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Kansas is turning back the clock, and not in a good way

Feb 9, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

Bill Self AP

Typically, any discussion of the history of Kansas basketball is laced with superlatives. Recent events, however, have brought back all kinds of bad memories for the blue-blood program that usually lives in rarified air.

Wednesday’s loss to TCU was quite possibly the worst upset in KU’s history, but it was also notable as the first time KU had lost back-to-back games since 2006. Today’s 72-66 loss at Oklahoma takes them back to 2005, when they dropped consecutive games to Texas Tech, Iowa State and, yep, Oklahoma in February play.

Bill Self reached even farther back into the mists of time to describe his current team’s surprising streak of futility, saying that this team was the worst KU had put on the floor since James Naismith “lost to the YMCA.” Naismith did, in fact, lose to the Muscatine, Iowa YMCA in 1902 on his way to a 5-7 record, and Self’s hyperbole was clearly meant to sting his slumping team into action.

It didn’t work. The aura of invincibility the KU program has lorded over the Big 12 for nearly a decade has cracked, fractured, and fallen completely away during this bad stretch.

The Jayhawks are in free-fall, but still considered a guaranteed tourney team. Aside from the road win at Ohio State in December, and a close win at K-State, the Kansas schedule is rather light on marquee wins, however. Should the Wildcats win at Allen Fieldhouse on Big Monday, Kansas will not only give their closest geographical rival a leg up on the league title, they’ll put their NCAA tournament seeding in serious jeopardy.

The Kansas offense is struggling due to point play, rather obviously. The offense is stagnant, and there’s nobody else to look to behind senior Elijah Johnson (10 points, 4 assists, 3 turnovers today) and sophomore Naadir Tharpe (7 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover).

What Bill Self wouldn’t give right now for a steady, unspectacular ballhandler. A Russ Robinson, if you will. A Brady Morningstar. Instead, he’s left with a scattered Elijah Johnson and Naadir-in-the-headlights.

What happens if the Jayhawks lose four? Why, national title, obviously.

Where have you gone, Danny Manning?

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

  1. namriverrat69 - Feb 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I don’t recall a coach like Self ever dressing down a college team like he did. If he was going to say something like that it should have been in the locker room. To publicly humilate his team to that degree was dangerously destructive. I hope they can regroup and play for their coach who so much as announced to the world he doesn’t believe in them.

  2. ku62 - Feb 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    I’m afraid HCBS has fallen into the trap of believing his own press clippings and become frustrated in public … his team just isn’t tough enough for this kind of scolding.

  3. namriverrat69 - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    His team is young but not as experienced as his Championship team. Maybe he could learn a lesson from Sean Miller at Arizona who is starting 3 freshman and two seniors, most people have never heard of or paid any attention to. I know they are out west and it is thought the quality is not as good as the rest of the country. Regardless, you can’t knock their record and winning close games. They do know how to win. No need to comment about Colorado. I sympathize.

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