Oklahoma defeats Kansas, 75-73

  • 3 p.m., March 7, 2015
  • Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, OK

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Busted: Crunch-time ‘D’ costs Kansas again

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) walk off the court  during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) walk off the court during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman.


— Call it deja vu, or a recurring nightmare or simply an unsatisfying way to conclude a Kansas University basketball game.

But on Saturday, for the second time in three weeks, the Jayhawks found themselves lamenting a coast-to-coast layup that proved the difference in a gut-wrenching Big 12 Conference basketball loss.

Oklahoma’s Jordan Woodard needed just four seconds to accept an inbounds pass and traverse the length of the court, missing a driving layup that was tipped in by league Player of the Year candidate Buddy Hield with two-tenths of a second left in Oklahoma’s 75-73 victory over KU in Noble Center.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self: Proud of effort, disappointed in execution

KU coach Bill Self said he was proud of his team's effort but disappointed in its execution following Saturday's 75-73 loss at Oklahoma.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Landen Lucas and Frank Mason dissect the final few seconds of loss to OU

Landen Lucas and Frank Mason dissect the final few seconds of 75-73 loss at Oklahoma.

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Box score

It was reminiscent of Juwan Staten’s shot that beat the Jayhawks, 62-61, on Feb. 16 at West Virginia.

“I think it’s something we definitely need to adjust and work on,” said KU sophomore forward Landen Lucas.

He scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds on a day Perry Ellis was held out because of a sprained knee. Also, Cliff Alexander missed the game because of NCAA issues, Brannen Greene was benched because of disciplinary reasons and Wayne Selden Jr. played at less than 100 percent (ankle sprain) on a day he missed seven shots and didn’t score in 18 minutes.

“It happened against West Virginia when they came full court and scored and it happened again today. We’re in March now. We can’t go home off something like that,” Lucas added. “We’ve got to learn from this. Luckily this didn’t send us home in a tournament. I mean the next time we lose it will be in a tournament and we’ll be going home from that tournament. We don’t want that. We’ve got to learn from this and adjust.”

Sophomore point guard Frank Mason III — he hit three huge free throws to tie the game with 5.4 seconds left — was equally distressed about the repeat, late-game breakdown.

“I think that was on us. Some of us didn’t do our job in rotation rebounding. It’s definitely on us,” Mason said after scoring a career-high tying 21 points in 33 minutes.

KU coach Bill Self wasn’t pleased with the execution.

“We obviously did a poor job,” Self said. “You’ve got to keep the ball on one spot on the floor. If you are going to switch the ball screen, which they set a ball screen, the guys have to step up and switch it so he (Woodard) keeps going same direction. There was space where he could reverse pivot. 

“You’ve got to keep everything to the outside. That’s twice ... it’s cost us two games at the buzzer by us not being able to defend that. It was a bad mistake by us at game point and a great play by Jordan, obviously. It was bad defense, but oh well,” added Self, thrilled at his team’s overall effort on a day the squad faced adversity with those key pieces missing.

The Jayhawks, who were down 73-70 with 7.4 seconds left, pulled off a somewhat miraculous play to tie the contest.

Selden, who took the ball out of bounds under OU’s goal, fired a full-court baseball pass to Lucas, who was right in front of KU’s bench. Lucas caught the pass and scooped to Mason, who launched a three and was fouled by Isaiah Cousins with 5.4 ticks left.

KU had to find a way to take a three, since OU coach Lon Kruger was planning on fouling the Jayhawks, preferring a one-and-one free-throw situation to a game-tying trey attempt.

“We had to try to do something before they can foul,” Self said. “I kind of looked at (Ryan) Spangler. Spangler looked at me and smiled. He didn’t know we were going to throw it to his man. I was hoping he wouldn’t be fouling on the catch (to send Mason to line for one-and-one). If he didn’t foul him on the catch, and Landen had a chance to pitch it, the best case scenario is you make the shot. The second best is it catches them off guard and they foul while you’re shooting which is what happened,” Self added.

Mason, who was nine of nine from the line, didn’t flinch despite the fact Kruger called time out after his second made free throw.

