Is Bill Self insane?

  • Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definitions.

    1: a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder (as schizophrenia)

    2: such unsoundness of mind or lack of understanding as prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or as removes one from criminal or civil responsibility 3 a : extreme folly or unreasonableness 3 b : something utterly foolish or unreasonable

    Based on Merriam-Webster’s definitions, I would say no although a case could be made about 3b.

    Albert Einstein had his own definition of insanity. His definition is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    By Einstein’s definition, I think there could be a very strong case to conclude that Bill Self is indeed insane.

    Bill Self is loyal to his system to the detriment of KU’s personnel. Bill Self is also trying to fight the embargo to the detriment of KU’s recruiting instead of being the king of the 4 stars that he was for a long time.

    KU’s personnel is in now way, shape, or form capable of running Bill Self’s system against elite level programs. We saw MSU take it away from Ellis and KU was helpless to do anything else other than let Mason and Graham drive the rim and try to draw fouls. KU has 5 guys on the roster that shot at least 37% from 3 last year and 4 of those players are starters this year. Mason and Graham were both 43% shooters, Greene was 40%, Ellis 39%, and Selden 37%. This goes back to the fools gold statement of Bill Self not wanting to live and die by the 3. KU was top 50 nationally last year in 3 point FG% and was one of the worst in 2 point FG%. With the roster as constructed, KU’s real fools gold appears to be within 5 feet of the basket. Using last year’s stats, KU averaged 92 points per 100 two point FGA’s. KU averaged 114 points per 100 three point FGA’s

    Over the summer @jaybate-1.0 hypothesized about what a team would look like shooting a ridiculous number of 3 point shots. This is a KU team built to do that. You put a line up of Ellis, Graham, Greene, Mason, and Selden on the floor, you a line up that shoots a little over 40% from 3. Run a bunch of ball screen, pick and pop, and the chop play, and KU would get a lot of good looks from 3. This would also ideally help the rebounding issue as well because KU can’t rebound under that basket and long shots create long rebounds and gives KU’s shooters a better chance at getting rebounds and quickly find an open shooter.

    As for recruiting, the down turn started with the 2011 class when Self went all in on Kaleb Tarczewski and whiffed and combined with him not anticipating the possibility of the Morris twins jumping early, killed KU’s momentum and we’re now really seeing the fruits of that class today. This is why landing the top 50-75 guys are important. They cushion the blow of having less than stellar recruiting classes. That 2012 Final Four team was mostly 4 star players. KU’s current roster goals tend to be OAD caliber 5 star kids and low 4 star, and 3 star kids to fill in the gaps and almost ignoring the 25-75 kids that were long the backbone of Self’s team. This is largely the fault of the assistant coaches. They now tend to target 1 or 2 OAD caliber kids, spend years recruiting them and when they don’t sign, they’re left scrambling to sign 3 star kids and convincing other players to reclassify other kids to move up a class to fill in for those misses.

    It’s not the embargo itself that’s killing KU’s recruiting, it’s Bill Self trying to fight the embargo at the expense of the recruiting strategy that got KU to the level they were at several years ago of picking and choosing the kids rated just low enough that the shoe cos. didn’t care about them because they didn’t have the potential to be the new face of whatever company at the next level. Bill Self needs to get back to building his teams around the 25-75 players with the occasional 5 star player. The recruiting game changed big time in 2007 after the OAD rule was instituted. Since 2007, I would argue that KU has only had 1 true elite recruiting class and that was the 2007 class that had Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins. If Bill Self is going to insist on running his system, he needs to model his recruiting on the 2008 and 2009 classes. That 2008 class had the Morris twins, Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Releford and Mario Little. 5 guys that contributed significantly during their time at KU and two more guys in Tyrone Appleton and Quintrell Thomas that were recruited over in favor 2009 additions Thomas Robinson and Xavier Henry. 2009 also featured Elijah Johnson

    Bill Self doesn’t run an offensive system that allows freshmen to shine unless they are a truly transcendent player like Andrew Wiggins was so because shoe co. wants the chosen ones to thrive in college and start building their exposure and brand in college, they get steered towards programs that are more conducive to allowing freshmen to shine from day 1. Bill Self needs to throw up the double bird to shoe co. and tell them he’s going back to 2008-09 Bill Self recruiting mode and that he’ll see everyone in the Final Four.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I would not call Bill insane.

    Incredibly stubborn? Yes.

    Super nervous in crunch time? Yes. So nervous that it negatively impacts his own players and they play nervous and “not to lose”? Yes.

    I love Bill and I have always been and will always be happy that Roy left and that we got Bill. He is one of the best in the biz and he is a future HOF coach. My biggest gripe is that after all the games he has coached, all the games he has won, all the talent he has helped develop, he gets nervous. Super nervous 7th grade girl waiting to be asked to dance nervous!!! Look at Bill in a tight game, especially a game we are supposed to win or a game we are starting to blow a big lead. He has the ultimate deer in the headlights look. This happens seemingly in all of our big losses. MSU the other night, WSU, Stanford, Michigan, VCU, etc… This look of “Holy shit is this happening? Are we really totally blowing it again? No!!!”

