Where is Selfs Ceiling?

  • During a 5 year span from 2007-08 to 2011-12 Self had amassed a whopping 6 ESPN top 50 players. Just take a minute without going through the ins and outs of the entire roster players transfers ages etc. Starting in 2007 with Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson, Josh Selby, and ending in 2011 with Ben McLemore. These guys were not all in the starting rotation and playing major minutes at once. During that 5 year span they all had a great supporting cast, and were obviously well coached. Bill self averaged nearly 33 wins a season, appeared in 2 National championship games winning 1, an Elite 8, a Sweet 16, and was eliminated in the second round. Funny thing is that last Bill Self team was a 1 seed and chosen to win it all that year. I will take another 5 years like that!

    I chose that duration of time because it is Self’s recent body of work and leads right into this new team. Self has really made some recruiting strides over the last 2 years and has put 7 top 50 guys on 1 roster Perry Ellis, Andrew White, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Wayne Selden, Conner Frankamp, and Brannen Greene. These guys are fighting for minutes and sharing time on the floor with each other.

    So now with two more top 50 guys coming in next year so far and presumably 2-3 leaving. More talent on the floor than he has ever had and exceptional replacements starting to sign with KU. How high is coach Self’s ceiling and how much better can he get? My answer is its a good time to be a KU fan!

  • For the amount of Final Fours and and Championship games KU has been a part of the actual number of Championships is somewhat disproportional and infuriating. I’m not directing this at Self as much as it is at Roy 🙂 but I certainly expect over the next 5 years to bring in at least 1 more championship and multiple final four appearances. We’re spoiled.

    That being said - I also am of the thinking that when Popovich leaves the Spurs, Self is their next head coach. The only hope we have of keeping him in my humble and always correct opinion is that Pop leaves within the next 2 years before Tyler graduates. Hope it never happens but the situation would be too perfect for Self for me to be angry that he did it.

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  • I agree that the winning percentage and the number of national championships don’t align. This imbalance is particularly pronounced because of Roy’s impotence on the big stage… And then five more years after Self arrived.

    Statistically, we are due several NCs - both with superior teams and inferior teams (surprises).

    I know this will sound like a homer talking, but I would not be surprised if we see 2 or even more Titles in the next 5 years.

  • agreed. Would be way awesome if we got one this year, then repeated next year. Id be happy with a final four this season and a title the next.
    Im trying to temper my expectations here 🙂

  • I dream about taking home the big prize every year, but I just never count on anything… even over a several year span.

    I just make sure I enjoy the ride… and don’t over-focus on the destination. It’s better for my health if I accept it all like that.

    There were so many times we were close… and if I think about it too much my head hurts. I like to look back at those teams and remember the players, and some of their best moments. And by remembering the players, I think I do them justice because they always gave it all for the cause.

    It’s always a great day to be a Jayhawk!

  • Banned

    If HCBS were to leave for the NBA, I would just tip my hat and say thank you. He’s has done so much for KU. I remember when Roy left. I was so afraid and confused. A coach leaving KU the mecca of college basketball for another program (I don’t care if it was NC) made me sick to my stomach. You know what is scary is HCBS was almost coach of MU. I don’t want HCBS to go anywhere, but if he goes all I can do is tip my cap. KU will be alright.

  • Agreed dubD. I am really okay with Self leaving as long as it is to either OK ST. say… 15 years from now? 🙂 Or a Solid NBA franchise. If he were to leave to take over a team like the Bobcats I’d be furious, but, if he decides to depart to a solid franchise like the Spurs (which are the class of the bunch) I could only cry a bit and say farewell. R.C. Buford is a close friend of Self’s and Chase is obviously a grad and current grad assistant. If he were to inherit a front office and team like the Spurs I have no doubt Self would be the 2nd coach to win both an NCAA and NBA title - nice that they’d both be Jayhawks!

    As Self has said - he is at a Cadillac program. He’s not going to leave for anything less then his alma matter or a solid NBA franchise. But, not trying to get too far off topic, if we have him the next 5 years I have no doubt we’ll be hoisting at least 1 more banner.

    Rock Chalk

  • @Statmachine Great thread!

    Got me thinking… What if–

    What if Self left and we needed to replace him?

    Would we try to find our next coach from the KU tree?

    Which former KU coach would likely spawn the next coach?

