Why Isn't Self Roaring Up and Down the Sidelines to Motivate this Team? As Usual Self Knows Best...

  • Bill Self has been one of the most forceful personalities on the sidelines in college basketball during his KU tenure, without being a jerk about it.

    Many coaches show rage. Many stay calm. Many crack wise and ride the refs.

    But Bill Self has distinguished himself by doing all of these things, seemingly on demand, and more.

    If college basketball coaching were acting, Bill Self would be Paul Newman. He would be a cool guy with incredible range, likability and longevity. He would be able to evince both artistic purpose and commercial savvy. He would have class, but also never forget where he came from, or the joys of popping the top on a tall cool one in the right circumstances. He would in short be most that is good about the best of we Americans, and not a phony, or a pretender to being a high brow, outside-in actor from London. He would be proud of the inside-out Method of Stanislavsky and Hank Iba and stick to it, while adapting it expediently, and maintaining a healthy skepticism about his own fame.

    Self can fry eggs on his neck with the best of them. He can fill a sideline with his smile. He can in one game question man hood and tell players to believe. He can drive players to want to fight him in huddles. He can work the referees without making them hate him, or he can shame them for not calling cheap shots by having his players do absolutely absurd cheap shots in mid transition calculated not to hurt an opposing player to shame referees into calling a fair game. His cracks can sting like yellow jackets as players run by him in transition and he can jaw a player coming to the bench into the cracks in the floor, or praise them like he is in awe, and practically lay on hands on them like Oral Roberts. This guy has, as they say in Hollywood, when not defiling children and mind controlling divas, massive acting chops and incredible range. The guys should be interviewed on the Actor’s Studio.

    So: in this early winter of our discontent, after two nearly unprecedented consecutive losses–one at home and one in our home away from home–why is Self not putting on the holy terror make up and prowling the sidelines railing at missed defensive assignments, and poor shot selection, and pop tarts by the bakers dozen, and, well, not the usual hyper intensity of guarding that Self teams are known for?


    This team has serious shortcomings.

    Those shortcomings limit what he can do in the way of strategic shortcomings.

    These guys are trying hard, but they are young and some are shall we say idiosyncratic.

    And finally and perhaps most importantly, IMHO, Self does not want to appear a cry baby himself.

    Self appears a student of the history of the game. He apparently knows about most of the great coaches of the past. He apparently understands their successes and failures, as well as their trials and tribulations. Otherwise, I don’t see how he could have side stepped so many of their mistakes.

    Self just has to understand he has been on an incredible run for 13 years second only to John Wooden.

    Self must understand that he has had a run of fine players, depth, and good fortune to go along with his incredible brilliance as a coach.

    If Self were to begin storming up and down the sidelines just because he finally has deal with the kinds of slings and arrows of outrageous basketball fortune that even Coach K, Calipari and Roy have had to deal with and that have caused them to fall to .500 a few times each, well, Self would seem like a spoiled, petty tyrant, or to use one of his marvelous phrases, he would seem to be coaching “like a baby.”

    While I can hand wring and worry about what may be going on behind the information black out that currently envelopes Billy Preston, his car, and the KU basketball program, Self really is approaching this situation the right way right now. The team is in an incredibly difficult situation both because of being short handed and because of the uncertainties regarding Preston, and which other players might, or might not show up next semester. And on top of all that, fans should not forget that in college ball there is always the chance that someone that is playing right now, might blow a test, or two, and wind up academically ineligible for second semester, or someone might get go all teenager and decide the grass is greener somewhere else.

    Self appears to be trying to keep this unusual situation in perspective, IMHO.

    Go, Bill, go!!!

  • Very nice post. Love the Paul Newman reference!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think he is having health problems. His color looks bad. I noticed Norm did the Jayhawk Talk last night.


    Good dot and connection.

    Something seemed different with his appearance. Starting with Husky game, maybe one prior.

    But he has on occasion distanced himself from losses.


    Two losses where the team, not just him, does not look typical in performance.

    Add Preston black hole.

    Add peculiar Sosinski-related comments.

    We appear in unfamiliar territory.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think he probably internalizes lots of the stress, and the blood pressure is certainly elevated.

  • @KUSTEVE I agree. Something is off with him.

  • Maybe his goal is to lose a bunch of games so that he can finally overachieve in the tournament without having to make the final game. He’s probably tired of all the articles in March about how KU underachieves despite nearly always making the sweet 16 and often the elite 8. He’s tired of biased brackets and is hoping to fly under the radar. Petro shoe embargo dumptruck military analogy and such.

  • @benshawks08 we are due for a final four run soon. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to get a three, four or five seed in March and not feel so much expectation.

  • jaybate 1.0 said:

    These guys are trying hard, but they are young and some are shall we say idiosyncratic.

    We start two seniors and a junior. I’ll give Newman a pass because its his first year at Kansas but he is three years out of high school. Youth isnt the issue. ZERO post play and all secondary guards is.

  • @BigBad of all the excuses, youth is definitely the dumbest. This ain’t a young team folks.

  • @BigBad and @HawkChamp

    Perhaps “youth” was the wrong word. Perhaps “inexperience” was what I should have used.

    Doke has never started and played a full season of D1 before. He also came to the sport late. He was characterized as a recruit that was still learning the game.

    Vick has never started a season of D1 before. Vick is still new to being one of the top three scoring options.

    Malik played poorly one season at Mississippi State, sat out a year, and has never started a season at KU before this one. He’s at least rusty, and from the looks of it, still trying to find his game inside the KU system.

    Svi has never started an entire season for KU before this one, has he? I’m kind of fuzzy about him last season. Did he start, or not? My recall is he was a first backup. In any case, has he started at the 4 for a season before this one, right? Svi has definitely been here a lot years, and played a lot of rotation minutes, but he has not been a starter until this season, if I recall correctly.

    And even Devonte has never been given the keys to the team and told to run it for a season prior to this, has he? No.

    My point here is that all five of the starting players are guys new to their roles and that is a big step in D1.

    To me, inexperience in new roles is one of the top two things that have lead this team to struggle some. The other obviously is inadequate back ups inside and out.

  • @KUSTEVE I didn’t want throw that out there, but since you did I’ll follow. I saw him off screen recently and I agree. Hopefully it’s no big deal.

  • @Blown

    Players with cars they are not supposed to have and apparently sustained recruiting embargoes can drive a man to high cholesterol foods and drinks with too much high fructose corn syrup!

  • @HawkChamp http://www2.kusports.com/weblogs/tale-tait/2017/dec/13/say-what-taits-weekly-appearance-on-rock/

    I listened to taits podcast. He explained a lil bit about these guys being “young”.

  • @jaybate-1.0 If he does, I prefer…(


  • @Crimsonorblue22 He’s a got a solid point, hopefully that means they can learn to defend better. DTG and Svi are both pretty much in their 3rd year of starting but Doke is hardly even a sophomore bye playing just a few games a year ago. Malik is just a redshirt sophomore, Lightfoot is seeing his first meaningful minutes this year and Vick is in a much bigger role in his first season of being a starter. I’m just worried we aren’t as athletic as we normally are which means we have to be very smart and in the right position defensively.

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