Kansas suffered it's 8th loss of the season today in Morgantown, West Virginia. Bringing a wide variety of emotions to a stand still. In the midst of frustration being down by 26. KU at least showed some pride when it was much needed. Andrew Wiggins played his heart out, didn't want to lose and might very well be the only player on this roster that cares more of the the final outcome in games than the stat line.
I know Joel Embiid was resting for good reason. He needs to be the strongest he possibly can for a deep tournament run. But, the excuses of how this team will find its stride when they need it the most, or this game didn't mean anything for Kansas's postseason odds are wrong. In my opinion, Kansas has been an under performing squad this whole season, we have undeniably the best talent in all of America when fully functioning. Yet, it gets lost in the shuffle by inept guard play and lapses of freshmen not knowing how to manage the game is becoming this team's true downfall.
A reporter once joked that "Kansas has the best team in the country, that has an IQ level of the New York Knicks." Mainly, Naadir Tharpe at best can only take this young team so far. He isn't a player that can turn a game on his shoulders and run an offense to its fullest potential that previous guard leaden teams have in the past. Those prior leaders that embedded the mentality "we aren't going to lose" was embodied in tough willed point guards such as Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Russel, Robinson.
Sherron Collins risked losing a leg in heinous environments for him to not lose at Kansas State or at Oklahoma. Guys like Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden don't have the toughness about them. Further more, the inconsistent play not only boggles Bill Self on the sideline. It affects the whole group of fans watching it. You don't know what team will show up in games. The teams that whipped the tails off of Texas and Iowa State in statement sending wins. Or the teams that allow their youthfulness to bleed through in performances where they didn't care to be their such as against San Diego State, Texas in Austin, and K-State in Manhattan.
Andrew Wiggins might be the only player on this roster to solve the crisis at hand. His 41 point performance was the only reason at all. Kansas was in shouting distance today. He is the only player peaking on a team that's descending on the seed lines for every NCAA Tournament bracket.
The regular season is over now. Bringing the best case scenario for Kansas to find its stride or positive of anything. Is to ride the momentum train, picking up steam in the Big 12 Tournament. Where a messgae can be brought and confidence can be rewarded heading into situations where you can't lose your focus, can't lose your poise.
Maybe Andrew Wiggins can go on a frantic tear that Kemba Walker achieved in 2011. Carrying his team through the Big East Tournament, catching fire into the big dance, to which winning it all in Houston. Just trying to ease the frustration a little. Anyway, someone will have to step up onto the big stage. Andrew Wiggins might be our best bet.