Needless to say Kansas coach Bill Self was not pleased at the lack of continuity and growth his team showed at the Battle For Atlantis. The Jayhawks really didn't play well in any of their contests in which they went 2-1 with close wins over Wake Forest and UTEP and a loss to Villanova.
Some home cooking would serve them well, but it won't happen, as the Jayhawks will begin a grueling road trip at Colorado and Florida, before facing New Mexico in Kansas City. They won't play another game in Allen Fieldhouse until they face Georgetown on December 21. However you won't see Self backing down from any challenges, as his team embarks on its first true road trip of the season.
"Yeah, it's going to be a hard road trip. I don't know whoever did our scheduling, I don't really understand. I'm the one who did it. But it's probably not the wisest thing to have done. But you know what? We'll come together. The Atlantis trip didn't serve its purpose for coming together, so hopefully we'll do a much better job when we go to Boulder," Self said.
The Jayhawks will look to play with more urgency and energy on this roadtrip. Both qualities have been lacking of late.
"We don't consistently play with the sense of urgency that teams here in the past have played it would probably be the best way to put it. I think a lot of that is our veterans need to do a better job of educating our younger guys on exactly what level you have to play at all the time and your focus and your attention. The UTEP game was a great example. We didn't play great against UTEP, but they scored 18 points the last 1:49 off of guys just not concentrating and focusing," Self said. "So it's one thing to say you want to play harder, but also a lot of it isn't so much just playing harder but our focus and our concentration is so short right now."
However, these are traits of a young team and going into the season, knowledgeable people knew KU would take some lumps and not run the table like a few might have thought.
"Now, it doesn't mean we won't get there and we won't get there soon, but we haven't gotten there yet. I think so much of it is youth," Self said. "I think the Duke game spoiled us a little bit because with a bunch of young kids out there playing a certain way, I think things fell right for us during that game. Also, there were guys geeked up to play, so there was kind of an adrenaline flow to that game. When you remove the adrenaline flow, we don't compensate as well if we stay playing at that energy level, so to speak."
The trip will be a good test, but in reality, it'll take time and that's something that is on the Jayhawks' side.