Despite losing key starters Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson to the pros, coach Bill Self has his Kansas Jayhawks back and looking like a team ready to make a run back to the Final Four.
Friday night’s 84-78 win over Oregon State in Kansas City might not have been the most dominating victory of the Kansas’ young season, but there’s no doubt that Self has a possible contender on his hands, come March.
But you’d never know it if you ask him.
“From an execution standpoint it was all just awful,” he said after the game. “We have a long ways to go, we need to improve. We got the win, I’m thankful for that but I don’t think anyone is leaving here feeling giddy about our performance here tonight.”
Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore led the way for Kansas with 21 points, along with 20 from senior Travis Releford and 17 from center Jeff Withey.
Withey, coming into the game leading the nation in blocks with over six per game, swatted (just?) three Friday night.
“They set a bunch of ball screens with Jeff (Withey’s) man. Jeff actually does a decent job it’s our guards that just can’t get over the screens,” Self explained. “We are playing against quickness and that’s tough for our guards. That’s disappointing and we need to start playing zone or do something different.”
Kansas has a week of rest and time for Self to work out some kinks before the Jayhawks return to the floor Dec. 8 against Colorado.