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New Year's Resolutions for the Jayhawks

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  • New Year's Resolutions for the Jayhawks

    New Year’s Resolutions for the Jayhawks

    As 2010 comes to a close, it is hard to think of many things a 12-0 team that is ranked third nationally can do to improve itself. However this is Kansas, and as with any year, comes lofty expectations and standards to aspire to. This team while very good is not invincible. They have their weaknesses, and the NCAA tournament is a place where these weaknesses can be exploited. The locker room at Allen Fieldhouse should have three New Year’s Resolutions posted on the blackboard. These being…

    Free Throw Shooting

    3-Point Shooting %


    At first glance, you might look and say to yourself, “ahem, what about defense?” The response would quickly be, “ahem, do you know who your coach is?” The notion that Coach Bill Self will not have his team playing better defense at the end of the year goes without saying. So let’s move on to the more pressing issues. These issues dwell more in the minds and focus of the players on the team than coaching strategy.

    Free Throw Shooting

    This one seems pretty obvious to anyone who has watched a Kansas game this year. Hearing “clang” multiple times during the game can be frustrating. The team itself is shooting 65.3%. But a closer look inside the numbers will get you even more worried.

    The four players that bring about the biggest concern are Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Releford, and Elijah Johnson.

    Robinson is currently clipping along at 47.6%. With his increased playing time and his time in the post, this is greatly concerning.

    Taylor, being one of our floor leaders and a guard on our team is shooting 69%. For a guard this is puzzling. You have got to think his concentration is elsewhere.

    Travis Releford at 58.3% and Elijah Johnson at 50% are grouped together because they have both seen increased playing time and have not gotten as many looks at the stripe. However if this continues, losing out on five or six points per game is going to come back to haunt this team come March.

    Resolution: Commit to shooting 200 free throw shots a day on their own time.

    Three Point Shooting

    At first glance, 39.3% is not that bad, not that good, but not that bad. The problem with this team is that our players have a problem with creating their own shot. Most of the three point shooters on this team are spot up shooters. These spot up shooters have not really come to play even against the weaker competition.

    For example, Tyrel Reed has been shooting 32.8% so far this year. You would tend to think he will shoot his way out of this. But, he is one of those players that really need to be wide open for it to go in.

    Tyshawn Taylor is heaving them up at a 33.3% rate. For a guard that is really not what you want, especially if he is going to be playing so many minutes.

    Brady Morningstar is another one of those guys who really needs open space to drain his threes. He has started out at 33.3% as well.

    The last example of concern is Markieff Morris. He is shooting 33.3% from beyond the arc. Don’t know why he honestly has a green light back there. He would be better served cleaning up down low where he has excelled this year.

    Resolution: Commit to driving to the basket more, drawing defenders, and looking for our spot up shooters.


    Finally we come to a more irritating subject, turnovers. We as a team are turning the ball over at about 14 a game. To put the number in perspective, the 2008 team turned it over 13 times a game. Is one turnover a game that big a deal? It is if you have only played 12 games against inferior opponents without including the conference season.

    This category you can pinpoint the culprits pretty easily. Four players account for 9.3 of the 14 turnovers a game. Those players are Tyshawn Taylor, Josh Selby, and both of the Twins.

    Taylor is giving it up a team high 3.3 times a game. This is unacceptable for a team ranked this high. He is dishing out 5.4 assists per game, but some of his turnovers leave you scratching your head.

    Josh Selby, the anointed one, has been coughing it up 3 times a game. He will get a pass only playing three games so far, but this will have to improve as the season goes along.

    The Twins are combining for 3 turnovers a game. Sometimes it seems as though their focus is not completely on the game. Shaving a turnover off a game between the two of them will do wonders down the road.

    Resolution: Commit to protecting the ball, concentrating on every possession and not to be careless. Focus!

    This Jayhawk team can be as special as we have had in years. The end result will not be because of the fans, the coaching, nor even their athletic ability. The solution is their mental commitment. With 2011 fast approaching, let’s hope our boys take a moment and realize their full potential. Rock Chalk!

    Jason Spencer is a writer for covering the Kansas Jayhawks. He can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @SpenceSports

  • #2
    Re: New Year's Resolutions for the Jayhawks

    So, after today's game against Miami of Ohio, how did our Jayhawks fair in the three catergories outlined in my article? Those catergories were Free Throw Shooting, 3-Point Shooting, and Turnovers. These areas are meant to point out our own weaknesses so that we know how we stack up down the road against a great team like a Duke or Ohio State. Here is what we did today...

    Free Throw Shooting 5-7 71.4%

    This one is hard to gauge since we really didn't get to the line. We were too busy dunking over the Red Hawks. They get a pass on this one. Too small of a sample size.

    3-Point Shooting 8-16 50%

    The Jayhawks did great in this area. Selby hitting 4-5 obviously helped this number but overall great job from the outside today.

    Turnovers 18

    This is my biggest concern. 18 tos is way too much. Especially against an inferior oppenent. Selby and Taylor combined for 7 tos. This has got to be dealt with in the future.

    Overall I think the team is doing great and the players seem to be progressing. But to win a championship, the little things are the most important.


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