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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 73-51

  • 8 p.m., Feb. 10, 2015
  • United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, TX

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Jayhawks go big to blow out Tech

Freshman Alexander makes first Big 12 start

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) dunks during the second half of the Jayhawks 73-51 win over Texas Tech Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) dunks during the second half of the Jayhawks 73-51 win over Texas Tech Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 at United Supermarkets Arena.

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— Cliff Alexander’s well-publicized “motor” was revving too fast during the first minute and a half of Tuesday’s Kansas-Texas Tech basketball game in United Supermarkets Arena.

“I was a little bit too excited,” KU’s 6-foot-8, 240-pound freshman power forward said after scoring 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting, grabbing five rebounds and blocking four shots while playing 20 minutes in the (20-4, 9-2) Jayhawks’ 73-51 victory over the (12-13, 2-10) Red Raiders.

He also had two turnovers, which he committed the first two times he touched the ball in the paint.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self assesses KU's poor 1st half, strong 2nd half at Texas Tech

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks with media members following the Jayhawks' road win at Texas Tech.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Brannen Greene on KU's blowout win at Tech

Kansas sophomore wing Brannen Greene answers questions from the media after Kansas blew out Texas Tech Tuesday night, at Lubbock, Texas.

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KANSAS 73, TEXAS TECH 51

Box score

He gunned one pass over Kelly Oubre Jr.’s head into the stands in the corner and heaved another pass out of play near mid-court.

“The trap kind of surprised me,” said Alexander, who coach Bill Self said was a bit “nervous” in making his second start of the season, first since a Dec. 22 game against Temple.

“I didn’t know there was a trap coming. It kind of shook me a little bit,” added Alexander, who has been challenged by Self to play with a motor after various games during the Chicagoan’s freshman campaign.

Alexander played so well after the early snafus that KU’s coach was able to joke about the over-throws after the game.

“I think Cliff’s first two passes ... if fans in the 10th row weren’t alert, maybe he coulda hurt somebody,” Self said, smiling. “Nobody’s going to accuse him of being Bill Walton passing the ball out of the post. We didn’t do particularly well the first half as far as taking care of the ball (six turnovers, 14 for game). I do think traps bothered us in the post.”

Alexander started in place of Jamari Traylor (no points, two boards, one block, one steal, 19 minutes) who had opened the last 12 games.

“It was probably a combination of reasons,” Self said of the switch in the wake of Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma State. “We needed to do something different in my opinion, so that’s basically it. We’ve won games playing small, playing Jamari at the 4. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen that way again. I think over time we’ve won games so we haven’t switched. The bottom line is we need more inside presence for us to have a chance to have a really good season, I believe.”

Alexander’s four blocks tied a career high. He also had four against Michigan State.

“I am a rim protector, that’s what they need me to do, protect the rim,” said Alexander, who aggravated his bruised sternum injury after getting hit during the game. He’s had the chest discomfort the past two weeks after taking an elbow from Landen Lucas (three points, three boards, 11 minutes) in practice.

“Our guards kept getting beat. I just needed to protect the rim, play my role.”

He said he found out he was starting, “after the Oklahoma State game. Coach just said he wanted to put me in the starting lineup tonight. I had to come out and play aggressive like I usually play.”

Of Alexander’s play, Self said: “I thought he played fine. I won’t get too excited. He made some easy shots, got a couple dunks. He was active. He has to a better job rebounding the ball and guarding his man. I thought the guy he was guarding, Odiase (Norense, 13 points, eight boards) played well and got the best of Cliff tonight.”

Wayne Selden Jr. hit four of seven threes and scored a game-high 16 points on a night the Jayhawks cashed 11 of 20 from beyond the arc. Perry Ellis scored 14 points, 12 the second half, and now is three shy of 1,000 for his KU career. Brannen Greene hit two second-half threes and had 10 points.

“I think we responded very well (to OSU loss),” Alexander said. “We struggled in the first half, picked it up in the second half. Wayne hit some big shots; Perry stepped up.”

