Sense Of Urgency...

  • I’m looking back over the last 3 games… and then also looking back at some of last season.

    What glares loudly is our amazing away winning streak. That is a special accomplishment, but it also says a lot. It says we come ready to play when on the road.

    I wish I could say the same thing for home games. But I can’t. And I can point back beyond this season. I believe we’ve had issues with motivation at home sometimes over several years.

    Why would I say that? We have one of the better home records in the nation over the years (if not the best).

    Here are my reasons behind my view:

    1. How many times do we come out flat in home games? It almost seems like we fall behind early in games more than we do going ahead early. Shouldn’t we come out at home jacked up and ready? Shouldn’t other teams usually start off nervous and intimidated?

    2. Games are won by players. While that is true, can’t we say we have probably the very best home court advantage because of fan noise and enthusiasm than any other situation in the country? We’ve done the test… we are the loudest! Don’t you think fans have become our valuable 6th player in games? Doesn’t our home court advantage play biggest down the end of games, when we often pull away from opponents?

    3. Self is probably not the best “cheerleading” coach in America. We’ve seen this throughout his entire term as coach. We know we need players to step up and lead the spirit for the team. So doesn’t it make sense that it is harder for our guys to feel the urgency while playing at home?

    I see a real possibility for us to continue our away game streak all year. Even possibly winning in Waco. From what I am seeing… I think we have a better chance of ending this year with a better conference away record versus conference home record.


  • Cardboard cutouts just aren’t bringing it?

  • @drgnslayr

    11 games is a great accomplishment especially in a P5 league where everyone plays true home/home against each other.

    For the longest time we used to come out and have those 10-0 runs in the first 2-3 minutes of the game and force early timeouts by the opposing coach but I think coaches have gotten smart at how to simulate crowd noise. Technology has made it easier to gameplan. You may trip up a team that relies on a star freshman or young player that hasn’t been to Allen Fieldhouse before or a coach doing the same but those same players may get used to it by their Sr year and be able to handle the environment. Texas for example this year, Baylor last year had veteran squads when they were able to leave Allen with a victory. I’m sure coaches also learn what didn’t work and adjust and you see the competitiveness of trying to win in Allen Fieldhouse sometimes take over. Players have “career games”, 21% 3 point shooter goes 5-5, we see it every single year.

    To answer your questions:

    1. We’ve been flat for almost 80 minutes the last two home games. I’m not sure why but the offense has stunk. Some of our starters are not shooting the ball well. Braun for example is 29% from 3 in the past month. Missing open shots we know he can make. We definitely saw the sense of urgency late in the Oklahoma game as guys gave max effort on both ends whether it was a positive play or not. We also saw and Self mentioned it post Texas game that guys didn’t respond favorably to being down…

    2. Fan noise for the players has to be impacting performance. Remember how flat we looked against North Dakota St in front of no fans? Life and death to win, but the following week beat Creighton even with a fiery Creighton base somehow getting tickets. Most of the vets know how big the crowd noise is and without it might be hard adjusting to hearing your own thoughts.

    3. Pressure to perform at home is probably there. The standard is so high and then you have the opponent coming to town with a chip on their shoulder.

  • @drgnslayr I think there is definitely a chance Allen Fieldhouse in a normal year works as a crutch for the Jayhawks. They can count on fans bringing energy for every game and it is just unreal for big games.

    That said, I think #3 is your biggest point especially for this years team. Who is our energy guy? Who brings the fun? I still haven’t really seen it. Jalen plays his tail off, Och is rock steady, Marcus is a calming presence. I’m just not sure who is the guy who is going to pump the other guys up, bring the joy, etc. Devonte was the best we’ve had at this for a while and why is is still one of my favorite Jayhawks.

    What do we think? Is this another place Harris can step up? His creativity with the ball and willingness to show some flash I think make him a candidate but I haven’t seen enough of his personality come out to believe he’s fully ready for it. Any other options out there?

  • Unless one is in the locker room, at practices and at games, it’s really difficult to know who becomes that person. We can see some of it from different players and guess who could fulfill that role, but maybe there isn’t just one to do that. It is very difficult for a younger player to do that simply because the others may not really know if they can trust/follow him. To me, Mitch is the most outgoing personality and the one who truly shows emotions, but that may not be enough. Which one of them demands the best from each teammate at all times?

Log in to reply