Kansas Basketball: 4 Improvements to Make While Continuing Big 12 Play

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIIJanuary 16, 2012

Kansas Basketball: 4 Improvements to Make While Continuing Big 12 Play

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    The Kansas Jayhawks have gone through a lot in non-conference play and into the first few games of conference games.

    Bill Self has always been critical of his team when he feels his team isn't performing at its best. Self has no problem sharing with the media what woes Kansas has.

    But with Self as the head coach, the Jayhawks are capable of moving forward and making improvements.

    What do they need to improve on? Read about the four areas the Jayhawks must work on as they continue Big XII play and get ready for teams like Baylor and Missouri.

Tyshawn Taylor Must Limit His Turnovers

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    This hasn't been the senior year that many had predicted from Tyshawn Taylor. His career high of 28 points and six assists on Saturday helped Kansas come back and make a statement in the second half against Iowa State after the Cyclones had gotten the best of the Jayhawks for almost all of the first half.

    Despite the win, Taylor had four turnovers, which is exactly how many times he has turned the ball over on average per game this year.

    Taylor is second on the Jayhawks in scoring, but that has been heavily overshadowed due to his inability to take care of the basketball. His flaws in taking care of the basketball have been mostly exposed against ranked teams.

    vs. No. 2 Kentucky: no turnovers

    vs. No. 6 Duke: 11 turnovers

    vs. No. 2 Ohio State: seven turnovers

    vs. No. 22 Kansas State: eight turnovers

    After starting the season well, Taylor's turnover habits set the Jayhawks back against Duke in Hawaii for the Maui title. Will the co-Big XII Player of the Week reduce the heavy load of turnovers against Baylor?

Get off to a Better Start

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    You won't find a happy Self on the bench, even if the Jayhawks give up a quick 4-0 run to start off the game or a half. Self won't hesitate burning a timeout to get his team together over a quick strike put together by a team.

    Texas Tech got off to an 8-2 start last week against Kansas in Lubbock. Fortunately for Kansas, Texas Tech hurt themselves with multiple technical fouls in the game while Kansas regained themselves and defeated Texas Tech, 81-46.

    If Baylor or Missouri got off to a fast start like that against Kansas, especially if Kansas is on the road, it will be a long game for Self and his Jayhawks.

Shoot Well from Three-Point Range

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    While the Jayhawks are winning, they could begin to fall out of the top 10 if they continue to struggle from beyond the ark.

    Kansas is ranked sixth in the Big XII in three-point scoring and must find a way to improve on that. With tougher Big XII games coming up, Kansas must begin dropping threes to keep themselves in the Big XII race with Baylor, Missouri and Kansas State. At this rate, it's safe to say one of those four will win the conference.

Kansas Must Be More Consistent

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    This has been a small issue for Kansas every year. For a team that has great expectations, the Jayhawks have unexpectedly slipped in past games through the years with Self as the head coach.

    The Jayhawks let Kansas State destroy them last year on February 14th when Jacob Pullen had the game of his life. And fans can't forget about Oklahoma State. Kansas has bad luck when visiting Oklahoma State in recent contests.

    A championship is not far from Kansas' range. Every year, they show they have the potential but don't live up to expectations at times, and it translates into a stunning exit in March.

    Self must find a way to make sure Kansas doesn't fall apart and keep them consistent in Big XII play. A loss by a couple of points against a strong team is one thing, but an unexpected loss all together is another.

Overview

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    Self has gone through a lot of lows with Kansas. Although he has won a national title to erase some of the bad, it is no surprise why fans get a little nervous when the NCAA tournament is around the corner.

    This year, Self's Jayhawks aren't as strong as they were in 2008, 2010 and 2011. But they still have a lot of fire power.

    Some of the errors they have are fixable and aren't as severe as some teams who have lots of areas where they need to improve. The question is, can Kansas improve in those areas before it's too late?