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Has Bill Self Lost His Mind?

Chiggity-check yourself before you wreck, Bill Self.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s basketball season, y’all.  The hustle and bustle of yesterday’s signing festivities has everybody jacked up about football, which hasn’t happened in a long time, but if you neglected to watch any hoops last night, you really missed out.

Some highlights were an Indiana State upset over Creighton (take that, Doug McDermott), our boy Travis Ford taking it to Baylor in one of the more exciting finishes I’ve seen this season, and TCU beating the Jayhawks for their first ever Big 12 win.

Read that again.  TCU.  Beat.  Kansas.  The Horned Frogs hadn’t won a league game so far this season, and were so bad that even among all their conference losses, only one was by single digits.  CBS’ Jerry Palm tweeted that “In terms of RPI difference between the teams, TCU’s win is the biggest upset in the 20 years I’ve been tracking numbers.”  This came on the heels of a loss to Oklahoma State, making it Kansas’ first back-to-back losses in quite some time.

The real story, though, isn’t the Jayhawks’ defeat as much as it is Bill Self’s attacks on his own players.  A lot of the time, when a team loses, you’ll see the coach put the blame on himself.  He might point out a couple mistakes that some players made, but ultimately, he’ll say that it’s his job to fix those mistakes, and he didn’t.  Cal does it all the time: humble your players after a win, praise them after a loss.  It’s Coach-Speak 101.

Self, though, has taken a slightly, er, different approach.  After the loss to Oklahoma State, he really tore into veteran Elijah  Johnson.  “We don’t have a point guard.  It’s sad.  We were definitely a better team with him sitting down next to us and putting somebody else in the game.”  Kinda rough for a guy playing out of position.  When Archie has a rough game, by contrast, Cal writes a blog about how we should continue to support him, and points out how hard he’s working.  And yet somehow Cal’s the villain?

Self was at it again last night after the loss to TCU, only this time not picking on a single player so much.

It was the worst team that Kansas has ever put on the floor since Dr. [James] Naismith was there.  I think he had some bad teams when he lost to Topeka YMCA in the first couple years. But for the first half, there hasn’t been a team play worse than that offensively. That hasn’t happened, anywhere.

That might smack of hyperbole, but it might also be right.  The Jayhawks didn’t score for the first seven minutes of the game, and had only 13 at halftime.  And keep in mind that this is against a team with an RPI over 200.  It might be the only win so far this year deserving of a court storming.

So is Bill Self using some weird subterfuge strategy to get in the heads of his players “Billy Clyde” style?  Or has he finally snapped not just a win streak, but his temper?  You ever hear a coach that wasn’t Bobby Knight or BCG talk about his players that way?  Times like these, folks, appreciate Cal.

Article written by Corey Nichols

49 Comments for Has Bill Self Lost His Mind?

  1. MJ4UK
    9:05 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Nice Pic…I assume that may be at Kansas version of Midnight Madness? What recruit wouldn’ want to see this on a visit. Bill Self keeps it real with his homies

  2. JKUK
    9:08 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Losing your temper one time is understandable. But twice?

  3. Note to Self
    9:09 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Call em like ya see em

  4. NotABigDeal
    9:12 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    What he said was probably a little harsh…but I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal. He basically said his team was really bad last night.

  5. Random Thoughts
    9:13 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I just don’t want UL to win it. I think IU will def have the best shot, and I don’t want them to get closer to our 8. I would have to root for IU over UofL if they played in the championship.

  6. devastaion INC
    9:14 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Glad you have been “Tracking the numbers” corey! but the post was not so bad.

  7. just sayin
    9:16 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    cal does it all the time. look what it did for wiltjer. Not saying its right, but im not a coach im a computer guy.

  8. ajh
    9:16 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t see what’s so bad in what he said???

  9. BigBlue
    9:18 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    6) Corey didn’t say that he tracked numbers?

    Great post, Corey. Keep it up

  10. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    9:18 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Bill Self is just the same as Billy Gillispie except he can speak the english language and recruit a little better.

  11. Thanks
    9:19 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #5 – thanks for the random unrelated insights into what your expertise leads you to believe and do in March.

