Bill Self said he’s doing well after health issues kept him from coaching Kansas in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments last month, reiterating Wednesday that he has no plans to walk away from the Jayhawks any time soon.
Self, 60, spoke to reporters for the first time since March 8, when he went to the emergency room after a conference tournament final practice. He complained of chest tightness and concerns about his balance and had two stents placed to help treat blocked arteries at the University of Kansas Health System.
“To be honest, I haven’t done much since the Big 12 tournament,” Self said. “But I exercise almost daily. I don’t know if you believe this: I was told that I need to improve my diet and exercise more.”
Self added: “But I feel good. My energy level is probably back to where it was before the episode, but I think not where it’s getting ready to go. I think sometimes we don’t realize we’re not feeling good until we we actually feel good and we know the difference. And I’m in the process of feeling good again, so I’m excited about that.”
Veteran assistant Norm Roberts guided the Jayhawks to the Big 12 title game, where they lost to Texas. They still received a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, thanks to their regular-season Big 12 championship and strong schedule, and easily beat Howard in the first round before losing 72-71 to eighth-seeded Arkansas in the Second round.
Self helped hold practices during both games of the NCAA tournament, but chose not to practice on the day of the game.
“I was never afraid of not being well. But it was a different feeling,” he said. “I’m sure many have had it, but it was kind of like an out-of-body experience where you don’t really know what’s going on. You have no control over what’s going on. So it was something I’d never experienced before, but it was never to the point where I felt like I was in danger.”
Self acknowledged that the health scare made him reevaluate his future as a coach.
“I think in the last few weeks I’ve been able to reflect on a lot of things,” he said. “The one thing I can tell you without a doubt: I missed my job. I love my job and I want to do my job for a long time. That’s the positive.”
“Now,” Self said, “in order for me to be effective doing that, I think I have to wake up a little bit and maybe do some things from a lifestyle standpoint, a personal habit standpoint, which I’ve been very, very, very inconsistent with my entire adult life. And I jokingly said this before, can you imagine a doctor telling you to lose weight, eat right, and exercise? I’ve been told that for a long time, but I’m taking it seriously for the moment. first time I probably have in my life”.
The Jayhawks, who will host their season-ending banquet on Thursday, are set to look very different next season.
star freshman grade cock has declared for the NBA draft, All-American forward jalen wilson He has also announced his intentions to turn professional, and Kevin McCullar Jr. you are expected to join them. The Jayhawks have also had forwards MJ rice and zach clemencybig man martin martin and guards Jose Yesufu and Bobby Pettiford Jr. enter the transfer portal.
The Jayhawks have four high-profile freshmen arriving next season, but Self recognized the need to work the portal.
“We’ve got some work to do before we’re a top-10 team, but I’m very hopeful that in a few weeks everyone will say they should be ranked higher than a top-10 team,” Self said. “I feel like we have some good guys.”