Darnell Jackson figures he's darn near perfect from the free-throw line at practice.
"I hit them all the time," Jackson, Kansas University's junior forward, said, noting he shoots 100 per workout a day.
"It's just in the game I don't know what's wrong - in and out or just 'brick.' When you think it's good, it's not. I'm going to have to work on that."
Jackson - who has made just four of his last 13 free throws over the last six games and has made 64.2 percent on the season and 60 percent in league games - missed two with seven minutes left in Saturday's 90-86 home victory over Texas.
His teammates followed by clanging seven of their final 12 tries down the stretch of the narrow victory.
"Our free-throw shooting down the stretch was atrocious," junior Russell Robinson said.
Robinson, a 65.6 percent free thrower (62.5 in league games), made two of six the final 1:18.
"With me, it's all mental. I'm thinking about everything except making the shot. I've got to focus in and get tougher," Robinson said.
Robinson said the team's 66.3 percent mark (65.6 in conference) is not because of lack of effort at practice.
"Coach (Bill Self) sets a goal for us. We have to make 21 of 25 (individually) when we are tired. You shoot them after you run and are tired. It gives you something to think about. It's not quite the same as a game, but close."
Self isn't ignoring the problem.
"I believe we have an area of concern," he said. "If we made free throws against Texas with our best shooters up there, the game is never in doubt. I do believe we'll make them. Now would be a great time to start if we're going to raise our percentages a bit."
"When it comes to crunch time, I think you are going to see us make the big free throws," said Brandon Rush, who has made 68.6 percent of his tosses, 74.5 in the league.
¢ Wright player of week: KU sophomore Julian Wright on Monday was named Big 12 co-player of the week with Texas' Kevin Durant. Wright averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in wins over Oklahoma and Texas. Texas' D.J. Augustin was rookie of the week.
¢ Top seed?: There's talk No. 2-ranked KU will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
"If seeding were to come out today, I believe we'd be a 1," Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show. "But say North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio State, UCLA and Florida win their tournaments. I'd say, 'If we're going to be a 1 seed, we better win our tournament.' If not, we'd go from 2 to 6 in the polls.
"If we win our tournament, it would give us great consideration. I believe we need to play well in Oklahoma City to get that. We had a really good year, but a lot of teams did."
KU opens Big 12 tourney play at 11:30 a.m. Friday against either Iowa State or Oklahoma at Ford Center in OKC.
¢ Scholarship situation: KU, which has 12 players on scholarship this semester (walk-on Matt Kleinmann is on aid with a slot available), will, on paper, be at 13 next season.
Kleinmann will give up his scholarship, with Cole Aldrich and Tyrel Reed coming on board to up the total to 13.
The Jayhawks, Self said, "need to get down to 12," because of NCAA probation that takes away a scholarship the next two seasons.
"Even though I am not encouraging anything, I'd say the percentages would be somebody would leave for some reason. It could be professional reasons (NBA),
playing-time reasons, a lot of reasons. I'd rather play the percentages and know confidently that would be true than wish we had another player. We've got to get down to 12. Those things tend to work themselves out."
Rush and Wright reiterated Monday they plan to return for their junior seasons. But Self said nothing with any player ever is set in stone.
"There's not anybody right now that knows if they'd leave," Self said. "There's guys in their mind know they'd stay, but things happen. People get involved. We'll enjoy all our guys as long as we have them. We hope we have them again unless it's best for them to leave now. If it's best they leave now, they need to leave. Heck, I don't even know. I've not talked to NBA people who have them on their board. I told them (players) we'd address it when the season is over."
Wright noted: "Nobody on the team is talking about that, because at this time nobody should be even thinking about that. If you are, it's not good for the team."