The Kansas Jayhawks learned some hard lessons during the games they played during their trip to Europe this summer. The favorites to win the Big 12 didn't play up to coach Bill Self's standards while overseas.
The Jayhawks were 2-2 on the trip, winning a pair of close games over the Swiss National Team before dropping two games to the AMW France pro team. The good news for Self is that the experience in Europe should have his team in the right frame of mind to begin preseason practice as they try to improve their level of play for the upcoming season. Last Thursday, he explained how he think the trip helped last, via the Jayhawks' website:
"I don't know if the Europe trip helped us as much as I would have hoped, from a basketball standpoint. I think it helped us more from a mental standpoint. I will be honest with you, I think we were kind of humbled over there. I think we went over there thinking we were pretty good. Then we had even our upperclassmen, Elijah, Jeff, Kevin and Travis play at a level that was just good enough to get beat. That's not all bad. I thought we got something out of it from that standpoint. I do think it has helped. I do think getting the few things in, and we do not have a lot, but getting a few things in where the guys have at least a little bit of knowledge will give us a better chance to be better by Thanksgiving. I am not sure that European trip is going to help us in January. I do think it may give us a better chance to be better early. There is no guarantee. I hope that is the case."
Kansas begins play on October 30th when they host Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse.