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Kansas defeats Texas, 85-54

  • 6:30 p.m., Feb. 22, 2014
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Showtime: Kansas runs past Texas on a night filled with highlights

The Kansas bench reacts with disbelief after a dunk by forward Tarik Black sent the fieldhouse into a frenzy during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas bench reacts with disbelief after a dunk by forward Tarik Black sent the fieldhouse into a frenzy during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self discusses the Jayhawks' drubbing of UT

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self discusses the Jayhawks' drubbing of UT on Saturday night, praising the team's defense and the overall play of Andrew Wiggins.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Wiggins, Embiid and Mason talk about playing with pride in rematch with UT

Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Frank Mason talk about playing with pride in the Jayhawks' rematch with Texas.

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KANSAS 85, TEXAS 54

Box score

The showdown between the top two teams in the Big 12 Conference turned into showtime for Kansas University’s basketball team on Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

Led by freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, who had 15 and nine points and an assortment of vicious slam dunks the first half, and senior Tarik Black, who drew comparisons to Blake Griffin for his one-handed sky-walking slam in the second half, the first-place Jayhawks (21-6, 12-2) pounded the second-place Longhorns (20-7, 9-5), 85-54.

“This was a major game for us,” said Black, who had KU’s bench erupt in glee after his one-for-the-ages slam with 5:11 to play and the Jayhawks up, by 30 points. 

He actually took off outside the paint area, elevating his 6-foot-9, 260-pound body in a Jordan-esque move.

“They put a beating on us in Austin (81-69 on Feb. 1) and we’re No. 1 and they are right behind us in the league race,” Black added “Coach (Bill) Self is a feisty guy. He wanted to win for the conference race. He also wanted this for a personal thing. It was kind of a vengeance type thing. They beat us at their house pretty bad. We had to make sure it was just as bad. Really truly he (Self) wants to make it worse. That’s the mentality we took ... of our coach,” added Black, who finished with nine points and five boards.

As Black said, the victory was huge. Up three games with four to play, KU can wrap up at least a share of its 10th straight conference title with a win against Oklahoma (20-7, 9-5) on Monday night. Texas, like OU, is three games back.

“Coach said it was probably the most important weekend of the year to date,” said Black, whose dunk came long after the outcome was decided. KU led, 46-18, at halftime.

“I have two other dunks that might compare,” the Memphis transfer added. “I jumped over a guy vertically in high school. Two years ago in the Bahamas against Minnesota I had a nice little dunk where I caught a guy. I’ve heard Dr. J (Julius Erving) and Blake Griffin,” he added of others who could pull off this type of dunk. “I’m blessed to be Tarik Black.”

Black said because he’s “blessed with athleticism,” he knew he could get to the rim where he figured he could lay it in if he didn’t have enough left in his legs to dunk. Or at the worst, he thought he’d get fouled.

“The one Tarik did the second half was extreme,” said freshman backup point guard Frank Mason, who had 14 points off 6-of-7 shooting.

Starter Naadir Tharpe, who Self said did a great job defensively on Isaiah Taylor (1-of-14 shooting), had two points and five assists.

“I thought it was the best dunk we had all year,” noted Self. “It was a pretty special play. I had no idea what he was going to do. He kept going up. That was a big-time play.”

In the first half, Embiid, who finished with 13 points, seven boards and six blocks while being rested the final eight minutes, raced through the lane for a highlight-reel slam off a one-handed bullet pass from Tharpe. 

The 7-footer said he was fired up entering the game partly because of a play at UT in which he was pulled down by Cameron Ridley.

“The fact they didn’t call the foul (at Texas)... I had a different mindset (Saturday),” Embiid said. “Like coach said, ‘Just show them what you can do.’ I feel like I did and my teammates kept feeding me. They had to trust me,” Embiid said.

Wiggins, who had 12 points in a 14-0 run that gave KU a 24-10 lead, flushed a lob from Wayne Selden and had another rim-rattler following a steal by Jamari Traylor.

“Our guys (overall) have not played with the pride on the defensive end that they played with tonight. You play like that every game, you are going to be pretty good,” Self said. “That’s the best we’ve played defense all year in the first half.”

Texas hit six of 29 first-half shots for 20.7 percent. Texas finished at 34.4 percent to KU’s 51.7 mark. KU had seven steals.

“We were pretty dominant the first half. It’s as consistently good as we’ve been at any time this year,” Self said. “They played man. They played zone. We adjusted and played well against what they threw at us.”

Why?

“Just our pride. We wanted to come out aggressive. We know last time we got embarrassed at their place. We wanted to do the same to them, win every possession,” said Wiggins, who scored 15 points the first half off 5-of-7 shooting and finished with 21 off 7-of-12 marksmanship. He hit three of five threes and had six boards in 27 minutes.

“When I score early it brings confidence in my game. Especially if I get a three, I feel like I’m on fire automatically. I respect my teammates for getting me the ball where I needed it.

“I missed plenty of shots I usually make when we were at Texas so I tried to get extra shots up to prepare myself for this game. I was ready and fired up for this game,” he added.

