JACK'S SMACK: KU losing streak broken, but team far from perfect

We can all take a deep breath now. The sky is not falling after all on the Kansas Jayhawks.

Bill Self got his team into this pickle, but they're out of it now -- at least for the time being. The man can flat out coach, if he could only recruit a point guard.

Self turned his prized freshmen loose and Ben McLemore became a two-hour folk hero in cyber space.

On the night of his 20th birthday, McLemore played all but four minutes against Kansas State. He was spectacular, scoring 30 points.

Freshmen don't score 30 at Kansas, but McLemore has done it twice in what will be his first and only season at KU.

Again, credit Self.

Four seniors on this team, but only McLemore is capable of taking over a game. It was do or die for Kansas, and Self took the whip -- and went all in -- riding his freshman horse to a wire-to-wire 21-point victory.

Timing was everything.

All this emotion had been building up during the losing streak. This team had reached a critical point. Self was on the verge of losing these fragile teenagers after scathing verbal attacks following three straight losses in eight days.

Self's comments made national news when he suggested this bunch was worse than the KU team that loss to the Topeka YMCA back in the days of Dr. Naismith -- the founder of the game.

Self has never been one to mince words. He's a straight shooter.

When you win 30-plus games every year, a string of consecutive conference titles and then throw in a national championship -- you earn the right to become the king of the hill.

But even with a $52 million contract, you still can't endure too many three-game losing streaks. Not at Kansas.

The big question now: Which KU team did we watch last night?

We're going to find out in a hurry.

That's Jack's Smack.

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