Bill Self drew mixed reactions from his postgame comments after Kansas Jayhawks loss

College basketball fans didn't know how to feel after Bill Self's odd choice of wording in his postgame press conference.
Gonzaga v Kansas
Gonzaga v Kansas / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

The end of the Kansas basketball season was not a pretty sight for Jayhawks fans. Gonzaga sent Bill Self and his team packing after a second-half rout propelled the Bulldogs to their ninth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.

It was not a very good season for KU standards, as the Jayhawks lost more games than they ever had since Coach Self took the job in 2003. An up-and-down year saw Kansas begin the year on top as the preseason No. 1 team, yet the end result was a second straight Round of 32 exit after winning a National Championship in 2022.

After the loss, Self spoke at the podium in his postgame press conference and said something that raised lots of eyebrows in the college basketball community. Here is the full quote, followed by what media outlets tried to push out to the public:

“For the last month, I’ve been thinking about next season, to be honest,” Self said. “Not in the moments during the game. But, obviously, we had eight guys on scholarship that were healthy there late. Injuries are part of the game, so that’s not an excuse. But we could have done a much better job as a staff putting more guys out there that we could play. So that’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time.”

The first handful of words there were what everyone zoned in on. Understandably, some people were upset at his comments, as they suggested that he was planning for the offseason rather than focusing on the current group he has to make a deep March Madness run.

"Ole Billy’s been introspective and checked out since KU’s last title. Now that everyone can pay players I think he’s a lot less interested in being competitive at the top. Just cashing pay checks until he retires," someone wrote.

"I'm sure this year's seniors appreciate that," one commenter said.

"How do current KU players not hear this and hit the portal?" one person asked. "He was clearly not all in on THIS team. Yet, I bet they asked all these kids to be all in."

ESPN analyst and former Wooden Award winner Jay Williams also offered his opinion on Self's comments. "“Knowing Bill, I understand Bill, but I think when you lead your line, or whatever you’re articulating, that’s the wrong way to do it,” Williams said. “That, in essence, kind of throws your team under the bus.

“It makes a former player think that you kind of checked out on the team even though I know that not to be the case, because I am a former player," he continued. "But, I think the way that translates to the public, it sends the wrong message. And I think if Bill could do that again, I think he would do that differently.”

There is no denying that Self could have conveyed what he was communicating in a more effective fashion. But at the end of the day, people love to take things out of context. Self and the rest of his coaching staff can truly focus on the offseason now that the season is over.