I mean seriously.
OK, that’s the extent of my KU freakout.
I laughed at people who were jumping off figurative ledges after the Jayhawks’ home court winning streak came to an end Saturday against Oklahoma State. OSU was exactly the kind of team this year’s KU team should have fits with: more athletic at almost every position on the court. Forget the last month of pedestrian basketball by KU. That was a dangerous game regardless of how they were playing. And while they played poorly for much of it, it was still a game they had a lead in late, and had a chance to win until the final possession.But going to TCU and losing? Playing as bad as any KU team has played since 1989? Yeah, it might be time to freak out.But I’m not going to. I’ve got a stack of drafts that I’ve built over the last month analyzing this team. But they never felt complete, nor did I have the interest in completing them because I didn’t really know what to make of this team. So they just sat there. I was worried about the team’s guard play. They don’t have a low-post scoring threat. They had one shooter. They relied on role players who were playing at the peaks of their abilities. It was bound to turn bad at some point. This is just worst than I expected.Last year I couldn’t get excited about basketball because I was in that weird, post-VCU funk. But their delightful run through March and into April erased those bad feelings. And as the VCU hangover lasted well into the 2011-12 season, I have to admit the afterglow of last season has lasted into this year. It’s been a long time since KU had to really rebuild. People thought they would have to when the ’08 team left. Or when Sherron and Cole and Xavier left. Or when the Morrii and Brady and Tyrel left. But each time the returning and new players pulled together and kept KU in the top five nationally, and at the top of the Big 12. They were way overdue for a regression, for a reset, for a year when the breaks go against them. Perhaps, despite the 19-1 start, this is it.A week ago everyone was writing off the Big 12 race and wondering who the second-best team was. All of a sudden the race is wiiiiiide open. And with trips to Norman, Stillwater, Ames, and Waco left, KU has a very difficult road to staying in that race.I’m not going to sweat it. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but every other big program has gone through this at least once since the last time KU did. The rest of this year will be tough, as Bill Self doesn’t have a lot of options other than to keep them doing what they’ve been doing.
KU will be fine. They may right the ship by March and make everyone laugh at that early February funk. Or it may take until next year, when the roster turns over, or even the year after that when next year’s freshmen have a year of Big 12 experience under their belts. But they’ll be great again soon and I’m going to chalk up this year’s woes as a necessary offering to the Hoops Gods and remember the good times from last year’s NCAA tournament.Rock Chalk, bitches.ↁ