LAWRENCE — All things being equal, Kansas coach Bill Self probably would have preferred that his players not spend Sunday all cooped up and brooding after a disappointing loss on Saturday night.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
But when KU convened at Allen Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon for the 29th Annual Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympics clinic, the Jayhawks had a good excuse to move past their 85-80 loss against Oklahoma State just the second home loss in 104 games in Lawrence.
Its good to get out of the bedroom, senior center Jeff Withey said.
So maybe the sky didnt fall on Saturday evening. But for Kansas, which has now lost just eight home games in the last 10 seasons, its easy to lose perspective. Less than 24 hours earlier, the Jayhawks, 19-2 and 7-1 in the Big 12, were walking off the court shell-shocked after losing their 18-game winning streak and suffering their first league loss. So for a few hours on Sunday, the Jayhawks could flush out the negative feelings while not worrying too much about what needs to be fixed.
Its always a good day, KU head coach Bill Self said Sunday. Its great to have this, particularly this year because were coming off a loss. If Im not mistaken, this is not the first time this has happened ... we can re-prioritize and really do something thats cool and neat and feel good about ourselves and help some others out.
By this afternoon, Kansas will likely slip a few spots in the polls after rising to No. 2 in The Associated Press poll and No. 1 in the USA Today/coaches poll last week.
And the issues that have plagued KU for the last month are still there. Average guard play. Too many turnovers. A sometimes stagnant half-court offense.
Kansas turned the ball over 16 times Saturday, and senior guard Elijah Johnson had three costly turnovers in the final minutes.
One of those mistakes came with Kansas trailing 83-80 on the final possession of the game. On Saturday, Self said Johnson had erred by passing up what would have been a pull-up three over Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart. Instead, Johnson lost his dribble while trying to drive past Smart.
After watching the film, Self said Sunday he still believed Johnson had a look at a shot albeit a low-percentage one.
KU wont have to wait much longer to get back on the floor. The Jayhawks will make their first league trip to Big 12 newcomer TCU, 9-12 and 0-8, on Wednesday, and Johnson should have an opportunity to move forward and forget about Saturdays nightmare.
Were really not doing much of anything, on either end, Self said of KUs guard play.
It was bad defense, too. Its disappointing, because were better than what we played. But right now, were not getting very good perimeter play.