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Competition Breeds Excellence

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BOOM!!! Sure it was Pitt State but damn do those Jayhawks look good.  Top to bottom an EASY 9 deep the Jayhawks are competing at every spot on the floor for every minute of playing time.  The crazy thing is that the 9 deep right now is minus Travis Releford, Mario Little, Jeff Withey, Brady Morningstar and CJ Henry.  Even if Releford and Little take a shirt that means Kansas will have 12 guys on the bench that can provide meaninful minutes.  There isn't a chance to take a breath right now the competition is so fierce.

The fact of the matter is that competition breeds excellence.  Right now there isn't a Jayhawk who takes the floor that is giving less than 100%.  Some of the most impressive quite honestly have been the guys who likely feel they have the most to prove.  Thomas Robinson 17 points and 7 rebounds!!!   Is Cole Aldrich even the best big man on this team anymore?  I say that in jest of course but the fact remains that day in and day out the Jayhawks are competing against top tier talent in high intensity situations. 

Again the tests will get tougher but the team had 22 assists, 21 steals, outrebounded the opponent 42-26 and held them to a minimal 45 points on the night.  Even when things aren't looking the best on the court you get the feeling the Jayhawks are just outworking their opponent.  Not a bad deal for a team some see as full of  "thugs and prima donna's."  Not my words by the way.  Tyshawn Taylor came off the bench in game one, get's an opportunity to start in game two...does anyone else think he has no intention of relinquishing that role? 

The Morri go for 26 points and 18 boards in 34 combined minutes of play.  Thomas Robinson matches the intensity with again 17 and 7.  At the four spot or in McMorris' case at times a big 3, the production is off the charts compared to last year.  43 points and 25 rebounds!!  Not a bad day and with Thomas Robinson pushing hard for more minutes it's going to be a battle everyday to be the best.

Fun game to watch and clearly the day in day out competition on this team is going to benefit everyone.  It's going to benefit players developing, benefit the team in terms of toughness and how can one even measure the preparation these guys are getting for the next level by going rounds daily in a gym full of potential NBA talent.  Sure they won't all make it, but if I'm a recruit trying to decide where my best chance to improve and develop into a pro, Kansas has to be near the top of my list.

Next step is getting Kansas football to this same level.  Fine...fine...that might be a bit of a stretch but I don't think it's too tough to see when comparing the two programs that football needs a two to three deep that is truly competing on a daily basis.  It sure does make the job a bit easier, just ask Bill Self.