Good thing Bill Self has a sweet tooth ... or he might not be able to handle coaching such a young Kansas University basketball team.
"Every day it's a box of chocolates," Self said of not knowing what to expect from his first-year Jayhawks.
In last week's 98-79 exhibition rout of Washburn, freshman power forward Quintrell Thomas proved to be the richest of the assembled treats. He scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in 14 minutes. None of KU's other five rookies who played had lines worth noting.
"I think it could be up and down like that this year," said freshman point guard Tyshawn Taylor, hoping he won't resemble a Butterfinger in Game No. 2 - tonight's 7 p.m. battle against Emporia State in Allen Fieldhouse.
Taylor suffered five turnovers against one assist in 16 minutes versus the Ichabods.
"One day Quintrell might play well. The next game it might be me, or one of the twins or Travis (Releford). It could be anybody," said Taylor, who concedes he learned a lot from his first game played in front of 16,300 fans.
"It's our first time playing college basketball. I was nervous as heck. I think the rest were," he added of his teammates.
Taylor, a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J., understands what went wrong last week.
"Coach has been getting on me a lot about my turnovers at practice. I try not to think about it as much when in the game," Taylor said. "Sometimes I see things that are not there and I get a little careless with the ball. I've been working on it trying to get better. I think I'll get better with it soon."
Taylor has already had plenty of conversations with his coach about turnovers.
"He has been getting on me a lot like a point guard," Taylor said. "It's an adjustment. Coming from high school not playing point guard and being a point guard and having to take that role is an adjustment. I know coach is trying to make me better. I try to run with it, do what he says to make me better."
Self has high expectations for Taylor, who led St. Anthony to an undefeated record last year and USA Today's No. 1 national ranking.
"Tyshawn is ready to be a really good player if you value the ball," Self said. "Right now he doesn't value the basketball the way you have to value it against quality competition. We don't want to take away his aggressiveness," Self quickly added.
"These are things everybody goes through. I thought the same thing about Julian (Wright) and Mario (Chalmers, when both first came to KU). It's not something that happens in a two- week, three-week period of time."
Freshman forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for six rebounds, while frosh Travis Releford had three boards against Washburn last Tuesday on a night the Jayhawks were outboarded, 37-36. Washburn, coincidentally, was outrebounded by Kansas State, 52-31, in Sunday's 81-57 loss to KSU in Manhattan.
"I expect our rebounding to improve. I expect not giving up as many easy baskets as we did last game," Self said. "I think we'll make great improvement. When you play against each other all the time, you have a false sense of who you are because the other team (at practice) knows what you are going to do, your tendencies."
The Jayhawks' first real game is Sunday against UMKC. It'll be another 7 p.m. tip in the fieldhouse.