Making his first open remarks since getting a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA on Monday, Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self said he didn’t think the looming NCAA circumstance would be a diversion for his team and that rather it would motivate him.
“I do think it could become that if I’m not very mature about it,” Self said Thursday after the Jayhawks’ first official routine with regards to the 2019-20 season. “But I plan on being very mature about this. And I plan on coaching this team better and harder than any team I’ve had here at Kansas.”
“I don’t see it as being a distraction at all from a player standpoint, and I see it as being a gift to me, from a personal standpoint, that it’ll motivate me in a pretty competitive way.”
KU on Monday got a 20-page record from the NCAA claiming three Level 1 violations, an absence of institutional control and a charge of coach’s duty, all of which convey extreme disciplines that could affect the future of the Kansas program.
In any case, Self, who addressed his team about the normal NOA before Monday’s notice showed up, said the concentration for this group, right now, was on the up and coming season.
“It’s kind of been business as usual to be honest,” he said. “And today it was really good to get on the court, and guys worked their tails off. We had a very good first day.”
Approached straightforwardly what message he had for the Kansas fan base, Self said he would not blame anybody for being worried about what may occur later on.
“But I don’t think it should take away one bit from what’s getting ready to happen this year,” he included. “And that’s putting a team on the floor that’s going to be awfully fun to watch and support. I think that we’re going to have a terrific basketball team and this team, like any player that’s played here, has represented this university in a very first-class way and they deserve to be supported.”
The Jayhawks themselves were brought together in their belief that the NCAA’s case against Kansas would not be a diversion.
“Seeing all that in the news and stuff it obviously brings us more motivation to work harder and that’s what’s keeping our drive up,” sophomore watchman Ochai Agbaji said Thursday.
Included junior guard Marcus Garrett: “We don’t even think about it, honestly. We just keep our days going, keep having fun.”
Self said he imagined that approach would be simple for his players since none of them are straightforwardly associated with the NCAA’s charges or KU’s reaction.
“They know that we’ve got this,” Self said. “They do. And they’re not involved, so if they’re not involved there’s no reason that they should burn any energy thinking about this.”
Senior focus Udoka Azubuike said that frame of mind enabled the group to keep up its concentration and stay certain that things will work out.
“Coach is handling everything,” Azubuike said. “And I don’t have too much to say about it. I just leave it to coach. Right now it’s time for us to be together as one and just work together. It’s going to be on the news, it’s going to be on social media and we don’t have to focus on that. We’ve just got to be together. It’s really a big distraction right now for the outside world, and we’ve just got to come together as a family and focus on getting better and being our best and don’t let the outside distractions affect what we have planned.”
That, obviously, is to put a team on the floor that can battle for Big 12 and national championships, and that work authoritatively started Thursday with the main genuine routine with regards to the season.
Self said he was “very encouraged” about the exertion his players put in and the center they exhibited all through training.
“I’d say energy, effort, also execution,” he said. “It wasn’t great, obviously, but it wasn’t awful by any stretch. There’s been days where the walls got as much practice catching the ball as hands did, and that was only the case a few times today. I just thought we looked better and we looked like we were a year older.”
From numerous points of view, jumping into the basketball portion of his present the truth is simply the least demanding activity on the grounds that, as he said about the NCAA claims on Thursday, “I’ve never experienced anything like this.”
“No time is the best time (for allegations from the NCAA), but I am real excited about this team’s abilities and their motivation to try to do some special things this year,” Self said.
With respect to the help he got from KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long, who both supported their head basketball coach through solid statements on Monday night, Self made it obvious their consolation was invited.
“I feel good about it,” he said. “I can’t speak for them, but I’m appreciative of the way the school has handled this situation and I’m appreciative of the way it’ll be handled moving forward.”