    Again, I love Bill but if we are complaining about him in an open forum there is my big complaint. His nerves effect our guys. They play tight in tight situations instead of doing what they all do best…just playing basketball.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Bill Self isnt insane. He is highly intelligent and I am sure we are not privy to a lot of information and a lot of the decisions that are made regarding KU and KU Basketball which leads to us feeling like he is making bad decisions etc…

    I’ll ask this question instead. Is the NCAA insane? Or, do they have a personal vendetta against KU for some reason or another? In the last 5-6 years how many recruits have we had eligibility issues with and is that number incongruous to the number of recruits at other elite schools who experience similar problems. I am talking about UK, Duke, UNC. The top 4 schools in the nation.

  • @joeloveshawks Your post actually kind of helps prove my point. Like I said, Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. If Bill Self always does the same thing and it leads to same results, shouldn’t that be a clue that he should try something different.

    @Lulufulu Obviously I don’t mean clinically insane. More like repeatedly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole type deal that Einstein would consider to be insanity. Insane is not the word I would pick for the NCAA. I think corrupt and inept would be better terms for them.

    What Self has been doing for the past few years with his offensive system and recruiting clearly isn’t working. KU has lost 32 games total the past 4 years (not counting this year) and 13 Big 12 games the past 3 seasons. The 32 games is more than the previous 6 years combined and the 13 Big 12 losses are more than the previous 7 years.

    Clearly something isn’t working and when something isn’t working and you keep trying to make it work, that fits the Einstein definition of insanity, so according Einstein, we can conclude that Bill Self has some insanity in him.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Good one!

    I was very curious what you would write about this topic.

    I don’t see Self as being insane by your first definitions… but I do definitely see him meeting the Einstein criteria… but then… which one of us doesn’t sometimes match Einstein’s definition?

    We do live in a very conservative part of the country. I think people (as a whole) in Kansas DON’T embrace change like people do in other parts of the country. We tend to focus more on keeping the status quo.

    I wonder how much of this with Bill keeping to his guns is related to KU being in Kansas? And he is an Oklahoma boy… (or as we used to like to say “Southern Kansas”… which was a spin-off from catching an Okie call Kansas “Northern Oklahoma”).

    I think it also gets tougher for some coaches to change after they have had some success. That success is what defines them. So they tend to feel like they are risking a lot to turn away from how they are defined (and why they are paid millions of dollars).

    I know we all think Self doesn’t change… but is that the truth or is that just our perception?

    I haven’t really seen us play his old hi/lo this year. I’ve seen a hybrid of his hi/lo.

    I have a bone to pick with most coaches. I think most coaches have “their way” where they stress defense or offense. Self definitely stresses defense. Coaches that stress one side of the ball (IMHO) typically want to MAKE SURE the other side of the ball doesn’t outperform the side they stress as what identifies themselves.

    Why don’t we want our offense to be the best it can be, and our defense to be the best it can be? Have you ever asked yourself that question? It seemed for a while last year, when we were hot behind the arc, that our offense “got ahead” of our defense. Is it possible that Self’s “fool’s gold” is less about the delusion he sees out of his players that they won’t buckle down on defense as long as the trey is falling… and more about Self’s own delusion that his teams must LEAD WITH DEFENSE?

    If my assumption is true… then Self has issues with stubbornness, ego, and is to some degree, delusional. I think he has all 3 of those traits, but I also think so does MOST coaches, including very successful coaches.

    I do believe we need to bring our basketball up to more contemporary concepts. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t emphasize defense first. I believe in defense first. But we have to get out of this mindset that we can’t play well on both sides of the ball. It will be really really hard to win another NC just focusing on one side of the ball.

    I didn’t recognize what offense we were trying to run the other night. I mostly saw guys standing around, spectating instead of playing. I saw very few screens and energy spent away from the ball. It really looked almost identical to the “playground ball” @jaybate-1.0 and I always reminisce about. Sure… we passed it more than on the playground, but the passes didn’t do anything. We weren’t passing for assists… we were passing just to make it seem like we were running offense.

    I think some of the frustration that is being vented after this loss relates to Self. He made comments during and after WUG that indicated how much he learned from playing in WUG. Now the season starts and we seem to be right back to square one. Self is the “Riverboat Gambler” and that name isn’t about being a risk taker or trying lots of changes. It is about Self’s verbalized bluffs. How he wants other teams to prepare for things we really have no intention of running.

    It is a case of the “same 'ol, same 'ol!”

  • Another thread bashing Self? We get it. We do not agree with how Self distributes PT. He sticks to his system rather than playing to what kind of players he has. That has been well documented.

    I’m not suggesting we become Self robots and we must agree with his choices. There have been other theads that go in depth about how Self has messed up. But the way people are talkin, you would think that the second most successful coach in KU history and the best winning percentage is on the hot seat. For goodness sakes, we are 3 years removed from making the National Championship!

    If you want him gone, then say so. But we are in for a rude awaking when this future HOF coach leaves and we don’t hire a another HOF coach for the 4th time in a row.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10


    WE RAN THE WUG 4 OUT 1 IN OFFENCE FIRST HALF AND BAD BALL OFFENCE THE LAST 8-10 minutes of the second half. We almost beat IZZO without Diallo and shooting 20% from Trey!!!

