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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 86-54

  • 2 p.m., Jan. 10, 2015
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Didn’t miss a beat’: Graham’s return sparks KU rout

Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) leaps off the bench to celebrate a bucket by reserve Christian Garrett late in the second half on Saturday, Jan.10, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) leaps off the bench to celebrate a bucket by reserve Christian Garrett late in the second half on Saturday, Jan.10, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self: Jayhawks totally different team with Devonté Graham in lineup

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self discusses the Jayhawks' 32-point home win over Texas Tech, in which freshman point guard Devonté Graham returned after missing six straight games with a turf toe injury. Self says KU is a totally different team with Graham on the floor.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Graham, Ellis and Alexander on KU's blowout win vs. Texas Tech

Kansas University basketball players Devonté Graham, Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander discuss how the Jayhawks rolled in their Big 12 home opener, 86-54, versus Texas Tech.

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KANSAS 86, TEXAS TECH 54

• Box score

Devonté Graham knew he’d sustained a significant injury the moment 350-pound Georgetown giant Josh Smith stepped on — and basically squashed — his right foot.

“My toe ... it was like it was not in the right spot,” Graham, Kansas University’s 6-foot-2, 175-pound freshman backup point guard reflected Saturday after a triumphant return one month to the day after spraining his right big toe in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a big deal when you injure your big toe. It works with everything like balance and stuff. It’s nagging,” Graham added after dishing six assists against no turnovers, grabbing six rebounds and scoring two points in the (13-2, 2-0) Jayhawks’ 86-54 rout of (10-6, 0-3) Texas Tech in Allen Fieldhouse.

Graham, who missed six games, played 19 minutes versus the Red Raiders. 

That’s impressive considering he was told a month ago the odds of him playing again this season stood at 50/50.

“In my mind, no. I never wanted a medical red-shirt. Sometimes you have to sacrifice some things and play through injuries. I always wanted to get back out there,” said Graham, who learned he’d be playing against Tech after making it through a full practice Friday without incident.

“I was so hyped up I couldn’t really sleep. I woke up kind of early. I was just excited to play today,” he added.

The crowd roared when Graham checked into the game at the 12:51 mark.

“That actually made me even more nervous when everybody stood up and started clapping,” said Graham, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. “The fans were great the whole time I was out, being supportive. The tweets and different things like that. I really appreciate it.”

Graham had two perfect lobs to fellow freshman Cliff Alexander for slam dunks on a day freshman Kelly Oubre Jr., flushed three dunks and hit two threes en route to 14 points.

“Being in practice, getting back in rhythm with the team, learning and watching from the sideline, it was like I didn’t miss a beat. That’s what coach told me,” Graham said.

The only thing Graham lacked Saturday, coach Bill Self said, was conditioning.

“He’s dead tired there at the end as evidenced by his man driving around him three times for layups,” Self said with a smile. “It (conditioning) will be much better in a week. 

“I thought he looked good and thought he looked quick, too. Regardless whether he is scoring or not, we’re a totally different team from being able to slide our feet and do some things we do not do near as well when he is not available to us.”

Graham, who asked to come out of the game late to catch his breath, said it was tough sitting out six games and watching point guard Frank Mason III play ironman-type minutes. 

On Saturday, with Graham able to spell him, Mason had 10 points, five assists and one turnover in just 24 minutes.

“When I was out, Frank did a great job carrying the team, playing 40 minutes pretty much every game,” Graham said.

Graham, who also missed time with a shoulder injury earlier this season, is hopeful he’ll be injury-free the rest of the way.

“He is still at risk,” Self said. “The longer it goes the better everyone feels about the risk reducing. He is almost to that point. Doctors feel it (toe) is still going to be sore, still could bother him, but with the plate he has in his foot to eliminate it bending a certain way, they feel pretty good about it.”

Perry Ellis hit three threes and scored a game-high 15 points for KU. Alexander chipped in 12 points and five boards. 

“We came out ready to play early, got up 9-2,” Self said. “Take away the last 2 1/2 minutes of the first half when we went brain dead and gave away free points, I thought we did a lot of good things. We shared the ball, took care of the ball,” he added of a team that led 42-25 at halftime. “We had 11 turnovers (to Tech’s 15) but only seven or eight in the teeth of the game. Today I just wanted Devonté to get some minutes. I wanted Brannen Greene to get some minutes (five points, four boards, 16 minutes) and I wanted Svi (Mykhailiuk, 1-2 from three, five points) to see the ball go in the hole. Fortunately we were able to get all those things accomplished.”

