Before Tyler Thornton hit two three-pointers in the last minute of Duke's win over Kansas in the championship of the Maui Invitational, the Jayhawks seemed on their way to a season-defining victory on national TV. Instead, a 3-2 Kansas team slipped to No. 15 in the latest college basketball polls.
After losing tight neutral-court contests against No. 1 Kentucky and No. 3 Duke, the Jayhawks are one of only two two-loss teams in the Top 25.
Preseason All-American Thomas Robinson has lived up to the hype, averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds on 48.5% shooting this season. Kansas' back-court duo of Elijah Johnson and Tyshawn Taylor has held their own against NBA-caliber competition, but they still need to improve their offensive efficiency, as both average under 44% shooting from the floor and over 1.5 turnovers a game.
The Jayhawks have gotten surprisingly strong contributions from Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, but the loss of most of their recruiting class to academic issues has hurt their overall depth, with only 6'9 transfer Justin Wesley getting more than 10 minutes a game.
They get a break this week with games against Florida Atlantic and South Florida before continuing their non-conference gauntlet with a Dec. 6 home game against Long Beach State, who already upset Pittsburgh this season, and another nationally televised showdown on Dec. 10, this time against No. 2 Ohio State.
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