If you want to feel sorry for someone in the Big 12, feel sorry for Tad Boyle. The Colorado head coach has the pleasure of preparing for the Kansas Jayhawks coming off of a loss for the second time this year, and if you're keeping score at home Kansas has only lost twice.
In the first game between Kansas and Colorado in Boulder the Jayhawks rebounded from a loss to the Texas Longhorns with an impressive display offensively in a four point win. Saturday the Jayhawks return to the court for the first time since losing to Kansas State on Monday and Bill Self hopes his team has learned from that loss.
We struggle with focus. We struggle with being able to maintain things. If we have distractions, no matter how minimum they are, if that was a factor on Monday, then what will it be like in the NCAA Tournament when there are a lot more distractions. So I think those are all great teaching points for us.
A major part of that focus might include focus on the defensive end where the Jayhawks have been inconsistent and struggled a great deal on Monday. Senior guard Jacob Pullen torched the Jayhawks with a huge 38 point effort and Colorado has a player in Alec Burks that has that same capability. Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor will be one of the players tasked with containing Burks and he understands what he needs to do as a player to help Kansas.
"Alec Burks and (Cory) Higgins are both guys that can score the ball really well. They scored it well the last time we played them at Colorado, so I know it'll be a tough matchup.
I just need to make sure I'm focused in on my man and helping my team with help defense. I know I can do it. I'm capable of being a great defender and I definitely will try to do that."
For Bill Self and Kansas, Saturday provides and opportunity to turn the page, it marks an opportunity to improve and it's the beginning of the final five game stretch of the regular season. After that, a loss sends you home and Kansas hopes to learn enough from a loss in Manhattan to delay that final game as long as possible.