Tag:Bill Self
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:22 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 5:44 pm

Self says Taylor's playing at unprecedented level

Taylor's playing as well in 2012 as Bill Self could expect. (Getty Images)
By Matt Norlander

Tyshawn Taylor playing unlike any guard Bill Self's coached at Kansas? That's what Self is saying.

Self joined Jeff Goodman and Bruce Pearl on today's ep of "SiriusXM’s Inside College Basketball," and I've done you the kind favor of editing out most of Goodman's voice in the clip below. We'll get to that in a minute. Thomas Robinson is the key, the glue, the most important part of Kansas. Without him, KU's probably a bubble team, Jayhawks fans.

But Taylor, who once was so inconsistent -- and still can be with the turnover issues -- has come to live since the calendar turned to 2012. He's now the fifth-leading scorer in the Big 12, putting up 17 even per game, and he's not scored fewer than 15 in a game since Jan. 7, against Oklahoma. What's intriguing to me about Taylor is, he's definitely a player where you've got to watch him. Watch him a lot, because his stats don't tell his whole story; he's too much of a wild card to rely on what the paper says.

Self is a happy coach right now. Kansas can actually win this league again because Robinson's raised his play to a level few could anticipate, and Taylor's come on to play the way a senior should. Most of the time, at least.

"He makes plays you can't coach and makes plays that look like he's never been coach -- just in a span of seconds," Self said. "We have not had a guard since I've been at Kansas that's played as well as he 's played for as long as he's played."

High praise.

Self talks Tyshawn

Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:39 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

By Jeff Goodman

There's no logical explanation.

Bill Self is regarded as one of the elite recruiters in the country and Kansas is obviously a program that is soaked in tradition.

Self is as likable as just about any coach in the nation and is a fixture on the recruiting trail - whether it's during the season or in the July recruiting period.

Kansas has just about everything to offer a kid - exposure, Phog Allen Fieldhouse and all the bells and whistles that many top-tier recruits yearn for nowadays.

So, why are the Jayhawks struggling mightily to land big-time players?

There is clearly playing time available in Lawrence these days, yet Self and his staff haven't been able to secure any of the big boys.

Sure, they got Perry Ellis.

But he's no program changer - and he's a local kid that may have gone there no matter who was in charge.

Oh yeah, they also got an unranked power forward named Zach Peters.

Kansas is hardly intimidating on paper this season and next year it could be even worse. Tyshawn Taylor will be gone - and Thomas Robinson could well explore the NBA route if has the season many (including me) expect.

The Jayhawks recently swung and missed on 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, their top target in the Class of 2012. Assistant coach Joe Dooley put in more work with the New Hampshire native than anyone else - but they lost out to Arizona.

More on recruiting
They've also struggled to secure a big-time guard - which is a necessity with the departure of Taylor. Marcus Smart went with Oklahoma State in a package deal with Phil Forte and J-Mychal Reese also paired up, with his father to Texas A&M. Kansas missed on Danuel House, who is headed to Houston, and Ioannis Papapetrou went with Texas over the Jayhawks.

There's still the top-ranked player in the Class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad, but I'm not sure anyone - even Self - thinks Kansas has any chance over UCLA and Kentucky.

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate Self as one of the elite-level recruiters in the nation.

Or maybe this is just one of those years where all the stars aligned in a way that went against the Jayhawks.

Whatever the case, it's baffling. There's no clear explanation for what's gone on in Lawrence lately, but that wealth and excess of talent that was found at Kansas a couple of years ago?

Those days are gone. At least for now.

Instead, it can be found in other places - like Lexington, Tucson and Chapel Hill.

Photo: Getty Images 
Posted on: October 30, 2011 7:59 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 1:18 am

Self suspends Taylor and Johnson for exhibitions

By Gary Parrish

Kansas coach Bill Self announced Sunday night that he has suspended Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson for the Jayhawks' two exhibition games because they violated team rules this past offseason.

"Tyshawn and Elijah have both been terrific since school began in August," Self said. “They’ve not only performed well, they have been very responsible and disciplined the first few months of the school year. But during the offseason they violated a rule that I told them, because of some past experiences, their punishment was going to be severe and I was going to hold them out of the two exhibition games. They have been aware of this for several months and also are disappointed but have had very positive attitudes about it."

The suspensions of Taylor and Johnson -- both of whom were also suspended for violating team rules last season -- means Kansas will have just five scholarship players available for Tuesday's exhibition against Pittsburg State if Thomas Robinson, a CBSSports.com First Team Preseason All-American, is unable to play because of a hyperextended knee. Self said Sunday that Robinson is "questionable" for the exhibition. The 6-foot-9 forward was injured in practice last week.

"Losing two players and Thomas being questionable for Tuesday’s game probably changes the look of our team as much as anyone in the country," Self said. "This gives a chance for our young guys to play under the lights and see how they react."

Kansas is ranked 14th in the CBSSports.com Preseason Top 25 (and one).
Posted on: October 28, 2011 12:32 pm

Self finds his team situation he never imagined

By Jeff Goodman

Bill Self looked in a team photo from a couple years ago. How times have changed.

