Kansas defeats Baylor, 74-64

  • noon, Feb. 14, 2015
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jayhawks go with Landen Lucas late to beat Baylor

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and guard Wayne Selden Jr. box out Baylor forward Rico Gathers (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and guard Wayne Selden Jr. box out Baylor forward Rico Gathers (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


NBA veteran Nick Collison spent some time on Kansas University’s campus last fall, playing pick-up games with members of the 2014-15 Jayhawk basketball team.

The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Oklahoma City Thunder forward and No. 2 scorer in KU history often found himself matched against 6-10, 240-pound KU sophomore Landen Lucas.

“I really liked his game,” Collison reflected after watching Portland, Oregon native Lucas tie a career high with nine points — seven during a crucial 12-minute second-half stretch — and grab four rebounds while also guarding Rico Gathers in the Jayhawks’ 74-64 come-from-behind victory over Baylor on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self talks about KU's victory over BU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self answers questions from the media, following the Jayhawks' 74-64 home win against Baylor. Self credits backup big man Landen Lucas for knowing how to play versus a zone, and Kelly Oubre Jr. and Wayne Selden Jr. for carrying KU at various junctures.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Ellis, Oubre, Lucas discuss KU's win over Baylor

Kansas basketball players Perry Ellis, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Landen Lucas field post-game questions from the media, following the Jayhawks' 74-64 home win over Baylor. Ellis says Lucas helped Kansas get over the hump against BU's zone.

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Box score

“I thought he was great today and coach ran with him. Coach rode him late, let him play through some mistakes. I think he’ll be good going forward the rest of the way,” added Collison, who watched the game from his seat behind the KU bench, taking advantage of NBA All-Star break to catch a game at his alma mater.

“They’ve got a lot of guys who can play. They just need the opportunity to go. He made the most of his opportunity,” Collison added of Lucas.

Lucas scored five points in a 10-0 run that turned a 49-45 deficit (at 9:49) into a 55-49 lead at 8:07 in the second half. First he rebounded a Brannen Greene miss, scored and hit a foul shot to open that run at 9:25. He swished two free throws after two makes by Devonté Graham, giving KU a 52-49 lead at 8:46.

Lucas dished a perfect touch pass to Perry Ellis (18 points, six rebounds) then hit a 10-foot jumper to give the Jayhawks a 61-57 lead at 4:01. Gathers then plowed into Lucas on a charging call, Ellis scoring again on the ensuing possession to give KU a six-point advantage.

“I hoped I’d get a chance to get out there and go against Rico (18 points, eight boards). I did,” Lucas said of 6-8, 275-pound junior Gathers “You never know how the flow of things are going. When I got in, he (coach Bill Self) rode with me for a while.”

Lucas has played double-digit minutes in the last four games after not playing at all in three of four contests.

“I mean it’s definitely not the easiest thing. It’s a learning process through it all,” Lucas said of waiting for minutes. “There are a lot of ups and downs, but I’m just trying to stay positive. I talk to coach. He always makes sure we stay positive, stay ready. Whether I play or don’t play, I’m always ready. When I get in, I just try to do my best.”

Self said Lucas, “was great. We went with him the second half. He does work hard. To me, Cliff (Alexander, four points, five boards) is ahead of him but there are certain things within a game Landen does better than any big guy we have, because he understands the game better than any big guy we have. In a game like this, he’s so smart, so good against the (BU) zone. Landen has kept a good attitude. He knows his number will be called.”

Lucas went 5-of-5 from the line on a day KU hit 24 of 29 free throws. He’s made 15 of 17 charities in Big 12 play after going four of 11 from the line in non-conference contests.

“I shortened it up, there’s less thinking and stuff,” Lucas said of his free throw form. “I got out there, took a couple dribbles, shot it. It’s the way I did it in high school. I used to be a pretty good free-throw shooter, so I just went back to my own ways.”

He grinned when asked if he was extra-fired up playing before 11-year NBA player Collison, as well as Joel Embiid of the Sixers and Ben McLemore of the Kings, who also attended.

