If there’s been a down side for everyone with an interest in Kansas basketball these past few weeks it has been the layoff between games.
Over the past three weeks, the Jayhawks have had a game a week. Wednesday night, the pattern will end, as Kansas begins Big 12 play, when they host Iowa State at 6 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Despite the benefits of having the down time, the opportunity to get back into a routine of practice and playing has many excited, as the Jayhawks begin their quest for a ninth consecutive Big 12 championship.
“It’s going to feel good,” senior forward Travis Releford said. “That whole week stretch was good for our team, as we were able to watch tape and correct a few things. Now, that conference is starting, we can go into that and start playing and really getting after that.”
At 12-1, Kansas will welcome a Cyclones team that will be playing their first game in eight days. At 10-3, coach Fred Hoiberg has the program back on track after an NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago.
“They score easier than anyone in our league,” coach Bill Self said during his weekle media session, Tuesday. “They shoot a ton of threes (rank eighth nationally) and they’re a terrific rebounding team, not good, terrific.”
Indeed, the Cyclones are one of the nation’s highest scoring teams in the country and lead the Big 12, averaging 82 points per game, which ranks seventh. They are the only team in the nation to score at least 70 points in every game this season.
The game will make the league opener for Iowa State as well, who may be more excited to see an opponent after playing one game in three weeks.
“I really think Fred’s team in fired up for league play to start and I really believe ours is too,” Self said. “It was kind of neat watching tape yesterday (Monday) and after we watched the Temple tape, the guys were really excited about talking about what lies ahead as we start the second season.”