Bevo's Roundup: A Jayhawk Bonfire

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There's another one that looks like him.

Horns_bullet_mediumI'm glad you thought of that. Dogus Balbay knows how the Horns can win in Lawrence.

"We've just got to go there and play harder than them," defensive standout Dogus Balbay said.

 

Horns_bullet_medium Bill thinks Texas is terrific!

"They played great against a one-loss team. I really like their talent. They’re a terrific team. They are playing awfully well together," Self added.

 

Horns_bullet_mediumSo what's different this year? Everything.

Remember last season? Texas started 17-0 and climbed to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. The Longhorns began Big 12 play 3-0 last season as well. They ended the season, however, with a catastrophic nosedive into irrelevance. Texas finished 7-10 the rest of the way, with a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

To think the Longhorns will have another letdown in the second half of this season would be to seriously undermine the differences from last year that coach Rick Barnes' 2010-11 squad has displayed.

 

Horns_bullet_medium  Rick Barnes figured it out.

The chemistry inside of the Longhorns locker room was all wrong a year ago and it started with then senior Damion James and his unwillingness to lead. But it didn't stop there, then there was big man Dexter Pittman, who just lacked any bite on the interior. There were also the out of control play of freshmen J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton.

"The biggest thing has been our seniors and the way they've set the tone from the end of last season to where we are right now," Barnes said recently. "It's the way they go about their business. It's hard. It really is hard. Everybody makes it sound like leadership is something that is easy to get. If it were, we would never talk about it. But it's not as easy as you think sometimes.

"Sometimes you get caught off guard where you think you are really going to have it and it doesn't materialize the way you think it will and it's tough."

 

Horns_bullet_mediumOnly our beloved Statesman would ask this question. 

Is Horns' start for real, or merely a repeat of 2010?

 

Horns_bullet_medium Of course, ESPN picks up on Cedric Golden's vibe.

This year's Texas team has shown no signs of such collapse, but January is when Texas lost its mojo last year. In other words, those who follow Texas closely -- like Austin Statesman columnist Cedric Golden -- are still a little worried about this team's ability to follow through on its impressive start to the season.

 

Horns_bullet_medium  Jayhawk Tyshawn, from Hoboken, N.J., decided to attend Kansas. Can we say culture shock?

Looking up at the numerous championship banners in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse, junior Tyshawn Taylor knows he is a far cry from the city courts of Hoboken, N.J. The guard grew up just a stone's throw from Madison Square Garden in New York City, often referred to as 'The World's Most Famous Arena,' but now he's more than happy to be making a name for himself in one of college basketball's most historic venues.

 

Horns_bullet_mediumCan we beat Kansas

The answer will come Saturday when Texas travels to Lawrence to take on the second-ranked and undefeated Jayhawks. Kansas has won a national-best 69 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse, but Texas forward Gary Johnson doesn’t think he and his teammates will be intimidated by the venue – or their opponent.

"We just beat a Top 10 team by 20 points," Johnson said. "I think that says we’re just a little bit ready."

Texas is 0-9 all-time against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse and has lost three straight to the Jayhawks overall. The last time the Longhorns beat Kansas was February of 2008 – just two months before Bill Self’s team won the NCAA title.

 

Horns_bullet_mediumIt will probably come down to Texas and Kansas

For one more day, at least, the Jayhawks will roost in a familiar lofty perch: squarely atop the Big 12 Conference. For one more day, Kansas — and Texas, the last team to share the Big 12 crown with Kansas — will be perfect.

Roughly two hours after Saturday’s 3 p.m. tipoff, though, one of those teams no longer will be. It is too soon to say Saturday’s game will declare the conference champion, but without a second meeting between the two clear-cut best teams in the league, it will go a long way toward determining whether Kansas can win its seventh consecutive league title or if Texas can ascend to the throne.

 

Horns_bullet_medium  "I'm not too excited," Self told the Lawrence Journal-World after the Baylor victory. "This is not the same team I see in practice every day. We were better than what we've been practicing. Where we are right now is we are a team that has a chance to be really good. When we get more consistent guard play ... I think our ceiling is high." - Bill Self

 

 

Horns_bullet_mediumGosh, thanks? KU sophomore Travis Releford has healed just for the Horns.

Jayhawk Sports has more on Travis Releford.

 

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