Here's the problem: They also displayed a tendency to lose focus during stretches, a habit that could prove costly against hyper-efficient Missouri (No. 1 in the nation in effective field goal percentage) and Baylor (No. 22). With 12:27 remaining in the second half, Kansas led only 39-36 despite being up by as many as 18 and limiting the Wildcats to a paltry 33 percent (14-of-43) shooting. The offense completely disappeared: It scored four points in the opening eight minutes of the second half.
The Jayhawks remain seven-time defending Big 12 champions and showed immense toughness in outrebounding the Wildcats 48-24. But they also looked sloppy at times, something they'll need to correct before conference-defining clashes with the Tigers and Bears.
But Kansas was also turnover-prone, with Taylor serving as the worst offender. He accounted for eight of the team's 19 turnovers (to just three assists) and allowed the Wildcats to stick around for far longer than they had business doing. He needs to play smarter for the Jayhawks to make a case as a legitimate Top 10 contender.
Perhaps more troubling for Frank Martin, his team appeared stagnant on defense and lifeless on the glass, surrendering 13 layups and dunks and being outrebounded two-to-one. That bodes poorly for a team known for its tenacity, especially with Mizzou, Baylor and Oklahoma looming on the schedule.