The Oklahoma State Cowboys came into Phog Allen Field House this afternoon and they were not intimated by this Kansas Jayhawks team. They left with an impressive victory and stunned the Jayhawks by snapping their 18 came winning streak and their 33 game winning streak at home. Losing at home hurts and dwells on your mind for weeks.
The Cowboys looked very focused and were even leading by 14 in the first half. In the Big 12 it is great to win on the road and when you do it gives you the confidence you need for the rest of conference play. ”We just beat one of the top teams in the country, and a great team at that,” said Marcus Smart, who had seven of his 25 points in the closing minutes. ”It’s hard for teams to come into their home court and get a victory. We’re one of the few teams that have done it. We couldn’t believe it.”
It seems every time the Jayhawks play Coach Bill Self’s Alma Mater they have a hard time winning. This year’s team could be consider the most sloppiest team in years for Kansas. They haven’t played great in weeks and just played sloppy but somehow managed to win. Even Self said, ”We haven’t played good in three weeks or whatever,” ”When you don’t play well, you have to defend and rebound, and we didn’t do that worth a crap today. We got what we deserved.”
They did get what they deserved. Their weaknesses were exposed again in this game and the Cowboys took advantage of it. ”We don’t have a guard,” Self said despondently. ”We don’t have a point guard.” This guard play needs to be addressed now before March gets here. Elijah Johnson is not your typical point guard and even had a chance to tie the game today but was sloppy and turned it over. The most basic job required by a point guard is to be able to think under pressure and today neither one of the guards could handle the pressure. Kansas had 16 turnovers today and had the same against West Virginia.
Not only is the guard play hurting them but the poor play of some of some players is hurting this team. This team is soft and throw the ball away too many times. Self commented on this by saying: “We have never had a team like this. We get by and fake it sometimes, but we aren’t real thick and we aren’t real strong. Not to compete at game-point though, is beyond belief, and I’m sure this was an embarrassment — the way they kicked our (butt) in a late-game situation — to everybody that has played here because we didn’t compete when we needed to compete.”
They need to learn how to play faster and need to put more pressure on the defensive side of the ball. The Jayhawks also need to play with some pace on offense and learn how to rebound again. If they can figure out their guard play they will still win the Big 12 and if they don’t well that’s another story. Self even talked about this after the game today: “But we have got to do something. We are better than what we played today and we will get it back. With this league race, all we did was invite everybody right back into it. It’s a joke what we did today. Hopefully we can regroup. It’s not panic mode or anything like that, but I know our staff feels the same.”
It is time to regroup and the Jayhawks have only a few days to do it as they travel to Fort Worth, Texas to play TCU on Wednesday night. So if you are TCU, be ready for a blowout and Kansas fans as the sign in the photo says, “Keep Calm and Rock Chalk On.”
John Hayden is a Writer and Contributor for RantSports.com, covering the NCAA and NBA. Follow John on twitter @jdhayden09, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.