Feb 2, 2013, 7:18 PM EST
If I’m a Kansas fan, I’m not all that concerned about their 85-80 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon.
An 18-game winning streak and a No. 2 ranking (N0. 1 if you believe the coaches poll) aside, Kansas is not a perfect basketball team. No one in the country is a perfect basketball team this year. Right now, there is a lot of very good across the country, but there is no great.
Kansas falls under that title.
The Jayhawks have one of the best defenses in the country, anchored by a center that can effect a game on that side of the ball as much as any. But there are issues on the offensive side of the ball, ones that have been discussed ad nauseum this season.
Outside of Ben McLemore, there really isn’t anyone that is a major threat in half-court sets, and even McLemore is still battling with inconsistency in his aggressiveness. He’s the kind of player that lets the game come to him, and that can be a problem when you’re on a team that is relying on you to be the No. 1 option offensively.
The Jayhawks also have major question marks at the point guard spot. Elijah Johnson simply is not a player that can be trusted to run a team. He’s talented, he’s got the size that makes him a quality defender and he can create off the dribble, but he’s simply not an elite point guard. It’s fitting, really, that Kansas lost because Johnson was ripped by Smart with less that five seconds left down three.
But he is the Jayhawk’s best option right now at the point. Naadir Tharpe is more of a true point guard, but he’s also not ready to run a team on his own.
The irony here is that the question marks that were raised about Kansas over their last six games were on the offensive end of the floor. They were winning, but they were winning ugly, struggling to break 60 points against teams they should be blowing out because their defense was just that good.
On Saturday, that defense disappeared, as Markel Brown and Marcus Smart combined for 53 points, but the Jayhawks still managed to put up 80 points. Ben McLemore still finished with 23 points and took over for a stretch in the second half. And while I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Kansas played well on that end of the floor — the bad turnovers they had against West Virginia showed up again — but I think it’s actually a good sign that the Kansas offense actually kicked into a high-gear for a stretch on Saturday.
Rare is the day that their defense is so porous.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Dec 19, 2013, 4:08 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 3:42 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 2:33 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 2:21 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 1:40 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 12:27 PM EST
New Mexico will be without starting guard Hugh Greenwood against Marquette on Saturday in Las Vegas. Greenwood has been battling a wrist injury for a couple weeks. He initially injured in when the Lobos took on New Mexico State in their first matchup on December 4th. It’s his right wrist, his shooting wrist. Greenwood took…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
Saint Louis seems like a fun team to play on. I want to know how many times they had to try that before they finally got it right.
Dec 19, 2013, 2:53 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Texas 86, No. 14 North Carolina 83 The Tar Heels remain the toughest team in college basketball to figure out. After knocking off Kentucky to pick up their third win over a preseason top three team, the Heels were once again atrocious from the charity stripe, losing to Rick Barnes and…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:34 AM EST
Shabazz could only bail them out so many times. No. 10 UConn had picked up their four biggest wins by a total of five points, relying on the heroics of their star guard to carry them to the wins. But it wasn’t enough on Wednesday night. With Stanford erasing a double-digit second half deficit and…
Dec 18, 2013, 11:01 PM EST
Texas Southern senior forward Aaric Murray is now playing at his third college, with his move to the SWAC school being preceded by stops at La Salle and West Virginia. There’s no doubt that Murray possesses a lot of talent, but maturity issues shortened his stay at each of those first two schools. On Wednesday…
Dec 18, 2013, 10:01 PM EST
Just about any preseason “hot seat” list included Texas head coach Rick Barnes, and with the change in athletic director on the “40 Acres” there was enough conversation to make one think that this season would be nothing more than a lengthy testimonial of sorts for the veteran coach. With just two upperclassmen, bouncing back…
Dec 18, 2013, 9:32 PM EST
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Dec 18, 2013, 8:13 PM EST
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Dec 18, 2013, 6:53 PM EST
One of the most surprising scores on Tuesday night was Denver’s 90-62 pasting of Belmont at Magness Arena. The Bruins have wins over Indiana State and North Carolina to their credit, making the margin of defeat a surprise. But Joe Scott’s Pioneers, picked to finish second in the Summit League behind North Dakota State, have…
Dec 18, 2013, 5:35 PM EST
Now in his third season as head coach at his alma mater, Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew has led the Crusaders to 55 wins and two consecutive Horizon League regular season titles. The next step for Valparaiso would be to win the conference’s tournament title and thereby earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Valparaiso was…
Dec 18, 2013, 4:30 PM EST
Who is the best shooter in the country? It’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? Does being a “shooter” simply mean merely being a high-level marksman from beyond the arc? Can a player who thrives in the mid-range but rarely ventures out into three-point land be eligible? How heavily should we be valuing stats like…
Dec 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EST
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