I proclaim 2013 as “The Summer of Bill” and summer came a few months early.
There was a hint of things to come when Hunter Mickelson decided to transfer from Arkansas to Kansas on April 25. But that was only the beginning.
Nearly three weeks later, 2013′s No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins chose KU on May 14 and Memphis-transfer Tarik Black soon followed on May 20.
But Bill Self wasn’t done.
He added former Illini point guard Jerrance Howard, who played for Self from 2001-03, to his coaching staff. Howard takes over Joe Dooley’s role, who took the head coaching job at Dunk City.
But Self isn’t done yet. He’ll have to find a new Director of Basketball Operations as Doc Sadler left to become an assistant on Fred Hoiberg’s staff at Iowa State.
We’re in what I’d call the dog days of Bill’s summer. Summer classes begin on Tuesday and everybody but Wiggins will be on campus for class. And you know what, I’m OK with that. Wiggins can do what he wants except get in trouble for all I care as long as he’s healthy and on campus by the start of fall classes.
I think I’m more excited about Howard on board at this point. He’s a tremendous addition to the staff as he’ll be able to help lock down Chicago, which is a hotbed for recruits.
I thought Howard would have filled Manning’s role, but later is better than never.
I’m also not surprised he accepted the job or that Self asked him to leave mentor Larry Brown’s staff at SMU.
While Self has the utmost respect for Brown, he knows he needs to have the best personnel. There are a few things, in my opinion, to why this happened.
- Brown still loves, and will always love, KU.
- Brown will want his staff to have as much success as possible.
- Because of 1 and 2, Howard to KU is a no brainer.
Losing Dooley was bound to happen. He had so much success at KU during his 10 years in Lawrence. He could have left many years sooner. Same with Manning. Just like with recruits, Kansas seems to reload with its assistants too.
It should be relatively quiet between now and the fall. The only thing standing in basketball’s way is five months and a few weeks of terrible football.
Until then, Self’s actual summer should consist of spending time with his family, recruiting and golf.