“[Tharpe]’s the one to me, and (freshman) Frank (Mason), that can do a better job of maybe making other teams play poorly because their point guard isn’t comfortable, and we haven’t done a good job of that lately,” Self said. “I’m not just picking on them. It’s kind of the way we’re playing, but it’s also basically body type and physical ability and things like that. They’re just not very big.”
Six-foot-8 forward Jonathan Holmes (No. 10) remains as Texas' best player even if he doesn't get the headlines. The junior has few weaknesses: He's an above-average shooter in all four locations (at rim, 2-point jumpers, 3s, free throws) and provides plenty of additional value beyond scoring. Holmes ranks in the top 180 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, and he's also a top-200 shot-blocker. He's another guy KU can't afford to put on the line, as he's good at creating contact (5.4 fouls drawn per 40 minutes) and also making his charities (78 percent).
“You’re on the cover of magazines, left and right, everywhere you go people want their picture with you, even though they’re not Kansas fans,” Black said of Wiggins. “Everybody wants to talk to you. Everybody wants to do for you. For him to step on the court every day and not try to set himself aside but actually just fit in with us — ‘Tarik, that’s my big brother. I’m going to listen to whatever he says. I’m not gonna push him away’ —that’s very humbling for all of us. Nobody else on the team can act like they’re up here (puts his hand above his head) if the guy who actually is there is just still playing his role as an 18-year-old kid.”
“It’s about playing Texas and playing a team that’s already handled us once. One of the residual effects is that it’s big for the league race, but it’s also just an opportunity for us to try to play better against a team that smacked us around pretty good.”
Not only have the Jayhawks lost more often this season than in the previous two, but their RPI has taken a hit in the process. According to NCAA.com, Kansas entered this week ranked 106th in the nation. Throw in the fact that the Big 12 is currently fourth among the nation’s conferences in terms of RPI, according to realtimerpi.com, and it’s easy to see why things are so bleak.
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