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Kansas Coach Bill Self Impressed With BYU’s Early Contributions To Big 12

Jan 18, 2024, 9:13 PM

PROVO, Utah – Kansas Jayhawks basketball head coach Bill Self is impressed with what the Big 12 newcomers bring to the league.

The two-time National Champion coach was asked in a press conference on Thursday by reporter Caroline Soro of NBC affiliate KSNT in Kansas on his thoughts on the 14-team Big 12 this season.

Bill Self on the Big 12 race

“It’s a wild league. I can’t get over how competitive it is,” said Self. “When Cincinnati and BYU came into the league, we knew what we’re gonna get with Houston. And Houston will deliver on exactly what we thought they were. I don’t know that we really banked on getting what BYU and Cincinnati bring to the table this early in the process.”

Self isn’t wrong. The Big 12 coaches in the preseason tabbed BYU to finish 13th out of 14 teams.

BYU is 14-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big 12, and No. 4 in the NET rankings.

One of BYU’s two losses was to Cincinnati, who knocked off TCU in overtime earlier this week.

Kansas has experienced the upset as well to a Big 12 newcomer. They dropped a surprising defeat to UCF, who took down Texas in Austin earlier this week.

“It’s going to be crazy the whole year,” Self said. “And what we perceived going into the year as, ‘OK, we can catch our breath now,’ has been taken away.

Self’s Jayhawks are tied for first place in the league with a 3-1 record. But seven teams are one game back in the race with a 2-2 mark. So far, only one Big 12 team has a winless record in the league. That’s Oklahoma State at 0-4.

Twelve Big 12 teams are in the Top 70 of the NET

Twelve of the 14 teams in the league are ranked in the top 70 of the NET ratings. Houston leads the way at No. 1 overall in the NET.

It sets up a fascinating conference race that could produce double-digit NCAA Tournament teams this March.

“There’s no breath-catching weeks,” Self said. “… It’s gonna be like that the entire year.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Kansas Coach Bill Self Impressed With BYU’s Early Contributions To Big 12