Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, KU’s assistant director/student athlete development, said after the Jayhawks beat Texas Tech, 67-58, Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse the players kept the faith at 5-3 in conference play.
Eight straight league wins later, KU wrapped up at least a share of its 12th straight Big 12 championship.
“I saw a focused group that wanted to get better,” Miles, who won three league titles in his four years at KU, said. “We are still working to get better. We were 5-3 at one point and I know guys buckled down. You did hear a little rumbling about it (pressure to continue KU’s conference win streak), but for the most part it was about getting better as a group. We want to continue to work to get better because we’ve got more goals ahead of us.”
Miles said he enjoyed delivering the 2015-16 Big 12 trophy to the current Jayhawks with 2004-05 (first year of streak) league-title teammates Wayne Simien and Jeff Hawkins.
Images from Saturday's game between the Jayhawks and Red Raiders at Allen Fieldhouse.
“They thought it’d be a great idea for us being part of the first team to deliver the trophy to the young fellas (out northwest tunnel onto court). We’re honored to be part of it,” Miles said. “This school has so much tradition. Coach Self does a tremendous job. Twelve of his 13 years he’s been here (KU has won league titles) ... that’s a testament to coach Self and his staff.”
Miles, by the way, hasn’t retired from pro basketball. He said he hasn’t decided yet whether to resume his career in Europe next season. He’s rehabbing from hip surgery this season.
Order of cutting: Frank Mason III was the first to take a turn at cutting a strand of net following the game.
“I wanted somebody who wasn’t a freshman to go up there so they could show them how to do it. So that way they didn’t screw it up. Cheick (Diallo) goes up there first he’ll cut the whole net down,” Self said with a laugh. “I wanted everybody to know they were just taking one piece. It was so somebody else wouldn’t screw it up, not because he was the catalyst.”
Stats, facts: KU has won an NCAA-leading 59 conference regular-season titles. ... KU has 25 victories for the 11th-straight season. ... KU has won 13 league games for 11 straight seasons. ... KU has won 39 games in a row in Allen. ... Self is 205-9 in Allen and 18-6 versus Tech. He is 17-3 vs. Tech as KU coach. ... For just the fifth time in 29 games KU scored fewer than 70 points and is 3-2 in those contests. ... The KU bench scored more points in the first half (19) than it had overall in the previous two contests at Kansas State (17) and at Baylor (10). ... KU led by 18 points, 49-31, after going on a 12-2 run in the second half. Texas Tech cut the deficit to eight points, 58-50. ... Svi Mykhailiuk put the Red Raiders away with his fifth three in as many tries with 4:02 to play, pushing the lead back to double figures, 63-52. ... Mykhailiuk’s five threes in five tries were the most without a miss in a Big 12 Conference game since Jeff Hawkins made five against Baylor in 2005.
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