Kansas basketball had its worst season in over a decade, failing to win the Big 12 for the first time since Bill Self's first season with the Jayhawks. Still, rumors persist about his future at the school.
Self has been at the center of NBA coaching rumors off and on for a while. This year, the Bulls vacancy is the one that he's been connected to recently.
At Kansas basketball's end-of-season banquet on Tuesday night, Self wanted to make it known that he is not interested. He said this year has reinvigorated his desire to win with Kansas basketball.
Bill Self says that he told Jeff Long and the administration that he has no desire to leave Kansas for the NBA, and looks forward to another contract extension.
“As soon as the NBA rumors came out, I went to our administration and said, ‘Hey, just so you know, I’m not going anywhere,’” Self explained. “And I certainly would not go anywhere right now at all. … Whenever there were rumors — and that’s what they are, rumors, with no basis behind any of them — that I was not going to be the coach here because I was going to a different place or (would) not be around because of the NCAA or whatever, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve still got three years left on my deal and hopefully, sometime between now and the end of that, there’ll be some talks about re-upping that. But I’m totally happy right now and I’m not going anywhere. Anywhere. I’ll be the coach at Kansas next year.”
Long spoke as well, and railed against those who might use the NBA rumors to negatively recruit against the Jayhawks.
“There is no one better to lead our program now and in the future than coach Bill Self,” Long said. “We have all heard the rumors about Coach Self leaving us. I’ve heard them. Bill’s heard them and we’ve talked about it. Bill has addressed the speculation with the media and with others who have used the rumors to negatively impact our recruiting. Well, I’ve got news for those (people). That tactic won’t work. These are just rumors. … Chancellor (Doug) Girod and I are thrilled that Bill Self and (wife) Cindy are the leaders of our basketball program, winning championships in the right way as he has done for the last 16 years. And we are planning for him to lead this program for many, many more years.”
Self and Kansas have some serious work ahead of them, with what will likely be a very different-looking roster. Star forward Dedric Lawson, and guards Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson are all entering their names in the NBA Draft, though they have the option to withdraw. Lagerald Vick's KU career is done, as is Silvio De Sousa's in all likelihood, barring a reversal of his two year NCAA suspension. Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson intend to transfer, and Udoka Azubuike, who lost most of his season to injury, is yet to make a call on his future, though he seems like a candidate to test the draft waters as well.