Jayhawks won't rely on Releford's hot streak
Before Kansas can get giddy about a newfound scoring star, the player providing the surprising punch provides a dose reality.
"I come into games just trying to stop the opponent's offensive scorer, the best player on their team," junior guard Travis Releford said. "I don't really look to score."
Call him a no-look threat if you will. After netting a career-best 16 points in a win against Kansas State to open Big 12 play, Releford enjoyed a 28-point outburst in a 72-61 victory at Oklahoma on Jan. 7. The wins gave the Jayhawks a 2-0 start to league play and pushed them to 12-3 overall.
Kansas coach Bill Self concurred with the points Releford made ... uh, postgame points.
"He still got most of his points off junk," Self said. "You look at the three 3s he made, which were great, but still most of his points were taking the ball to the basket."
Nonetheless, anything Releford provides offensively takes some burden off Thomas Robinson, the burly junior forward Kansas goes to frequently underneath. Other potential scoring exists, too, though the Jayhawks can also go into funks.
Against Oklahoma, Releford helped with a defensive effort that allowed Kansas to work in transition and overcome a one-point halftime deficit with a 23-4 barrage to begin the second half.
"Probably the best run we've had all year," Self said.
Look for Kansas to seek more fast-break opportunities moving forward. The Jayhawks have shown the capacity to look good in transition, in part because so many players are adept driving to the hole. Even Robinson showed off that potential with a court-to-court break he converted on his own against the Sooners.