Defensive woes won't derail KU's Final four path

January 27, 2017, 2:31 PM

— -- Kansas is 18-2 and ranked No. 2 in the nation, and Bill Self has the Jayhawks on track for their seventh No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament during his tenure. However, Self is unhappy with his team's defense, and relative to the standards expected of a Jayhawks D, the numbers bear out the coach's concern.

But I have a suggestion: We might need to stop talking about this season's Kansas team in the same familiar ways that we've talked about Jayhawks teams in past seasons.

Instead of tapping our feet impatiently and waiting for KU to buckle down and start playing some traditional Kansas-level defense, we might have to accept this season's Jayhawks for who they appear to be: UCLA, only with a way better defense.

Self will never agree to such an attitude adjustment, of course, nor should he. Just the opposite: He'll die a thousand defense-loving deaths every time his team wins a game 90-88 (as the Jayhawks did against Kansas State) or 87-80 (Oklahoma State).

Fine, but we aren't Self. Besides, is the high-scoring standard of "UCLA, only with a way better defense" really such a bad thing? Or is it a pretty fair plan of attack for winning the national championship in April?

I'm on the record?as expecting that KU will do just that. But now I'm adding the additional prediction that the Jayhawks will win the title and drive their coach crazy every step of the way.

Why the drop-off in defensive production?