Halfway through the season the Jayhawks have set themselves firmly at the top of the Big XII, with a 3 game first place lead. "I wouldn't nut say it's over, but we're sitting in a pretty comfortable spot." said Sherron Collins. Until Conference tournaments begin, it should be as comfortable as it get's for Kansas. In Monday night's dismantling of conference rival Texas.
Kansas and Texas have had many close hard fought games in past years and this was expected to be no less. Instead Kansas pulled ahead in a stretch during the first half where they dominated the Longhorns 22-0 for over 13 minutes. Kansas forced 9 turnovers leading to 16 points. The Jayhawks forced bad shots and double teamed big man Dexter Pittman.
The rest of the season for Kansas will be focused on progressing as a team and on individual weaknesses. Each Jayhawk knows what they must improve on for the team to fire on all cylinders come march madness. When everyone is playing to their potential Kansas is the deepest team in the country.
Bill Self may not go 11 players deep but the talent off of Kansas bench is unmatched. Against Texas, freshman Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson did not even see the court. The strategy of not playing nearly as many players worked for Kansas. While Texas struggled to find a way back into the game Kansas stayed played at a steady pace, forcing Texas to make mistakes.
The emergence of Marcus Morris continued Monday. Morris has been the most consistent player for KU in conference play. "Guys, he's not one of the better players in the league, he's one of the better players in the country." said Bill Self after the 18 points and 8 rebound performance from his sophomore forward.
Kansas has appeared at their best when they are threatened. In games on the road against Temple, Kansas State, and Texas, the Jayhawks have played up to their full potential. They have struggled in games against teams at the bottom of the Big XII, but still pulled out a win in these games against Nebraska and Colorado. When the competition as at the highest level the Jayhawks's have proved they raise their game as well.
Not only did Kansas prove themselves once again against a top 15 team on the road, but they showed they are equipped with much more than the 2 All Americans on the team. Freshman Xavier Henry scored 15 points against the Longhorns, Brady Morningstar forced turnovers, Tyshawn Taylor played a good game. Now the Jayhawks wait until they are given the opportunity to prove themselves again.