Kirk Hinrich has been through this before.
"My senior year in high school we started out 1-3. After that we won 22 straight games and a state championship," said Hinrich, Kansas' senior guard from West High in Sioux City, Iowa.
"I'd rather take bumps and bruises now, get things worked out and play better at the end when it really matters.
"This is kind of like a wake-up call," Hinrich said of KU taking a 3-3 record into Wednesday's game at 4-0 Tulsa. "It's hard not to be discouraged. I'm trying my best to stay positive so my teammates can feed off that. We could be 6-0, but we're 3-3 and have to take care of business every time out. We need to look at the positives. (At Oregon) we scrapped and fought like never before."
Hinrich played a gutsy 39 minutes Saturday in an 84-78 loss at Oregon, experiencing no back problems, just cramps.
"I don't think it's really chronic to be honest, it feels fine," Hinrich said of his back strain. "The only problem is my legs were sore (Sunday) from cramps. I've never had a problem with cramps before. I think it's because I hadn't done much the whole week."
Hinrich will continue to receive back treatments.
"I think it'll be a back that will be a problem for him the whole year," KU coach Roy Williams said, adding that Hinrich is one of the toughest competitors he's ever been around.¢
Slow start bothers Nash: KU junior Bryant Nash on the Jayhawks' .500 record:
"I can't say it hasn't affected me. I think about it all the time. I'm walking around, I'm like ... how can we actually be 3-3? We should be winning all these games. It's unbelievable," Nash said. "It's kind of embarrassing, but it's motivating us. We have to pick our game up. We have to go out there and play. We have to dive on the floor for balls and get rebounds. We have to motivate ourselves."¢
Bad timing: Remember the play in the Kansas-Oregon game in which Ian Crosswhite lost his shoe in the Ducks' backcourt and took several seconds to regroup? He finally trudged into the frontcourt and hit a deep three-pointer to give the Ducks a 17-8 lead as the Jayhawks were perplexed.
"It was one of those days of Murphy's Law, if things can go wrong they will go wrong," Williams said on his "Hawk Talk" radio show.
"That was our first possession of zone we called the whole game. I was expecting the kid to get his shoe on in two seconds. It took 3 hours, 13 minutes. We've got five against four. It was unfortunate timing. Look at the tape. It was our first possession in zone."¢
Give Collison a break: Seems not all of the Jayhawks' turnovers were earned against Oregon.
"We are down four (points), throw the ball to Nick Collison. He turns around to make a move, they reach in and foul the heck out of him right in front of the officials and (it's) never called. But that goes down as a turnover," Williams said. "You'll have some of those kind of things happen, too."