One would think, given the very-lightly precedented run that Bill Self is currently on, that the talk of the town might be focused on KU's startling achievements this year so far and speculation about where this team can go. But it's not. Before I unpack the contrived controversy a bit more, I'll bring nose more attention to something that's being missed.
Four coaches in history have done what you are watching Bill Self do right now - 7 straight conference titles with a National Championship to boot. Their names are
Adolf Rupp (Streak started 14th season) Jerry Tarkanian (Streak started 10th season) John Wooden (Streak started 19th season) Bill Self (Streak started 2nd season)
Some people are noticing. Jay Bilas joked on Twitter today that Bill Self never comes in second. Frank Martin, whom I admire and enjoy more each day, glowed about how hard it is to win one conference, let alone 7 a row. This is especially true in the one and done era, when high level coaches face so much lineup uncertainty from year to year.
So while Self quietly does something that guys named Smith, Williams (either one of them), Calhoun, Knight, Kryzewski, Lute, and Beheim have never approached doing, the attention in the media, particularly the bear-baiting carnival that is sports talk radio, turns to Self's supposed mishandling of Josh Selby.
Nick Wright in particular has been critical, devoting a tepid column and hours of airtime to the issue this week. Wright doesn't realize it, but in a week or so, he's going to have a Hans-Gruber-realizing-he's-falling-out-of-a-building moment as he faces that he's burned up his access to the biggest college show in town trying to pick an unwinnable fight with the most consistently successful coach in college basketball.
First, the season's not over yet, and Selby's still going to have a chance to contribute. Can he contribute in a game where he walks in and promptly turns the ball over three times? Probaly not. Can he contribute if he fails to attempt to do what only he on this team can do by creating his own shot? Not meaningfully.
Self wins. His team gets it. Selby I suspect, gets it.
Self, and everyone else on the team, will give Selby the stage, but when it's his, Josh needs to realize that his history is his own to make. If he makes mistakes getting to the hole, he's not going to get pulled. If he doesn't even try to get there, he will.
Show isn't over yet folks, so let's not start recriminating as if it is.