The KU mens basketball team played the Baylor Bears in Waco, TX., Saturday, March 9, in the Jayhawks last regular season game of the year.
Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 81-58 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2013.
Waco, Texas — Kansas University senior point guard Elijah Johnson was a man of precious few words after Saturday’s 81-58 loss to Baylor in Ferrell Center.
“Went braindead” is how he described what took place after KU cut a 17-point deficit to six during crunch time, only to have the Bears outscore KU, 20-3, the rest of the way en route a 23-point victory.
“Unexpected. Not Pierre, unexpected from Jefferson,” Johnson added of the explosive scoring of forward Cory Jefferson, who had 25 points off 11-of-13 shooting. Point guard Pierre Jackson, the Big 12’s leading scorer, had 28 off identical 11-of-13 marksmanship.
Johnson merely shook his head from side to side as his response to three other questions from media members after his Jayhawks fell to 26-5 overall, 14-4 in league play. Obviously he and the Jayhawks were not happy campers as they excited Ferrell Center, despite winning a piece of the Big 12 title (with Kansas State).
“I mean, it was pretty quiet (in locker room),” said freshman Perry Ellis, who scored 12 points off 5-of-7 shooting. “There’s nothing we can do now. We’ve got to go to the Big 12 tournament and just play.”
Ellis said he “was trying to be aggressive and help my team,” when he entered early for Kevin Young, who picked up two quick fouls. Ellis played 22 minutes; Young 15.
Wooden finalists: KU’s Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey have been named two of 15 finalists for the 2013 John R. Wooden Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced on ESPN College GameDay Saturday.
Other finalists: Anthony Bennett, UNLV; Trey Burke, Michigan; Erick Green, Virginia Tech; Shane Larkin, Miami (Fla.); Doug McDermott, Creighton; Victor Oladipo, Indiana; Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga; Mason Plumlee, Duke; Otto Porter, Georgetown; Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State; Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State; Nate Wolters, South Dakota State; Cody Zeller, Indiana.
The 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wooden Player of the Year will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta.
The 2013 Wooden Award Gala will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. KU’s Bill Self will receive the Legends of Coaching Award at the banquet.
Gear available: KU’s 2013 Big 12 championship hats and T-shirts were on sale at kuathletics.com and kustore.com moments after Oklahoma State wrapped up a 76-70 victory over Kansas State about 3:15 p.m. Saturday.
Next: KU, as the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, will play at 2 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Texas Tech and West Virginia. If KU wins, it would play in the 6:30 p.m., semifinals Friday against either Oklahoma or Iowa State. The finals are 5 p.m. Saturday.
This, that: KU was led in scoring by Ben McLemore, who matched his jersey number with 23 points — his highest total in a road game this season — and passed Danny Manning (496) to become the all-time leading freshman scorer in Kansas history with 517 points during the regular season. ... KU leads the all-time series with BU, 19-4, with wins in four of the last six meetings. BU beat KU in Waco for the first time since 2001. .. Despite the loss, KU clinched a share of its 13th Big 12 regular season title and 56th overall conference regular season title — the most in NCAA Division I history. KU’s streak of nine straight is the longest active streak in the country and ties for fifth most in NCAA Division I history. Ohio State, Belmont and Murray State entered the season having won three league crowns in a row.