KU will next meet Oklahoma State at 6 p.m., Tuesday, in Allen.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech


By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas Tech, 86-54

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Texas Tech, 86-54

Comments

Donnie Arnold 7 years ago

We're SO MUCH better with Devonté......Love his attitude as much as his play! On to the Okie State match-up with some confidence!

Arthur Ankeney 7 years ago

Perhaps the biggest advantage to having Graham in the lineup is it really allows us to use our depth. I feel like we played slow while he was out, likely because we were asking Mason to play such big minutes and control the game and the pace. Now that Mason and Graham can share the minutes at the point, we were able to put a lot of pressure on Tech's backcourt and sped up the game. That allowed everybody to play good minutes and be fresh while they were in the game. It was nice seeing Svi get more than 2 minutes. He's still young and has a lot of room for improvement, but I think his court awareness, hustle, and general basketball IQ is going to be big for the season-long success of this team. Greene has been playing pretty good of late, I even saw some promise with him applying pressure on the perimeter which was nice to see. This was a big game from stand point as far as the potential of this team.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

KSU won at OU and ISU won at WVa!

OSU nearly won at Ames and convincingly whipped UT today at home.

Although TTU is the bottom of the Big 12, they still have a good team and todays game showed we can be great and dominate. Nevertheless, this game was probably the only "easy" game on our Big 12 schedule. Each game is huge and need to take them one at a time.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Welcome back Moonlight! 19 minutes not bad not bad. We are better with you on the floor, no doubt!

We took care of business today, always a good day when you get a win. TX Tech looked completely overmatched. Not sure how much success they will have this year going forward in the B12.

Tom Keegan has Perry ranked as the 5th best player in the game. Just shows how quiet his 22 minutes was, 3 3's showed range but he was quiet for most of his minutes. I think 20-25 minutes is about right until he gets his confidence back. He had some bad body language today at times.

Let's get ready for OK State, this does not look as easy a win as it did a week ago. Big win against Texas for them right after ours. Glad this one is at home.

Looks like the next 4 games will be big for us, VS OK State, @ISU, VS OU, @ TX. If we could be 3-1 through those games it would be good. 4-0 would be great!

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

One at a time. With home looses stacking up, the league winner may have 5 or 6 Ls. Let's just rack up W's one at a time.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Suzi I was talking to my sister about the B12 being like the SEC West in Football, good teams beating each other. These next four games should give us a clear view of our position in the league. We will be one of the good teams in the conference or the one to beat after this stretch.

What is nice is it happens early so there is time to recover if it does not go well, or to seperate if it does.

Robert Rauktis 7 years ago

The SEC West was 2 & 5 in the post season with essentially all the top teams beaten.

Mike Riches 7 years ago

Devonte looked really good today. His first few plays looked like he hadn't missed any time at all. His timing was right on!

This may have been our most complete game so far this year. KO is really impressive. Tech may not be so easy to beat in Lubbock (remember last year). Speaking of Lubbock, I got to meet Coach Smith last year; I was introduced by a mutual friend (a former Div.1 coach). I just enjoyed listening as the two visited. Our friend made a comment about Lubbock and Tubby said, Actually Lubbock is a pretty nice place. Our friend stopped him and said, Listen Tubby, no one here is going to buy that crap, we all know Lubbock is a dump! At which Tubby just grinned...as if to say, Yeah, I guess I'm not on the recruiting trail anymore. :)

Micky Baker 7 years ago

It was our most complete game so far this season. With that said, we need numbers like this when we play against OSU, UT, ISU, and OU. We still aren't even close to how good this team can be yet.

We need more production from Selden and Lucas and Mickelson need to give us better minutes. Selden's assists have been good for the past few games, but we do need him to score in the double digits. Mickelson may get more comfortable, but we really need Lucas to be super energized on the defensive end. He has the height to be disruptive on the blocks.

These guys have made a ton of progress the last two weeks. I think Self has them focused on the right areas of the game.

Joe Joseph 7 years ago

Lucas and Mickelson won't be getting minutes in tight games, unless Perry, Jamari, or Cliff are in foul trouble.

Micky Baker 7 years ago

I think one of them will, but not 20 minutes. I'm thinking something more like 10 to 15. However, what I was referring to was quality minutes even if it is only 10 minutes. Both of them really stunk it up yesterday. I don't want them to have a bunch of minutes, but they need to be quality minutes.

Eliott Reeder 7 years ago

Wait, you meant "Completely Awesome Rap Song" right!?! Just because something is outside of your personal interest, experience, or realm of understanding doesn't mean it's a 'piece of crap', my friend. Go listen to something you 'approve' of, something that doesn't offend your dainty, out of touch old white guy sensibilities...