  12. seriously
    9:21 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    The big difference is that Kansas is a veteran team. Yes I know Mclemore is a freshman but all the other key players– Releford, Withey, Young, Johnson…are upperclassmen. Cal usually has to do more of a build-em-up approach because he is dealing with freshman who are generally a bit more emotionally fragile than a senior. Honestly Self wasn’t really going overboard imo….I can’t ever remember a Kansas team having 13 points at the half. Not in my lifetime anyways.

  13. Sammydog
    9:23 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Our record isn’t so bad when we see all the top teams falling. Wait long enough and some may catch up with us in losses.

  14. That photo will always be funny, in a sad sorta way. Oh well, I guess it’s ultimately no worse than Matthew Mitchell goin’ “Hammer Time” in jeannie pants.

  15. Oops…genie pants…sorry, had the old TV show on the brain.

  16. self-esteam
    9:34 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Ahhhhh The way of the Jay Hawk….always eat your young!

  17. struggler
    9:34 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Always have had respect for Self – and maybe something we do not know about is going on with him personally – but from the outside perspective, he definitely seems to cracking under the pressure/expectations – and his team is following his lead. Super talented team when I have seen them play this year – but when teams implode like this – it’s usually issues we will never be told about.

  18. Juan4UK
    9:35 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Actually 7 is right. Cal has used tactics this year to call players out. We have talked repeatedly about it here on KSR this year. (As in, posts in the last few days; specifically) Cal does it, and has done it several times this year: Poythress, Wiltjer, Archie, Harrow have all been called out more than once this year. For pouting, being soft, selfish or whatever.
    Maybe, you may be referring to tone. And that I can’t comment on since I didn’t hear Self’s speech.

  19. Cast of Cats
    9:35 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    meow !

  20. Al B. Frank
    9:38 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    After last night’s loss to TCU, that makes two straight losses to unranked teams for Kansas. (OK ST was unranked when they played). Shouldn’t they drop completely out of the top 25 now? Kentucky did, after losing to Notre Dame (unranked at the time but ranked after beating us) and Baylor. At the time, UK was #8. Before last night’s loss, Kansas was #5. And, I believe at the time we took those two back-to-back losses… we were really struggling at the point guard position, with Ryan Harrow being MIA at the start of the season. Just sayin’.

  21. Larry
    9:38 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Terrible post. Drinking too much blue koolaid Corey? It’s just coach speak from a very good coach. Would love to have him as our coach if Cal wasn’t here. Corey, didn’t Cal call out Witjer earlier in the media? Again terrible post.

  22. Syrin
    9:39 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    You;’re being too kind to Cal. How nice was he in the media talking about Wiltjer after the Vandy game? Not much of a difference there.

  23. Where Are They Now
    9:39 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    In 10 minutes of play, Perry Ellis had….wait for it….. 1 REBOUND! Wow!

  24. JackB
    9:40 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    BCG is part of the Self coaching tree as an assistant at Tulsa and Illinois. Apparently the apple does not fall from the tree and all that.

  25. Big Blue Swagger
    9:47 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Classic management style– when trying to get a team to work together, one way is to give them a reason to bond (even if it means being the bad guy your team bonds over talking about). I think the recent disjointed play of Kansas has more to do with locker room drama and Self is looking for a way to help them bond so they play like a team.

  26. H.A. Milton
    9:47 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Johnson should jerk his toupee off next time they are on national television. This is not coaching, just Self’s embarrassment, and I bet Cal would say it is a clear choice of ‘Self’ (see what I did there?) over team…

  27. robuk
    9:55 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Couldn’t happen to a better coach..

  28. David Elswick
    9:56 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    24) You are right. Bill Self is BCG’s mentor. This doesn’t surprise me.

  29. CatsFanAtTCU
    9:59 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    it’s always awesome to have both your favorite teams beat KU!!! Go cats! Go frogs!

  30. Bill Self Laughs
    10:05 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone seriously thinking this is a sign of implosion is crazy.
    Kansas is a great program!
    Self is a great coach!
    The atmosphere at their arena is electric! (puts Rupp to shame)
    Their playing style is fun to be a part of!
    Bottom line, they are all the things UK wants and is for the most part!

    Nice try Corey,
    Sinccerely a true blue UK fan!

  31. Adolph Rollingover
    10:13 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Kansas did not lose, they only ran out of time.

  32. Cokely
    10:19 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    What about when Cal called Jones a selfish mother effer?

