Jeff Goodman of ESPN conducted a survey of college coaches a few months ago, asking them to name the best of their peers in a number of categories, including the best recruiters and the best coaches with the X’s and the O’s. This time, Goodman surveyed more than 50 NBA sources to determine what they think on the topic of what current college coaches would be the best at running a team on the NBA level.
Goodman’s findings determined that the Kansas Jayhawks’ head coach, Bill Self, would be the first choice ahead of all other collegiate coaches. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski was second, followed by Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State, Billy Donovan of Florida, and Tom Izzo from Michigan State.
According to one of Goodman’s NBA sources from his ESPN article:
“He does everything well — player relations, game plan, booster/press/corporate, and has a big-time presence,” said one source. “I also think he is smart enough to know that he can’t be as hard on guys as he is in practice in the NBA.”
Kansas fans all know these things about Self, but none like the thought of him in the NBA. When he was named the second best recruiter in Goodman’s survey of 250 college coaches, Jayhawks fans were happy. When Self was named as the fourth best X’s and O’s coach in the college game, it wasn’t anything the Kansas faithful didn’t already know.
The results of this particular poll won’t help Kansas fans rest comfortably. Many fear it is only a matter of time before Self accepts the challenge and takes a job at the next level. There is an underlying nervousness for many fans even as Kansas welcomes possibly its most talented recruiting class ever.
With less than two weeks before the unofficial start of the college basketball season with “Late Nate at the Phog” on Friday, October 4th, no one wants to hear their beloved coach is being coveted by those who manage and own NBA franchises. Kansas fans want to be be dreaming of their first glimpses of Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, and Joel Embiid in their Kansas uniforms.
No fans want to think about Self bolting for the NBA. No wants to see their beloved coach, who is 300-59 in just 10 seasons at Kansas, leave this school.
Self has done nothing to calm the nerves of his fans. He seldom ducks questions on the subject, and is honest in the fact he has thought about the challenge of pitting himself against the best in the world. Even if he is happy at Kansas, and there is little doubt the topic has crossed his mind.
At this point, all Jayhawk faithful can do is cheer for the man and his teams to do well, and hope the love he feels in Lawrence is enough to keep him at the University of Kansas. Jeff Goodman can stop posting his surveys’ result now.