Kansas Jayhawks: Baseball Team to Open at No. 2 LSU

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Price has made no bones about the fact that the Big 12 is one tough baseball conference. However, it was last year as well, ranking second in the country in conference RPI.

Yet, the Jayhawks, predicted to finish last, ended up third with a 15-9 conference record. This season, they were picked tied for seventh with Baylor.

Price said that did provide a little motivation for this team, but he doesn’t have his players focus on what anyone else is saying or writing. Instead they are going to focus on what they can control, and that is getting better every game.

While the Jayhawks enjoyed a little success in the tournament last year, Price said the regular season in the Big 12 tested them every weekend.

“Anytime you get an opportunity to play in a conference like the Big 12, it’s great,” he said. “You walk in to those three-game series and you are prepared for the NCAA Tournament.”

“You walk in to those three-game series and you are prepared for the NCAA Tournament.” — Price on playing in the Big 12 Conference

He will be constantly reminding his team all season that they have to be on their toes for every game, because there isn’t an easy series in the bunch.

But, he also knows that despite what the media or other coaches say, he can get his team to compete. Last year, despite failing to make it out of the Louisville Regional of the NCAA Tournament, the Jayhawks won all three regular season series against Big 12 teams that did advance to a Super Regional.

Now in his 13th season at KU, Price has nearly seen it all and is just trying to keep his team focused. That is a good thing considering there aren’t many “cupcake” teams on their schedule, especially opening weekend.

“KU has been a basketball school for 100 years and will be for the next 100 years,” Price said. “The reputation is so great, it puts a shadow on other teams. It’s the ultimate compliment to the basketball program, at the same time we just worry about ourselves, and we get to prove people wrong.”

Their first chance is 7 p.m. Friday in Baton Rouge.

Click here for a full season schedule.

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