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January 3, 2013On Wednesday night Kansas coach Bill Self conducted his weekly radio show Hawk Talk with Bob Davis. Here's a recap of what Self said.
Self on the Missouri Valley Conference and possibly playing Wichita State
The Missouri Valley is a great league. There isn't any question about that. They've ended our season twice since I have been here. Bradley had a terrific team and Northern Iowa had a terrific team. It's a good league and Wichita State has had a good year. I don't know if playing them is going to be something that is going to happen and I haven't totally eliminated that from my thoughts, but I am not interested in scheduling a game with anybody unless it benefits us.
Right now it's not on the table to play a home and home with Wichita State. That doesn't mean I couldn't change over time. That certainly isn't a knock towards Wichita State. I have a respect for what their program is doing. I am going to schedule with what's best for Kansas not some people in the area that want us to play the game. That might not be a very popular answer but that's the way it is right now but that could change but not in the immediate future.
Self on the best places to coach and play
I would say Allen is number one bt a long shot. I don't know if there is anything comparable to it. I think for one or two nights I think there are places out there in America that rival Allen Fieldhouse. You can't say when it's Duke against Carolina or at Michigan State against Michigan or Indiana against Illinois. You can't say that there are places that rival Allen Fieldhouse, there's no question. But night in and night out is what makes Allen Fieldhouse so great is the crowd we get against Richmond or American is as good of a crowd as against Iowa State or Texas. It's just a way of life here. It would rank number one.
I think K-State's home crowd when we go there is a great home crowd. Probably the loudest place I have been besides our place was when I was at Illinois my second year there and we played against Indiania the year they went on to the national championship game, there was no reason to try and talk. It was good but from a consistent basis there's no place like Allen Fieldhouse.
Self on when he knew he wanted to be a coach
Most kids when they go to college they have aspirations of playing past college and I never really did. I knew that I was limited.
I didn't really want to coach. I started in business education. I said I am not going to coach and not going to coach. I see how much time consuming it is with relation to my father and all the coaches that I have seen with the stress. I am going to go into business and make a lot of money doing who knows what. I had no idea.
I got my degree in business. I got an opportunity to come here as a graduate assistant and when I got here it was over. I knew there was nothing else I would be as happy doing than trying to coach guys.
Self on how he controlled his emotions after winning the '08 title game
I think everyone reacts differently under different situations. I was probably more overwhelmed than anything else. It probably doesn't matter what your trade is or what you do, athletics is a little different because of the competition and the intensity that goes into to winning, but there is competition in all jobs. Whatever the pinnacle is in your profession I think you reach a certain way or you become overwhelmed. If you are into Vince Lombardi or read his famous speech and what it really means is to work your heart out for a good cause and to defeat your opponent and have a peace about yourself that you did something with a group of others that you set out to do. Jack Ramsay that after he won the world championship his greatest moment was getting in a lake and swimming and realizing that everything he worked for his whole life had come to a point where he can sit at the top of the mountain top. I never thought I was emotional until the Missouri game last year. It just happens. That's one of the great things about sports is it brings out so many different emotions from people because everybody is affected and responds differently.
Self on the best communicators on the court
The older guys do a good job of talking with the younger guys for the most part. Kevin is a good talker and so is Naadir and Elijah is getting better. Those are probably our three best communicators on the court.
Self on the improvement of Naadir Tharpe
He's playing well in practice and he is comfortable. I think he is playing at a level he hasn't played at since he has been here. I have seen him get better. Earlier in his career I thought he would be capable of being a good backup and have a chance to play major minutes going forward. I think he is a little ahead of schedule based on what we had when we recruited him. His attitude is so good. I go through phases with all the guys and they go through phases with me where you like what you see and then you don't like what you see. It takes a while to get it back. I haven't been easy on Naadir by any stretch but looking back now he deserved to be getting on because look what he is capable of doing. He wasn't doing it before which means somebody wasn't getting it out of him and that's me so I actually like where he is. I think Perry is playing pretty well right now in practice and in games. He's more comfortable and confident. Jamari is making positive strides in that area. I think some good things are taking place.