  33. Samantha Ryan
    10:23 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    When I think about Bill, I touch my Self

  34. John Ellis
    10:25 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Sounds like Pitino last year after Lullville lost to South Florida on Senior Night. He threw them under the bus one by one. Rupp after his rare losses, on his radio show, would usually say, “I TOLD them boys what to do.”

  35. H.A. Milton
    10:26 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #30, what does Kansas have that UK wants? Less Titles, a douchey coach? Trolling fans? The worst loss in…ever? To get owned by the greatest program ever to begin and end the season as that program marched to its 8th Title? You must mean the whole ‘originators of basketball’ thing…you know took the baton and ran away with it, right?

  36. John Ellis
    10:27 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Mr. Laughs – Kansas has had some definite character issues on Self’s teams, one reason they endure these upsets, usually in the tournament. And as for Kansas running out of time, the foul and drive method they closed the gap with would have resulted in the entire team fouling out if they’d had more time.

  37. H.A. Milton
    10:28 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #32, He was referring to Bill when he said that…(to the kids face, not to the national media)

  38. UKWildcat_Fanatic
    10:33 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    30, a true blue UK fan? I dont think so. We envy no one at this time. We are the Mecca of College Basketball! We have the best coach(es), recruit the best players, play the best style of offense, have the best facilities, and have the best following in all of college athletics!…BTW, a true blue fan can at least spell SINCERELY. So go take your Jayhawk education and troll on the Big 12 sites.

  39. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    11:03 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Some of you people are sick. Seriously, get off Cal’s nuts cause you’ll be the first to come on here when he doesn’t call a timeout when needed again and bash him. The greatest coach talk is bogus! Best recruiter, I’ll give ya that. #38 – I’ll tell ya one thing that I wish we had, and that’s the atmosphere that Kansas home games produce. Rupp is a freaking snooze-fest 90% of the time. No one can say anything remotely critical of Cal or this program without getting attacked by people like you. Bill Self is a great coach, bottom line. What he said about not having a PG and the shot he took at his whole team were both accurate at the time, so good for him. Cal does these same things, and I personally wish he would more often (Archie & Poythress).

  40. Bill Self Laughs
    11:07 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #38,Sincerely, my bad, that definetly discredits my thoughts.
    We often forget that Cal has brought us back, but I remember where we were 4-5 short years ago…most forget!
    Rupp is not exciting, the lower arena is 50% dead…literally!
    I hope Cal stays and keeps this up…but KU is firing on all cylinders as well!

    and for the record….We better get Aaron Gordon for next year…Harrison twins and Dakari are overrated!

  41. Dusten
    11:08 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Hey the seemingly forced used of “ya’ll” in the first sentence. I hate the word in general, but seeing it typed spikes my distaste.

  42. Dusten
    11:09 am February 7, 2013 Permalink


  43. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    11:12 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #40 – Dakari is overrated, but his size alone will be nice to have and he may wind up being a multiple yr player. The Harrison twins are not close to being overrated.

  44. H.A. Milton
    11:15 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    #39, The question of the missing time out was something Cal put out there to take away from the 15 mistakes his team made prior, and Self’s comments were the equivalent of kicking his team when they are down. Thats classy, but you probably wish UK had Pitino back to class the place up. I concede the point about Rupp Arena’s energy level. But you sound like real Cal hater. The only coach in the game that Cal is comparable to is Coach K, everyone else is just not close. ( I like me some Travis Ford though…the kids got potential)

  45. Dusten
    11:23 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Bill Self Laughs, “definitely”. You need to go to tools on your browser and enable spell check. That would save us all some time. Plus, just quit either pretending to be a UK fan, or quit being the lamest UK fan ever.

  46. Jackson Purchase
    11:39 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    If you watched the game you would understand why his comments are no big deal KU was terrible in the first half last night.

  47. Jeff Garlin
    12:02 pm February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Kansas would have scored more than 13 points in the first half but they ran out of time.

  48. LA
    12:03 pm February 7, 2013 Permalink

    the only reason kansas did not lose to the horned frogs by 50 is they ran out of time.

  49. Diddies from the Book of Self
    1:21 pm February 7, 2013 Permalink

    “We didn’t lose that game, they simply scored more points than we did”