Title: Kansas Jayhawks Show Concerning Signs Ahead of Regular-Season Opener
Date: November 2, 2023
The Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team is gearing up for their regular-season opener against North Carolina Central on Monday. However, after a lackluster exhibition victory over Fort Hays State, head coach Bill Self expressed his concerns about the team’s preparedness.
In a postgame interview, Self made it clear that the Jayhawks are not ready for the regular season. He highlighted two major areas of concern: the team’s overall energy and their inconsistent defense. These deficiencies were evident in the second half of the exhibition game, where Fort Hays State went on multiple scoring runs while much of KU’s starting lineup remained on the court.
Self criticized the team’s shooting performance, particularly their 6-for-28 shooting from beyond the arc. He emphasized that the team needs to improve their three-point shooting, as they were 0-for-18 on all other attempts apart from backup center Parker Braun’s banked-in three-pointer.
Despite the team’s struggles, Self praised the efforts of Kevin McCullar Jr., who played through a sore neck and contributed significantly to the team’s offense. McCullar’s performance was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing shooting display.
The Jayhawks’ defensive shortcomings were also a cause for concern. Self and his players acknowledged that if they struggle to make shots, they need to focus on preventing the opposing team from scoring. The team deployed 13 players in the second half, but Fort Hays State still managed to outscore them.
Another factor contributing to the team’s lack of readiness is the presence of several freshmen who are still adjusting to the college game. Self acknowledged that the freshmen, who make up a third of the scholarship athletes, are still getting up to speed.
Self also mentioned the struggles of guard Elmarko Jackson, who has been overthinking on the court. As a result, Self has decided to have McCullar serve as the point guard when Dajuan Harris Jr. is not on the floor.
Looking ahead to their regular-season opener against North Carolina Central, the Jayhawks will have a longer break to regroup and address their concerns. NCCU, picked to finish third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will bring a new-look roster with several transfers.
In addition to their on-court preparations, Self and NCCU head coach LeVelle Moton will participate in a panel discussion about John McLendon, a KU alum and former NCCU coach. The discussion will center around the documentary “Fast Break: The Legendary John McLendon.”
The Jayhawks’ regular-season opener against North Carolina Central will take place on Monday at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN+.
In conclusion, the Kansas Jayhawks have some work to do before their regular-season opener. Coach Bill Self and his team are aware of the areas they need to improve, particularly their energy, defense, and three-point shooting. With a longer break before their first official game, the Jayhawks have an opportunity to address these concerns and come out stronger in their regular-season campaign.Ready or not, here comes regular-season basketball for KU
Kansas coach Bill Self expressed his concerns about his team’s preparedness for the regular season, just three days before their opening game against North Carolina Central. Self bluntly stated, “No, we’re not ready,” emphasizing the team’s lack of readiness.
Self’s main areas of concern following their exhibition victory over Fort Hays State were the team’s overall energy and inconsistent defense. These deficiencies were evident in the second half, as the Tigers went on multiple scoring runs while KU’s starting lineup struggled to contain them. The limited number of scholarship players on the bench also contributed to the team’s inability to form alternative lineups.
Self criticized the team’s performance from beyond the arc, as they shot a disappointing 6-for-28. He highlighted the fact that only one of those three-pointers came from Kevin McCullar Jr., who played despite a sore neck. Self acknowledged McCullar’s dedication to the team and expressed gratitude for his contribution.
However, the team’s struggles from deep were not solely attributed to McCullar’s performance. The rest of the team went 0-for-18 on three-point attempts, leading Self to comment, “I actually think that we’re better than that.”
Self and his players agreed that their defensive efforts needed improvement. Point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. emphasized the importance of preventing the opposing team from scoring when their