Self looking for 'security' from Kansas after winning national title
SAN ANTONIO -- 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.
Wojciechowski: Don't do it
Bill Self has a choice: Enjoy hoops heaven at Kansas or sell out and take Oklahoma State's money. Gene Wojciechowski lends some advice. Story
The details of the Jayhawks' 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 he's interested in the job at his alma mater, which parted ways with Sean Sutton on April 1.
As he has for a week, Self said he plans to meet with Kansas officials soon about a contract extension.
"What I'd like to have is like everybody'd like to have," Self said. "I'd like to have some security. I don't know what even Kansas would remotely be talking [about]. We haven't even talked about that. When I say security, I mean years, so hopefully that'll happen."
Citing factors such as Kansas' rich hoops tradition, Self said, "I'm not looking for more than what Kansas provides on a daily basis."
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 school's athletic department.
Self said he hasn't met Pickens and wasn't familiar with details about Oklahoma State's program. But he drew a chuckle from reporters when he said, "From the outside looking in, it appears that they have great resources."
Kansas fans have become accustomed to a certain amount of anxiety over losing a talented 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.
"He said something that was pretty cool," Self said. "He said, 'You need to get here soon because you've got great seniors. If you don't get out here soon, then they won't get a chance to come because they'll all split and go different ways.'"
The veteran-laden Jayhawks will likely lose junior Brandon Rush, who declared himself eligible for the NBA draft last year but returned to campus after injuring his knee.
"I would anticipate losing five great seniors and possibly a couple more," Self said.
Player turnover is common in college basketball. The bigger question is whether Self will be back.
He said he hadn't heard from the Cowboys but would talk to them if they call.
"I would answer the phone," Self said. "Good gosh, I know all those people. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not going to answer the phone. But I certainly wouldn't answer the phone unless everybody at Kansas knew exactly what was going on."
Self said he's "positively not interested" in the Oklahoma State job but added that he wants to sit down with Kansas administrators.
"I'm sure we'll meet and iron some things out," he said.
Asked what he considers important when he evaluates a job, Self replied, "I've got the best job. I have tradition and history and I love the people I work with. It's a great place to recruit to and my family's happy. I've got the best job, so I'm not evaluating anything else. I'm really not."
Ten days ago, Self had been considered one of the finer coaches who hadn't 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 Jayhawks' ticket to San Antonio.
On Monday night, Chalmers' shot fell and Self soon had a national title on his resume. Still, he said he didn't think of himself as a different coach.
"I don't think just because a guy makes a guarded shot with 2.1 seconds left makes me any different than if he hadn't made the shot," Self said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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