Blog Entry

Dear Gary (on Bill Self)

Posted on: September 4, 2008 12:39 pm

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Can you please tell me where you're getting that Bill Self would've left had Richardson hit that three in the Fianl 4? You make me never want to read one of your articles again. That is ludicrous!

-- Billy

First, Billy, let's fix your ludicrous email (in terms of facts and spelling).

It's Jason Richards, not Richardson.

And it was the Elite Eight, not the Final Four (or even the Fianl 4).

OK, now that we got that straight, let's address your issue -- that I'm being "ludicrous" by suggesting a Richards 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Kansas would've led to Self replacing Sean Sutton at Oklahoma State.

Honest to God, I believe that's true.


Because had Davidson upset Kansas Self would've gone yet another season without a Final Four, this time when one was basically gift-wrapped for him. I mean, not making the Final Four last season would've meant he lost to a double-digit seed from a non-BCS league while a huge favorite, and Kansas fans would've gone insane. They were already questioning Self as a coach (trust me, they used to email me all the time), and I genuinely believe the outrage over a loss to Davidson would've pushed Self to his alma mater, where he would've received the richest contract in history, turned Oklahoma State into a power and made a personal vendetta against Kansas to show Jayhawk fans that their criticism ran off one of the best coaches in the sport.

When Richards missed that shot, everything obviously changed.

Now Self will probably retire from Kansas.

But I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that a Davidson win over Kansas would've caused Kansas fans to go crazy and by extension caused Self to seek refuge at Oklahoma State, and if you polled folks in the industry I think they'd agree. That's why I wrote it, because it's not nearly as "ludicrous" as you think.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2008 12:49 pm

Dear Gary (on Bill Self)

Greggsheel agrees with you that Self would have left if KU had lost to Davidson.  Bballballet points out that there would have been heightened criticism, which would be a natural response to such a disaster.  But, I think that Lalawguy gets closer to the real insight as to the inner workings of KU basketball.  As Lalawguy points out, Roy, is by connection to Dean Smith, KU Family.  As such, the fans at KU would have wanted Roy around for as long as he wanted to stay.  Even thought he STILL hasn't won a national title with a team he has recruited! 

The KU faithful are VERY knowledgeable basketball fans and recognize that it often takes a little luck to win a national championship.  Even for the best teams.  The KU faithful are also very fond of the KU Basketball Family reputation.  Bill Self is KU Basketball Family (as well as OSU Basketball Family).  I suggest that if the shot-at-the buzzer had gone down, Bill Self would have been recruited by OSU, but that he would have remained at KU and would have worked even harder still to realize his dream of winning that elusive prize. 

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2008 6:56 pm

Dear Gary (on Bill Self)

Gary is ignoring the fact that Roy Williams spent so many seasons at KU -- with many teams that would have wiped the floor with the 2008 Nat'l Champ team -- and yet never brought home a NCAA title for the Crimson and Blue. We all loved Roy. When he left KU for his alma mater, fans were left sad and dejected. I think we would have given Williams another 15 years as head coach even if he never brought us a National Championship.

Once Self proved himself by getting his first team to the Elite Eight, missing the Final Four by a double overtime, fans were sold on this new coach. While the 2008 team was given a one-seed, very few (fans and analysts) expected them to make it to the Final Four, and even fewer thought they would win the whole thing. Would fans cut Self the same slack that they did for Roy Williams? Maybe not, but a third Elite Eight in five years (let's forget those other two years!) would be enough for us fans to want Self for at least another five years.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2008 9:27 am

Dear Gary (on Bill Self)

I agree there would have been heightened criticism, and he would have considered it a bit more seriously, but I doubt he would have left.  I believe your opinion is based, as you say, on getting emails from fans.  This raises the question, are the fans that email you a valid subsampling of all the Kansas fans?  I doubt it... I would submit that you receive email from a passionate but radical minority who don't have enough to do in life... rather like myself.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: September 4, 2008 1:38 pm

Dear Gary (on Bill Self)

Remember how much talk there was after Bill Self won the National Championship?  Most sports writers had already signed off on him leaving for Oklahoma State.  AFTER he won.

Had he lost, he DEFINITELY would've been gone. 

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