Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.
KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-72 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2012.
Baylor coach Scott Drew and players Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Pierre Jackson talk to reporters following the Bears' 81-72 victory over Kansas on March 9, 2012.
Kansas City, Mo. Kansas University guard Conner Teahan was honest when asked what contributed most to his team’s poor defensive effort Friday against Baylor.
“I guess airheadedness,” the senior said following KU’s 81-72 loss in the Big 12 semifinals. “I know that there were times where people were not knowing what defense we were in or what we were doing — like, ‘Are we trapping the post or not trapping the post?’”
The issues were most evident early, as the Jayhawks allowed 43 first-half points to fall behind by eight at the break. That tied for the second-most points given up by KU in a first half this season.
“We played no defense in the first half — no defense you could probably say the first 25 minutes and maybe even longer,” Teahan said. “ ... Forty-three points in a half is not something that we do at all. That’s something that was addressed at halftime.”
Baylor’s first-half offense thrived in many areas.
The Bears made five of 12 three-pointers (42 percent) and 13 of 29 field goals (45 percent) while also hitting 12 of 14 free throws (86 percent).
“We don’t really allow people to shoot like that, and they definitely played great today,” KU center Jeff Withey said. “They got us out of our comfort zone.”
Baylor also was able to snag six first-half offensive rebounds while turning it over just six times in a fast-paced, high-possession half.
“They were getting some pretty easy jumpshots,” Teahan said. “I think we just made a lot of mental errors.”
A few Jayhawks — Withey included — said KU didn’t come out with enough energy to start the game.
“It was definitely lackadaisical,” Withey said. “We’ve got to get better at that.
“In the (NCAA) Tournament, it’s not going to be like the fieldhouse, where there’s 16,300 cheering for you. It’s going to be a lot quieter. There’s not going to be the energy there. For the tournament, we’ve got to get ready every game.”
BU’s 81 points were the most scored by a KU opponent this year in regulation.
Missouri scored 86 against KU on Feb. 25, but the Tigers had only 75 points before going to overtime.
“We’ve dug ourselves in some holes, not even in terms of the point deficit, but just the way we were playing defense,” Teahan said. “We just were not doing it the way that we should.”