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Good Sign from Rick Barnes

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On this time in the season: I think the most important thing with the team right now is they have got to love coming back to the gym. I think this is grind from right now, mentally. I think if you grind them physically to where they just have nothing left, and if they’re not looking forward to this time of year, I think you’ve really made a mistake with them. Maybe the key right now is to let them have more time to themselves and be short and sweet in your practices. Again, you talk about fresh legs this time of year, but I think mentally is where you’ve got to keep them fresh. Games are getting ready to change in terms of longer timeouts and those types of things. I just think, again, the whole mental makeup right now is the most important thing.

On if the team is mentally prepared: The other night [against Baylor], I thought, mentally, we were. They had as much fun the other night as I’ve seen them have in a long time. We had a little talk after the game against Oklahoma State to get a sense of where they were. We just talked about it. I thought we came out [against Baylor] and it was really after I watched the tape that I could just tell they were excited about playing.

I like the sound of that. Play loose and I think Texas has a solid chance of upending the Jayhawks.