Tyler Self often is asked if he wants to follow his dad Bill’s footsteps into coaching.
“Some day? I have no idea. I’d say it’s too early to predict,” Self, Kansas’ fifth-year walk-on guard, said Wednesday before a workout in the Jayhawks’ basketball practice facility. “I’m not going to rule it out, but I don’t think it (coaching) is the path I want to take immediately.”
Armed with a bachelors degree in sports management and currently working on an MBA, Self does see hoops in his future — the exact capacity yet to be determined.
“Whether it’s operations, coaching, whatever, I don’t know. I’m not going to rule anything out, but I do want to do something with basketball. That’s where my passion is,” said Self, a 22-year-old Lawrence Free State High graduate. His goal is to finish his studies while earning a paycheck at this time next year.
“That’s the thing. The (MBA) program is all online. I can technically leave Lawrence and starting working somewhere and still finish it. As far as where I go, I have no idea,” Tyler Self said.
Bill Self, whose daughter Lauren works with youth in the public school system in Dallas, is certain Tyler will also pick the right career path.
“He’s done a nice job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does. He’s working on his MBA right now. He and Landen (Lucas, fifth-year senior forward) both are working on their MBAs,” Bill Self said. “Next year he’ll start his career doing whatever he’s going to do and hopefully have time to work on his MBA on the side a little bit. I don’t know if coaching is his calling or what exactly,” said Self, whose own resume includes one national title, one NCAA runner-up finish and 12 straight Big 12 crowns through his first 13 seasons at KU.
Tyler Self actually would prefer to focus on the present right now. As one of the squad’s older players, he’s helping run unsupervised pick-up games and other team activities as the Jayhawks gear for next Monday’s start of their two-week Boot Camp conditioning program. After that, it’s Late Night in the Phog and the start of the 2016-17 season on Oct. 1.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Tyler Self said of his fifth season. “It should be a special year, hopefully. We’ve got all the pieces I feel to have a really good team.”
Like most non-scholarship players, Self has made most of his on-court contributions on KU’s Scout team — the one that runs opponents’ plays at practice. He hit a three-pointer versus Loyola his junior season and scored two points — a bucket against Kent State — his sophomore campaign. As a freshman, he converted a floater in the lane against Texas and a bank shot versus Colorado.
“I don’t think about that too much,” Self said when asked if he ever wondered what it’d be like to be a major contributor in games at a smaller school. “I like where I’m at. I love this university, love this team. It’s not something that crosses my mind, too often. If you’ve got the chance to lace ’em up and run out that tunnel, I don’t think you can pass that up.”