Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Notebook: Self says Azubuike ‘deserved’ technical foul

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) disputes a technical foul called against him for hanging on the rim following a dunk during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) disputes a technical foul called against him for hanging on the rim following a dunk during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


He made nine of 12 shots, finished one rebound shy of a double-double (20 point and nine boards) and added a steal, a block and assist and two fouls in 27 minutes.

But the main thing on the mind of Kansas coach Bill Self about big man Udoka Azubuike following Tuesday’s 114-71 whipping of Texas Southern at Allen Fieldhouse was one of the things Azubuike did wrong.

After a steal and assist by Malik Newman led to a monster jam from Azubuike in transition, the Kansas sophomore rattled the rim a little too long in the eyes of the officials and was whistled for a technical foul.

It mattered not in the grand scheme of Tuesday's game. KU led 35-17 at the time and went on to win by 43. But it came at a good time in the eyes of Self.

“He deserved it,” Self said. “I told the official, he said, 'I hate calling that,' but I said, 'You gotta call it. That's good for us.' He didn't say it in a way that he shouldn't have called it, he said, 'Just tell your kid to get off the rim.'”

Self had no problem reminding Azubuike of that and probably will for weeks to come.

“He has a bad habit of doing that,” Self said of Azubuike's propensity to inflict extra harm on rims. “And I was glad they called it, because that may end up not costing us when we really need it in a close game. The worst thing about it is it's a personal foul, too. So if he had done that with two fouls and it's his third foul in the first half, that wouldn't be good at all. But that's a good lesson for him.”

That was far from the only noteworthy dunk of the night from Azubuike. Later in the game, after posting strong in the paint against TSU 7-footer Trayvon Reed, Azubuike went up, over and through his sizable counterpart for a dunk that sent Allen Fieldhouse into a frenzy.

“That dunk was crazy,” said KU junior Lagerald Vick, barely able to contain himself. “He put him in the rim.”

Graham the facilitator

Kansas point guard Devonte' Graham's 11 assists on Tuesday pushed him to 39 for the season (9.8 per game) and marked the third time in four games that he reached double figures in the category.

“He's finding people,” Self said of his floor general. “But there were a lot of open guys tonight, too, so it's a little misleading. He didn't get 10 assists against Kentucky. That's the level you want to try to play to.”

Though pleased with his unselfish night, Graham himself did not gush too much about his assist totals.

“I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing, taking care of the ball and making the right plays,” he said. “But, yeah. In the offseason, you all were wondering what I was going to be able to do with the ball in my hands more and I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing.”

Faces in the crowd

A handful of notable spectators dotted the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during Tuesday's victory, with former Jayhawks Sasha Kaun, Sherron Collins and Tyler Self sitting behind the home bench.

Actor Rob Riggle, a noted KU junkie, also was in attendance and he, after the introduction of the former Jayhawks, drew the largest roar from the home crowd when the celebrities were introduced on the big screen.

Signs of love

Last week, during the Jayhawks' 41-3 home football loss to Oklahoma, a lone and somber KU fan was spotted in the Memorial Stadium stands holding a sign that said, simply, “I Am Sad.”

Tuesday, that same fan made his way to Allen Fieldhouse and, this time, flashed the back side of that very sign, which read, “I Am Happy.”

This and that...

Kansas now leads the all-time series with Texas Southern, 4-0 and has won 22 consecutive non-conference games inside Allen Fieldhouse... The Jayhawks are now 16-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC and off to their first 4-0 start since the 2013-14 season, when they opened 5-0. It marks the sixth time under Self that the Jayhawks have started a season 4-0.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Southern

By The Numbers: Kansas 114, Texas Southern 71

By The Numbers: Kansas 114, Texas Southern 71


Bryce Landon 3 years, 4 months ago

In Udoka's defense, it looked to me and to the TV commentators that someone was under him. Obviously the refs didn't see it that way. And obviously it had no effect on the outcome of the game.

Jesse Johnson 3 years, 4 months ago

If he had just dunked it and not lifted his legs up while holding the rim, he wouldn't have had to hold on longer to get his leg over the other guy. I mean, he came pretty close to kicking him in the head. I agree with the technical. Udoka is awesome and I'm loving watching him play this year, but he needs to drop down quicker on his dunks.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 4 months ago

How soon do you think before Udoka shatters a backboard with a dunk?

Tony Bandle 3 years, 4 months ago

Bryce, my friend, I hope he breaks both backboards at the Octagon of Dumb later in the year!!

Len Shaffer 3 years, 4 months ago

I love the two-sided sign from the fan! Sums up a lot of our feelings perfectly ...

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 4 months ago

Dok, break that glass! at least once this season!

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