It is true that the Kansas Jayhawks did not defeat a Big 12 title contender on Saturday afternoon in Phog Allen Fieldhouse. They defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who — with West Virginia — will not make the NCAA Tournament this year. No one will go crazy over the Jayhawks for winning a game they were supposed to win.
However, the way in which the Jayhawks won this game might still open some eyes.
What if, for instance, Ochai Agbaji can be anything — and anywhere — remotely close to what he was on Saturday? What if Agbaji, who drilled five 3-pointers en route to 23 points in an 84-72 win against the Pokes, can be a moderately dependable perimeter shooter?
That would seem to change the equation for Kansas, especially at a time when coach Bill Self’s team doesn’t have Lagerald Vick on its active roster. It would certainly fit the pattern of someone, somehow, stepping up at just the right time to rescue the month of February and keep KU in the Big 12 title hunt.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton knows it is still too early to shovel dirt on this dynastic power.
“I know people around here are freaking out because they lost four games in the league,” Boynton said, “but they still have a Hall of Fame coach, still have a first-team All-America player, and they still have one of the best home courts in all of America.”
The kind of game the Jayhawks haven’t been winning as consistently as they need to is not a home game against a downmarket Big 12 opponent. Kansas has been brutal on the road this year, losing at West Virginia and Texas. Monday’s upcoming game at TCU is precisely the kind of test the Jayhawks must pass if they want to have a real shot at continuing “The Streak.” A game at Oklahoma later in the season fits that same mold.
If Ochai Agbaji can provide competent shooting and serviceable defense, the Kansas quest to win another Big 12 championship will not die… at least not without a fight.
You can listen to and subscribe to the CBB Today Podcast on iTunes right here.
As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our college basketball and NBA Draft email newsletter below. It’s the only way to survive the impending alien invasion.