Tip for Monday’s game is 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 8 months ago

The team that played tonight looked like possibly the best Kansas has put on the court. We've had some huge dominating teams/games but I don't ever recall a team that showed so much athleticism from all positions and off the bench, team-work sharing the ball (19 assist on 31 baskets), rebounding when the game was on the line, and defensive pressure.

This team has shown glimpses of great defensive ability but pulled it all together tonight. Even Tharpe showed he can defend his position. I seriously did not think he had that ability over the course of a game. Since the team has been so inconsistant, we'll all be anxious to see if two more complete games, especially on the D end can be strung together back to back...with the real acid test being in Stillwater. You know OSU will be looking to achieve some measure of redemption by taking down Kansas next Saturday. If we can solidify the high level shown tonight over the next two game to win the Big 12, it will show the team has arrived and will challenge for the NC.

If this is the way our guys play to in "pay back" games, I can not wait till we take on UF in the tournament.

Walter Bridges 8 months ago

"The team that played tonight looked like possibly the best Kansas has put on the court."

If you mean this season, then I agree 100%. I liked your take and this team has been inconsistent BUT one game away for #10. For a team most will agree that it hasn't been consistent, when looking at only wins and losses, most people would say "huh?".

We just played our most complete game and we are still far below this team's ceiling.

Suzi Marshall 8 months ago

I'm talking about the team that showed up to play UT Saturday vs any Kansas team ever....or atleast going back to the mid-50s...if we can sustain that kind of intensity. I thought Saturday's game was played very close to what I think our ceiling could be. Sure we can reach a higher ceiling with a better offensive contribution from Tharpe and better D from Ellis, but how likely is that? Although Tharpe shot the ball poorly, I was over the moon with his defensive play.

Seriously when have we ever had a team with this much talent? Additionally, Saturday we showed the ability to D as well as any Kansas team in the Self era, which is unquestionably the era for Kansas D.

Walter Bridges 8 months ago

It's the same team that was spanked by Texas just a few weeks ago. I don't know how to rank a team by any one game performance. How was that one-game team better than the 2008 Championship game team or the team that put up 155 points over Kentucky. I can understand debating the best KU team in history based on performance and talent over a season but on a single game?

Pointless.

Suzi Marshall 8 months ago

Very true but I'm doing a bit of extrapolating betting we can sustain Saturday’s effort for the balance of the season. I thought the key to our performance was Tharpe’s D, which previously was a major Achilles heel all season. If Tharpe can continue to defend his position that will take a lot of pressure off the rest of the team which will allow us to sustain this high level of play….and even improve.

Benz Junque 8 months ago

1] AFH sure had a different buzz about it for a 6:30pm start than the regular 1:00 or 3:00 start. It had a pretty drunk rowdy feel to it in there tonight.

2] I commented to my family watching warmups that I thought Kansas looked to have more energy. They were really getting after it in warm ups and many players sprinted off the court back to the locker rooms. I was hoping that I wasn't just reading into nothing, but KU came out and was by far the more aggressive team tonight from the tip to the final buzzer. THAT is what wins games and they had it for the vast majority of the game.

3] KU has lost two conference games this year, both on the road. They beat those two teams by 26 and 31 points when they faced them at home.

4] Wiggins could have gone for 40 tonight if he felt like it. He took whatever he wanted out there. What a pleasure it is to have that young man on the team. He puts to rest any notion that OAD players are all selfish players. He hustles for loose balls, works his tail off on defense, supports his teammates. Everything I want from a Kansas player. The fact that he is an incredible offensive talent is a cherry on top for me.

5] What a bloodbath. Imagine if they called Ridley for ALL of the elbow hooks he threw out there instead of just one... I thought KU gets all the calls at home?

Walter Bridges 8 months ago

I'm guessing you missed Duke/Syracuse since you were at the game but listening to 'Dickey V' repeating ad nauseam how J Parker is clearly this years best freshman made watching the game nearly impossible. Tough call at the end but Boeheim cost them any chance of winning.

Bryce Landon 8 months ago

That might have been the most impressive performance Kansas has put on all season. It's going to take a similar effort against the Evil Empire on Monday night!

Robert Brown 8 months ago

Never really considered OU to be evil or have an empire.

Rodney Crain 8 months ago

Evil Empire??? I lived there three years and enjoyed it too. Big game for sure, but if we feed the post and defend their 3 point shooters we should be fine. Play like we did in the first half and we are up 3 with 3 to play. Shine up the trophy and bring it out after OK is off the floor.

Brian Mellor 8 months ago

Great game. But is anyone, looking at our schedule, getting the feel of a trap game against OSU in a week? I mean, it IS a little hard to consider OSU a trap game considering their potential, but if we win against OU we'll have clinched the 10th straight (shared), and OSU Really needs a good win to keep their season alive.

Should be an interesting week!

Benz Junque 8 months ago

The game @Okie State will mean nothing to us from a conference perspective and Okie State will be playing for their life. The good thing is that Self can have the guys focused on trying to play for a #1 seed. Dropping that game hurts our shot at a #1 seed but winning it against a team that will likely be on a roll would really help our case.

