Kansas Jayhawks: Four Unbelievable Facts from the Self Era

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Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number one overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No Starters, No Problems

One of the most impressive aspects regarding the success the Jayhawks have experienced during the Self era, is the fact they have continued to win despite losing players early nearly every season.

In 12 years, Self’s had 17 of his recruited players drafted by the NBA, 10 of whom were lottery picks, and 13 were underclassmen.

In 2008 he lost four of his five starters (Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, and Mario Chalmers) to the draft, one to graduation (Russell Robinson), and a reserve (Sasha Kaun) to the draft as well.

The next season, they came within a few possessions of the Elite Eight.

Last year he lost Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to the NBA lottery.

All he did was win a 11th straight conference championship.

Year in and year out Self loses players early and has to “rebuild.” Except his idea of rebuilding is 25 wins and a Sweet 16 appearance.

Other coaches lose players early (see Kentucky), but Self has lost his entire starting lineup three times (2006, 2009, and 2014), yet the Jayhawks earned a conference championship trophy each succeeding season.

Head Coach John Calipari and the Wildcats actually missed the NCAA Tournament completely in 2013 while reloading, something Self has never done while in Lawrence.

Some have tried to downgrade what the veteran coach has accomplished, comparing the Jayhawks to Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves of the 90’s and early 2000’s, who won 14 consecutive division championships, and just one World Series title.

However, there are roughly 300 Division I basketball teams who aren’t feeling sorry for Self and Kansas.

If only they could all underachieve so well.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Naming the All-Bill Self KU Teams

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