Kansas basketball: Jayhawks will improve when Dajuan Harris gets it going

The inconsistency of the Kansas basketball team matches the sometimes uneven play of point guard Dajuan Harris. Look for Harris to get it going soon.

Kansas basketball point guard Dajuan Harris
Kansas basketball point guard Dajuan Harris / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The Kansas basketball program has been extremely spoiled over the last few seasons with wily point guard Dajuan Harris running the team on the court for Bill Self.

This season, however, Harris has struggled more than in the past, especially with his two-point shooting and turnovers. This season, he's connected on just 39% of his two-point attempts, compared to 49.5% last season. This year, he's averaging 2.5 turnovers a game, 25% more than he had a year ago.

It's not all gloom and doom for Harris, though. His three-point shooting has gotten better. He's up to 42.5% from 40.5. He also has seen a healthy bump in his assists, jumping from 6.2 a game last year, to 6.8. His assist-to-turnover ratio is still impressive at 2.72.

Harris just hasn't been as careful with the ball so far. He already has five games with four or more turnovers compared to six games total last season. He never had more than four in any single game a year ago, but he has two games with five this season, including in Monday's win against Cincinnati. He did offset that with eight assists.

The inconsistency derives from the fact he only had three turnovers in the previous three games, which, not coincidently, resulted in two wins, and a high-scoring loss to West Virginia. There are been other stretches this season when he's been fantastic and KU has played well. Mixed in with those are some not-so-great games for both Harris and the Jayhawks.

When a team has a point guard that is as important to their team as the Jayhawks do in Harris, the team is going to reflect his performance to some extent. That certainly seems to be the case with this Kansas basketball team.

Harris is a terrific player who is aware of his strengths and weaknesses. He isn't a great shooter but he seldom forces shots. He is a better three-point shooter than he might be given credit for, but he needs a lot of space to get his shot off because he shoots fairly low and needs a moment to gather himself on the shot.

That's okay — when he gets that space, he will usually nail that outside shot. Enough so that defenses cannot just leave him unattended on the perimeter. He does seem to shoot from beyond the arc with a lot more confidence than he used to.

While not deep, this Kansas basketball team has more scorers in the starting lineup than they did for most of last year, especially with the emergence of Johnny Furphy since the Australian lad joined the starting five. It is not as imperative for Harris to score much, but when he takes the ball to the rim, he needs to finish at a higher rate than he has been.

Dajuan Harris will turn it around for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team

The good news is that Harris is too experienced, skilled, and smart for his inconsistency to continue. As the season progresses, look for him to make more of his shots inside the arc. Look for him to continue to find his talented starting mates, and look for him to cut down on his sloppiness with the ball.

It is incredibly hard to be at one's best every singe game as these players make their way through their brutal Big 12 schedule. There are too many good teams, great players, and coaches who know what they are doing to be comfortable too often.

Harris has the experience, the wiles, and the complete trust of his coach. These components will help him and his teammates find whatever consistency there can be had in the Big 12. Kansas always finds a way to be there in the end, so be patient and Harris will lead this team to great things before the season is over.

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