This would have been a great upset if the Mountaineers could have pulled it off and they about did. So apology to the Mountaineers Coach Bob Huggins who could have got his 25K incentive for regular season wins over Kansas. I guess Huggins will have to wait till his team travels to Lawrence to get another shot of this this season.
This game showed a lot of flaw in the Kansas armor. Either it was the curse hanging around, a long road trip or a shooting slump, but the Jayhawks played they are tired of winning. They played a very sloppy game which exposed some weaknesses about this team. Their number one weakness is guard play especially from the point guard perspective. Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe are having a hard time getting into the mix of things. The guard play has been so inconsistent and is having a hard time handling the pressure.
The other problem is turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers. Kansas seems like they want to give the game away. With 16 turnovers and not scoring a field goal in the final 6:15, Huggins should have got his check. Another weakness that needs to be worked on at every practice is free-throws. Huggins played mud ball and made the Jayhawks win it from the free throw line which they only made half of them. if opposing teams can foul Kansas and get them to the line, it will help them have a chance for a victory. Kansas even shot better from the field than the line tonight.
The Jayhawks looked like a team that can be stopped only if the other team can get past Jeff Withey to score. Withey and Travis Releford saved this game for the Jayhawks. Without Withey’s tow block shots and Releford’s rebound at the end this would be a totally different story. Releford has become a central leader this season and a complete player. Releford is the emotional leader for this team and is willing to do anything it takes to make sure Kansas wins.
He was the most valuable player tonight for Kansas to keep the 18 wins streak alive. He is the most consistent player and has been all season long. Even Coach Bill Self said that; “Travis was the best player in the game…by far.” No only did he have a great game on offense but he played aggressively on defense. Withey also played with some fire under his feet.
Defending and rebounding keep Kansas in the games especially on the road. The one thing they really need to learn to do is to keep the lead and not let up at all during the game. They have done this in about every game recently. They get a comfortable lead and stay too comfortable with it. Kansas needs to learn how to finish games and if they find their offense again this team will be unstoppable.
Next up is a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. On a side note, please get rid of those uniforms that Kansas wore tonight.