The Big 12 Conference is helping KU for big games

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 8:01 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, IA. (WIBW) - Most of the 2022-2023 season, 60 percent of the Big 12 was ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll.

Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, Baylor, Texas were all of those teams, including West Virginia too. The team described it as a gauntlet, even Bill Self agreed throughout the year that it would be tough winning the conference.

After losing more than 70 percent of their scoring, the leadership is stepping up in a big way because of the experience they have.

“Yeah, I think all the teams in the Big 12 were athletic, if you look 1 though 10, every team that we were playing, everyone pretty much has athletes on their roster so we’ve been battle tested, they have been battled tested in the SEC every night so I know it’s going to be a good game, it’ll be a great matchup for us,” KU Forward Kevin McCullar Jr. said.

“The fact that we got to play like that, has helped us prepare for these type of games and that we really haven’t seen to much,” KU Guard Gradey Dick said.

“It’s just an adjustment we have to make (slowing down their defense), sometimes in the Big 12 that’s what happens, luckily we have a great conference to prepare for moments like this, regardless of what’s going on in the game, they could get hot, you never know and we have to be ready to adjust,” Jalen Wilson added.

On day one, Wilson said he already felt the energy and that’s what strives the program to continue to get to this spot, 33 straight years to be exact.

“The energy will be there, there is no doubt about that, we know that when we play in this situation, it’s a two game tournament, coach talks about that, our guys will be fired up, there is no doubt about that,” Norm Roberts said.

Yes, Howard got into the tournament for a reason, but now the bar continues to rise as the level of competition only gets harder.

“We know Howard was a good team, don’t get me wrong, they are a very good team but this is a step up from an athletic standpoint, attacking standpoint and we know that, we played in the toughest conference in America so we know what good players look like and Arkansas has a lot of them.”

Tip-off at 4:15 p.m. on WIBW.