Voters in the national polls were unimpressed by the Kansas Jayhawks’ 17-point victory over the New Mexico State Lobos. Neither were they impressed with the fact that Kansas has played the hardest schedule of any team in the country.
Kansas dropped in all the polls this week, based mostly on their 6 point loss at Florida last Tuesday. In the AP, the Jayhawks dropped from 13th to 18th, in the Coaches’, from 13th to 19th, and they dropped to fifth overall in the CBSSports RPI, down from 2nd. They stayed at number 14 in the CBSSports Top 25 (and one) poll. For a look at all of these polls, click here.
The win over New Mexico halted a four-game slide in which the Jayhawks lost 3 or 4 games. They fell to Villanova (now ranked 8th in the AP), Colorado (20th), and Florida (16th) in that stretch. The loss to Villanova came on a neutral court in the Bahamas, and the other losses were on the road.
The Jayhawks have been plagued by an inability to break a zone defense, by poor half court defense, and ice cold 3-point shooting. They appeared to overcome all of those things against the Lobos on a (officially) neutral court in the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
(Note – It is hard to seriously call a venue neutral when there is a gigantic Jayhawk in the middle of the court, as was the case in the Sprint Center on Saturday.)
Kansas returns to the friendly confines of the Phog Allen Fieldhouse for the first time in 28 days on Saturday for their big match up with the Georgetown Hoyas.
The 6-2 Hoyas are unranked right now but are always a tough opponent. Kansas then faces Toledo, who is undefeated, and San Diego State, who is also in the Top 25 in each of the polls.
Add in the the home-and-home Big 12 Conference match ups with Oklahoma State (7th in the AP), Baylor (12th), and Iowa State (17th), teams like Texas and Oklahoma, who have 2 losses between them, and the Jayhawks strength of schedule probably won’t go down much in the up coming months.
The young Jayhawks finish up with finals this week, then will have more practice time over the break. Bill Self’s teams often show a marked improvement over this time period as he is able to put in time with the kids in practice.
It will be interesting to see if Kansas can win these last three games going into conference play and re-establish themselves as a top 10 team again in the near future.
Tags: Kansas Jayhawks