When you’ve been as dominant within conference play as the Kansas Jayhawks have been over the past decade-plus, you’d think it be difficult to maintain the high level of motivation it takes to capture a 13th consecutive conference championship. However, head coach Bill Self joined The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday and said it’s actually quite easy considering their goals go far beyond winning Big 12 championships. Self and the Jayhawks are looking to win national championships.
“First of all we haven’t accomplished near as much as what we think we should have,” Self said. “We’ve had some good players here and we’ve come up short in the NCAA Tournament and certainly multiple times where we felt like that maybe that team would have a realistic shot at cutting down nets again. So that’s always the motivation.”
Although the 2-time AP Coach of the Year doesn’t take his dozen conference titles for granted, he is just seeking that one of a kind feeling he had from winning the national championship in 2008.
“I love the conference championships streaks and certainly this team is motivated, because it doesn’t want to be the one that doesn’t do it. I mean, it’s going to be very difficult to do it. As you can see, there are some teams that are off to great starts in our league,” Self said.
Throughout his prestigious coaching career, Self has coached some incredible freshman, and this season is no different with Josh Jackson, who Self puts with the best he has ever coached. The 53-year-old compared Jackson to former star Andrew Wiggins, the NBA’s number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“I think he just understands the game,” Self said of Jackson. “Wigs may be a little more explosive because he was freakishly explosive, and maybe he could shoot a little bit more consistently well and do some things, but Josh, he’s a very competitive guy that he wants to be and he’s got great vision, and probably what he does best is pass, and that’s a pretty unique trait for somebody as big as him that can get a rebound and the best outlet pass for him is to bring it.
“He likes making the game easier for others, and defensively, he’s getting close to the point where he’s becoming kind of a dog defensively where he can be a lock down defender. But he understands the game, he’s been well taught and has great feel. Now there’s some things he’s got to do better obviously, he’s got to get where he shoots it better or more consistently and those sorts of things, but he’s working at that, but just as far as somebody that can play the game, I think he plays it as well as anybody we’ve had.”