LAWRENCE, Kan. - Bill Self was furious with his team's performance in Tuesday's 88-80 victory over Long Beach State at Allen Fieldhouse - and he wasn't shy about expressing it outside of the Jayhawks locker room.
"Our offense sucks," Self said. "We are the worst passing team I've ever seen. It's ridiculous to watch."
Self's team committed 22 turnovers against a long, athletic 49ers squad. Sixteen of those turnovers came in the second half, when Long Beach State whittled Kansas' 19-point lead to 4 with 47 seconds remaining. Kansas then closed out the game by making four consecutive free throws.
Still, Self couldn't get over the fact that Long Beach State scored 21 of its final 24 points off of Kansas turnovers. He noted that guards Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson combined for no assists and 6 turnovers after intermission. Even though the 49ers were doing a good job defensively, it's not as if they were ratcheting up their intensity and giving Kansas "hot pressure," Self said.
"That was about as miserable of a performance in the last 10 minutes of a game as I've ever seen," Self said. "You can look up and down the lineup and there is just nobody that values the ball at all. That was a game we had won several times, but our inability to think, pass, catch or execute at all in late-game situations was the reason the game was close late."
What makes the situation even more distressing is that Kansas is just four days away from hosting No. 2 Ohio State at Allen Fieldhouse. Self said Saturday's game, which tips off at 3:15 ET, could get ugly if the Jayhawks don't make some major strides during the next few days of practice.
"If we handle the ball like that, (Ohio State) can pick the score," Self said. "Let's just call it like it is. They will pick the score in our own building if we handle the ball like that.
"It will be a jailbreak if we turn the ball over against Ohio State. They won't just be running out and scoring two points. They will be making plays that are ESPN top-10 plays."