Dec 30, 2013, 11:18 PM EDT
Naadir Tharpe finished with 20 points and eight assists, hitting 7-for-8 from the floor and 4-for-5 from three, as No. 16 Kansas held off a scrappy Toledo squad 93-83.
The Jayhawks put together one of the most brutal non-conference schedules in the country this season, one that still features a visit for San Diego State. But after tough road losses to Colorado and Florida — which came on the heels of a disappointing trip out to the Battle 4 Atlantis — the Jayhawks seem to have righted the ship. Their last three games have all been double-digit wins over potential tournament teams in New Mexico, Georgetown and Toledo. And while those wins being spread out over the course of 16 days, the Jayhawks look like they have embraced the opportunity to spend some time in the practice gym improving.
Kansas has as much talent on their roster as anyone in the country. With the continuous improvement of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, and the solid play of Perry Ellis convincing Bill Self to run his offense from the inside-out, Kansas looks every-bit the part of a team that can win the national title.
Most important of all, however, has been the play of Naadir Tharpe of late. Over the course of those last three wins, he’s averaging 12.7 points and 7.0 assists while shooting 63.6% from the floor and 7-for-12 from three. He’s the key to Kansas going from a good team to a scary-good team.
But we all know about the Jayhawks and how good they can be.
I don’t want to focus on that.
I want to talk a bit about Toledo.
Monday night was the first loss of the season for the Rockets. They entered the game 12-0 with a couple of decent wins over the likes of Boston College, Stony Brook and Cleveland State, but Kansas was their first real test. And despite playing on the road, and despite the Jayhawks actually playing pretty well, Toledo would never go away. Every time it felt like Kansas was getting ready to make a run and turn this thing into a blowout, Toledo had an answer, whether it was a triple or a couple of quick buckets in a row.
This is a good basketball team, especially on the offensive end of the floor. They don’t defend well enough to truly be a threat at earning an at-large bid, but any power conference team that draws this club in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament — assuming they are able to make it that far — is going to be in for a dogfight.
Jun 2, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
George Fant will try his hand at football after a productive four-year career at Western Kentucky.
Jun 2, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Well-traveled guard Torian Graham will follow head coach Bobby Hurley to Arizona State.
Jun 2, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
Rutgers released a member of its 2015 recruiting haul.
Jun 2, 2015, 8:20 PM EDT
Virginia lost a member of its four-man 2016 class.
Jun 2, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
Indiana picked up another big man for the 2015-16 season.
Jun 2, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
A lot of talented college basketball players and high school basketball prospects pepper this list.
Jun 2, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
The Pangos All-American Camp had a lot of talented performers this year.
Jun 2, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Kansas gets a boost to its 2015-16 roster as a four-star guard reclassifies.
Jun 2, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT
Izzo has never been a fan of transfers.
Jun 2, 2015, 2:33 PM EDT
Jones is a freak of nature.
Jun 2, 2015, 1:56 PM EDT
The team will be coached by Don Showalter, Miles Simon and Sharman White.
Jun 2, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT
Joey van Zegeren is a castoff from Virginia Tech.
Jun 2, 2015, 11:25 AM EDT
Georges Niang and Naz Long in particular had some really nice things to say.
Jun 2, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
Barlow was a walk-on that became Butler’s starting point guard.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:21 PM EDT
Iowa State can win next season, but they lose a ton of talent after 2016.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:11 PM EDT
Maverick Rowan is down to six schools.
Jun 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Arizona filled a staff position after the departure of Damon Stoudamire.
Jun 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
Michigan is getting healthy as they move towards what looks like a promising 2015-16 season.
Jun 1, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Noah Dickerson is still available in the Class of 2015.
Jun 1, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT
Kuran Iverson will be available right away for Rhode Island.
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