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Kansas Basketball 50 in 50, No. 9: Bill Self is Awesome


50 in 50 is a feature here at RCT counting down until the Jayhawks kick off the 2011 basketball season on November first. Got an idea for something you'd like to see featured here? tweet @rockchalktalk or @fetch9 or email me at fetch9 at gmail dot com.

Last week I took a look at what HCBS has done on the court in terms of resisting the pull of parity, and how he might eventually be one of the best coaches ever. For today's post I would just like to share just how special of a person Coach Self is.

I got an email from a Kansas fan awhile back regarding a trip he took to Allen Fieldhouse, and under the condition of anonymity I was given the go ahead to share his or her e-mail with the RCT community. Take it away, reader:

After touring the basketball facilities on Saturday, we were walking back to the Naismith Room for a meeting and just happened to catch Coach Self on his way to his office. As he always does, he stops and takes the time to ask how we are doing and if we enjoyed the tour. He also asks if we got to see his office (knowing darn good and well that we had not), and when we tell him this he asks if we would like to see his office. Of course we do.

Anyway, he shows us around the basketball office, including the trophy room, and then into his office.

As you can imagine, his office is filled with every type of hardware, photo and memorabilia that you can possibly imagine from the Boss to former President Bush.

He then tells us that his most prized possession is a framed photo from the 2008 Final Four. The photo depicts Darnell Jackson, Sherron Collins, Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough all going after a loose ball. He points out that Lawson and Hansbrough each have one hand on the ball and one foot on the floor. He also points out that Collins and Jackson have both hands on the ball and no feet on the floor. He says that "my guys wanted it more."

I'll let you all draw your own conclusions to this story but for me the two takeaways are that Coach Self really appreciates the opportunity he has to do something special at Kansas and he appreciates all of the fans and goes out of his way to make sure he does all he can for the fans. Regarding the photo, it doesn't surprise me one bit that HCBS would have that framed vs. a picture of Mario's shot. He's always been a team kind of guy and has proven time and time again that regardless of whether he has a lot of guys back or a lot of early departures, a lot of star recruits or more role players, transfers, etc. it doesn't matter. He just wins.