“I was just thinking I had to make them,” Mason said. “I knew I was going to make ‘em. I took my time. They felt great leaving my hand.”

Everybody was raving about the play of Lucas after a game which dropped KU’s record to 24-7 overall and 13-5 in the league.

“He was a rebounding machine,” said forward Jamari Traylor, who scored 12 points and had two boards in 26 minutes.

“He played fine,” Self said, also lauding Traylor and Hunter Mickelson (six boards, five points, 20 minutes). “He goes 6-for-8 (from field) and the two he missed were uncontested bunnies. He could have had a really big day. He’s battling injuries. He’ll be in the training room the next three or four days.”

Indeed, Lucas has been slowed by hip and knee injuries and also had cramps during Saturday’s game.

“I was just trying to go out and fill in for them,” Lucas said of Ellis, Alexander and Greene. “Defensive rebounding was solid (on day OU grabbed season-high 18 offensive boards). There were some easy shots I need to finish.”

Self noted: “If you told me before the game we’d get 30 and 20 from our bigs, I’d say, ‘We’ve got a shot if that happens.’ That’s what happened,” Self said.

KU will next meet either TCU or Kansas State in a first-round Big 12 Tournament game at 1:30 p.m., Thursday in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

More news and notes from Kansas at Oklahoma

By the Numbers: Oklahoma beats Kansas, 75-73

By the Numbers: Oklahoma beats Kansas, 75-73


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

You think?

Does anyone know the apparently new rules that constitute traveling in college ball? Woodward came within a few millimeters of taking 3 very large strides. Picking up the ball and running with it makes it a lot easier to get to the rim quickly.

JD Roth 6 years, 10 months ago

You saw that too huh? Great effort by the Jayhawks.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

I hope our team does not read the first few sentences - gosh, I didn't even want to read this article based on the title. It's so negative. Our team fought hard. That last play could've been called an over the back, it's a dangerous play. Doesn't matter. What matters more is the fact that our team can play against any team, with this kind of attitude and hard work on the floor. I am very proud of the way they played today. They deserve positive encouragement - we don't have all starters, Selden played even with ankle injury. So many good things happening tonight - I applauded coaching staff and players for one of the best games of the season. Rock Chalk!

Janet Olin 6 years, 10 months ago

Great, gutty effort, even if it did fall short of victory. Wow, and props to the low-profile players who made this even close. Proud of all of you. Thank you for the monster effort.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 10 months ago

Maybe pressure the player in bounding the ball or the player bring the ball up. Playing not to foul just isn't enough.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 10 months ago

I missed almost all of the game except for the final minute that I caught on my dinner break. I tuned in and found out KU had a chance to tie the game with FTs. The fact that KU was in a position to win this game with so many key players sidelined speaks volumes about how tough they have become. And while losing at the buzzer like that is a crappy way to lose a game, this is a loss I can live with. Even before the season began, I think many of us penciled this one in as a likely "L"; and I was genuinely afraid after how we almost lost at home to these guys and now had three unavailable players that we might get waxed like we did against Kentucky and Temple. Props to the KU team for a spirited effort, but you guys gotta learn to keep your man in front of you and stop the other team from getting offensive rebounds.

So now our final Big 12 record is 13-5. Didn't Coach Self, or someone on these boards, say that 13-5 would probably be just enough to win such a tough conference? Whether it was Self or a fellow poster, they hit the nail on the head with that 13-5 prediction.

Also, is it just me, or has this team been grittier and tougher the last few games since Cliff's suspension? Seems like without Cliff, this team has come to more closely resemble a blue-collar, win-ugly type of team like what we had in 2012. Coincidence? I think not.

Mike Riches 6 years, 10 months ago

To me the much bigger story than the last second miscue on defense, is the fact that we were in this game, that we held our own against a very good team, on their court, without 3 of our rotation players (4 if you include Selden). Winning would have been nice of course, but I was proud as heck of our guys!

I think winning the Big 12 Tourney = 2 seed Losing at any point (except maybe the championship game) = 3 seed

I don't think there's a huge difference between a 2 and a 3...Bring it March!

