Kansas basketball couldn't pull out of Ames with a victory today. After a few games into the season, you could tell the margin for error with this team was not there like some teams in the past. Scoring was going to be an issue, and when opposing teams had "on" shooting nights, we could be in trouble.
Even with Johnny Furphy inserted into the starting lineup and proving to be a consistent scorer, the Jayhawks are still looking for more. The Jayhawks are now 1-3 on the road in Big 12 Conference play. Poor bench play and erratic stretches from Dajuan Harris and even Kevin McCullar today tend to be driving factors in this team not taking the next step.
That one road win was against a bad Oklahoma State team that is currently 9-11 overall and 1-6 in league games following their win over West Virginia today. The Big 12 is a gauntlet, and we are finding that out on a weekly basis. With four seasoned starters on the team, you would think the road environments wouldn't affect us as much as most teams, but our record suggests otherwise.
The scary part is that we have five road games left, and they are arguably all harder than where we have played, with the exception of Hilton. Remaining road games include K-State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Houston. A gauntlet of games.
To have a shot to win the Big 12, KU will need to win out at home and go at least 3-2 in these remaining road games to have a shot at what could be a shared title. I have full faith in Coach Self, as he is a Hall of Famer for a reason. We are getting to a point in the season where we are still waiting for a switch to be turned on.
This team came in as the preseason No. 1 ranked team. After watching this team grind out games and struggle on the road, the question must be asked — what is this team's legitimate ceiling in the NCAA Tournament?
KU could be underdogs in all five of those road games. Will we lose at least one and possibly more? Yes. Will we lose them all or only win one? Probably not. I am guessing we land in the 3-2 to 4-1 range on the road to close out the season.
Self has made a habit of closing the conference out on a vengeance when a conference championship seemed slim. This could be another chapter in his book finishing strong. I am guessing we finish undefeated at home and 4-1 on the road to win the Big 12 again and carry some momentum into the postseason.
What is your guess of how KU will finish with its final five road games of the season? Put your predictions in the comments.
As Always Rock Chalk and Let's Go!