“It’s great to have them around. I think we try to play hard all the time, but it’s great to put on a show for them. We know what they represent is the history of this program,” Lucas said.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored eight of his 18 points the final half and Ellis 10 of his 18 the final 20 minutes. Wayne Selden Jr., finished with 15 points, 12 the second half.

The Jayhawks trailed by as many as 13 points the first half (23-10 at 11:57) and needed a 24-10 run to turn a 49-45 deficit into a 69-59 lead in the final stanza.

“Obviously we didn’t come ready to play and they came really ready to play,” Self said after his squad improved to 21-4 overall and 10-2 in the Big 12. Baylor fell to 18-7, 6-6.

“The biggest thing ... the second half they shot a low percentage (30.8). We did a much better job on the glass (17-12 KU advantage the second half after BU’s 21-15 margin the first half). We attacked their zone better the second half. They played their zone totally different this time (than in KU’s 56-55 win on Jan. 7 in Waco). They took away the middle, kept a guard in there. They didn’t do that the first time. We labored and struggled (being down 33-27 at halftime). I won’t say we figured it out but we did a much better job attacking it the second half,” Self added.

KU will next meet West Virginia at 8 p.m., Monday, in Morgantown, West Virginia.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Baylor

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Baylor, 74-64

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Baylor, 74-64


Dirk Medema 4 years ago

"They played their zone totally different this time (than in KU’s 56-55 win on Jan. 7 in Waco). They took away the middle, kept a guard in there. They didn’t do that the first time. We labored and struggled (being down 33-27 at halftime). I won’t say we figured it out, but we did a much better job attacking it the second half,”

That is at least a little encouraging to hear. It surprised me how much we struggled, looked disoriented on O, to start the game. It looked like the same D (1-3-1), but obviously executed differently.

Coach sees more with his eyes closed than I do wide open with my glasses on.

Micky Baker 4 years ago

They did do the same thing the first time for most of the game. In this game Baylor was in 2-1-2 zone with the single guy guarding the high post. What we did, I believe, is began feeding the lower post and let the guy or someone from the perimeter cut to the basket after the defense collapsed onto our post guy. We also attacked the weak side on dribble drives even when they drive began on the strong side which forced Baylor weak side guy to have to try to defend two guys at the same time. That led to many of the fouls that Baylor had.

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

Baylor ran a 1-3-1 most of the game to try and keep KU's outside shooting in check and KU didn't take enough of the baseline being open most of the day. This was different than Waco because Baylor mostly ran a 2-3 in that game because KU wasn't making outside shots that game.

Micky Baker 4 years ago

It sure looked like a 2 1 2. They had two guards at the top on the two highest guys and a guy on the high post. That's a 2 1 2.

Suzi Marshall 4 years ago

I absolutely knew Lucas would play an important role in today's game because the BU zone, with the expected wrinkles, would require an experienced heady player ... plus his size. Alexander was not moving well in the zone and was having problems with Gathers. Regardless of how well Lucas played, we really need Alexander to step up and play like he's capable of playing.

Although Ellis, Selden and Oubre had stellar games, it was the 83% FT shooting that proved decisive. The keys for a W at WVa will be to limit TOs and cash in with the freebies.

Eliott Reeder 4 years ago

Otsukaresamadeshi ta indeed! Landen kun honto ni joozu na basuke pureya ni naru ne!!!

Micky Baker 4 years ago

Oklahoma State lost at TCU. The score doesn't really indicate how the game went, but OSU couldn't hit anything in the final couple of minutes and TCU made their free throws and won.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years ago

Great contribution from the bench, this time Lucas earns it. Big time. If he keeps playing like that, coach Self will have a true 5.

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

Lucas needs to get stronger to become a more consistent player. He loses a lot of balls he shouldn't because his hands aren't strong enough. It's also why he gets pushed around a lot. He's got great fundamentals and instincts, just lacks the strength to be a really good player. This could be one of Hudy's greatest accomplishments by his senior year because Landen has the body to get to the 270-280 range and just he a monster in the post.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

Are you sure you don't have Landen Lucas confused with Perry Ellis? No one gets his balls ripped away from him more than Perry Ellis does.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

Wow...taking another look at what I wrote, that looks really bad...

