No Dog Days in February for Kansas

Feb 02, 2016 -- 7:22pm

By Danny Clinkscale

We have reached the halfway point in conference college basketball, and there
are three definitive levels for our three power five conference teams.
     
     The first level is held by Kansas as it usually is, but that top level among the
three does not add up to their usual spot at the top of the Big 12. After Texas beat
Baylor last night to start the second half of the league season, at the moment Kansas is
in a tie for fifth in the league. Of course it is also true that they are only one game
out of first in the tightly bunched top of the league.

     Two overtime wins on their home court have separated the Jayhawks play being
of minor concern to their fans from there being widespread panic. Kansas pulled out thrillers
against Oklahoma in three overtimes and Kentucky in OT in their last outing. If they
hadn't they would be sitting at 15-6, and while KU's pedigree might still have
them in the top 25, there is currently no ranked team with six losses.

     Kansas has been wildly inconsistent, and generally just plain shaky on the road, but
they have also show the stretches of brilliance that gives some optimism that that there
could still be special things in store in this season. Wayne Selden continues to somewhat
reflect the fortunes of his team, by being sometimes brilliant, sometimes invisible. In league
play Selden has five games of 11 or less, and three of 19 or more. His virtuoso turn
against Kentucky basically won the game for KU, and it shows what can happen when
he turns it up.

     But Kansas also struggled with size of the opposition, and also generally plays games
against top opponents where the best guard on the floor is wearing the other teams uniform.
Those two combined are the yang to the yin we see on the positive side for the hard to
gauge Jayhawks.

     Kansas State might well have played closer to their ceiling than KU and they sit at
2-6 in league play. Two tough OT losses to ranked conference teams have submarined
a solid league performance after a strong non conference showing. The 'Cats were
generally thought to be a team that would struggle mightily after almost completely
turning over their roster, but solid performances from three freshman give more hope
than might have been anticipated.

     That hasn't added up to conference wins though, and although the execution and effort
have been there, the talent level still needs an influx in the next off-season. You are swimming
upstream when you have to work around 27 percent three point shooting, but after this weeks
terror train of at Kansas and Oklahoma, the schedule eases for the last six games, and
bagging at least a few wins would do wonders for confidence.

     There just isn't any at Missouri, and Saturday's blowout loss at home against fellow cellar
dweller Mississippi State has to be hoped to be the bottoming out.  Besides all of the
off the court issues that swirl around and certainly can be used as some defense of
coach Kim Anderson, on the court there has been little to hang your hat on. Missouri
has been a poor shooting, rebounding, and ball handling team.

     There has been pretty good play from a couple freshman, but there is a whole lot needed
to be added. It is not the games against strong squads that cause the consternation, but
really efforts like the Mississippi State games against fellow strugglers that makes
it hard to see where the good news is going to come from.

     The self-imposed sanctions probably bought, and probably rightfully so, Kim Anderson
more time, and just about anyone who has ever crossed paths with the classy coach
is rooting for progress. But that is probably going to have be judged in things besides
victories.

     February is often cited as the dog days of college hoops. That has always been relative
at Kansas, but the February games will have more intrigue as the Jayhawks try and rally for
a 12th straight league title. For K-State and Missouri, the likelihood that playing out the
string will be more the reality seems strong. We'll see.
 


We have reached the halfway point in conference college basketball, and there
are three definitive levels for our three power five conference teams.
     
     The first level is held by Kansas as it usually is, but that top level among the
three does not add up to their usual spot at the top of the Big 12. After Texas beat
Baylor last night to start the second half of the league season, at the moment Kansas is
in a tie for fifth in the league. Of course it is also true that they are only one game
out of first in the tightly bunched top of the league.

     Two overtime wins on their home court have separated the Jayhawks play being
of minor concern to their fans from there being widespread panic. Kansas pulled out thrillers
against Oklahoma in three overtimes and Kentucky in OT in their last outing. If they
hadn't they would be sitting at 15-6, and while KU's pedigree might still have
them in the top 25, there is currently no ranked team with six losses.

     Kansas has been wildly inconsistent, and generally just plain shaky on the road, but
they have also show the stretches of brilliance that gives some optimism that that there
could still be special things in store in this season. Wayne Selden continues to somewhat
reflect the fortunes of his team, by being sometimes brilliant, sometimes invisible. In league
play Selden has five games of 11 or less, and three of 19 or more. His virtuoso turn
against Kentucky basically won the game for KU, and it shows what can happen when
he turns it up.

     But Kansas also struggled with size of the opposition, and also generally plays games
against top opponents where the best guard on the floor is wearing the other teams uniform.
Those two combined are the yang to the yin we see on the positive side for the hard to
gauge Jayhawks.

     Kansas State might well have played closer to their ceiling than KU and they sit at
2-6 in league play. Two tough OT losses to ranked conference teams have submarined
a solid league performance after a strong non conference showing. The 'Cats were
generally thought to be a team that would struggle mightily after almost completely
turning over their roster, but solid performances from three freshman give more hope
than might have been anticipated.

     That hasn't added up to conference wins though, and although the execution and effort
have been there, the talent level still needs an influx in the next off-season. You are swimming
upstream when you have to work around 27 percent three point shooting, but after this weeks
terror train of at Kansas and Oklahoma, the schedule eases for the last six games, and
bagging at least a few wins would do wonders for confidence.

     There just isn't any at Missouri, and Saturday's blowout loss at home against fellow cellar
dweller Mississippi State has to be hoped to be the bottoming out.  Besides all of the
off the court issues that swirl around and certainly can be used as some defense of
coach Kim Anderson, on the court there has been little to hang your hat on. Missouri
has been a poor shooting, rebounding, and ball handling team.

     There has been pretty good play from a couple freshman, but there is a whole lot needed
to be added. It is not the games against strong squads that cause the consternation, but
really efforts like the Mississippi State games against fellow strugglers that makes
it hard to see where the good news is going to come from.

     The self-imposed sanctions probably bought, and probably rightfully so, Kim Anderson
more time, and just about anyone who has ever crossed paths with the classy coach
is rooting for progress. But that is probably going to have be judged in things besides
victories.

     February is often cited as the dog days of college hoops. That has always been relative
at Kansas, but the February games will have more intrigue as the Jayhawks try and rally for
a 12th straight league title. For K-State and Missouri, the likelihood that playing out the
string will be more the reality seems strong. We'll see.
 

Return to: Danny Clinkscale Blog

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