A day after an embarrassing and surprising loss to TCU, the Kansas Jayhawks held a team meeting, giving everyone a chance to speak and go over film from previous wins.
According to Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star, freshman guard Ben McLemore said he wanted to take more a leadership role during the meeting.
“I just said, I gotta help more, create little things for myself and for my teammates, and just try to be out there and be a leader, too,” McLemore said according to the Star. “Playing out there with four seniors, I can also be out there and be a leader.”
If McLemore, the team’s leading scorer, is serious about taking on this new role it could be the difference between Kansas getting out of or staying in this current funk. As Rob Dauster pointed out earlier in the day, the Jayhawk offense is struggling without a playmaker. Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe — the two “point guards” — haven’t gotten the job done in conference play thus far shooting a combined 26.5 percent to go along 52 assists and 48 turnovers.
McLemore is scoring over 16 a game, but most of that comes in transition or spot-up shots. If McLemore is willing to create more scoring opportunities for not only himself, but for his teammates that takes a load off of Johnson and Tharpe.
For Bill Self, he is still confident in his team — the same one that 18 straight before dropping the last two.
“This is still the same team that was ranked No. 2 in the country six days ago,” said Self. “If our confidence is shaken, then we’re not very tough.”
It’s a slippery slope for KU. After falling to Oklahoma State at home and Wednesday’s loss to the Horned Frogs, the Jayhawks now hit the road for a game Saturday against a solid Oklahoma team. Two days later Kansas hosts No. 13 Kansas State.