After winning the
Big 12 tournament title with an 80--68 victory over a Texas team that had
walloped them by 25 points two weeks before, the Jayhawks did what many young
teams do when they reach the NCAA tournament: They tensed up. "We probably
have the goofiest team in the nation, but before that [Bradley] game nobody was
even talking in the locker room," Wright says. That tightness proved fatal
against a Braves team that had three seniors and two juniors in its rotation.
"We had an us-against-the-world mentality for most of the year, but then in
the tournament we acted like we were trying to protect something," Self
says. "The loss was painful, but it was probably something we needed to
feel because last year's team was not mature enough to make a run."
older, wiser Jayhawks will prove that they're very much ready for a run--and
not just on their coach's treadmill.
contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Does KU have
enough depth inside without Kaun and forward C.J. Giles, who was dismissed for
behavior problems?... Can the Jayhawks replace Jeff Hawkins's perimeter
shooting?... Will they overcome their recent NCAA tourney first-round jinx?
Nov. 11 Northern
Nov. 15 Oral
Nov. 21 Tennessee