In the midst of hardship, you can always try to salvage the positive outcome. In the crushing loss to Oklahoma State tonight. Kansas fell victim to what ultimately might become the death of this team in a few weeks. Somehow Kansas won the Big 12 Title all by themselves, with losses by Iowa State and Texas.
That wasn't the story tonight. The story was once again proven, pounded to the ground. Turnovers. A lot of them. I know this game was drawn up as a "meaningless game" for the Jayhawks. Being know a lock as a #2 seed. But Kansas unwillingly committed 22 unforced turnovers in a game that should have been bottled up with a 10 point lead with 10 minutes left in the game.
Point Guard spot, which let's be honest. Outside the ups and downs of the roller coaster career of Tyshawn Taylor. Kansas hasn't had a true ball handler who can value each possession while taking smart shots since Sherron Collins. Maybe I'm over exaggerating by Tharpe's performance. In retrospect, he is merely a really good back up point guard slotted in a starting role. On a team that still hasn't found it's stride yet in March. Andrew Wiggins did force 6 turnovers tonight. The same amount Tharpe did.
But unlike Tharpe, Wiggins found ways to get to the bucket to get his points. Naadir Tharpe most of the time hasn't assembled all the pieces to become the difference maker in games.
Joel Embiid gutted the game out and performed when he needed to by displaying emotion the whole game. His back flares looked to be back again for him. Which hopefully doesn't hinder his playing status for Senior Night.
I thought the defense did what it had to most of the game. It was the reason why it kept Kansas in the game, despite a world wind of turnovers and bad offensive shots. If it can come around, that would be vital for a deep run in March. (If we don't get snake bitten by unruly guard play).
Lastly, the final take away from tonight's head-scratcher is that maybe the Big 12 Tournament now becomes more crucial for the confidence of this team. Kansas this year, has been disguised in many forms this season. All brining back the term "inconsistent" around full circle. It's March now, and in some ways it feels as if Kansas has left their November and December selves behind them, replenished with a trunk full of new tricks and stop gaps that continues to negate their true potential that has been hidden from all of us up to this point.