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Self doesn't dwell on what might have been in 2020 tourney

Kansas head coach Bill Self elected to Naismith Hall of Fame
Posted at 4:55 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 17:55:29-04

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bill Self is not like most KU fans.

"I haven't thought like that at all," Self said Thursday via Zoom call.

The Jayhawks, at 28-3 and 17-1 in the Big 12, were barreling toward the No. 1 overall seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament when college basketball shut down in March. But they never got to finish off the season in one of the premier sporting events in the world.

One that Self knows all too well.

"I thought we had as good a chance as anybody (to win the NCAA Tournament)," Self said. "But I've been doing this a long time and been in a lot of tournaments where some of our better teams should have gone further and teams that we got kind of lucky with advanced further."

He's right. The Big Dance is usually a big dart throw. But the Jayhawks had maybe the best big man and point guard in the nation in Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, a recipe that typically leads to a deep run in March.

"We had one player that basically it would be difficult for anybody else in America to match up with (Azubuike). So I think that gave us an advantage in many ways," Self said.

The 18-year head coach also acknowledges the weaknesses of his 2019-20 team.

"Last year's team wasn't a complete team because it did have deficiencies offensively," Self said.

This year's team will be without Dotson and Doke, but will return Oak Park grad Ochai Agbaji, big man David McCormack, guard Marcus Garrett and others.

"We think we've got a good team," Self said. "I know our guys are really enjoying each other and playing together."

KU will open the season with a tournament in Orlando in late November.