee probably had something to do w/him staying too.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Actually, if Selden tried to go pro, it would be a redux of the SelbyMistaken"Decision". He did not dominate, nor lead his team in scoring. Nor did he show anything exceptional (although he was definitely talented enough to start from Day 1.) Also, Selden was the 2nd best perimeter defender on the team, after Wiggins.

    On a side note: What does it say about last year’s team, when the top 4 defenders were ALL frosh: Wiggy, Selden, Embiid, Mason? Answer: “pitiful!”

  • @ralster you are right! I watched the KU-osu game tonight on cox22, in AFH. A healthy Embiid was pretty awesome! He was not the same after being hurt. Made me sick to think we won’t get to watch him grow up in AFH!

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