The Jayhawks have been a legitimate favorite for most of the season. And to be perfectly honest, it’s no mistake that they are. This entire roster plays together and they leave no man behind when they are on the floor with one another. Their communication while playing is the reason why they dismantle their opponents and the reason why they’re #1 in the country.
The AP Poll has been up and down all season long. New teams moving up and many teams dropping down to the bottom of the list. Luckily, a team like the Jayhawks have been consistent in the poll all season long. Even with some of the tests that were placed in front of them, they’ve weathered the storm with great team chemistry and getting down to business in key stretches of games.
Bill Self deserves all of the praise for getting this team playing at the highest level this year looking for redemption. After losing last season to Auburn in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament, the Jayhawks were left with utter taste of defeat believing that game should have been theirs from the beginning. Unable to execute properly on both ends of the floor, throughout the season they have shown that they can remain disciplined on the floor and take care of business during their 40 minutes of play.
They have had dogs that have led the way for the squad. Devon Dotson has taken a big step this season being the leading scorer for the team and has not disappointed his teammates with his efficiency on the floor. With his ability to run the floor and knock down shots, he has been the x-factor for Kansas and has had a chip on his shoulder all season.
Outside of Dotson, The Jayhawks have continued to get quality play out of others as well. Udoka Azubuike has been making the case to be the best big man in all of college with him averaging a double double this season. Even Ochai Agbaji has been an efficient on both sides of the floor for the Jayhawks. The best thing about Bill Self and his coaching is that he allows everyone to understand what their role is to the team. With everyone stepping out on the court and doing the job that is needed, it makes life so much easier for one another.
The Big 12 Conference has had nothing but battle tested matchups and it will be interesting to see which team will come out on top. It’s safe to say that the Jayhawks toughest matchup has been facing off against Baylor, who has seen Kansas eye to eye all season long. Both teams secured a win from one another this season on each other’s home floor. And Baylor has been looking as if they have something to prove to the world. It will be interesting to see how they matchup if they meet down the line in the Big 12 tournament as we see which team executes the best on the floor.
With all of the success that Kansas has had all season long, it’s only genuine that a team has its flaws no matter how great they are. Many times the Jayhawks have gotten off to a great start in the first half. But the second half, there have been several occasions where they allow their opponents to go on a run to bring the game closer. Although they still finish the game strong, it’s best for the team to keep their foot on the gas so they don’t allow their opponents to get any momentum.
40 minutes of action can be very tiring in certain stretches of the game. So it can be somewhat difficult for a team to continue to pile it on a team on each possession of a game. For the Jayhawks, they just have to learn to weather the storm. In order for the team to go far in the tournament, they’ll need to turn it up a notch on the defensive end starting the second half to send a message to the other team.
The world knows how dangerous they are. But having that identity of shutting the other team down on each possession will make them even more dangerous heading into March Madness. If Kansas continue to go far in the tournament and they play teams in Gonzaga, Baylor, or Dayton, then those teams could possibly pick them apart if they don’t continue to make runs and keep pushing the lead. Every possession counts during this point of the season and teams must understand what to do in order to keep their season alive and move forward in winning a championship.
As Tournaments approach, many have high expectations for the Kansas Jayhawks. They’ve worked all season long to get in the position they’re in and they can’t stop from here. With the legacy this school has of winning multiple championships, it’s important that these exceptional group of guys can carry that school tradition as they head into tournament contention. The team must take their focus and mentality to another level and make sure they play together in order to keep things going. If they do everything right, they have a great shot at winning an NCAA Championship this season.