Bill Self used the term dumb to describe his teams effort at halftime of this one. Dumb, soft and selfish are the three terms that he specifically used in describing his teams early performance and that effort led to a less than encouraging grinder of a game on Monday night.
After jumping out to an 11 - 0 lead it looked as if Kansas was going to cruise. Then things turned into a dog fight with Kansas seemingly trailing and chasing the Aggies for much of the middle portion of this game. Too often the Jayhawks were caught settling for an early three while failing to work their offense and getting the ball into the lane. It really is a game that was a testiment to Texas A&M as they refused to fold and then they executed a solid gameplan with a little bit of help from the lackluster Jayhawk effort.
Fortunately Kansas was able to slowly pull away over the last 10 minutes. The Jayhawks were able to get the ball inside to Thomas Robinson more consistently and the defensive effort stepped up just enough to give the Aggies some trouble on the offensive end.
Kansas wins by a final score of 64 to 54. There weren't a tremendous amount of positive points to be taken from individual Jayhawk performances but Thomas Robinson did lead the Jayhawks with his 14th double double of the season. Robinson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Withey also contributed double digits in the scoring column but more impressively he added 8 blocks while Tyshawn Taylor added a 17 points of his own most of which occurred early in the contest.
Other than that, Tommy Lasorda had some nice moments during the broadcast. Lasorda's golf clap following Robinson's key rebound and put back for a three point play around the 3:45 mark was perfection. Throw in Musburger and Knight and this was like sitting at McDonald's sipping on a senior coffee at 5:30 in the morning.
It's hard to say exactly why it is that Kansas seems so prone to the emotional and mental letdown when an opponent doesn't command respect. But it's that very issue that should be cause for concern as Kansas continues through the Big 12 schedule and into March. Sometimes you can get caught napping at the wrong time and it really comes back to haunt you.
All that said it is a win for Kansas, that's the goal at the end of the night and sometimes it isn't easy. The Jayhawks move to 7-0 in league play and hopefully there is something to be gained from the experience. Up next for Kansas is a trip to Ames to take on a dangerous Iowa State team in a game that many have circled as a potential stumbling block for the Jayhawks. In an increasingly competitive conference race, where Missouri is coming on very strong, every game becomes more important than the last.