    I tend to think Roy Williams generated more potential coaching material than Ted Owens, Larry Brown and Bill Self… But who would you take as the coach to succeed Coach Self?

  • Hopefully by that time Brad Stevens is tired of dealing with all the prima donnas in the NBA and comes back to coach at KU. Jacque Vaughn would certainly be interested as would Mark Turgeon and Rex Walters and Jerrod Hasse…

  • @bskeet Self just needs to hold out until his clones are stable without life support outside their birthing vats.

  • Bskeet I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I honestly feel like we are in the last 2-3 years of Coach Self being at Kansas. I see him seeing this years sophomore class out the door, maybe one more beyond that and he moves on to the League.

    So finding a replacement is going to be hard. I expect a regression in win/loss percentage from the next coach, but here are the ears I’d like to have when Bill does leave:

    1. Billy Donovan
    2. Greg Marshall
    3. Brad Stevens
    4. Jay Wrignt
    5. Sean Miller

    Danny Manning as the next coach was set in motion when he left for Tulsa, and we’ll have about 2 years to see if Danny has the capacity to run a top program in the nation.

  • Self became known as the best coach in the country when Jeff, Travis and Conner Teahan, all Red shirts and one walk-on, played in the National Championship game

  • @bskeet - Yes, that is a homer talking. But the two titles in five years works for me. Roy did it at NC, Self can do it here.

    What we really need to be concerned about if Self leaves is our AD, Sheahon Zenger – we need to hope that he doesn’t think he’s the smartest guy in the room. Meaning, we don’t need him to reach for “maybe”, or a “hunch”, or something like that. We need the real deal.

    That said, Bob Frederick reached a little … and that worked out.

    I think Blown has an excellent list there, minus Sean Miller. Not my cup of tea. Donovan is a perfect #1 choice. I’d then go to Stevens #2.

    Also need to avoid the flavor of the day – the small school guy that wins a couple tourney games. You know, Toledo’s up and coming coach, or whatever. Let him take his next step at Iowa.

    If I had to bet, I say that it will be Turgeon. He’s the only KU guy coaching at a big time school. Not in my top 5.

    But I have always felt that Stevens would really excel here. @JayHawkFanToo pointed out that a Celtics’ flameout might be perfect timing.

    Let’s hope all of this is long way down the road.

  • How many top 50’s have we had in the time period since your ‘study’ was done? Wiggins, Frankamp, Ellis, ALexander, Oubre, …? It will be interesting to look back in a few years at the extremely successful years he’s had recruiting wise and see what it added up to.

    As for a disproportionate number of championships, I’ve always had the same thought. Just yesterday, following a link someone shared on a bleacher report story on Ellis, I came across a top teams not to win the NCAA tournament. Two KU teams made the list, 1997 and 1957. I think 2003 should have been on there too, but there’s a lot of ‘deserving’ teams for the dubious list. In fact, BIll James called the 1997 the best team in NCAA history according to a different link I found. Here’s that link: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1589398-the-best-ncaa-basketball-teams-who-didnt-win-it-all

  • HEM For what it’s worth, I don’t care for Miller either. I just see him as one of the top 5, potentially available, with street cred already in place.

  • @Blown - it is worth a lot. I would be very, very curious about someone who would want Miller to come to KU …

    @wissoxfan83 - To me, we’re just one title off. Whether it’s 1991, 1997, 2002, 2003, or 2012. Just one.

    One that doesn’t get talked about a lot is that 2002 team. Collison and Gooden in the post. The Maryland game was the real title game – we would have smoked Indiana, too, in the championship.

  • @Blown I agree on Sean Miller. Maybe it’s a bit personal, he’s from the town where my sister has lived a long time, Beaver Falls, PA, but I think given a blue blood program he could work some magic here, although I personally like the thought of a Self groomed asst like Danny taking the helm.

  • @wissoxfan83 - I am now very, very curious …

  • HEM, the top teams lists to not win is interesting. If you google it, it’s been done a bunch of times.

    On Miller, I have not spent time analyzing it to be sure, and I’m more of a fan than an analyst like you, I always thought Pitt was a very good team when he was there, and Xavier was good when he coached them as well. Not the easiest places to win a lot of college games really. There is the old bugaboo of whoever is coaching Pitt to fail in the tourney, so I’m not sure. But I just thought he got a lot out of his talent.

