Mike DeCourcy writes an interesting article about Wayne today, exploring how young Dub can personally atone for missing so many games in his career, 32 by his latest count. His answer: A championship.
The Jayhawks can play only until April 4, the championship game of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. But if they reach that night - and win - there will be no need for Simien to look back with regret. He will have matched KU All-Americans Clyde Lovellette and Danny Manning in the most important statistical category.
Many, including our former coach, dismiss a coach's ability to have his team playing its best ball in March. Bill Self's teams have historically overperformed in March, however, for whatever reason, and I think that gives us as Jayhawk fans a reason to be a bit more relaxed than some of our wins might have us be. Self thinks we're not at our zenith:
"We still are a team that has yet to play its best ball," coach Bill Self says. "And that doesn't bother me at all. We put in more time learning how to win games when he was hurt - and then when he came back, we didn't know how to play. We were like hunting and pecking on a typewriter."
I'm not sure what it is about Self's coaching style that makes me comfortable with not playing our best ball right now. Perhaps it's not Self at all, but years of regular season dominance paired with late season flameouts that sully my faith in tip to tail dominance such as Illinois is exhibiting.
As good as they look, and even if they go undefeated (a prospect more likely since Iowa will be playing without the criminal Pierre Pierce), they will almost certainly encounter great difficulty in the tournament.