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Kansas At The Halfway Point During The Streak

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Currently having played nine games of an 18 game conference schedule, the Jayhawks sit at 8-1 in league play (and very well could and/or should be 9-0 but that's for another day). Kansas also ranks second in league play offensively, scoring 1.09 points per possession, and third defensively, allowing .95 points per game. It's no surprise, then, that the Jayhawks lead the league in efficiency margin (points per possession minus points allowed per possession) at +.139 points per possession.

When thinking back to other years in the streak, I seem to remember Kansas being in much worse spots in a lot of the years (example: 2012-13 when they lost three games in a row, including a home game and at TCU), so let's take a look at just where they sat:

2014:

Record: 8-1

Efficiency Margin: +.144 PPP (1.17 scored, 1.03 allowed)

2013:

Record: 7-2

Efficiency Margin: +.09 PPP (1.01 scored, .92 allowed)

2012:

Record: 8-1

Efficiency Margin: +.194 PPP (1.11 scored, .92 allowed)

-Probably should have seen that Final Four trip coming

2011 (note: 16 game conference seasons starting now):

Record: 7-1

Efficiency Margin: +.154 PPP (1.13 scored, .98 allowed)

2010:

Record: 8-0

Efficiency Margin: +.187 PPP (1.16 scored, .97 allowed)

2009:

Record: 8-0

Efficiency Margin: +.184 PPP (1.11 scored, .92 allowed)

2008:

Record: 7-1

Efficiency Margin: +.249 (1.15 scored, .90 allowed)

2007:

Record: 6-2

Efficiency Margin: +.17 (1.07 scored, .90 allowed)

2006:

Record: 6-2

Efficiency Margin: +.173 (1.08 scored, .90 allowed)

2005:

Record: 8-0

Efficiency Margin: +.181 (1.11 scored, .93 allowed)

It appears my memory has failed me a bit. While the Jayhawks have had seasons where the streak has looked in doubt, they have mostly gotten off to really good starts in the first half of league play. The other thing that surprised me a bit is how well last year's team started out on a per possession basis. We don't think of it that way now because of how the season ended, but that team wasn't too bad.

It's also worth noting that Kansas's best defensive teams (in the first half anyway) weren't with Withey involved, but were the 2006, 07, and 08 teams. Given that they all had the same nucleus, it's fair to suggest how great all three of those teams were, even if the first one wasn't experienced enough to make a run.

Lastly, as it pertains to this season, while the Jayhawks are off to a good start, and it's worth noting this is the best Big 12 in awhile, there is a lot of work to do.