Invoice Self hasn’t needed to undergo many stretches like this in his 20 seasons at Kansas. But the coach hasn’t appeared indignant and even all that discouraged throughout a uncommon three-game dropping streak.
Self is aware of this is not the identical Jayhawks workforce that received the nationwide championship final season.
Kansas (16-4, 5-3 Huge 12) has gone from having one of many nation’s most skilled rosters to a a lot youthful group with no confirmed presence within the submit in a loaded Huge 12 that could be higher than ever.
“We do not have as a lot margin for error as we have had in years previous and that is OK,” Self stated. “However [when] you do not have fairly as a lot margin for error, and the opposite groups within the league are quite a bit higher, it makes it powerful.”
The ninth-ranked Jayhawks have misplaced three in a row for less than the fourth time underneath Self. Every loss was to a ranked convention opponent, two on the highway. The latest was 75-69 at Baylor on Monday evening in a matchup of the previous two nationwide champions, the fifth win in a row for the Seventeenth-ranked Bears.
“I will be sincere with you, I’ve obtained to take a special method and perceive that it is a marathon,” Self stated. “It isn’t a direct response, as a result of you may react instantly on this league, and you will have 9 different groups undergo the very same factor in some unspecified time in the future.”
Kansas continues to be loaded with expertise.
Junior ahead Jalen Wilson leads the Huge 12 in scoring at 21.4 factors per sport and is second in rebounds at 8.6. Whereas streaky, freshman Gradey Dick (14.9 PPG) is the league’s high 3-point shooter at 43.7%, and Texas Tech switch Kevin McCullar Jr. averages 7.3 rebounds. Dajuan Harris Jr. is among the high help males at 6.5 per sport regardless of his prolonged capturing struggles.
However these Jayhawks are completely different than most of Self’s standout groups previously that performed by the submit with large guys equivalent to David McCormack, Jeff Withey, Thomas Robinson or Udoka Azubuike.
McCormack was a part of final yr’s title workforce, together with first-round NBA draft picks Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun. The Jayhawks additionally misplaced ballhandler Remy Martin and veteran sharpshooter Jalen Coleman-Lands.
Kansas performs its SEC/Huge 12 Problem sport Saturday at Kentucky (14-6), which received 80-62 at Allen Fieldhouse final season. The Jayhawks might be attempting to keep away from their first four-game dropping streak since 1988-89, their first season underneath coach Roy Williams.
After going to Rupp Area to face coach John Calipari’s struggling Wildcats, the Jayhawks return to convention play towards fifth-ranked Kansas State. They then open the second half of their Huge 12 schedule at No. 12 Iowa State earlier than internet hosting No. 10 Texas.
Their current skid began with an 83-82 overtime loss final week at Ok-State, which had a 14-point lead halfway by the primary half. TCU, now ranked eleventh, hit 13 of its first 15 photographs and had an early 19-0 run in an 83-60 win Saturday, the second-worst residence loss within the Self period.
“Our league is that good,” Self stated. “It may be a grind.”
The Jayhawks trailed by as many as 13 halfway by the primary half at Baylor. They took their solely lead when Wilson swished a 3-pointer with 15½ minutes left, however the Bears responded with a 12-3 run.
“The way in which that Ok-State performed the primary 10 minutes, the way in which TCU performed the primary 10 minutes, and the way in which Baylor performed the primary 10 minutes, if we had performed very well, we might have nonetheless been behind,” Self stated, earlier than utilizing a wrestling analogy prompted by seeing two former Oklahoma State classmates within the postgame interview room at Baylor.
Brad Livingstone was a senior at Oklahoma State in the course of the 1981-82 season, when Self was a freshman for the Cowboys. Livingstone’s spouse, Baylor president Linda Livingstone, additionally performed basketball for the varsity in Stillwater the place wrestling is large.
“If you’re on high and you will get using time, it takes twice as a lot vitality if you happen to’re the low man in wrestling. … It is precisely the way in which basketball is just too,” Self stated. “If you’re behind, it takes extra vitality, all the things’s magnified, it takes extra effort. And once you’re enjoying with the lead, clearly you are looser, all the things’s not life or dying.”