Kansas coach Bill Self gave his blessings to assistants Danny Manning and Barry Hinson when other schools started calling in search of their own head coach.
His one caveat: Get it done now.
That’s why Self stood in front of his team Wednesday night and told them that Hinson, his director of basketball operations, was taking over Southern Illinois. And why Self stepped aside to allow Manning, an elite tutor of post players, to let them know he was headed for Tulsa.
“We’ve been fortunate. We had to guys get jobs yesterday, and I don’t know how much that happens,” Self said Thursday afternoon at the Superdome. “The big thing for me is when I told those respective schools, I said, ‘I’m fine, but let’s do it now. I don’t want the rumors and to have to lie and say you haven’t taken a job. Hey, let’s get it out of the way now.’”
Hinson was introduced at Southern Illinois on Wednesday, while Tulsa sent out a news release announcing Manning’s hiring on Thursday. His introductory news conference will be next week.
In the meantime, the Jayhawks are focusing on a Final Four matchup Saturday night against Ohio State, the same team _ this time with Jared Sullinger _ that they beat back in December.
“Our players are fine. They’re happy for our guys,” Self said, “so this isn’t a distraction for us. Trust me, Danny and Barry are not working on Tulsa or Southern Illinois right now.”
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