Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

2014: Kansas Jayhawks' Year of Action

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the President of the United States addresses the country in the State of the Union address as prescribed by the Constitution. He will say that 2014 is a a “year of action” for the United States. So far 2014 has already been a “year of action” for the Kansas Jayhawks.

So while you are watching the address tonight or reading about it tomorrow, remember that Barack Obama is a noted basketball fan who has on at least one occasion put KU in the center of his bracket. So maybe some of the terms he uses are coded references to KU’s season so far.

Robust Recovery –  A 9-4 non-conference run had some fans doubting, but this team has started the Big 12 season strong. The Kansas Jayhawks are 6-0 in conference play and have opened up a two game lead in the race for their tenth consecutive Big 12 title.

With five wins over teams who have been ranked in the AP top 25 since starting conference play, Kansas is looking more like the national title contender that fans expected. Road tests this week against Texas and Baylor will continue to test this team’s mettle.

Job Security – Maybe KU should tighten up their rotation a bit. In the early going the Jayhawks have regularly relied on a rotation that goes 10 deep. This is great for keeping players fresh throughout a grueling regular season. But, come tournament time Kansas has struggled in the past because they lacked a true go-to player down the stretch. More minutes for fewer players may help one of KU’s talented scorers develop late game confidence needed for deep NCAA tournament run.

Immigration Reform — Bill Self strayed from the usual recruiting pipelines to land two of the most-talked about players in college basketball this year. Andrew Wiggins was the kind of heralded freshman that coach Self has been criticized for not being able to land in the past. Despite some analysis saying Wiggins has underperformed, the numbers don’t lie. The freshman is leading the Kansas Jayhawks with 15.8 points per game and is also contributing with six rebounds per game.

But Cameroon’s Joel Embiid has stolen the show. The freshman center’s meteoric rise has been fascinating to watch.  His growth and potential have captivated the minds of Jayhawks fans and NBA scouts alike. He has gone from a relative unknown to the top prospect on many draft boards and it appears the sky is the limit.

Well at least I hope that’s what he means.  Because if it isn’t, I can’t get the hour back Mr. President.

Tags: Andrew Wiggins Bill Self Joel Embiid Kansas Jayhawks

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