Sherron Collins' inspired play of late has likely earned Kansas University's sparkplug backup point guard additional minutes in coming games.
"I would say so," KU coach Bill Self said Monday. "He played 23 minutes the other day. He could play 26, 28 easily I'd say."
How will the coach of a team loaded with perimeter talent find more time for the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Chicagoan, who had 18 points, two assists and three turnovers in Saturday's 69-66 loss to Texas A&M?
"Probably 'sub' earlier," Self said.
Collins, who is averaging 13 points and three assists a game in 23.4 minutes in eight Big 12 games - compared to his 7.4 points and 2.1 assists while logging 18.7 minutes per game in 15 nonconference contests - said he and Self had not discussed particulars.
"Like I always said, if more minutes come, I'm ready for it. I'm good playing the role I am now," Collins stressed. "Anything I can do to help the team. I am feeling more comfortable, confident. My teammates make me feel that way. They tell me to shoot the ball and go make a play."
Collins said the Jayhawks had been trying the best they could to bounce back from Saturday's deflating home loss.
"We are all right. Nobody is blaming anybody. We are taking it as a team, picking each other up," he said. "We'll bounce back. We'll be all right."
Self said part of his job is to make sure his squad reacts positively to the loss entering Wednesday's 8 p.m. home battle against Kansas State, a team that has won seven straight games and, like KU, has won six of eight league contests.
2006-07 Feb. 5 KU hoops presser
"Trust me, it hurts a lot," Self said of the loss. "Sometimes you don't want it to hurt too much. Coaching in basketball is a fine line. You play so many games ... you want it to sting, but not to the point it costs you the next game. You want it to sting bad enough you are at the perfect level the next game.
"Sometimes a wide margin of defeat is easier to get them back to that fired-up point moreso than a heartbreaking defeat. We obviously have to do a good job of getting them back to that magic level."