SAN ANTONIO — Oklahoma State wants Bill Self to be its next basketball coach, and Kansas wants to keep him.
Here are some reasons why this is so:
•Self is the guy who can remember the name of a junior varsity assistant coach he met eight years ago.
•Self is the guy who will walk past a worker who's sweeping the arena floor, give him a nod hello and say, "Appreciate it. You're doing a helluva job.” And Self will actually mean it.
•Though Self is the center of attention, he'll make you feel like you're the most important person in the room.
•Self is a chameleon. His communications skills have no bounds. Rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, boy or girl, black or white. Doesn't matter.
•Within the first 10 seconds of a conversation, Self will be the one asking the questions, not you. How's the family? What's going on? Anything new?
•Strangers strike up a conversation with Self and he'll eventually ask their name. Self will shake their hand and introduce himself. "Hi, I'm Bill Self,” to which the stranger will reply, "Uh, yeah. No kidding.”
•Self's primary goal is to make you feel as comfortable with him as he feels with you.
•Self is the guy who proclaims his wife, Cindy, is "the best coach's wife in the country.”
•Self is the guy who came to Oklahoma City in February to watch two stud high school recruits. But before he watched them play, he attended a girls game at Edmond Memorial High School to see his niece play, even though he could stay for only the first quarter.
•When he was named the new Kansas coach and flew into Lawrence on a private plane, Self approached airport worker Troy Jantz and said, "Good to see you. What do you do here?” Jantz replied, "I refuel airplanes.” Self smiled and said, "Well then, you must be the man around this place.”
•While playing in a fourball match, Self is the guy who can hit a 7-iron within 3 feet of the cup from 210 yards away, then claim the reason he was able to do it was because you're such a great golf partner. (Self probably misses the putt, but that's not the point here.)
•Self doesn't hire jerk assistants.
•Former assistant Barry Hinson describes Self's brain as "organized chaos” and insists he's one of the most organized disorganized people he's ever met.