Jayhawks Assistant: This Was The Best Coaching Job Of Bill Self's Career

"Nobody expected this team to be in it at the end"

Tiki and Tierney
March 27, 2018 - 5:17 pm

USA Today Images

Categories: 

Bill Self is a pretty stoic guy. He doesn’t show his emotion, and he keeps things close to the vest.

But after leading No. 1 Kansas to an 85-81 overtime win over No. 2 Duke on Sunday to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2012, Self couldn’t help it. He became emotional addressing his team in the locker room, saying this is the best he’s ever felt about a particular team.

“I thought 2012 – when we made the championship game against Kentucky with basically six scholarship guys and a walk-on as our next guy off the bench – was his best coaching job,” Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said on Tiki and Tierney. “But I truly believe in my heart this is the best job he’s ever done. Nobody expected this team to be in it at the end.”

Kansas (31-7) lost three home games this year. The Jayhawks had lost three homes games in the previous five seasons combined.

“They were talking about us not even be able to win our league,” said Townsend, who has been on staff at Kansas since 2004. “So I think for coach, it put a lot of pressure on him. They say if you put pressure on somebody, it shows your true character. I think he put a lot of pressure on himself to make sure this team reached its ceiling. And I think the relief for him was that he got this team to play as close to their ceiling as they could so far. Like he said, everything else they could do is just gravy.”

Kansas will face No. 1 Villanova (34-4) in the Final Four this Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET.

“You go down there and roll the dice and see if you could be the best team in the country,” Townsend said. “They’ve done a lot of good things, but for them to get to this point, I think that’s what all the emotion came from. He’s a pretty stoic guy, and I know he was really, really happy – but more than happy for himself, I think he was happy for our guys and proud of how far they’ve come."