When will Bill Self start getting more pub as an all-time great?

Leave a comment

How long will it be until Bill Self is thrust into the conversation as not only one of the best coaches in the country, but one of the best coaches of all-time?

That’s a question that deserves serious consideration now that Self has been given a new contract from Kansas that could be worth as much as $53.32 million over the next decade. The major payday comes late in the deal — he’s got a $6 million incentive to stay until March of 2022 — which means that it is a pretty safe bet that Self will end his coaching career as a Jayhawk.

Think about it: he’s already got a top five job, if not the best job, in all of college basketball. And he’s been wildly successful there. He’s been in Lawrence for nine seasons. The past eight, he’s won at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title in addition to five Big 12 tournament titles. He won the 2008 national title, finished as the national runner-up in 2012 and had made three trips to the Elite 8 with Kansas to go along with the Elite 8’s he took both Tulsa and Illinois to.

He churns out NBA talent as consistently as any coach in the country, having 14 players picked in the NBA Draft during his tenure with the Jayhawks. He’s not slowing down, either, as Self is bringing in yet another crop of talented freshmen this season — five-star recruit Perry Ellis and four-star prospects Anrio Adams and Andrew White as well as debuting last year’s star recruit Ben McLemore — and already has two top 50 prospects committed for 2013.

Self hasn’t exactly built the Kansas program from scratch, the way that Jim Calhoun did UConn or Lute Olson did Arizona. The Jayhawks have as much history as any program in the country. There’s a reason he has one of the best jobs imaginable.

But Self has taken one of the most storied programs in the country and made them into a dynasty, the kind of power that’s never before been seen in Lawrence. Kansas has never won eight straight regular season titles before. They’ve never won five conference tournaments in a six year span before. And there’s no indication that the momentum Self’s built up will be slowing down anytime soon. His Kansas team is a favorite to win the league again this year.

Perhaps the most important point to make is that Self is coming off perhaps the best coaching job of his career. Last season, Kansas was considered by most to be a top 15 or a top 20 team. They were led by Thomas Robinson, who was talented but coming off of a year where both his grandparents and his mother had passed away, and the enigmatic Tyshawn Taylor, who was about as consistent as Carrie Mathison’s mood to that point in his career. The rest of the roster was made up with career back-ups and ineligible freshmen.

And Self still took them to the outright Big 12 title and the national title game. He’s still getting better as a coach.

In an era where players leave early for the NBA Draft and transfer if playing time isn’t immediately available, Self has been able to turn the Jayhawks into a Big 12 dynasty, keeping four and five-star recruits happy even if they have to spend a year or two riding the pine.

Kansas inked him for another decade. If he stays anywhere near the pace he’s kept up — let’s say, for example, he wins eight more regular season titles, six more Big 12 tournament titles and another national title in three more Final Four trips — where does he stack up historically?

Is he the greatest coach in Kansas history?

Is he a top five coach of all-time?

Will Kansas be playing on Bill Self Court in Phog Allen Fieldhouse in 2030?

It’s not crazy to think the answer to all three of those questions will be ‘yes’.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

Leave a comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

Leave a comment

North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)