Kristen Downing 6 years, 10 months ago

Again. A lot of heart in this game by a depleted KU team. My only worry is the NCAA seeding. The tine on court the bench guys are getting is just gravy for the tournament.

JD Roth 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm not worried about the seeding. That bench needed to rise up and I thought they really played inspired in a tough Senior Day environment. No more road games left. Let's get comfortable in a Tourney setting and put together a great run. There was no gravy involved, our subs will be expected to perform in the postseason due to possible injury, suspension, potential matchup and possible foul trouble. This OU game experience may be key to a deep run. There is nothing that would surprise me in regards to this team. Now let's play our best ball of the season starting Thursday.

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

I am hugely worried about the seeding. I don't see many #2 seeds that I like Ku to win against in a Sweet Sixteen match up but we can beat most of the teams currently slated to be a #3 seed.

Kevin Jenkins 6 years, 10 months ago

Like some of you said before, I missed most of the game. But saw the great hustle by Lucas, Traylor, Mason etc. Yes I like this teams heart and maybe playing without Cliff is better. Sorry, just seems Lucas and Traylor have proven something, where our highly recruit hasn't. Mason is far better than our last years model at point guard. Little break down on the defense but it happens. And I just hope twitter account users don't go crazy like they did with Perry's missed lay up.

Kevin Jenkins 6 years, 10 months ago

And what's up with Greene? Flashes of greatness but maybe still too young.

Robert Brock 6 years, 10 months ago

Greene is not helping the team. He and Coach need to have a little talk.

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

Greene has probably had multiple "little talks" but he doesn't seem to be listening. Greene is on the verge of screwing up his chance. Oubre is likely out the door and Self has to decide whether he is going to trust the starting role to Greene, develop Svi into the starter or grab another wing in this recruiting class. Greene couldn't pick a WORSE time to act like a childish fool. I get the whole "we were all dumb at that age" but NONE of us had the opportunity for great things like Greene has and is wasting. I hope he gets a clue before it's too late and he wonders how his career is over without ever developing into more than a spot shooter off the bench.

David Atchley 6 years, 10 months ago

I may be well in the minority of comments, but to me, this season, this team, and most of all the recruiting efforts, seem very contrary to Bill Self. A coach being busted for smoking pot (how does a teacher of men, someone responsible for setting and enforcing example,regardless of your position on smoking, keep a job?) a player's family (allegedly) in trouble with an NBA agent, and a collective of players (minus Oubre/Ellis) that are representative of the most mediocre of recruiting efforts.

I adhere to the philosophy of not criticizing the performer, but the performance, The calling-out of players makes me cringe when its done. However, on a macro scale, this program seems to have slipped this season in what it historically has represented. The caliber of coaching that shows up on game day, the glaring misses in recruiting, the lack of consequences to players and coaches that run afoul, hints there is something amiss, some underlying turbulence that hasn't bubbled to the top yet.

However, the accolades of the best coaching job yet, another Big 12 Championship title (in arguably the weakest of conference play in years) , all seem to keep the proverbially wolves at bay. As blasphemy may be accused here, this could very well be another "Northern Illinois" one and done tournament team, and that is not an acceptable representation of Kansas basketball.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 10 months ago

You are missing the mark a bit. 4 Mickey Ds, but each takes his own timeline to develop. The problem is we are relying more on frosh than prior years, thus the jekyll-hyde performances. Even a tale of 2 halves in individual games. Oubre top15. Selden top15. Cliff top5. Ellis top20 McDAA. Mason + Graham have been outstanding recruiting finds. You yourself concede Mason as much better than "last year's model at PG".

Consider the case of Arthur, Sherron, Chalmers, Rush, Aldrich, Selby, Twins, Thomas Robinson, Withey, Russell Robinson, Ellis--> who? exactly was truly ready for a starring role as a freshman? Self's system is run best by 2, 3, 4yr players. Which is EXACTLY why no-namers like Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson (top50, though) could hang vs. OU's starters...because they were well-versed in running "our stuff". Cliff has a lot to learn, just like Darrell Arthur, Thomas Robinson, and the Twins and Withey did.