    No other coach is even close against IZZO under those conditions.

    What other coach could dominate IZZO for 32 minutes without his OAD recruit and with 20 % Trey balling and 35% overall? No one. He is a flipping genius.

    If he is insane, pleAse basketball God, make me insane, too!

    He is beyond insanely good.

    It is a divine madness level of good.

    It’s the apparent embargo.

    Self is doing superbly well with what he has had, since stacking dried the well.

    Which coach in the B12 could have won a title with what he had, especially after the injuries took Selden, Ellis, Traylor, Greene, and Lucas? Hoiberg? He couldn’t even win one outright with KU crippled. Barnes? No. Drew? No. Kruger? Not!

    Most coaches that have tried to salvage even .500 seasons with that many injuries would probably say it was the greatest coaching job of his career.

  • @jaybate-1.0 we’ve never had Diallo. He too will be a Freshman when he gets on the court.

  • @Bwag said:

    @jaybate-1.0 we’ve never had Diallo. He too will be a Freshman when he gets on the court.

    But could his be an indication.

  • @Bwag

    Some light at last.

    I will say a prayer for Cheick.

    Won’t hurt to put in a good word for Bill and the team, too.

    Self is clearly still willing to work Cheick in this season.

    I had a feeling once public opinion grew critical of the NCAA, they would some how find the time to move ahead.

    I just didn’t think it would.

  • @Bwag

    If I were the NCAA and anticipating I might be sued sometime regarding Diallo’s long clearance process, I would want to be able to tell a court I had let a kid go to paradise with his teammates.

  • @joeloveshawks It definitely seems as if they were playing not to lose against MSU. I was at a bar with a friend and told her we needed to extend the lead ands he was like there’s 9 minutes left and we have an 11 point lead. I said I don’t care we need more and to run away. As we all know that did not happen. This team needs to take a page out of the Royals playbook. The Royals will rip your throat and heart out stand there covered in your blood and smile at you while they gain victory (graphic analogy I know). We haven’t had a will kill mentality on this team in quite awhile. I think Kelly started to show that in the Big 12 tourney but he’s gone now. Perry will get his points but still plays entirely too soft around the rim. I was at the home opener and there was a couple time he had the opportunity to put the ball through the hoop onto the opponents head and just laid it up and at least one of those floated off the rim for a missed easy bucket. Frank is probably the best example of the mentality that we need. If everyone played with his energy and tenacity we would be a team full of monsters. I do like that Brannen and Svi are driving to the bucket this year and actually making shots instead of staying on the perimeter all the time. This will open other areas up.

  • @HawkInMizery where u been?👀

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I’ve been buried under grad school work, between that and the Royals playoffs games I was mad busy and forgot to log on and connect on here. Usually I’m buzzing over KU bball and can’t wait to get to the season but I was so focused on the Royals I didn’t realize how close the season was until my friend invited me to a pre season game. Went to a WS game and a KU game in the same week. What a time to be a fan! 🙂 Now that I’m not busy with the Royals I’ll be on here more in between writing papers. How have you been?

  • If Bill Self stopped by and read our post he would go all out Joker mad insane with what we have to say.

  • @HawkInMizery

    I’m still busy with the Royals.

    I continue to review Game 5 several times a week! It has really helped me stay sane through the unusual start to Kansas basketball.

    I like to watch the top of the 9th… then skip over to the top of the 12th and watch it to the end.

    This is my “life line.” I need to experience at least one little taste of execution in my life. This is it. Proof that execution can actually occur in this world.

  • @drgnslayr I haven’t rewatched Game 5 in it’s entirety yet. I was out at power and light during the game. I’m going tot he World Series Film premier on Monday but I was at every post season game at Kauffman this year. What an experience. Hosmer dashing home on that ground out was certifiably insane but because they were aggressive and took chances, their names will forever be etched in history. I don’t think I’ve ever seen some many grown men openly weeping at bars. I wouldn’t limit it to just bars if I hadn’t been in the stands during the would card game last year and saw many more people openly weeping tears of joy. The boys got us all the way to KUbball season. Heck I even went to game 2 of the ALDS and then drove straight from there to Lawrence for Late Night. I’ve watched the 8th inning of Game 6 of the ALCS quite a bit and the 9th. What Wade did in the game is inhuman. That kind of grit can’t be taught and we may never see it again in our lifetimes. This team could definitely take some lessons from the Royals on what it means to fight until the very end.

  • @HawkInMizery I’m jealous! @brooksmd, @globaljaybird and me do a blog for royals games. We had a pretty big group at the end. awesome team! They r so much fun. I’m wearing my new WS shirt at work today.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 man I should have been in on that blog! my new quarter started at the wrong time and I got behind on work so I didn’t have much time to play on the internet. I even wrote a paper while at a game ha! I’m rocking my WS hoodie and hat in the office today.

  • Rev. Lovejoy.jpg

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Very good point. Truth in fact.

  • @HawkInMizery

    You qualify as a FAN! Bravo, my friend!

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