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Lzen
10-13-2004, 01:51 PM
Published Wednesday, October 13, 2004

KU's Self discusses hiring practices at expo

By Michael Hooper
The Capital-Journal

University of Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self says he is disorganized, computer illiterate and not a detail guy.

To make up for those weaknesses, he said, he deliberately hires people who have skills and expertise in areas that he lacks.

"Align yourself with people you like, but who are different from you," Self told about 300 people at a breakfast this morning at the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce business expo at the Kansas Expocentre.

In assembling his coaching staff at KU, Self said he didn't necessarily hire buddies but that he did hire people he liked because he knew they would spend a great deal of time together.

He said he has only accepted one invitation to eat dinner with a booster because he would rather spend days off with his wife, Cindy, and children, Lauren and Tyler.

Self said he has the best job in the world but said the 2003-04 basketball season, his first season as KU's head basketball coach, "sucked" in some respects because the team was dealing with health and transition problems. Players were getting used to him, he was getting adjusted to them, his wife was getting adjusted to Lawrence and he was making new connections to Kansas.

Part of the challenge in Kansas is the bar is so set so high for KU basketball, said Self, who replaced Roy Williams.

"It was almost unrealistic," Self said. "These kids have never known anything but playing in the Final Four. They've never known anything but being patted on the back and being told how great they are."

Losing to Richmond at home last year and getting embarrassed by Nebraska in Lincoln were ultimately good for the team, he said.

"We had to get hard and toughen up," he said. "Last year was a springboard for the future. We righted the ship."

Last year, he said, there were three or four teams who were better than KU. This year, he said, there is not going to be any team that is better.

He said he is looking forward to the men's and women's basketball teams' 22nd annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.

When asked how he toughens up team members, he said he makes players do things they don't want to do. They have to run a little farther and longer than they expect. He implements a lot of drills, such as lost-ball drills. He teaches players always to handle the ball with two hands. You don't see many lost balls when a player has both hands on the ball, he said.

"I'm scared to death of injuries, but we never talk about them," Self said.

He said he plays a certain style of ball that will give the team a chance to win in March.

Last year, the team went 24-9 and made the Final Eight.

He said he likes being ranked high in the polls because it helps in recruiting and gets people excited.

When asked how he gets a person like Jeff Graves -- a player Self inherited and then had to discipline for repeated tardiness -- to do what he wants, he said, "you don't."

"I love Jeff Graves," he said. "But he wasn't as responsive as I would have liked."

When asked who were his mentors, he said in addition to his father, he learned more working for former KU coach Larry Brown in eight months than he did in all the years he has worked as a coach elsewhere. He said Brown is the best basketball coach in the world.

Link (http://www.cjonline.com/stories/101304/bre_kuself.shtml)

ROYC75
10-13-2004, 01:57 PM
Last year, he said, there were three or four teams who were better than KU. This year, he said, there is not going to be any team that is better.

We knew this, now he knows, I can't hardly wait for this year to unfold ! :thumb:

Skip Towne
10-13-2004, 02:11 PM
We knew this, now he knows, I can't hardly wait for this year to unfold ! :thumb:
The only bad part is having Saul "bandwagon" badguy pressing his nose up against the glass wanting in.

Saulbadguy
10-13-2004, 02:25 PM
The only bad part is having Saul "bandwagon" badguy pressing his nose up against the glass wanting in.
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I hope I don't ruin it for ya...