KU, which led 27-22 at the break thanks to five straight points by Selden, hit 72.7 percent of its second-half shots in scoring 46 points. KU finished shooting 53.1 percent for the game to Tech’s 33.3 mark.

“If you are going to shoot ’em, it’s obviously better making as many as you can,” Self said of threes, which he also referred to as “fool’s gold” in terms of how many KU has been hitting of late.

Freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who had played three minutes in the last six games, was 0-for-2 from three with a steal and turnover in nine minutes.

“He was OK. He did fine,” Self said. “They blocked three shots, they were all threes in the first half (including one of Svi’s knocked into the stands). What that tells me is if they are blocking threes you are not open. They got Kelly, Wayne and Svi. He did fine. He needs to get extended minutes. We hadn’t had a chance to really do that with him as much as we’d liked.”

KU, which won its 20th game for the 26th straight season, will next meet Baylor at noon Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.


More news and notes from Kansas at Texas Tech


By the Numbers: Kansas wins at Texas Tech, 73-51

By the Numbers: Kansas wins at Texas Tech, 73-51

Comments

Reggie Flenory 4 years, 3 months ago

1.)Welp it's now or never with cliff he did ok tonight but he and Ellis are going to have to be forces inside the paint for Kansas to have a shot in the NCAA tournament having said that cliff Alexander will probably be back next year to continue to develop his offensive game in the post maybe as the season goes along and he continues to play he will get more comfortable and start displaying the type of moves that we saw embiid display last year

  1. don't look now but Wayne Selden is beginning to develop Into a nba prospect

  2. Brennan Greene is the best 3 point shooter in the nation and has put Kelly oubre on the bench its going to be real interesting to see how this plays out

  3. Frank mason is the truth

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 3 months ago

Were we that good or was Tech that bad because that looked way too easy.

Mike Riches 4 years, 3 months ago

The thing that concerns me about this team when it comes to the NCAA tourney, is not their inconsistency. Yes they have been inconsistent within games, tonight being another example of one half playing pretty poorly, and one half playing really well. But the fact is, they have won most of those games in which they've been inconsistent. So far they've had an 8 game win streak and two five game win streaks during this season. A four game win streak at the end of the season will put you in the Final Four.

What concerns me more than that, is their inability to score inside. I think we have the best shooting team that I can remember at Kansas. But it's so easy to go cold from deep. And if that happens, it will be hard to progress in the tourney unless we're able to develop more ways to manufacture points inside. Of course we could always get hot and go deep in the tourney as well...we do have some awesome firepower. Maybe inserting Cliff in the starting lineup will give him more minutes, and help him develop more as a post scorer. I think we need another option down low.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 3 months ago

To get the desired scoring from inside the lane, Self will have to go with Alexander. Although I admire Traylor's hustle, he is simply not an inside scoring or defensive presence. To tell the truth, Lucas provides more presence on the defensive end as a true center.

Does Self need to look for a big man coach? Since the departure of Danny Manning, I feel like our back to the basket offensive efficiency has fallen off.

I keep seeing Simien at the games and wonder if he's be an option to teach post moves.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 4 years, 3 months ago

Nothing wrong with the coaching, we just don't have the back-to-the-basket horses this year. Embiid made great progress last year until he was hurt; Tarik Black (even though it was his 5th year) also improved quite a bit over the course of the season.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 3 months ago

It seems like a personnel issue to me. Ever since Cole Aldrich broke out as a sophomore we've had someone who could dominate the paint either because of size or skills or athleticism or some combination of the three. Cole had the size and the touch to outman any Big 12 big man other than maybe Blake Griffin. The Morris Bros were crafty and skilled with the ball. By their junior year they had the moves and were athletic enough to be a nightmare for most foes. Withey had a major height advantage and if a team could match his size then he could beat the opposing Footer with his agility. Junior year TRob was relentless, was strong, and athletic and matched up pretty well inch for inch and pound for pound with the other undersized big men in the league.

Given another year of training and coaching Cliff could break out as an all-American like these other players did. If he doesn't... then maybe we aren't developing his skills the way we need to be...

