A two-point victory over the top team in the country should be enough to motivate anyone for a few weeks on adrenaline alone.
But nobody motivates Kansas University junior forward Darnell Jackson like, well, Darnell Jackson.
The hefty big man was able to take some joy in his 13-point, 11-rebound performance in Tuesday night's 83-32 blowout of Dartmouth because he consistently followed his own advice - rebound, rebound and then rebound some more.
"I just kept repeating to myself, 'Go to the glass, go to the glass,'" Jackson said. "Even if I'm on the court, I try to remind myself. Everybody has a responsibility. All of the bigs have to crash the boards. Lately, I've been slacking on the rebounds a little bit."
Jackson said the inner conversation came mostly before Tuesday's game, and he picked a prime opportunity to listen to the little guy in his noggin. Dartmouth's severe size disadvantage helped the Jayhawks out-board the Big Green, 52-23.
Jackson was KU's lone player with double-digit boards.
"Well, they missed shots, and we're a lot bigger than they are, so we should have had a huge advantage from a rebounding standpoint," KU coach Bill Self said. "Because they weren't very big."
Still, though, Jackson played like the warrior his inside voice wanted him to. He had a five-stitch-worthy cut above his left eye to prove it following a collision in the paint, which kept him from shooting the back end of a two-shot trip to the free-throw line in the first half.
Jackson said his next focus, now that rebounding intensity hopefully is no longer an issue, is conditioning.
Dartmouth's 19 turnovers forced KU into a lot of transition, high-speed offensive execution. Jackson also said he made some mistakes as far as moving without the ball. Luckily for him, he's not content just to settle for a solid double-double against an overmatched opponent.
"There were a lot of things I messed up on. I was just making mental mistakes," Jackson said. "I need to focus on my main points and just go get it."