Self seeking ësecurityí after winning title
By Andrew Bagnato
SAN ANTONIO ó Kansas coach Bill Self slept for less than an hour after the Jayhawks stunned Memphis in one of the more memorable finals in NCAA tournament history, wrapping up their first national title in 20 years.
The details of the Jayhawksí 75-68 overtime victory will soon be etched in Kansas lore. After Memphis missed a series of free throws, Kansas guard Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to send the game to overtime, where the Jayhawks overwhelmed the Tigers.
Now Kansas fans may begin losing sleep over whether their coach is headed for Oklahoma State. Less than 12 hours after cutting down the nets, a bleary-eyed Self returned to the Alamodome on Tuesday morning and faced questions about whether heís interested in the job at his alma mater, which parted ways with Sean Sutton on
As he has for a week, Self said he plans to meet with Kansas officials soon about a contract extension.
iWhat Iíd like to have is like everybodyíd like to have,î Self said. iIíd like to have some security. I donít know what even Kansas would remotely be talking (about). We havenít even talked about that. When I say security, I mean years, so hopefully thatíll happen.î
Citing factors such as Kansasí rich hoops tradition, Self said, iIím not looking for more than what Kansas provides on a daily basis.î
The school gave Self a five-year contract extension last season, increasing his annual compensation to more than $1.3 million with a chance to make another $350,000 each year if he meets incentives.
But Self could likely command far more money from Oklahoma State, whose billionaire alumnus Boone Pickens, gave $165 million to the schoolís athletic department.
Self said he hasnít met Pickens and wasnít familiar with details about Oklahoma Stateís program. But he drew a chuckle from reporters when he said, iFrom the outside looking in, it appears that they have great resources.î
Kansas fans have become accustomed to a certain amount of anxiety over losing a talent coach. Roy Williams flirted with, and eventually left for, his alma mater, North Carolina.
Kansas followers exulted when their team defeated Williams and the Tar Heels in the national semifinals, but Williams turned up at the final wearing a Jayhawks sticker on his shirt.
Self awoke Tuesday morning to a congratulatory call from President Bush, who invited the Jayhawks to visit the White House.
iHe said something that was pretty cool,î Self said. iHe said, íYou need to get here soon because youíve got great seniors. If you donít get out here soon, then they wonít get a chance to come because theyíll all split and go different ways.í i
The veteran-laden Jayhawks likely will lose junior Brandon Rush, who declared himself eligible for the NBA draft last year but returned to campus after injuring his knee.
iI would anticipate losing five great seniors and possibly a couple more,î Self said.
Player turnover is common in college basketball. The bigger question is whether Self will be back.
He said he hadnít heard from the Cowboys but would talk to them if they call.
iI would answer the phone,î Self said. iGood gosh, I know all those people. Iím not going to lie and say Iím not going to answer the phone. But I certainly wouldnít answer the phone unless everybody at Kansas knew exactly what was going on.î
Self said heís ipositively not interestedî in the Oklahoma State job but added that he wants to sit down with Kansas administrators. iIím sure weíll meet and iron some things out,î he said.
Asked what he considers important when he evaluates a job, Self replied, iIíve got the best job. I have tradition and history and I love the people I work with. Itís a great place to recruit to and my familyís happy. Iíve got the best job, so Iím not evaluating anything else. Iím really not.î
Ten days ago, Self had been considered one of the finer coaches who hadnít reached the Final Four. Then one desperation 3-pointer missed and another swished.
In the regional final, Davidson missed the potential winning shot from beyond the arc, stamping the Jayhawksí ticket to San Antonio.
On Monday night, Chalmersí shot fell and Self soon had a national title on his resume. Still, he said he didnít think of himself as a different coach.
iI donít think just because a guy makes a guarded shot with 2.1 seconds left makes me any different than if he hadnít made the shot,î Self said.
By Leigha Hougland and Kaitlyn Cuevas For The Salisbury Post Imagine yourself on stage in front of thousands of screaming... read more