Kansas Jayhawks Have Hit A Wall At The Wrong Time
After last night’s defeat in the hands of the TCU Horned Frogs, the Kansas Jayhawks have some soul searching to do. This was the worst defeat in Jayhawk history and the worst upset in this century. Not only that but Kansas loses back-to-back games for the first time in seven years and 264 games when it lost to Kansas State and Missouri in 2006. Even Coach Bill Self said “It’s the worst team Kansas has ever put on the floor since Dr. Naismith was here,” “I think he had some bad teams when he lost to Topeka YMCA in his first couple years. The first half (in which KU hit 3 of 22 shots) … there hasn’t been a team play worse than that offensively. That hasn’t happened … anywhere.”
This team looks like a deer in the headlights and they have hit the Great Wall of China. The Jayhawks scored only 13 points in the first half and couldn’t get a basket if their lives depended on it. The word that comes in my mind is “embarrassing”. This game was so embarrassing I had my kids turn their heads and had my dog watch the rest of the game. “Yes, I am,” senior Kevin Young (six points, nine rebounds) said, asked if he was embarrassed. “There are a lot of great names to wear the jersey before us. We embarrassed not only us but them. We played horrible.” That’s an understatement.
These Jayhawks have hit a wall at the wrong time. They have given Kansas State the upper hand by letting them tie them for first place and get to play them on Monday night at home. The most important game is this Saturday at Norman when they play the Oklahoma Sooners. This is the worst time for the Jayhawks to go on a skid and hit the wall. They play two teams that are playing a lot better right now than the Jayhawks are. The Sooners lost bad to Iowa State and now they get to play the Jayhawks at home. They had a chance to beat them in Lawrence and if the ball went a different way a couple of time they would have. The Wildcats beat Texas Tech on the road and is one of best teams in the Big 12 right now.
This scoring slump that the Jayhawks are in right now needs to be fixed before Saturday. They will be mocked by Sooner fans for losing to TCU and there will be plenty of signs about it. Kansas had 14 turnovers in the first matchup against OU and now they need to learn how to hold onto the ball. Their guard play is down and they as a team are playing too soft.
So what can the Jayhawks do to fix this two game losing streak? First they need to break down the wall they have hit with a gigantic crane. Play Andrew White III, Christian Garrett, Rio Adams and Niko Roberts and see what they can do. Let the starters sit for about two to three minutes the next game just to see how they will respond. Pass the ball more but be more aggressive to the rim. Travis Releford needs to get his confidence back so that he can be a force to be reckoned with. Next it’s time for the players to have a player only meeting like Julian Wright did when he was here. It is time for someone on this team to step up and be a leader that is tough and will wake up his team.
Who will be that leader? Jeff Withey can be too nice at times, Elijah Johnson could but you have to be an example on their court as well and he has been ice cold, Kevin Young-maybe but lately he has lost his energy or Travis Releford who can play ball. The one player that I think will step up is Ben McLemore and he needs to do it yesterday. This Jayhawk team isn’t dead yet and can still win their ninth straight Big 12 Championship but they need to step up and win the next two games to have a chance. If they win the next two games by more than eight points per game their confidence will soar and the winning tradition will be back.
It’s time for the Jayhawks to knock down the wall and regroup because there are plenty of games left to play.
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.