David Kemp 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes we need to face fact that cliff is undersized for his position. Self has not been without a big man for several seasons now so this team with its great shooting has to find other ways to win and they have. Yet like ISU you can live and die by your shooting. Selden needs to continue to play bigger and ouibre needs to find his full game mojo again but the talent is there.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 3 months ago

You bring up an excellent point with Danny Manning. Ever since he left, I feel like our defense has been suspect. The first year he was gone, it wasn't so noticeable because we had four seniors who had been tutored by him and had played in the NCAA finals. But when they left, they were replaced by guys who would not have the privilege of being tutored by him, leading to a sharp decline in our defensive prowess.

Micky Baker 4 years, 3 months ago

So, here we are just 4 days separated from a loss at Oklahoma State. Here is the link to the article posted right after that game.

http://www2.kusports.com/news/2015/feb/07/no-8-jayhawks-go-stagnant-stillwater/?mens_basketball

You'll notice there are a lot more comments than there are on this one. Why is that? We're 9-2 in the Big 12 with 7 games left to go, and we're 2 games ahead of the next best. This is the toughest this conference has been in awhile. We have some tough games ahead, but so does everyone else in this league. Why is that we get so many posters when we lose than when we win? It would usually work the other way around. I get that many people vented because "we gave up another lead". Hey, we're in the toughest conference. Nobody is going to give up against us if they're down by 12 or 14 with more than 20 minutes left to play in the game. Last night we put the game away. Texas Tech players were demoralized on their home court. They were playing hard, and we kept beating them with ball movement, then they gave up.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 3 months ago

Partly because it was a weeknight, and people have to go to bed so they can be worth something at the office in the morning. That might be a factor.

Micky Baker 4 years, 3 months ago

Highly doubtful, because it's been that way all season. If we would have lost to OSU last night, there would have been a lot more comments.

Tom Jones 4 years, 3 months ago

Size matters.

OSU is perceived as a much bigger game than Tech, and wins are routine (small) where as losses are rare (large).

Don Papst 4 years, 3 months ago

Micky, another reason why there are more comments after a game like the OSU disaster, is we are KANSAS. We are fully expected to beat a team with a 5-5 record, even on the road. Especially when that team's best player is sick with the flu, and surely not playing his best. And especially when you pretty much dominate the first half and take their crowd out of the game. You just simply can not come out of the dressing room in a trance and blow a game you should win.

I can understand losing at ISU. They are a very good team. But even there, we played defense like we were running in mud, and could have won that game also. This team has got to get out of this rut of losing focus at various times. They need to realize that making a free throw is extremely important, whether in the first minute of the game or the last, and anytime in between. AND EVERY POSESSION IS GOLDEN!!

Micky Baker 4 years, 3 months ago

We are "fully expect to be a team with a 5-5 record on the road". We lost to them on the road last year with worse than a 5-5 record.

Oklahoma State is also a good team.

You said some things that highlight why you should have been posting last night. For example, you said above that making a free throw is extremely important. We made free throws last night. So, are you going to forget about that if we lose again? We had 14 turnovers last night, not that many fewer than we had against Oklahoma State. Not a mention about that? It's all emotion isn't it? It's all that "we're Kansas", it never is that "Hey, we played the toughest schedule in the country" and "we play in the toughest conference in the country".

Pretentious is one thing KU fans should not be, but many are.

You do remember that we lost at Oklahoma State last year, right? That we have lost on the road to every team in the Big 12 except for West Virginia right, even when he had a lot more experience than we have now. I think what's happening is that KU fans are spoiled and think that no other team should be able to be good.

Reggie Flenory 4 years, 3 months ago

I would agree with you we do have some spoiled fans however my only real issue is with the turnovers we make a lot of these games lot closer than they should be just by stupid in timely turn over (jamari Traylor) we limit those to say no more than 8 total and we win most games by at least 10 points

Micky Baker 4 years, 3 months ago

I can't disagree with the turnover issue in some individual games, but Iowa State leads with the fewest turnovers per game, and we only average one more turnover per game than they do in conference games. The top 4 of the conference for fewest turnovers(includes us) are pretty close. There isn't anyone dominating that. We average just over 12 turnovers a game in conference play.

