Kansas coach Bill Self will miss the Big 12 tournament after going to the emergency room Wednesday night for what doctors called “a standard procedure,” the school announced on Thursday.
While the school did not specify Self’s ailment in its statement, it denied reports of a heart attack that had circulated earlier in the day.
“KU Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self is a patient at The University of Kansas Health System. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Stites wants to clarify that Coach Self did not suffer a heart attack as reported by some media. He arrived at the emergency department last night and underwent a standard procedure that went well. He is expected to make a full recovery. There will be no further medical details released for now,” the statement read.
Self, whose status for the NCAA tournament is unclear, also made a brief statement Thursday afternoon.
“I am very grateful for the overwhelming number of well wishes my family and I have received,” Self said. “I’m excited to get back with my team in the very near future.”
Assistant Norm Roberts served as interim coach during the Jayhawks’ 78-61 win over West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament Thursday afternoon.
“We didn’t really let the guys know until this morning because nothing was concrete what was going on,” Roberts said after Thursday’s win. “Coach is doing good. I talked to him on the phone (after the game). He’s doing well. He already wants to watch film and all of that. He’s doing well. He’s doing better.”
The Jayhawks took a cue from their coach in the quarterfinal win.
“Just come together through it all. Coach Self obviously would want that,” guard Gradey Dick said. “A lot of what he preaches with us is next man up, and in this case it was coach. And it’s kind of a little similar to the start of the season. Obviously a little more serious now with Coach Self but we’re hearing it’s all good.”
Self was present for a shootaround at T-Mobile Center on Wednesday and appeared to be in normal condition. He met with reporters for about 20 minutes outside the locker room and said his team was ready for another March run.
“We’ve talked about we’re going to Kansas City to try to put ourselves in position to win this thing, but knowing we better take one game at a time,” he said at the time. “I’ve put the emphasis on let’s go play our best. What the [Big 12] tournament does, it can validate what your regular season’s been. And this is an opportunity to validate it.”
Kansas, which has more Quad 1 wins than any team in the nation, is positioned to possibly secure the No. 1 overall seed on Selection Sunday. That would mean a path from Des Moines, Iowa, in the first two rounds to nearby Kansas City in the regional and then Houston for the Final Four if it advances.
Kansas has experience this season without Self. He served a four-game suspension, imposed by the school for his connection to an NCAA infractions case, at the start of the season and missed his team’s Champions Classic matchup against Duke. Kansas won that game 69-64.
This season, Self led Kansas to the 17th Big 12 title of his tenure, which began with the 2003-04 campaign.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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