Kansas relies on balance, not one star
By John Marshall
LAWRENCE, Kan. ó Kansas won its last NCAA title with a one-man gang known as iDanny and the Miracles.î
Danny Manning is back and the Jayhawks are two wins away from another title, though thereís a completely different feel than the improbable run that happened 20 years ago this week.
For one, Manning is on the bench in a suit, offering words of encouragement as an assistant coach instead of willing a group of bit players to a national championship.
Thereís also a completely different team dynamic. Kansas doesnít have one star. It has a starting lineup full of players who can take over any game at any time and players coming off the bench who could start at just about any other school.
These Jayhawks are like a swarm of bees: swat one and three others will sting you.
iYou never know who it is,î said forward Darnell Jackson, one of four Kansas players to average double-figure points this season. iWeíve got a lot of guys who bring a lot to the table, and we donít worry about whoís getting the credit or whoís not getting the credit. As long as we play as a team, weíre going to win.î
North Carolina has player of the year candidate Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson. Memphis relies on All-American Chris Douglas-Roberts and freshman sensation Derrick Rose. UCLA has a trio of potential first-round NBA picks in All-American Kevin Love and guards Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook.
Kansas? The Jayhawks couldnít even get one player on the All-Big 12 first team. Kansas was an afterthought on the All-American team as well, with Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur making it as honorable mentions from a team that went 35-3.
Kansas has had seven different leading scorers in games this season, and six players have scored at least 20 points.
iOur balance has been part of our success this year, most of our success this year,î guard Russell Robinson said. iHaving different guys step up each game has helped us win a lot of games.î