Kansas Jayhawks: Is it Time to Push the Panic Button


No, it’s not quite time to push the panic button, but after the Kansas Jayhawks (22-6, 11-4) dropped a 70-63 decision at 14-15 Kansas State last night, someone should at least locate it.

Maybe head coach Bill Self could have a student manager find it, or what the heck, maybe he needs to have his finger on it in case they drop another game they shouldn’t.

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It’s been business as usual at home for the Jayhawks this year, winning all 13 games in Allen Fieldhouse, but leave the friendly confines of The Phog and it all falls apart.

One of the things that has set the Jayhawks apart from Big 12 Conference foes during their 10-year championship streak is the ability to win away from home.

However, as they now hold a slim one half game lead on Iowa St., Kansas has gone just 9-6 in neutral or road games.

That’s not good enough for this team.

Not in the toughest conference in college basketball.

Day in and day out playing in the Big 12 is like running a gauntlet. Teams are truly beating each other up, but the one who will come out on top, will find a way to win away from home.

The Wildcats and their fans can rush the court all they want, but in reality, they should win most games in Manhattan.

Iowa St. may very well take this conference after picking up huge road wins at Oklahoma St. and Texas this past week.

They still have to win at K-State and TCU if they want to at least have a share of the conference title, and after two home games in a row, the Jayhawks will have to end the season at Oklahoma.

Trust me, they don’t want to have to win in Norman to keep the streak going.

But it’s not just about the streak.

With three losses in their past six games, the Jayhawks don’t have a ton of room for error if they want to get a two seed in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, they better not lose more than one game or they can kiss it good bye.

Even more concerning than the streak or their seed, is figuring out if they can compete with bigger teams in the NCAA Tournament. Is not having a true rim protector the reason for the recent sumbles?

Power forward Perry Ellis is doing all he can to help in that department, averaging 21 points and 6.8 rebounds the past four contests, but at 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, he doesn’t battle among the trees and block or alter many shots.

We thought Cliff Alexander might be that guy, but when you play a combined 27 minutes the past three games, it’s hard to do anything, let along be a difference-maker at the rim.

With home games against Texas and West Virginia on the horizon, the Jayhawks could find themselves back on track for the race to the top of the Big 12, but after that I’m not sure what we can expect.

One thing you can count on is that the Jayhawks will make it interesting no matter what.

That’s not what most fans want, and it certainly isn’t what Self wants.

If it continues, he may have to just go ahead and press that panic button.

Maybe it will wake these guys up.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Naming the All-Bill Self KU Teams

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