Why Bill Self is for some schedule changes, against others

LAWRENCE (KSNT) – After more than 20 years leading the Jayhawks, and more than 30 as a head coach, KU’s Bill Self is not afraid to speak his mind on certain topics.

That’s why the legendary Jayhawk was rather honest on Thursday, when asked about a pair of scheduling ideas for his team. The first, KU’s trip to Mexico to play Houston in the 2024-25 season was recently pushed back.

“I’m glad,” Self said. “Our schedule is loaded enough. I should say I’m excited about it, period, but that would probably be an overstatement. That’s a long way to go for one game.”

Self didn’t exactly sound thrilled about the idea in general.

“We’ll be team players to try to help the league but… I’m probably glad we’re not doing that this year,” he said.

Another hot topic is conference scheduling as the Big 12 expands. The idea has been floated to have each team play 20 league games, up from 18 which has been the standard for several years now.

“We don’t want that,” Self said. “We don’t want that. You go to 20 league games and then you’re already playing an exempt tournament, you got the champions, you got the Big East challenge [if it continues], you play four home-and-homes… you’re schedule is basically done and you don’t even talk about a buy game.”

Self says the flexibility of schedule is important to his program, and presumably others, for development of young players.

“One of our problems this year with our young kids was we didn’t play a schedule that allowed those guys to play through mistakes,” Self said. “Going to 20 league games would be that on steroids.”

The future of the ‘Big 12 Mexico’ initiative, along with the scheduling for a revamped Big 12, remains up in the air but Self is certain of one thing.

“Our shortcomings this year will be addressed,” he told a crowd of players, coaches, administrators and donors at Thursday’s end-of-season banquet. “And we’ll be as good as we’ve ever been in the very, very, very near future.”

Self and the Jayhawks finished with 11 losses in 2023-24, their most since he took over the program in 2001. KU already added two transfers, Zeke Mayo and Riley Kugel, for the 2024-25 season.

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