Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Bill Self

April 16, 2003 Columns No Comments

Decisions, Decisions . . .

by Phil Kasiecki

Roy Williams decided not to pass up the chance this time. He turned down the chance to become the head coach at his alma mater three years ago, but didn’t pass on it this time. In both cases, he felt it was the right thing.

With Williams leaving Kansas to take the head coaching job at North Carolina, the coaching carousel could get very interesting in the next few weeks. Right now, the spotlight appears to be on Bill Self, the current head coach at Illinois. According to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, Self is clearly the top candidate for the opening at Kansas.

Self has won at every stop he’s made since becoming a head coach, compiling a 207-105 record in ten seasons. He won consistently at Oral Roberts when it was an independent school, which led to him getting the head coaching job at Tulsa. He followed in the footsteps of another successful coach, Tubby Smith, and the Golden Hurricanes remained one of the best borderline high-major schools as they joined the WAC. Included in his three-year stint was a 32-5 season in 1999-2000, when he led Tulsa to the Elite Eight and set a school record for victories in a season.

Self became the head coach at Illinois the following season, and the team has won 78 games in his three seasons as the Illini head coach. He became the school’s first head coach to reach 50 wins in his first two seasons, and the seniors who graduate this year won more games (100) in their careers than any other class in the school’s history. This year, Self had a team that needed freshmen to come through in the backcourt, and he got that as well as a great senior season from Brian Cook. The Illini won 25 games and the Big Ten Tournament with a team not expected to contend, and Self re-affirmed his place among the coaching elite in the country.

Now, the 40 year-old coach will have a decision to make. He will be the top candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Kansas, a school where he began his coaching career as an assistant in 1985-86. After that year, he spent seven seasons at Oklahoma State as an assistant before his head coaching experience, so the Big 12 won’t be new territory for him.

While Kansas may be one of the top jobs in college basketball, this decision isn’t a no-brainer for Self. Illinois loses Cook and just one other senior who played significant minutes (Sean Harrington), bringing back its starting backcourt and key sophomores Roger Powell, Luther Head and Nick Smith. The Illini also have an excellent recruiting class coming in, led by McDonald’s All-American combo forward Charlie Villanueva (if he doesn’t declare for the draft as he is reportedly considering). The Illini will also welcome two top 50 prospects with local ties in Richard McBride, a strong shooting guard with unlimited range from Springfield, and Brian Randle, a very skilled combo forward from Peoria. For good measure, Self also got one of the better prospects in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in combo forward Warren Carter, who has a lot of potential to reach once he starts to fill out his frame. Additionally, the Illini are the likely leaders for 6’6″ point guard Shaun Livingston, one of the top five players in the deep class of 2004 and the best friend of Randle.

Kansas will have the talent to make another deep NCAA Tournament run despite losing two key seniors in Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich. If Self becomes the new head coach, there’s no reason to think they can’t do it given the returning talent and his track record. And if he becomes the head coach, the coaching carousel may get much more interesting in the next couple of weeks.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018 by

We’re halfway through the regional finals, and a wild season of college basketball continues apace quite appropriately.

College Basketball Tonight – March 19, 2018

March 20, 2018 by

We discuss the wild early rounds of the NCAA Tournament, joined by special guest Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal for one segment. In addition, we touch on coaching news and other issues surrounding the college game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.