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Original Issue

Q+A Bill Self

The 42-year-old Oklahoma native is the coach of the No. 3--ranked Kansas Jayhawks

SI: You coached at Illinois before taking the Kansas job in 2003. Are the Illini the best team you've seen this year?

Self: Illinois has been the best team in the country. It's met every challenge. But I'm biased because I know those guys so well.

SI: Will we ever see another undefeated champion in college basketball?

Self: I don't want to say it can't be done, because there are a couple of teams this year that made it past the halfway point. But records are inflated because of nonconference scheduling. I personally can't see it happening.

SI: You worked under Larry Brown at Kansas as a graduate assistant in 1985. How much did you make?

Self: I made four grand. I had major responsibilities. I read USA Today every day to let Coach Brown know if there was anything worth reading.

SI: At Oral Roberts you were 6--21 in 1993--94, your first year as a head coach. Did you ever think that coaching wasn't for you?

Self: I went into it thinking it was going to be pretty easy. And I realized that first year that coaching is overrated. It's about getting players. Ever since then my motto has been, We have to recruit.

SI: If you could recruit any player in history, who would it be?

Self: Wilt [Chamberlain]. How cool would it be to coach a guy that changed the rules? Michael [Jordan] is the best player, but Wilt was the most dominant.

SI: You favor Journey, Styx and Bruce Springsteen on the radio when you're driving. Do players ever get on you for that old-school stuff?

Self: No, because I don't let them ride with me. --Richard Deitsch