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Archive for Monday, January 13, 1992

WOODLING COLUMN

January 13, 1992

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Louisville defeat was first, but not last for Jayhawks

You didn't think Kansas was gonna win 'em all, did you? Oh, you did? Well, I have this beach house in Buffalo. . .

Perhaps the Jayhawks could have survived still another undermanned and overmatched opponent on Saturday night, but not a Louisville team too talented to remain in a slump for very long.

Louisville had lost three of its previous four, but the Cardinals were still the closest thing to a Top 25 team the Jayhawks had faced all season. . .with the possible exception of Temple.

To its chagrin, Kansas learned that a team that shoots lights out, rebounds and plays 40 minutes of defense is unbeatable, even in supposedly inviolate Allen Fieldhouse.

AFTER A December to remember, January hasn't exactly been a month of momentous moments for the Jayhawks.

Kansas concluded the 1991 portion of its schedule with perhaps its most impressive outing a 97-73 trashing of Temple in the BMA Classic. Temple coach John Chaney was ready to award the Jayhawks the '92 NCAA championship right then and there.

"(Kansas) is a great ball club," Chaney said at the time. "I think they're better than last year. They have a ticket to go as far as they want."

Louisville punched that ticket on Saturday night. And now Kansas can file Chaney's words about a free ride to Minneapolis next April under the heading of "Antiquated Predictions."

Kansas' loss to Louisville was its first, but definitely not its last. That is, unless you believe the Jayhawks will rampage through the Big Eight portion of their schedule plus a meeting with Marquette on Jan. 28 unbeaten.

NOT SINCE 1971 when an NCAA Final Four-bound Kansas team went 14-0 has a Big Eight school won every league contest. In case you'd forgotten, Kansas and Oklahoma State tied for the regular-season championship last year with identical 10-4 records.

Kansas claimed a share of the title despite losing its first two league games at Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State.

"Last time we started the league 0-2 and everybody was ready to blow up the ship," coach Roy Williams pointed out.

Everybody might ask where to purchase dynamite, however, if Kansas starts 0-2 this year even though the first two are on the road again. Tonight at Missouri won't be any tiptoe through the tulips, of course, but Kansas will be expected to win at Colorado on Saturday because Nebraska won in Boulder over the weekend.

By the way, if you watched the NU-CU game on television it was part of the Big Eight package did it look to you like somebody had spilled paint all over one end of the floor in the Coors Event Center? Me, too.

After closer inspection, however, I'm convinced the apparent spillage is actually an artistic rendering of an upside-down snorting buffalo head. Either that, or it's a huge Rohrshach test.

ANYWAY, BACK to Kansas basketball. In order to regain their December proficiency, the Jayhawks will need more scoring punch from Ben Davis and Eric Pauley.

Davis, KU's most touted freshman, hasn't been in double figures since he scored 16 points against DePaul on Dec. 14. That's a string of seven straight games. In the four January contests, Davis scored 20 points total.

Pauley, meanwhile, hasn't hit double-digits since a 16-point effort against Southern Mississippi on the opening night of the BMA Classic. In the last three games, the 6-10 junior college transfer has been a candidate for Bricklayers Anonymous. Pauley has missed 17 of his last 19 shots.

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