That was when he redshirted Mario Little and Travis Releford because there was such an excess of talent and depth that neither figured to earn enough time. Now the sixth and seventh men in the rotation are walk-ons Justin Wesley and Connor Teahan - who Self has given a scholarship. If Little were still here, he'd probably be getting 35 minutes a game.

Self understands that no one feels bad for the Jayhawks - and he doesn't want that, anyway. He still maintains he has two of the elite players in the nation at their respective positions in Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor - and that his starting five will be able to stack up against anyone.

"We've got two pros," Self said. "Tyshawn's so good. The light has come on and the game's in slow motion for him. There aren't five better point guards."

"And there aren't five better big men than Thomas," he added. But the depth is another story. Kansas had three signees deemed ineligible to play this season: Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor (who have both remained on campus as partial qualifiers) and Braeden Anderson, who has since elected to attend Fresno.

The 6-foot-8 Wesley is a transfer from Lamar and Teahan is a fifth-year senior who hasn't exactly played meaningful minutes in his Jayhawks career. Both will likely be rotation guys.

"We need to stay healthy," Self said. "And be junkyard dogs."

And that's likely why he's being cautious with Robinson, who bumped knees in practice and will likely be held out for a couple of days.

"In practice, I've never had to worry about injuries," Self admitted.

The key to whether the Jayhawks can continue their Big 12 dominance will likely come down to the development of guards Elijah Johnson and Releford - and the health and production of 7-footer Jeff Withey. Self raved about Johnson - which is a change from his thoughts on the talented guard from a year ago - and also said that he'll need newcomers Kevin Young and Naadir Tharpe to give him quality minutes. "I like my guys," Self said. The issue, though, is whether he has enough of them.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 8:38 pm

KU's Robinson hyperextends knee in practice

By Gary Parrish

Kansas junior Thomas Robinson hypextended his left knee during Thursday's practice. The severity of the injury is unknown, but KU coach Bill Self said "hopefully" the 6-foot-9 forward will not miss any significant time.

"The results from the MRI were positive for Thomas," Self said. "He will take a couple of days off to let it calm down."

Robinson is a CBSSports.com First Team Preseason All-American.

He should be the star of the Jayhawks now that the Morris Twins are in the NBA.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:08 pm

Podcast: Behind the Phog

By Matt Norlander

Today's podcast is for the Kansas fans. Jason King joins me to discuss his book, Beyond the Phog. But even if you're not a Kansas fan, you'll enjoy it. It's my Podcast Promise to you.

Jason did a lot of good work tracking down former Jayhawks and getting them to open up about their playing days, the program, Roy Williams, Bill Self, depression, exhaustion and more. The book covers so much of that. The podcast touches on a number of the incidents and stories that helped shape a decade-long narrative worth sharing. The most infamous of the stories invoked is the J.R. Giddens matter. We absolutely get into that.

I also ask Jason if Bill Self is coaching Kansas in four years. He may or may not suggest the Arkansas job as a possibility down the road. Speculation based on nothing: always something a fan base endears itself to.

Season tips Nov. 7

The Wayne Simien story is the one that continues to intrigue me. As I say in the beginning, Jason's one of the nicest guys in the business, and it was a pleasure having him on. There is some talk about the upcoming season, too. He makes a great point about Baylor's club.

As a reminder, from now through the end of the season, we'll be delivering three podcasts per week to you. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is when you can find the new episodes. Get in the habit of listening. You can subscribe on iTunes. Or the RSS feed. Or, if you're one of those with a Zune, yeah we've got you covered, too.

If you'd like to send a question for the podcast, I'm always an advocate. Tweet at me or the EyeOnCBB account, and if we get enough inquiries, I'll make a segment out of it.

Posted on: October 5, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: October 5, 2011 12:06 pm

Kansas-Mizzou hoops rivalry could be over

By Matt Norlander

Tuesday night, Missouri's board of curators gave the school chancellor, Brady Deaton, full permission to flirt with other conferences. This is considered a major step, one that many see ending with Missouri landing on SEC property.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 continues to watch as the value of its land drops and drops. Kansas City is a shell of its former self. Missouri leaving would get the league down to eight teams, and that point the Big 12 would have to do some swift pillaging or merging with another league.

Because Missouri wants out, feelings within the Big 12 are going to be fiery, and there's bound to be some serious grudges. Kansas has a right to hold the biggest one. Its longtime rival leaving the clan to join the SEC could put an end to the on-court feud that's been going on for 104 years.

Kansas is the better basketball school --and it leads the series with Missouri, 171-94 -- but the rivalry with Missouri is one of the best the nation has to offer. If the Tigers choose, and are accepted, to go to the SEC, the rivalry could die. Just ask Bill Self. The Lawrence-Journal World asked Self what his thoughts were on Missouri's instability, and he said:

“To me it’s a great rivalry, one of the best in college basketball without question, but I don’t think I would be interested in having a once a year game like I did when I was at Illinois, playing Missouri,” Self [said]. “I could probably change my mind (but) trust me, we would have no trouble finding another nonleague game to play. I love the rivalry. Playing home and home in the league is great and all those things ... (but) I can’t imagine, why would we continue playing?

