Kansas Jayhawks: Team Still Has a Lot to Work on After Big Win over Kansas State

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 11:  Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks motions from the bench during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse on February 11, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Monday night's big win over Kansas State was something Kansas really needed. Had it allowed Kansas State to dominate, Kansas would drop its fourth straight while Kansas State extends its first-place lead in the Big 12 by two games.

The Jayhawks' 83-62 win against their in-state rivals and first-place Wildcats helped restore a lot of confidence within both the fanbase and the players.

Going into Monday’s match, Kansas shot 39 percent from the floor, 30 percent from three-point range and 69 percent at the free-throw line during its three-game losing streak.

Kansas looked much different after it shot 48 percent from the floor, 38 percent from beyond the arc and 86 percent at the charity stripe. Ben McLemore shined on his 20th birthday by scoring 17 points in the first half and finishing with 30 points in the game.

But the Jayhawks have one big issue they are still dealing with. Everyone knows the problem is with senior point guard Elijah Johnson, who holds a lot of responsibility for Kansas' three-game skid.

Johnson shot 6-of-37 from the floor and made only five of his 21 attempts from beyond the arc in the losses to Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma.

Even though Johnson is not the top scoring option, shooting 16 percent out of 37 shots is not something Bill Self will allow. Against Kansas State, Johnson made only one of six shots and missed all four three-pointers. After making all three free throws, he finished the game with four turnovers and five points.

Meanwhile, Naadir Tharpe, who Kansas fans want to see over Johnson, came off the bench and had his second-best game of the year in terms of assists, finishing with eight.

Tharpe still has room for improvement, but that is expected for a sophomore. Yet, he's playing better than Johnson.

Another thing Self and Kansas fans want is consistency. After the Jayhawks won by 21 points against a team ranked higher than them, many are wondering why Kansas fell flat against Oklahoma State, TCU and Oklahoma?

Nonetheless, Self never wants to see his team come off that way in the future. If the Jayhawks want a shot at winning the Big 12 and playing in the Final Four in Atlanta, they must play more steady in order to play to their fullest potential.