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December 12, 2011
Where does KU stand after nine games?
Bill Self was asked where his team is compared to where he thought or hoped they'd be after nine games.In defeating No. 2 ranked Ohio State by 11 points on Saturday, No. 13 ranked Kansas won its fourth straight. On Monday morning,
"I don't go around and circle the games you have to win and then these are the coin flip games or anything like that, but I think right now our record is probably about what I thought it would be," said Self on Monday morning. "I didn't think we would run the table to this point strictly because I didn't know if our team was ready to do so. Playing in Maui and Kentucky so close to the start of the season, I just felt like it would take time.
"Still, we're not even close to being the team that we can become," he added. "I am somewhat pleased with our toughness element, and I'm somewhat pleased with our defense and our rebounding. I am encouraged, but offensively we obviously have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I do think that the things we do poorly are very correctable."
In all, KU owns victories over Towson, Georgetown, UCLA, Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Long Beach State and Ohio State. Its two losses have come at the hands of then No. 2 ranked Kentucky and No. 6 ranked Duke.
Kansas found itself tied with Kentucky, 28-28, at halftime after letting a lead slip away late in the first half. Against Duke, the Jayhawks led by four points, 35-31, at halftime and increased their advantage over the Blue Devils to seven points in the second half, but couldn't hold on down the stretch.
However, Kansas got the signature win it desperately needed on Saturday against No. 2 ranked Ohio State (8-1; 0-0). In defeating the Buckeyes by 11 points, 78-67, Thomas Robinson (21), Elijah Johnson (15), Kevin Young (14) and Travis Releford (10) scored in double-figures.
Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor chipped in nine points and dished out 13 assists in the victory. In KU's victory over Ohio State, did Self learn anything new about his team?
"I don't know if I learned anything new, but I probably have a greater appreciation or respect for certain things," said Self. "Kevin Young is a kid that I've been on his butt pretty good, wanting him to be a more aggressive contributor on both ends. I know now that he can do it, without question.
"He can do it, which definitely adds to our depth element," he added. "I've never questions Tyshawn Taylor's toughness but now nobody can. We know Elijah Johnson can shoot the ball, but now that should be a big confidence thing for him, going 5-of-7 from deep against Ohio State. I do think that we can guard pretty well defensively as a unit."