More often than not, people don't play Kansas well in Kansas' own building. Sure, I know this season's been a little different -- Oklahoma State toppled the Jayhawks, and Iowa State and Temple took them to the wire -- but I'm talking about the past decade or so, and the dominance with which Kansas has protected its historic home floor.
It should be no surprise, then, that the following stat -- from Kellis Robinett of The Wichita Eagle -- applies to Kansas State's most recent trips to rival KU's domicile: Since 2006, K-State's six straight losses in Lawrence have come by an average of 19.3 points.
Why? As Robinett points out, the key culprit has been slow starts. So first-year coach Bruce Weber decided to deviate from the usual plan. He brought his team to town early, let them get settled in, and organized an early nighttime shootaround after team dinner.
“Initially we thought of just coming over this morning, but with all the hype for the game we just felt we needed to get the guys away,” Weber said during the Big 122s weekly teleconference on Monday. “Some of them expressed an interest in shooting at Allen Fieldhouse. We did a quick walk-through yesterday and ate dinner. Then we came over to Lawrence and shot a little bit and got the guys focused on the task at hand.”
The only missing element there is that Weber apparently didn't get out a tape measure and make Angel Rodriguez measure the height from the floor to the basket. I have no idea if any of this stuff actually works, if there actually is any psychological benefit involved here. But it can't hurt, right?