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Sophomore guard Tharpe taking keys to Kansas offense; may be key to Jayhawks making March run

The keys to the Kansas offense are being slowly handed to a sophomore point guard who hardly played last season, and whose performance this year has swung between maddening and marvelous.

Sometimes all in the span of a week.

Naadir Tharpe has gone from the also-ran bench guy playing garbage minutes to the guy getting the ball in the hands of Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey, the two best players for No. 14 Kansas.

Tharpe had eight assists and only one turnover in Monday night's win over No. 10 Kansas State that forged a tie for first place in the Big 12. And he'll be in the spotlight on Saturday against Texas, when he's likely matched up with the Longhorns' Myck Kabongo.

Said Kansas coach Bill Self: "He's played some big minutes for us lately."