Ladies and Gentleman: Unfortunately, the time has come.
The season that everyone said was going to happen in 2002, 2009 and 2010, but didn’t, has finally come. People: The Jayhawk’s are finally having a rebuilding year.
This became very, very prominent in the Kentucky game Tuesday night. I’ll say it. Kentucky isn’t good. They’re just not. They’re a typical Calipari team; young, athletic freshman and sophomores with monstrous egos who think they can walk into any gym and beat anyone, but don’t play as one cohesive unit. Kansas should have won the game last night in Madison Square Garden. A Bill Self team should have beat the crap out of Kentucky. Problem is, they didn’t. And KU won’t be a top 10 team with these glaring problems.
1. They aren’t playing like a team for 40 minutes:
The person I blame most for this is Tyshawn Taylor. After the first few possessions of KU’s first practice at “Late Night at the Phog,” I could tell right away there was a problem with Taylor. He’s driving too aggressively, and forcing up shots that don’t need to be forced and by doing that, he’s not looking for open shooters. Which makes sense. Not like Conner Teahan is shooting lights out this year or anything (he’s shooting 5-9 from three, and 58 percent from the field). Taylor has an obvious ego issue that needs to be called in check. I was fine with Sherron’s ego. In fact, I loved Sherron’s ego. He played well with it, it drove him. Taylor, on the other hand, can’t. People will look at the box score and see Taylor had 22 points Tuesday night, what they won’t see is his countless turnovers and incredibly costly mistakes that lead to the KU collapse. As the point guard, and a senior point guard at that, he should be able to control a game and not have the urge to just score points. He’s not Sherron Collins, no matter how much he may think he is.
Aside from Taylor, the rest of the team doesn’t seem to be on par. Instead of running a fluid, set offense, the Hawks seem way too rushed and don’t look comfortable with each other, which causes confusion on both the offense, and defensive end.
2. Why on God’s green earth are we not giving the ball to Thomas Robinson?
Seriously. Why isn’t T-Rob touching the ball on every possession? The guy has exploded in the past two years and developed into a dominating inside force that can score from inside out. Instead of pounding the ball inside to Robinson, KU is settling for long, contested jumpers that don’t need to be taken, especially with a Pre-season All-American center down low in Robinson. The reason the ’08 team was so great and was able to make a run in March was because of how well rounded they were, and how well they played from the inside, out. Sure, KU doesn’t have a Darnell Jackson-like body down low, or even a Cole Aldrich arsenal of moves, but KU does have a Julian Wright-Wayne Simeon breed in Robinson. The more Robinson touches the ball, the more points KU will score. Period.
The reality is, if KU doesn’t shape up, this is going to be a long year. Then again, this is the rebuilding year we’ve all been worried about. The Hawks don’t seem to have a dominant force to control the game, and that will be a reoccurring problem throughout the season. My message to KU Fans: Be patient. Keep the faith. It’ll be a long season, but with a Bill Self-led team, I can still see KU winning 22 to 25 games this season, and probably a three or four seed in the tournament.