Tom Jones 7 years ago

I don't think it's a piece of crap or completely awesome, but if you want an "explanation", you'll probably need to ask Frank.

Gerry Butler 7 years ago

who cares? what he does on his time, is his time. has nothing to do about the game of basketball and don't give me the trashy line about it reflecting on KU cause in no way does it reflect about KU. are you one of these people that just like to go around and try to dig up any dirt and kick someone trying to start crap. the kid wants to be a rapper he has said aas much. is it good? hell I dunno maybe maybe not. I'm not a rap artist. ARE YOU? what difference does it make? why does it need to be explained? has nothing to do with how he plays on the floor for the Jayhawks which by the way he does quite nicely thank you very much mercy some people GO HAWKS

Jerry Walker 7 years ago

I didn't "dig it up". I was just reading the sports page when I saw it.

If its so wonderful let's feature it at Allen in the pregame or halftime. Exposing 16k KU fans to it could help jump start Frank's rap career...once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk.

Eliott Reeder 7 years ago

And for the record, it's not Frank rapping, he just does the intro. It's a friend of his from back home...

Harlan Hobbs 7 years ago

Great analysis, Arthur. Although there is the danger of getting a little overconfident after a large win at home over a mediocre team, down the road we may look back at this game as one of the defining moments in the team's gelling. I just liked the vibes and chemistry that were on display.

Of course, it won't mean much if we bomb at Ames, Norman, Austin, Morgantown, etc. However, the team is growing in confidence, and I expect them to only get better under the great coaching of Bill Self and his staff.

Tony Bandle 7 years ago

The possible recipe for #11 for KU may simply be hold service at home and split 5-4 on the road.

Baylor - done, Texas Tech- most likely, Oklahoma State - tough but very doable, Kansas State - no way Bill loses to Brucie this year, TCU - over-rated and vulnerable.

Now the bad news; Iowa State - The Mayor has brought the magic back. Oklahoma - Lonny was a pain in our ass when he was on the court, now he'll be a pain in our ass now that he's on the bench, Texas - with the talent they have, Barnes can't screw it up twice and West Virginia - Huggy Bear will be really, really tough in that beehive gym of theirs.

Bingo....13 -5, and a conference championship!!

Tony Bandle 7 years ago

OOPS..now you all see why I wasn't a Math teacher. :)..make that 14 - 4!!!

Mike Riches 7 years ago

KU has 10 home games in conference this year. 9 in AFH and one in Fort Worth. :)

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

LOL...yea you are right about that. I couldn't believe the overwhelming turnout we got for the pregame at Bar Louie. The Hawks fans filled the lower, upper and courtyard! We waited nearly 2 hours for our food and never got it. The waitress said the kitchen was overwhelmed.

JD Roth 7 years ago

Your articles look stupid when you use the term Kansas University. I researched it and concluded KU is short for the University of Kansas. Kansas University looks stupid in print. Are you guys ignorant or just stupid? Really, it is a serious question...

Tony Bandle 7 years ago

JD, not that I have a dog in this fight or frankly give a care but Kansas State University is KSU and the University of Kentucky is UK, yet KU is the University of Kansas.

This argument has been going on at this site for the last 10 years and I am happy you are keeping the debate alive.

Also, since I must be both, can you clarify the difference between "ignorant" and "stupid" please?

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

I do have dog, but he refuses to fight, especially about things like this, but he does like to bark, so I am not sure I can answer this question or care to either. But since I am bored...

Well Tony, JD asks an interesting question since you can actually be both ignorant and studid. It is semantics to me, which makes the whole discussion petty, not like in Tom Petty, but actual petty. Interesting in the sense that I learned something while researching it, not that the question is actually interesting.

Ignorant - lacking knowledge, information, or awareness, or being just rude is different than stupid - lacking intelligence or common sense. So if I read this correctly, asking you if you are one or the other, does not make sense since if you were, one or the other or especially both, you would not be able to tell what either word is, nor tell the difference. Not like William Tell, the folk hero, the opera, nor the musician but like well really tell the difference.

So seriously, Tony since I know you have a degree from KU, Kansas University (common), also known as the University of Kansas (proper) I am going to go with answer 3, no, you are neither one, but the question appears to be both. Interesting.

I am not sure that this is much help, probably just a big waste of time like the question is in the first place, but well I tried and now my dog is barking.

Ashwin Rao 7 years ago

We should adopt the "the" like "The Ohio of State University" (tOSU). If you go to our website, it always starts off with a "the".. (https://www.ku.edu/)

Harlan Hobbs 7 years ago

Thanks for the laughs guys. Could there be a stand up comedian gig in your future?

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