No. 9 Kansas hopes to stop the bleeding in marquee tilt at Kentucky

Bill Self is a basketball coach by trade, but in discussing Kansas’ three-game losing streak after Monday night’s 75-69 loss at Baylor, he dropped a wrestling analogy.”When you’re on top and you can get riding time, it takes twice as much energy if you’re the low man in wrestling … it’s exactly the way basketball is too,” Self said. “When you’re behind, it takes more energy, everything’s magnified, it takes more effort.”And when you’re playing with the lead, obviously you’re looser. Everything’s not life or death.”Self and the No. 9 Jayhawks must try to end their skid in their SEC/Big 12 Challenge game against surging Kentucky on Saturday night in Lexington, Ky.The Wildcats (14-6) were in dire straits just a couple of weeks ago before ripping off four straight wins.The latest was a 69-53 decision on Tuesday night at Vanderbilt, the Wildcats’ 14th consecutive win against their SEC rivals. Antonio Reeves scored 16 points, giving the Illinois State transfer 68 during the winning streak.Reeves led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring last year at 20.1 ppg, but Kentucky coach John Calipari said Reeves’ recent contributions go beyond points.”He’s been good, very confident,” Calipari said. “Playing better defensively. Rebounding balls. Mixing it up. And he’s not just worried about offense. He’s worried about playing.”Reeves is presently averaging 12.9 points per game, second on the team behind Oscar Tshiebwe’s 16.6. Tshiebwe is also hauling in 13.9 rebounds, putting him well on track to lead Division I in rebounding for a second consecutive season.