Hearne: KU Scribe Says 2016 Could Be The Big One — Self’s Last?

bill-self-kansasWill one more Final Four, possibly a National Championship be Bill Self’s swan song?

Obviously, that remains to be seen, but according to Lawrence Journal World sports editor and columnist Tom Keegan the table is set for Self’s KU basketball team to to go – you know – all-the-way in 2016.

Or something like that.

In his column, “Kansas Hoops Could be Killer by ’15,” Keegan sketches out a scenario in which, “the hidden beauty of Bill Self’s latest blockbuster recruiting class, separates it from most elite ones…It’s conceivable that every key Kansas player from the 2014-2015 season could return the following season…”

Keegan’s argument:

Cliff Alexander, ranked No. 4 by Rivals.com in the Class of 2014, is on record saying he doesn’t view himself as a one-and-done college basketball player. At 6-foot-8, he’s shorter than most NBA power forwards, so he’ll need the time to figure out how to score against longer defenders, just as Thomas Robinson did.

Kelly Oubre, No. 6 in the class, has an explosive game but could stand to fill out, so he’s not necessarily a one-and-done recruit.

Point guard Devonté Graham, ranked No. 36, projects as a four-year player, as do most who play his position.


Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk Bill Self’s ticket to ride?

The NBA’s age restrictions deny Ukranian sensation Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk from eligibility in the 2015 draft. Sure, he could decide to play professionally in Europe after one year at Kansas, but it’s more likely he’ll be having such a blast he’ll want to stay at KU for at least two years. Plus, a loud sophomore season could mean more to him long-term financially in terms of a shoe contract than a European contract anyway.”

Add to that a cast of strong support players, that includes two additional point guards, two wings and six post players and “Nobody needs to look that far ahead to project KU winning another Big 12 title,” Keegan writes. “The Jayhawks are favored to make it 11 in a row, but could develop into an unstoppable force the following year.”

Raising the obvious question of whether Self’s recruiting masterpiece this year, combined with his young-but-still advancing age (52), and another Final Four and/or National Championship might pave the way for him to escape the fishbowl of tiny Lawrence, Kansas and take his game to the obvious next level.

normstewart-300x200Face it, with Self’s penchant for really nice hairpieces, Botox and an ultra extravagant, expensive clothes and lifestyle, he’s no Norm Stewart. And just as he broke the hearts of an all-star collection of young recruits at Illinois to do the unthinkable and leave for KU 10 years ago, he’s obviously inclined to do what’s best for Bill Self.

Salty IguanaThat’s not so much a criticism of Self as what may be a reasonably good guess as to what direction the driven, ambitious, relatively young coach might take. After all, with the one-and-done nature of college basketball today, coaching in the college ranks is almost like coaching a rookie or minor league NBA team.

Why not take it to the next level and go for an even bigger paycheck and a lifestyle that transcends the small town living that Lawrence affords?

After all, how many times can one eat at 715 and hang out in the bar at Salty Iguana anyway?

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9 Responses to Hearne: KU Scribe Says 2016 Could Be The Big One — Self’s Last?

  1. rkcal says:

    Isn’t this what they said about last season? That’s the trouble with waiting for the “perfect” time. It never comes.

  2. CG says:

    As I wrote this past season, Bill is near the end at KU. He’s done all he can. Ten titles, one national championship, one final four final he lost..on and on. He’d like one more final four and sure a national title to lock up his legacy as the best coach in college or pro in KC history…hell he may already be that now. He is sure college hall of famer. The pros await him…LA, San Antonio, OKC several choices coming up. OKC or San Antonio make the most sense. He will get a couple million dollar raise, more of a big city atmosphere and more attention. Hey the guy is a young 50. Let him enjoy the next ten years or so as an NBA head coach. He did his job at KC and well and long enough.

  3. rkcal says:

    Glaze, I get all that. I just disagree he’s waiting for the perfect time, or to put another title or Final Four on his resume. I think it’s more of waiting for the right NBA opportunity rather than what’s going on at KU now or in the future.

  4. hot harley says:

    he will be tough to win national championship in the next 2 years.
    All the talent doesn’t mean you win the championship.
    With turnover of players who come from different styles it makes it
    hard for them to meld into a national championship.
    bill lost 2 nba players…not sure that any of these new ones are
    sure nba lottery picks like this year.
    and with the big 12/10 basketball being down..they won’t face enough tough
    competition to go far in the big one.
    I think his turnover of talent every year hurts him…he needs to keep
    his players together to be a top tier team.
    Watch out for Kentucky…there’s like 9 nba players on that team and they’re
    going to be hungry.
    and remember how well the taleneted ku team did this year in the ncaa
    keegans a blow hard…a very small town amateur writer from a small small
    PAPER) hardly carries the weight of real experts.
    LJW? come on….we’ll see…but Harley says they beat up on
    small mediocre schedule in big 12/10 then fall apart again without
    a cohesive unit…
    maybe 2015….or even 2017….keegan has never been right…
    check his record.!!!!
    Of course Harley said ku wouldn’t go far in the tournament and looked
    what happened.
    Harley knows!!!!!

    • rkcal says:

      Harley, you may disagree with Keegan, but he’s worked for the NY Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Orange County (L.A.) Register, so he’s hardly a “small town amateur”.

      • hot harley says:

        what…the guy never worked for the PITCH?
        according to hearne that’s like the ny times!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. hot harley says:

    remember glaze said ku would win it all this year and self would be gone!!!!
    WRONG AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m starting to wonder if self really wants the nba. He had a heck of a choice
    this year for great coaching spots including the lakers….and speculation has
    scott taking it right now.
    Self may not be ready for the nba….this year has some incredible teams
    in ncaa with lots and lots of talent…I see ku maybe making top 16/8 if they’re
    lucky. Turnover has not been kind to self (unless he gets lucky!).
    KENTUCKY will be like an nba championship team this year…wow…
    what talent.

  6. Kyle Rohde says:

    Two media people in this town appear to not want the “Bill Self could leave KU someday to coach in the NBA” story to die – Kevin Kietzman and Hearne Christopher. Hearne, you’ve hit this topic time & time again because you feel like Lawrence is such a fishbowl, want some drama, love the clickbait or are dying for a comment like this from me. And this story’s headline is grossly misleading, suggesting that Keegan said 2016 could be Bill Self’s last year, when the story you’re quoting from but didn’t bother to link to (so I’ll do it for you: http://www2.kusports.com/news/2014/may/22/column-kansas-hoops-could-be-killer-15/) doesn’t say a damn thing about that.

    Quit trying to create a story where there isn’t one.

  7. PucKChaser says:

    CG and Hearne are both wrong.
    With the honor of coaching at the University of Kansas, there are drawbacks. One of them is not getting much time to spend with your family. Bill Self put Tyler on the team for many reasons, one of them was to be able to make up for the time he missed when Tyler was a youngster. Tyler has three more years of eligibility, therefore Self will be at KU through at least the 2016-2017 season.

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