Self Joins Collins as USBWA Finalist
March 2, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self has been named a finalist for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) Henry Iba Award. The award is given yearly to the association’s choice for coach of the year. Last week, Kansas junior Sherron Collins was named a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy also given by the USBWA.
Self has coached the 2008-09 Jayhawks to a 24-5 overall record so far this season and Kansas sits atop the conference with a 13-1 league record.
In contention for a fifth straight Big 12 regular-season title in six seasons as the coach at Kansas, Self returned less than 20 percent of his scoring from a national championship team a year ago. The young Jayhawks have held 18 opponents to under 40 percent from the field and have not let an opponent shoot better than 49 percent from the field this season.
A trio of Big 12 coaches – Self, Missouri’s Mike Anderson and Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel – are among the 10 coaches selected as finalists. None of the finalists has ever won the award. Joining the aforementioned is John Calipari (Memphis), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Mike Montgomery (California), Stew Morrill (Utah State), Matt Painter (Purdue), Oliver Purnell (Clemson) and Brad Stevens (Butler).
Collins was named one of 15 finalists for Oscar Robertson trophy last week. The annual award is given to the association’s pick for player of the year. A native of Chicago, Ill., the junior leads KU in scoring averaging 18.3 points a game and has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week each of the last two weeks where he has averaged 23.8 points in KU’s last four victories.
Collins and Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin are the only two Big 12 representatives among the 15 finalists. Others finalists include DeJaun Blair (Pittsburgh), Dante Cunningham (Villanova), Stephen Curry (Davidson), Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), James Harden (Arizona State), Ty Lawson (North Caorlina), Jerel McNeal (Marquette), Jodie Meeks (Kentucky), Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut), Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) and Evan Turner (Ohio State). Hansbrough was the 2008 Oscar Robertson Trophy recipient.
Both awards will be presented on Friday, April 3, at the USBWA’s annual awards breakfast at the downtown Detroit Athletic Club in conjunction with the Men’s Final Four.