  • I meant to agree on your comments about the 2002 team, and I’ve always regretted them or the 03 team not winning. If Drew had stayed one more year…

  • Since I started following Kansas Basketball in 1994, there are three years that I will always think of as ‘belonging to KU’, which would have balanced out KU’s championship tally with all the other elite numbers we have.
    Those three years are:

    1997 - Best team in the country by far. Choked.

    2003 - Previous year’s team with Gooden was better, but so was Maryland - returning to Final Four. 2003 was the year for us.

    2011 - Best team left in the country at elite 8. Should have closed the deal.

    There are other years where we came close, or we should have gone further, but those three years will always stick out for me as missed opportunities. Hope the law of averages balances this out over the next couple of years and we win even when we’re not supposed.

  • HEM, You don’t think Miller can coach, or just don’t care for him as an individual? Both??

  • HEM and Blown, I don’t like Donovan. I’ve always felt he was a little slimy. Although I haven’t heard anything lately, in the past some coaches have thought he operated a little too much in the gray areas in recruiting. I would add Shaka Smart to that list. He and Stevens would me my top candidates. I know that there is always the possibility that Self could leave, but why do people say they feel that it will be in the next couple of years? Is that only based on Popovich’s timeline?

  • HEM, my thoughts exactly on the 2002 team. They were so offensively talented that I think they still stand as the most entertaining KU team to watch, IMO. All the analysts agreed that the KU/Maryland matchup was the NC determinant (they even discussed reseeding so they could meet in the NC game). 2003 = 2002 - Boschee, Gooden, healthy Simien (I don’t remember any new recruits coming in that year to replace Gooden or Boschee).

    When a lot of people think about 2003 they think only of the last two games: utter beatdown of Wade/Marquette, then a heart-breaking 3 pt loss to Melo/Syracuse.

    I think they forget we weren’t superb all year long, entering the tourney as a 2 seed with 7 losses, including a 17 pt handling by Arizona in AFH, whom we were lucky to get past in the elite 8. Heck it took a career game by Collison to get by Duke in the sweet 16. It was a magical run, but going into the tournament nobody was thinking it was Kansas’ year.

  • I’m now recollecting though that some analysts after the 2002 season was over thought Kansas would be the team to beat in 2003. Both Hinrich and Collison were preseason All-Americans (and finished that way I believe). Then we had a couple early losses that dropped us way down in the rankings and then we lost Simien, which really hurt moving forward.

  • Right, and Jeff Graves saved our bacon in 2003. One of the great, unsung heroes of KU hoops.

  • I love me some Jeff Graves!

  • I am new to the site and enjoy reading everyone’s posts about KU basketball. While reading this, I thought about many teams that have left me heartbroken, and some of the best that have been in Lawrence without bringing home the ultimate prize. Here is my list, probably made up more of the most disappointing rather than the most talented.

    1. 1986-This one nearly killed me. I was 14 at the time, and after they lost to Duke in Dallas, I spent the next 4 hours in the driveway half-heartedly throwing shots at my hoop.

    2. 1997-Great, great team. Was working the night of the game, so mercifully I didn’t have to watch it. A coworker kept coming in and giving me updates. It was then and there that I swore to never put so much into the NCAA tournament that I felt crushed if they didn’t win it. Up until then the rest of the season didn’t matter, onlt tournament time.

    3. 1995-1996-Lost to Virginia and Syracuse I think. The Virginia loss stung because it was in KC. Syracuse nearly made me put a hole in the wall.

    4. 2002-Such a great team, that got physically manhandled by Maryland. Wilcox made Gooden disappear.

    Many of the others discussed didn’t hurt me as badly. 2003 was a great ride, but I didn’t expect them to make it there based on their body of work. Only hurt more because I thought they were truly better than SU (Jerry McNamara?) 2012 was such a surprise with the makeup of the team. Couldn’t be too disappointed about that one.

    Having said all that, I really wouldn’t trade my place as a KU fan for anything. I have seen them win twice, with hopefully more to come. So lucky that my dad just happened to catch a game on the radio in the late 50’s. He was a fan from that day forward, and the reason I am one today.

  • I was actually hoping that someone had something to say about Self’s next 2-5 years. In my openion he should make it to the final 4 two times in the next 2 years. How many more top 10 guys can he recruit to KU? How the number of top 50 guys comming in will increase his over all win %. I just like to see what yall think becuase my openion is unrealistically high lol.

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