Dirk Medema 8 months ago

Okie light can still be played as a manhood game - the team that flipped on your floor, as well as a Madness practice. You know there will be an undersized team with quality guards. Are you going to impose your will on them, or let them punk you?

WVU is the trap game to me. On the road. "Lesser" opponent, regardless of the record. Post-senior night/end of the season.

Joe Joseph 8 months ago

Tough to repeat a performance like this in back-to-back games. I anticipate a bit of a let down versus Oklahoma. I'm probably more worried about the OU game than any other home game KU has played this season. Oklahoma has the second best road record in the BIG XII and, if shooting well, will give KU a real challenge. They will have the chip this game, and Kansas (and its fans) will still be decompressing from the UT blood bath.

To put it bluntly: I'm scared.

Bryce Landon 8 months ago

You're ALWAYS scared. What else is new? But that's your brand. :)

Walter Bridges 8 months ago

Joe, feel the force. OU just blew out KSU. They have even less time than us to prepare. KU will be ready to clinch on Monday.

Jack Hoover 8 months ago

The showdown between the top two teams in the Big 12 Conference.....................

Really Gary? With the season not over yet, and the Big 12 Tournament not played yet one would assume that the 2nd best team in the Big 12 has YET to be determined. But as they say, let us not allow the facts to get in the way of a good story. IB

Dirk Medema 8 months ago

The facts Gary is accurately referring to is the record.

Will it change? Probably. Is it accurate? Yes.

Just the facts.

Gary Bedore 8 months ago

You are right Dirk. It was one vs. two. It was undisputed first place team vs. undisputed second place team (entering the game) with huge league implications. If Texas wins, UT would have been one game out. Just the facts, maam; just the facts was a line from Dragnet I believe.

Bryce Landon 8 months ago

UT was #2 in the conference standings entering the game. Now they are in a three-way tie for 2nd with OU and ISU.

Rodney Crain 8 months ago

Gary got it right, at tip off they were the top two teams in the conference. It was a showdown not a prediction.

Brianna Zaleski 8 months ago

I just love watching these kids have fun. Of course I love the dunks and blocks and the beatdowns, but what puts a smile on my face more than anything, is seeing this team enjoy themselves so much. Wiggins smile is contagious and the way they act on the bench, it's so obvious these kids like each other a lot! Does anyone have the video of Wiggs and Embiid playing paper, rock scissors to see who talked first to the reporter after the game? Fun stuff! To be a kid again! It's always interesting to me, too, to see which kids on the team buddy up the most. You can tell Black and Traylor are close, but also, has anyone noticed how close Wiggins and Manning seem to be? Evan seems to be able to crack Andrew up pretty easily as I always see him smiling when they're together. Here you have the best player on the team and on of the role players getting along so well. It just reminds me that this is a family and there is soooo much time spent behind the scenes forging bonds that will last for a lifetime.
Sorry for the corny material but that's one part of college bball that has always appealed to me.

Dirk Medema 8 months ago

And this team in particular.

I'd also say I love watching Tarik be a big bro to the younger guys.

Bob Audley 8 months ago

I would like to see Wayne Seldon play with the enthusiasm that he displayed towards Tarik's dunk...

RJ King 8 months ago

I couldn't disagree more. (Did I miss the sarcasm font?) In case you're serious, in 29 minutes Selden had:

4-7 FG's, 6 Rebs, 7 Assista, 0 TO's, 1 Block, 2 Steals

According to my (amateur) eye test he plays aggressive defense. His mistakes look like they come from playing too hard (firing a misguided pass) rather than from lackadaisical play.

Walter Bridges 8 months ago

You are way off Bob. Selden has been the guy that has energized this team with plays that don't show up in the stats. KU didn't need him to score but his defense and hustle were needed and he showed up big.

Jonathan Allison 8 months ago

I think that you guys are being too hard on Bob. I didn't read his comment as a criticism of Selden's play at all.

But you both are right. Selden seems to be the emotional leader of the team. He's always the first to congratulate his teammates for big plays, he's often the first to incite the team with a hustle play. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I love the energy that he brings.

Erich Hartmann 8 months ago

Selfball at its finest, when the defense is working. Look at the both-ends-of-court-swing: "make the other guy ugly(force bad shots)", and "ignite our own transition breaks offensively with steals and rebounds" (Self quotes...). Its the BillSelfAvalanche that happens on BOTH ends of the floor.

Now this team has set its own performance bar, instead of trying to live up to past season's KU teams. Now they know they can do it, as they just did, in grand fashion.

Pam Goad 8 months ago

That's a great point! They've set their own bar. They have their own identity now.

Dirk Medema 8 months ago

Didn't we say that about this team after an earlier game? Reminders are good.

Armen Kurdian 8 months ago

The whole game I kept thinking of what HCBS always says about the 50/50 balls, and tonight we got about 80% of those. Too bad Tharpe couldn't hit at all last night,but his great D certainly made up for it.

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