The biggest problem we have is the lower 2 pt shooting percentage. We are second in overall shooting percentage,but it's 4 or 5 points lower than we're used to. We lead the league in FG% defense now and in 3 point shooting % defense. We lead the league in 3 pt shooting percentage.

Much of that is due to our shots being blocked. We have to get better down on the blocks especially. Even if that means post to post passes when the weak side guy rotates over. Shot fake, dish it, easy layup and more trips to the FT line.

Most of our turnovers that we do have, or at least a significant number of them are unforced, especially last night and several time against Oklahoma State. The guys are trying to get out and run and sometimes it isn't there and they throw the ball away. I'm okay with this growing pain. I've seen this occur with a lot of ranked teams. But even with that, if we can get better in the paint with our passing and get more assists or pass the ball like we did in the second half last night, we'll be fine. The passing the second half last night is the best its been all year. They weren't lazy passes. They were crisp, quick, and got Tech out of position, which would happen to any team if we pass like that.

Reggie Flenory 4 years, 3 months ago

Very true I can't dis agree with that especially our 2point percentage it's god awful but to be fair our bigs are under sized at 6'8 the only thing that helps cliff is that his arms are so much longer than Perry however Perry has much better footwork in the paint

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 3 months ago

They ventilate on boards instead of beating their wife, kids, or dog. That's the function of athletics as entertainment.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 3 months ago

An undersized player can be effective in the post with good coaching. I still feel that Richard Scott was one of the best post scorers that KU ever had.

Scott was listed at 6' 7" but was clearly shorter than that. He just knew how to seal his man and then had an assortment of moves to get a shot off.

Barkley was of course the best example in the NBA. Alexander is plenty big enough if he gets the right coaching.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 3 months ago

Alexander chose KU because of this coaching. And Danny has been long gone.

Don Papst 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry I did not post last night. I listened to some of the post game show with Bob and Greg and then went to bed. I slept a whole lot better last night than I did Saturday night. My comments about free throws stems from the fact that free throws have always been my pet peeve. Yes we shot over 80% last night, and no I will never forget about it when we struggle from the line. I have seen way too many games lost because of missed free throws.

Turnovers are another story. A very important one. Maybe most fans do not look at them the way I do. My view is every turnover is at least a possible four point swing, not factoring in three pointers or "and ones". Take each turnover and times it by just two and it gives you some idea of how many possible points you have thrown away. So last night would be at least 28 more points possible. For instance, in the OSU game, 3 or 4 less TO's and a few more free throws means we are 10-1.

I am proud and happy about playing the toughest schedule and being in the toughest conference. Sure helps our RPI and our stature. But it does not excuse a team for losing focus and playing without fire and energy for sometimes a whole half. The game only last for 40 minutes, so you can not afford to waste minutes or possessions.

Yes we are very spoiled and proud of it. It is because of all the great teams of the past and the historical stature of Kansas University in the realm of college basketball. It is why many kids want to come and play for KU and take on the challenge of maintaining that superior stature for years to come. Thanks for your post and take care. ROCK CHALK!!!

Rodney Crain 4 years, 3 months ago

Nice win, better second half.

Interesting approach starting Cliff, Traylor had lost his way something needed to be done. I agree Michael our post effieciency has fallen off since Danny left.

If we hit at our average on 3's, 40% we still win by double digits, but we can look anemic at times in the post.

We should not talk about being a final four team till we find a way to score more consistently without relying on the 3.

Don no one has to defend how they support the team. There are no written or unwritten rules on how you are to support the team, when you have to post, or what you want to talk about. Contrary to those who think there are or that there should be.

Spoiled? I always wonder when someone thinks that label applies to a fan who expects more from their team. Is the coach spoiled when he expects better play, are the analysts spoiled by expecting more from our program, our the voters of the polls spoiled since they hold us to a higher standard, are the writers of this site when they question our performance, the posters here? Where does it stop for crying out loud?

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