Look at last year's Duke: they had the #2 pick in the draft (J.Parker), but were a 1st round tourney exit to Mercer. It happens. But it happens for a reason. Imagine if we kept ALL these same players for another 1-2 years of "running Self's stuff". You cannot tell me that these same guys wouldnt be efficient seasoned veterans with poise and execution, compared to how they are this season. That's the whole point. KU basketball? Do you understand what it takes year-in and year-out to always have a top10 team? With this youth and jekyll-hyde performances, it is somehat astonishing we have been a top10 team still.

And for a counter-spin: If it werent for 2 buzzer-beaters, we'd have 2 more wins right now, all things being exactly the same otherwise, and actually closer to a 1seed.

Every season's team is different...Im not sure what you are asking for? Pro-ball level consistency from a bunch of 17-20yr olds? That, my fellow Hawk, simply aint happening. But the consistent thing is we somehow are still a top10 team and a 2 seed, with a ridiculous SOSched. Credit Bill Self.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 10 months ago

plus its not at all like there is any other TOP NOTCH programs recruiting these same playes that we are recruiting huh David? I just can't figure it out, why when we come to these kids house why don't they just commit right there tel all the other schools like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Arizona, na you guys are wasting your time Ku has recruited me I'm going there just don't understand. I mean what could these other universities offer me now that KU has offered me dammit I hate ALL these mediocre recruiting, our coaches just don't get how easy it is to recruit these kids. recruiting is soooooo dam easy hate these mediocre classes, you know what I'm talking about the one's like this one that just wrapped up our 11th straight conference championship. I hate it when that happens. YEP our recruiting efforts stink. it couldn't be that in this time frame that players are taking longer, players want to be in the spot light longer drag out the recruiting process these dam glaring miscus I think coach self and staff ought to be let go I mean he has only won 11 straight won a national championship, and brought in a top 10 recruit for next yea plus whoever else comes in with this mediocre class never mind how much of a battle it is to recruit 356 days a year going against legend coaches, and winningest programs of all time doing this day after day after day I say ya enough of these types of classes, coaches , and championships we need to be done with them I mean come on 11 straight championships, and with only 1 recruit for next yr and we are already in the top 20 recruiting classes with just 1 player committed so far I mean who needs or wants that? I say lets get rid of them, get ri of them all roflmao GO HAWKS

Scott Lippoldt 6 years, 10 months ago

Just curious if anyone has read the article on William Wesley and Callipari (Pasadena Post, March 5)? Wondering what your takes are on it?

Scott Lippoldt 6 years, 10 months ago

Replying to my own post... Sorry, it's a blog article. Still, an interesting read...

Steve Gantz 6 years, 10 months ago

This is a hack piece unfortunately. There is no newspaper called the Pasadena Post. I'd like to believe it's true and see UK's kingdom fall with it, but there's very little verified truth to any of it.

Ten Yeahs 6 years, 10 months ago

Gutsy performance by KU. Clutch free throw shooting by Mason. But that last play.... hard to swallow. What I can't quite understand is why Coach Self subbed out Lucas. I agree with his choice of subbing Oubre in. I am curious and would like to hear other opinions on which 5 KU players you would have had on the floor at the end to play D. Lucas, no Lucas, Svi? Also how would you choose to defend it. Full court pressure, no full court pressure, tight man coverage, pack the paint?

In hind sight, I stick both Lucas and Hunter in the paint as rim protection, with one on each side. Selden and Graham at the top of the key and Oubre as point man at the very top. I have everyone back, no back court pressure. Oubre picks up whoever has the ball once they get to the three point line. I don't know if that made any sense but basically a zone. While I am a man to man guy like coach Self, we arent a great defensive team and teams have been able to blow past us too easily and get to the rim. So I would pack the middle.

Lucas came up big at the end of the WVU game in why wasn't he in there again? Yes Lucas isn't the most mobile guy and so if you are going to put any full court pressure on the other team perhaps you want a more agile and athletic player. But, but, but oh well it's all over I know lol thank goodness we pulled through that WVU game ROCK CHALK

Ten Yeahs 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh and one more thing. Coach's play on that full court throw in to Lucas and then Mason's 3 ....Brilliant! That was amazing! Excellent execution.

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