Is playing at AFH a disadvantage for this team?

  • We have all seen the stat across the bottom of the screen more often than we’d like. Kansas hasn’t lost 3 games in AFH in a single season since 98-99. Now before we get to far I believe AFH the best home venue in all of sports, I love how much the place doesn’t change and a person could easily forget what era they are in from inside the Phog. I do think the fans need to be louder more often instead of on their phones for half the game if I’m being honest. But how much tougher is it on our team knowing they shouldn’t lose there? Does it put more pressure on this undermanned team knowing that, more so than a visiting team that is supposed to lose? Buddy Hield and Georges Niang said wanting to win in AFH was one of the reason they returned for senior years at their schools. Just something me and a friend had a conversation about and maybe an answer to why we have played better on the road so far in B12 play. We are actually averaging more scoring margin on the road so far this conference season. Just wondered what’s everyone else’s thoughts on the matter?

  • I’m 100% for cell phone jammers during game time with a 15 minute break at half time for the addicts.

  • @dylans Yep, one of the issues also is that the older quieter donors sit right up on the court.

  • @kjayhawks Money provides pretty loud support too, just not literally.

    (But it drives me nuts too)

  • @kjayhawks

    No one in here has argued more for changing the seating situation in AFH. It has always been my belief that the seats closest to the court, all the way around, should be filled with students.

    It is extremely embarrassing sometimes when TV sportscasters brag about how enthusiastic the AFH crowd is and then they show a sleepy old section where there is clearly little enthusiasm.

    As good as we are at home, we could VASTLY improve our advantage by rearranging the seating. But money is talking here.

    Yes, this team is having an issue with focus in AFH. I don’t think our guys want to win any less here versus on the road. But the pressure is much higher. There is always a high pressure on playing well at home. It is EXPECTED from our guys. Then add in this conference streak. Our guys know the old phrase, “the Big 12 title goes through Lawrence.” But in reality, it is our cumulative Big 12 record that decides it. There is no weight placed on game home or away.

    KU doesn’t own this streak by merely winning most games at home. The most glaring reason why we own this streak is our conference road record… over 500! No other team even comes close to us on travel performance.

    So WHY is this the way it is? We play well on the road because we aren’t expected to win at the same level we are at home. So the pressure is lower and our guys can just get out there and play their game. Our guys get motivated by the friction of the opposing crowd.

    What really shows in our winning road records is the DOMINANCE Kansas has in recruiting. We do have superior players (cumulatively) than all the other teams in the conference. That shows up in season records showing our performance in many games. Where we get in trouble is in any single game. We always have the potential to lose to anyone… even the purple kitties!

  • I Think this year more so then ever , we have really struggled at home. - Part of it might be pressure from wanting to keep Phog a nightmare for others & part this year is just quite frankly just bottom lined not as talented. - -Still talented but just not up to previous years

    I think with this years team, - -other teams don’t feel quite as intimidated for what ever reason , possibly because how they have seen other teams play us in the Phog this year, feeling we are more - - - - then other years. - -Still good in the Phog, - Yet I think in previous years - -Arizona St would never of beat us like they did - - -Baylor wouldn’t of played us like they did. - -We just struggle this year. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • I do believe this team is wired a bit differently than teams in the past and the pressure to succeed at AFH seems, at times, almost palpable with this group. I often wonder if we miss out on some recruits simply because of the non-negotiable expectation to win and continue a streak; especially with the “me first” mentality that frequently permeates high school basketball.

    In December, I came across an article about Trae Young and learned that God is evidently an OU fan this year, as well:

    “I want to break Kansas’ [Big 12 title] streak,” Young said then. “It’s not going to be easy, by any means, but that’s something that I’m going to be hard on all year. If I would have [gone] to Kansas, I would have been a little bit different, but I wanted to break that streak. That’s my goal. We’re gonna do it. I have all faith in God that that’s what his plan is.”

    Source (for @mayjay and @Jayballer54 since I am referencing God): “With Trae Young in the mix, Kansas’ Big 12 streak could be in jeopardy”, ESPN Myron Medcalf Staff Writer, December 22, 2017

    I once had a very wise and gifted mentor tell me that humans can handle any pressure we put on ourselves but not necessarily pressure we allow others to put on us.

    Seeing the camera pan the AFH fans late, it was evident that their expressions were far from optimistic (some expressions to the point of agony) even while we remained within striking distance. Thank goodness this team stays focused on themselves, their coaches, and each other. I think this group can readily dismiss noise and distractions from others (including articles like the one above) but I do think this team has a very large soft spot for the KU fanbase.

  • I think one thing that is at work here is that teams are not expected to win in AFH so they play loose…free and easy. Like they have nothing to loose.

  • Hawk8086 said:

    I think one thing that is at work here is that teams are not expected to win in AFH so they play loose…free and easy. Like they have nothing to loose.

    Hasn’t that been the case for a dozen years or so?

  • @chriz Maybe…but seems to be more pronounced lately…

  • We’ve haven’t had a team struggle to win at AFH in forever. It’s weird that’s for sure. Saturday at halftime we had a good chance to make it one of those easy games. But the fans got more then they bargained for as the 2nd half wore on

  • @BeddieKU23 you don’t have to go back forever to find a team that struggled at home. Folks complained about these exact same problems last year. This time last year, everyone was convinced the team had a sweet sixteen ceiling or something similar.

  • HawkChamp said:

    @BeddieKU23 you don’t have to go back forever to find a team that struggled at home. Folks complained about these exact same problems last year. This time last year, everyone was convinced the team had a sweet sixteen ceiling or something similar.

    Yeah we did have some struggles last season as well. It’s more noticeable this year with the home losses and consistently close games.

    Those that felt our ceiling last season was S16’ish weren’t too far off. I wouldn’t be surprised this year with any result. We can win the whole thing or lose in the 2nd round with the right match-up. This isn’t Self’s most talented squad or best team. The issue is none of that has mattered once March comes. I do like the toughness of this team lately and they have found ways to win when it matters. We’ve played some good ball away from AFH which could be a sign of things. All we can do is hope for the best.

  • This team just does not score or play defense consistently, and that is why they struggle at AFH. In the past, we wouldn’t have major droughts and those 8 point halftime leads would just get stretched to 15 or 20 and we could coast. This team can go dry as a desert for long stretches.

    To top that off, this team can play horrible defense for long stretches. So, instead of those famous 15-0 runs that are triggered from a shot clock violation or a couple of blocks leading to transition scores, we give up 0-10 runs that let teams crawl back in. And nothing is more dangerous than giving up momentum to underdog teams.

  • YES

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