It’s still only November
After a crushing loss like Kansas just suffered, it’s easy to have serious doubts about the Jayhawks’ chances for success this season. With a trip to the Final Four on the line, head coach Bill Self and crew may face Marquette again in the NCAA tournament. Such a setback may cause someone to begin placing limits on what Kansas is capable of.
But November hasn’t even come yet. The Jayhawks aren’t even halfway through their non-conference plan, never alone beginning to navigate the difficulties of the Big 12 Conference. There’s still a lot of time for the likes of freshman guard Elmarko Jackson, graduate senior guard Nicolas Timberlake and freshman guard Johnny Furphy to improve and become more reliable parts of the rotation.
Turnovers cost Kansas a lot.
Kansas gave up 18 shots of the ball, which resulted in 20 points getting scored at them. Marquette, in contrast, gave up the ball on 12 occasions and gave up nine points as a result. Any team would find it difficult to overcome such a deficit, and the Jayhawks were unable to accomplish so while playing the Golden Eagles.
Kevin McCullar Jr., a graduate guard, turned the ball over six times, while senior center Hunter Dickinson turned it over five times for Kansas. These 11 combined turnovers were almost equal to the 14 the two had combined throughout the Jayhawks’ first four games of the season. As the team finishes off its run at the Maui Invitational and moves on with the season, expect greater ball care to be a priority.
Kansas needs more dependable scorers than Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar Jr.
McCullar shot 9 for 14 from the field, 2 for 4 inside the arc, and 4 for 6 from the free-throw line on the way to finishing with 24 points. Dickinson went 5-for-10 from the field, 1-for-2 inside the arc, and 2-for-4 from the free-throw line to finish with 13 points. And those two guys were finally the only ones for Kansas to finish with double figures in scoring.
Not a single Jayhawks player got more than five points in the game. Jackson, one of the team’s five starters, got just one point. That isn’t a prescription for success, particularly given Kansas’ hard schedule this season.