Is the new and improved Kansas basketball team the best in the country?

We have seen a completely different Jayhawk squad over the past two games

Jan 16, 2024; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts after a basket
Jan 16, 2024; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts after a basket / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

After the Kansas basketball team lost to the unranked UCF Knights in their program's first-ever Big 12 victory, head coach Bill Self knew the Jayhawks needed a change. He turned to Australian freshman Johnny Furphy to provide a spark, inserting him into the starting lineup for Elmarko Jackson.

Although it is a small sample size, Kansas has since defeated No. 9 Oklahoma by 12 points and Oklahoma State on the road by 24. It has been a completely different KU team since the first-year guard started seeing the floor more often.

Highlighted by a 15-point first half in Tuesday night's win, Furphy might be exactly what this squad needed. Turnovers had plagued the Jayhawks all season, yet they set a program record for least turnovers in a single game just a few days after giving it away 18 times to the Knights in Orlando.

The new and improved Kansas basketball team might be the best in the NCAA

Less than two weeks ago, the current Kansas Jayhawks basketball team didn't look like a national title contender. The same cannot be said now.

Even the top guys like Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar seem to be in better spirits with the amended lineup. Bill Self called the Jayhawks' previous game the best performance they have had all year, and it's pretty obvious to fans what that can be attributed to.

KU's resume might include impressive wins over current No. 1 UConn, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana, but there was always something that didn't click in those contests. Not only could they not take care of the ball, but they were missing an energetic piece that they have finally found in Furphy.

As the team continues to learn its identity, Kansas will continue to improve. And if the Jayhawks can conquer the Big 12 gauntlet, there's a very good possibility they enter March Madness as the top squad to beat.