Kansas entered the game against Iowa State just two days after the Jayhawks beat the Cyclones in Lawrence by 32 points. That was a makeup game previously postponed because of the covid. But things started much different in this game. Kansas didn’t score for the first 3:42.
On the broadcast, Fran Fraschilla said that he expects Kansas to finish second in the conference. That’s a bold statement. He also said that teams wouldn’t want to play Kansas in the tournament. Really? I get that a low seeded team might not want to, but any seed around or above Kansas probably isn’t too concerned. What have the Jayhawks done to scare anyone since the first of the year?
The Jayhawks really struggled early in this one. They had five points with 12:30 left in the first half and trailed 12-5. And then just eight points with 9:00 left in the half.
So what’s with Kansas’ struggling early in the game? The broadcasters would tell you that it was because of Kansas’ 32-point win over Iowa State just two days ago. And that’s surely part of it, but I certainly wouldn’t put as much into that being the sole reason.
Kansas is not the team we are used to seeing from them. It’s a down year for the Jayhawks. Add to that the fact that both teams are tired. Kansas played last Saturday and then Tuesday and Thursday before this game. Iowa State had done the same, but the Cyclones weren’t playing great either. And indeed, some of it is just how the game started. This run could have happened in the middle of the game, and maybe nobody notices.
It’s good to see Bryce Thompson back on the court, but man, was he oversold. A five-star player? Maybe he has that potential, but the transition to college ball has been difficult for him. He forces so many shots. He’s likely going to make significant strides next season. And maybe his improvement on defense will be as important as his offense. His defense is not good right now.
Somehow Kansas was tied at the half 24-24. Iowa State had 14 turnovers in the first half and was still tied with the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks’ 29% shooting was a big reason for that.
Kansas struggled shooting behind the arc, so in the second half, they went to the basket more.
It’s amazing how broadcasters can know nothing about the teams they are covering. Kansas is on an upturn? Well, they have played three games against Kansas State and Iowa State in February. That certainly helps.
After struggling early, Kansas found its game and found a way to win this game. The Jayhawks go to Manhattan to play Kansas State on Wednesday before finishing the conference season with games against Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor.