Bill Self grew up on a steady diet of Big 12 basketball. He knows what it's like to stroll in Allen Fieldhouse. He likes the area. He likes the town. He'll embrace the history of the program. He'll embrace the western recruiting base Roy Williams so skillfully constructed. But, expect Self to build up recruiting forces in his backyard and beyond.
Self is a salesman, a real closer in the home. He's the kind of guy who would stroll into an arena, notice it was a woman's anniversary who is sitting behind the bench, and lean over just after the national anthem and wish her many more.
Bam, instant hit with the moms. That's the kind of recruiter Self is and will be at Kansas.
But, you'll probably be more apt to find him Dallas than Los Angeles. Sure, KU won't ignore the western ties it has with many of the elite prospects on the west coast and Pacific Northwest but it will branch out in the Midwest.
Here's a great example. You can expect the Jayhawks to be strong with Darnell Jackson, a native of Oklahoma. Don't think for a minute that the power forward won't get all kinds of love from him this week.
However, one of the main targets of the Williams staff was Marvin Williams, the west's top prospect. He won't be forgotten by the new regime and I guarantee you if you are reading this column, Marvin's camp has already received a call.
Still though, we think there will be a shift in the recruiting base of the Jayhawks. No, they won't be blanketing Kansas like say Illinois would move to lockdown Chicago, but they'll be looking to get comfortable in the region and that means challenging the natural recruiting bases of some of the Big 12s big dogs in their own backyard. They have to do it that way; Self's comfort zone is the Midwest.
But, that's not to say the Jayhawks won't be successful nationally. I mean, after all, it is Kansas. The name alone pretty much can get you top three status on a prospects list if you want to be. Self's top recruiter, New York native Norm Roberts, mined a gem from the Big Apple this year.
Charlie Villanueva was the highest rated East Coast player to select the Illini in a long time. Roberts packed up his bags and followed Self. He'll be a key player in Kansas' eastward expansion. It's been a while since KU has signed a player east of the Mississippi but don't be surprised when they start sniffing around both right and left of the river.
It's not wrong to embrace change especially when it comes in the form of past successes and future passions. Folks, Bill Self is a big time head coach. He's a proven commodity and a successful recruiter.
There's a change at the top of the program in Lawrence but its still going in the same direction.