Times are tough for Bill Self and Kansas, as they’ve taken their fourth loss in five games on Saturday to No. 18 Tennessee. It was the Jayhawks’ fifth loss of January to close the month, moving them to 11-6 in the 2020-21 season. This marks the first time since 1989 the program has taken that many losses in a single month and the first time Self has done so as a head coach since 1995, per ESPN.
“The last two games, it’s been hard to watch, offensively,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “Against TCU we had 18 and tonight we (had) 26 at halftime. That’s not a way to start a basketball game.”
In the 80-61 loss to the Vols, the Jayhawks never seemed to be in the game. The team trailed by 14 points at halftime and fell behind by 26 in the second half (66-41). One main issue Kansas has been having is their offense, which once again, was off to a slow start. The Jayhawks missed five of its first six shots and first eight three-pointers. By the time the buzzer went off, the team wound up going 6/24 outside the arc and just 15/22 at the free-throw line.
Another issue for Jayhawks comes from starting guard Christian Braun. The 6-foot-6 sophomore has played a big role throughout this season. He’s one of the best three-point shooters on the team and has been averaging 9.4 points and five rebounds per game. Recently, Braun has been in a slump. In his last three games, he’s only been averaging three points in 27 minutes of play. He went 0-4 from deep and did not hit a single field goal against Tennessee. As one of the biggest contributors on the team, Braun will need to take control of his game and become more involved in the offense. If the Jayhawks want to be a threat when March comes around, they’ll need everyone at their best.
Besides Kansas, multiple other top 25 teams have been struggling. Florida State took an underwhelming loss to Georgia Tech(76-65) and have fallen out of first place in the ACC. In the loss, they shot just 21.4% from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 20 times.
Virginia lost to Virginia Tech by 14, dropping them six places in the polls this week. West Virginia and Missouri dropped six places too to No. 17 and No. 18 respectively.
Despite this week’s many changes, Gonzaga and Baylor remained atop the poll for the 11th straight week.
The undefeated Zags received 61 first-place votes to hold at No. 1 after beating San Diego and Pepperdine last week. The undefeated Bears received the other three first-place votes following wins over Kansas State and Auburn.
Villanova and Michigan remained at Nos. 3 and 4, with Houston rounding out the top five. The Cougars have their highest ranking since being No. 2 in 1983-84.
Oklahoma jumped up 15 spots to No. 9 after a win over Alabama.
No. 7 Ohio State also cracked the top 10 by moving up six spots. The Buckeyes beat Penn State and cruised past Michigan State last week.
No. 11 Tennessee climbed seven places after beating Kansas by 19.
No. 12 Illinois also moved up seven spots following a five-point win over Iowa, who dropped three spots to No. 8.
Florida moved into the poll for the first time this season at No. 22 following its win over West Virginia.
No. 24 Purdue joined the polls this week with a win over Minnesota.
The Gophers dropped out from No. 21.
Saint Louis fell out from No. 22 after a loss to Dayton.
Louisville is out from No. 25 after losing to Clemson.
Here is the latest AP poll:
|1. Gonzaga (61)|
|2. Baylor (3)|
|7. Ohio St.|
|13. Texas Tech|
|16. Virginia Tech|
|17. West Virginia|
|20. Florida St.|
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