Michael Bennett 4 years ago

The good news is, Ellis will get the hang of banging...

Mike Riches 4 years ago

What a great day for Kansas basketball fans! A great win keeps us undefeated at home, OU (the team that I thought had the best chance to win out and challenge us in the Big 12) fell at K-State, and Ellis joins the 1000 club in front of several past Jayhawk greats.

I did not see the same kind of inconsistency today that we've experienced in other games, even though the score may indicate otherwise. True we seemed disoriented to start the game, but I didn't think we played all that bad in the early minutes. Baylor was just on fire. They were hitting all kinds of contested shots. I felt like once we got accustomed to their zone, things would even out and they did. I think our players fought hard today and played a really good game overall! On to Morgantown! RCJH!

Gerry Butler 4 years ago

I have said this before, and I will say it again. there is something different about this team, the word I use they seem to have a grit, a toughness, yes true they can play poorly at times, look ugly and makes you wonder what the hell is going on, but this team seems as though they don't get rattled, they don't get discouraged, they never quit. we have had big leads, lost that lead played ugly but still have found a way to win, we have had huge deficits anywhere from like 16 pts and down and still worked one possession at a time, a defensive stand at a time and came back and won, we have played in many of close games this yr and won. these are all things that I think will help us further down the road this year possibly. we have been in almost every type situation there is every scenario there is, we have saw a lot of man to man, we have saw zone different variation of zone we will be seeing constant full court all over the floor pressure kinda of hard to describe they just WON'T QUIT again yes they make mistakes, they play ugly at times but bottom line is thy win I'm proud yes I get frustrated at times like a lot of others maybe I look for perfection to much but more likely I have seen what they can do, just need a little more consistency. but hey hard to argue when you are 21-4 ranked 8th in the country sitting on top of the conference ONCE AGAIN and well on your way to your 11t straight conference championship GO HAWKS

Benz Junque 4 years ago

What I see is a team that doesn't seem to get panicky if they are down. Maybe they are used to having to overcome leads, I don't know. But they seem to stay composed pretty well and have been excellent in their execution in the last five minutes of most games.

I would love to know what their +/- is in the last five minutes of games this year.

Jim Johnson 4 years ago

Kind of sounds like every other team since HCBS has been here but they seem to get it done to HCBS disbelief. For many years, I think every year, he has not understood why they seem to play down to other teams in the first half.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

Maybe it has something to do with his coaching, or lack thereof, in those instances.

Don Papst 4 years ago

Agree with all of your comments Gerry. If we can handle the WV pressing and trapping D tomorrow, I will feel much better. It seems like the only time we get rattled, is under intense pressure. Most teams do. If we attack it I think we can get quite a few easy baskets at the rim. Big time challenge. LET'S GO HAWKS!!!

Eric Bernauer 4 years ago

Off subject, but of interest to some of you, NPR Weekend Edition Sunday had a nice segment involving the Morris twins this morning. You can hear it at and find the program under their programs section.

Dale Koch 4 years ago

Great game Landen! Keep up the positive attitude and good work.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

I'm with you, Dirk. Coach Self is just amazing. I hope everyone got to see the 30 minute biographical report on him that preceded the game on CBS.

You hear some coaches say that they want to be respected more than loved. In Coach Self's case, he doesn't have to choose, because he is the recipient of both in abundance.

Vic Janeway 4 years ago

Does anyone notice that Alexander gets too far under the basket? Several times this has prevented him from helping out his teammates on drives.

Jerry Walker 4 years ago

Landon Lucas is by far the toughest SOB on our squad. He hedges screens better than any of the other bigs. That means our help defense is more effective because his teammates know what to expect and don't get caught out of position as often.

Big Luc at 15-25 minutes per game and Bob's your uncle.

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