“If they choose to be somewhere other than with us and with the other schools that they’ve been a part of and could jeopardize the future of the other schools ... I’m not going to make a commitment now that we’d ever play again. I’m not saying we won’t. I’m certainly not going to pretend that we would.”

Even though coaches have as much to do with realignment as me or you, they do control most of the scheduling. And if Self doesn't want to slate Missouri in basketball going forward out of spite, he has all the power to do that. What's more, he'll likely get a lot of support within his athletic offices and around the league. Nebraska's already been ex-communicated from the conference after it got a whiff of what the Big Ten was cooking and decided to bolt.

Self added last night: "The media is not going to dictate who we play."

And that might as well be addressed to the fans too, who, when it comes down to it, might not be happy that Kansas and Mizzou are breaking apart -- but they'll still want an annual game. For the record, Kansas' AD has done the obligatory and said he wants Missouri to stay put.

“I have no ill will toward Missouri at all, but to do something at a time that could be so damaging and hurtful to a group, I can’t see us just taking it and forgetting," Self said. "They are making a decision that’s best for theirs. We’ll make a decision on a schedule that’s best for us."

Self is just lobbing out bombs, and I love it. I love contention and true nastiness in rivalry. The irony here is, the angriest aspects of this feud could be coming in its final years of existence. Kansas basketball, as great as it is, is a non-factor in the Big 12's future. So Self is pretty much playing the only card he can here.

“We will do what’s best for us from a scheduling standpoint," he said. "And that will create absolutely no controversy at all.”

Meanwhile, that's just not true. Missouri isn't even officially out of the Big 12 yet -- and may never leave -- and this is already going to be among the biggest talking points at both schools. If Kansas and Missouri break apart, college basketball loses one of its oldest continuous rivalries, one that dates back geographically and historically to the Civil War.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 12:31 pm

Bill Self allegedly blacklisted J.R. Giddens

By Matt Norlander

Jason King has probably written a heck of a book. The lead-up to "Beyond the Phog" has already given us a couple of spicy anecdotes about the past decade of Kansas basketball.

Humble, Midwestern KU hoops with so much drama? Seems so. I'll be hosting King on a podcast next week, so be on the lookout for that, as I hope to get a few stories out of him that didn't make the cut for the book.

Today, another snippet from the book was released, and it details J.R. Giddens' relationship with Bill Self. If you don't remember Giddens, he played with the team six years ago, then transferred to New Mexico. He was the classic case of a highly recruited kid who seemingly didn't pan out and couldn't handle his role at a premium, big-time program.

But there is more to the story. (And Giddens did eventually find a better fit with New Mexico.) Giddens wasn't a perfect player. Far from it. But from his perspective, he wasn't treated well by Self, or really anyone affiliated with Kansas basketball, outside of the players.

Here's a hearty and juicy excerpt:
Any thoughts I had about leaving (school early) for the NBA ended when I got stabbed. ... If anything, I was trying to figure out if I was ever going to play basketball again. I think that’s why they made me leave Kansas. The doctor said I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life.

I’m not saying Kansas threw me out like a battery. But ... they weren’t going to let me stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang.

Micah Downs was coming in. Bill Self used to always tell me, “Micah is coming in and he's better than you.” He would just say little stuff like that and I was like, “Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?” I wanted to stay at Kansas but I felt like they just pushed me out the door, especially after getting stabbed. I was like, “I'm sitting here worrying if I'm ever play basketball again and you guys are over here talking to me in an inappropriate manner? I'm 19 years old. You guys are supposed to my college coaches. Instead, at the first sign of trouble, you guys are turning your back on me?” I felt like it was everyone from the coaching staff to the people up there in the offices. As a 19-year-old who was immature and didn’t understand life, I took that really hard. I left the office in tears when I knew I was leaving.

I remember that day really well. I walked out of there on crutches, crying. I’d been interrogated for about seven hours for three days straight. ... Bill Self was telling my teammates not to have any contact with me. Darnell Jackson and Jeremy Case were two of my best friends, and they weren’t even allowed to talk to me. Aaron Miles was done playing so he came over. He was the only person who came and saw me. I was like, “Dang, I’m 30 feet from where I used to stay and you guys can’t even come over here and see me?” I’m stabbed and laid up and don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball again. That was very kind of Kansas basketball and Bill Self, to tell people to stay away from me like I was a team cancer.

Let's be clear: This is Giddens' recalling of the events from six years ago. There could be some truth, and some half-truths as well. Regardless, that's a bad light to put Kansas hoops in. And it's an interesting one as well, because the program's been so dominant in the past decade, seeing the less-attractive aspects of the Big 12 dynasty is an intriguing dichotomy. Few programs ever truly get along well all the time. There's discourse everywhere. Kansas is about to have its troubled aired publicly, though.

As for Giddens post-college, he did make it to the NBA, most recently playing with the Celtics and Knicks.

Photo: AP

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com