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.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.