KU seniors Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson, Rodrick Stewart, Jeremy Case and Darnell Jackson give their senior speeches after the Jayhawks' 109-51 victory over Texas Tech.
Swagger's back: Kansas University's basketball team seems to have bonded since a disappointing one-point loss Feb. 23 at Oklahoma State.
"We have a swagger again, not anything cocky," senior Darnell Jackson said after KU's third straight victory, a 109-51 dismantling Monday of Texas Tech.
"It happened at practice after we lost at OSU. A lot of guys realized, 'This is it. We can't keep losing. We can't go out in the first round.' We said, 'Everybody has to bring it every game the rest of the way.'"
Long passes: Jackson had a pair of assists on three-quarter-court passes.
"If the NFL needs me to play quarterback in place of (Donovan) McNabb, I'm there," he said with a smile.
Coach talk: KU coach Bill Self apologized to Tech coach Pat Knight in the handshake line after the game.
"He's great. He said, 'It's not your fault,''' Self said, "because we did play guys. They couldn't throw it in the ocean (18-of-62 shooting for 29 percent). I'm certainly glad we had a chance to play everybody, but nobody likes to win that way, by that margin. The Big 12 player of the week (Brandon Rush) plays 10 minutes tonight. How many times is that going to happen?"
Rush lauded: Rush and Baylor's Kevin Rogers on Monday were named co-Big 12 Players of the Week.
Rush averaged 18.0 points in victories over Iowa State and Kansas State. Rogers averaged 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in victories over Colorado and Missouri.
It's the fourth career weekly honor for Rush, who was named rookie of the week three times his freshman season.
He's the second Jayhawk to earn the honor this season. Jackson was co-player of the week Jan. 25.
Kansas State's Michael Beasley was tapped rookie of the week Monday for the eighth time this season. He has been player of the week twice.
Stats, facts: KU's nine threes in the second half tied a school record. In all, KU made a season-best 14 threes in 24 tries ... KU had a season-best 27 assists. ... Cole Aldrich had his first double-double (11 points, 11 boards). ... Brad Witherspoon hit two free throws for his first points of the season. ... Chase Buford, the only Jayhawk not to score, had the first block and steal of his career. ... KU went 20-0 at home this season and has won 24 straight home games. ... KU has scored 100 points six times under Self. ... KU outrebounded Tech, 54-24. The 54 boards were a season high. ... Six Jayhawks scored in double figures for the first time all year.
KU deserves mention: Self on Monday said he hoped the Jayhawks' balanced scoring attack wouldn't cost the team in all-league voting.
"In my personal opinion, I'd be disappointed if we don't have at least a couple of guys on the first team, more than that on the first two teams, but it's up to the voters to decide," he said.
Self was asked by a reporter on the coaches' weekly teleconference if he could list his players in order of importance. The coach couldn't do that.
"Darrell Arthur is our leading scorer. Mario Chalmers was our best performer the first half of the season. Darnell Jackson is our most improved (player). Brandon Rush has been our best performer the second half of the season. If you ask me who our best player is I'd say, 'Wait until the game tonight.' I don't even know," Self said.
NCAA Tourney talk: Self said he thought the Big 12 should have six teams in the upcoming NCAAs. His reasoning is the league has the second-best RPI in the country, based on strong performances in nonconference games.
"If RPI matters in looking at individual teams, it should matter for conferences," Self said. "The Big 12 was hurt the last couple of years in being fifth or sixth (in RPI). Now, being second should help us. There are a lot of .500 teams (in conference). That's because the league is so good. Six is very realistic."