Bilas: Bill Self is Coach of the Year Candidate

Personally, I find the subtle but dramatic transition from free to subscription that ESPN has made over the last 24 months a little bit irritating, but there's some stuff in there that's probably worth subscribing for (when the ESPN talking heads aren't yammering on endlessly about the wondrous splendor that is East Coast Basketball), and this is some of that. There's more from Bilas on the Hawks here, but this is is a nice sample:

Coach of the Year:

It seems accepted that Bruce Pearl and John Thompson are the front-runners for coach of the year. Well, I have another name for you:

How about Bill Self of Kansas?

After a start that had everyone wringing hands and losing sleep, Self has guided his team past the toddler stage and has Kansas looking like a solid tourney team and a threat. The Jayhawks do not have go-to guys, but they do have great balance and guys who can take over for stretches.

More important, the Jayhawks defend. Kansas is holding opponents under 40 percent from the field, which leads the Big 12 and is among the best in the nation.

More and more of the big media folk are starting to notice KU. We're still young enough that I don't feel comfortable removing the plastic, urine-proof matress cover from the proverbial bed, I feel pretty good about this team's chances 4 weeks from now.

Thanks to PB reader Gen for the info.