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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

No. 18 Red Raiders knock off No. 10 Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets caught in a stranglehold by Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) while tied up for a loose ball during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets caught in a stranglehold by Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) while tied up for a loose ball during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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No one on the Kansas basketball team thought winning in the Big 12 would be easy this season, and Texas Tech made sure to remind the Jayhawks of that Tuesday night, in KU’s conference home opener.

The No. 18-ranked Red Raiders did more than give the No. 10 Jayhawks a battle, the men in black from Lubbock, Texas, out-worked KU at Allen Fieldhouse to earn a 85-73 victory and never even trailed.

Tech’s defensive efforts often made its Kansas counterparts look uncomfortable with the ball in their hands, and although the Jayhawks (11-3 overall, 1-1 Big 12) made 45 percent of their shots from the floor versus the Red Raiders, that success didn’t carry over to long range, where they made only six of 26.

The grit head coach Chris Beard’s bunch really showed up on the glass, too, where an all-hands-on-deck approach allowed Texas Tech (13-1, 2-0) to out-rebound Kansas, 44-29.

Red Raiders center Norense Odiase did most of the damage on that front, with eight rebounds to go with his 12 points. He was one of five Tech players to reach double-figure scoring. Senior guard Keenan Evans led with 15.
Senior guard Devonte’ Graham led Kansas with 27 points and six assists in defeat.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: The Red Raiders showed up at Allen Fieldhouse not only ready, but unafraid of the challenge, the moment or their foes.

Tech’s confidence and intent on attacking became evident minutes into the conference battle, with the unheralded visitors setting a tone with their half-court defense and then looking just as assertive on offense.

Senior guard Justin Gray’s 12 points and five rebounds in the first half led the way for the upset-minded visitors, who built a 16-point lead before the midway point of the opening half.

• Offensive highlight: One of the few productive stretches for KU came in the first half after falling behind 23-7.

Out of Bill Self’s second timeout of the game, Graham set up center Udoka Azubuike (11 points, seven rebounds) with a lob fora jam.

The next time down the floor, Svi Mykhailiuk (fouled out with 11 points and six rebounds) knocked down a corner 3 in front of the Tech bench.

A steal and layup (courtesy a goaltending call) by freshman Marcus Garrett followed. Then Graham rose up to make a 3-pointer to cut Tech’s lead to 29-22.

But the Jayhawks simply found it hard to replicate such a run — when they had to have them to win — much of the evening.

• Defensive highlight: With KU completely desperate for signs of life, senior Mykhailiuk came through with a steal as the Jayhawks applied full-court pressure off of a made free throw with 8:48 to play.

Niem Stevenson could sense the baseline official’s count nearing five seconds as he looked for an open teammate and when he rushed to make a pass, Mykhailiuk jumped in front for a steal.

The eruption from the often-silenced home crowd doubled when the swipe resulted in a Malik Newman drive and layup, which cut Tech’s lead to 62-56.

That six-point margin, however, was as close as KU could get down the stretch.


• Key stat: Energy points. The Red Raiders dominated in two categories most of the night: points off turnovers and second-chance points.

The one-sidedness of the final takeaways-into-scores tally — Tech’s 26, to KU’s eight — had as much to do with the Jayhawks’ sloppiness with the ball as Tech’s ability to play more soundly.

When the Red Raiders did make mistakes, they rarely turned out costly. KU, meanwhile, fueled the visitors’ upset bid with ill-timed passes and miscues that allowed Tech to pounce.

The offensive glass, in the meantime, was a destination seldom visited by Kansas versus Texas Tech. Thirty minutes into the game the Jayhawks had just two second-chance points. The Red Raiders easily won this key category, too, 15-4.

Tech chased down 18 offensive boards, while the home team only came away with eight.

• Up next: The Jayhawks head back down to the lone star state for their second conference road game of league play. KU will play at No. 16 TCU (13-1, 1-1) Saturday at 8:15 p.m. (ESPN2). The Horned Frogs won at Baylor in overtime Tuesday night.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech


By the Numbers: Texas Tech 85, Kansas 73

By the Numbers: Texas Tech 85, Kansas 73

Comments

Bryce Landon 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Right about now is the time I wish Bill Self would go off on his team the way Pat Knight went off on his Lamar team a few years back. I could live with this loss if Kansas had shown any real effort, intensity, or emotion. Instead, what I saw was a Kansas team that merely went through the motions, dogged it on defense, displayed bad, sullen body language when they were down big, and didn't do any of the effort things you have to do to win. You can overcome a lack of depth if you are willing to rebound, defend, and hunker down when things aren't going your way; but these guys didn't do any of that. It wouldn't have mattered if Preston or De Souza had been able to suit up; we probably still would have lost because our guys didn't show up with the right mentality. Meanwhile, did you see how ESPN showed what Texas Tech did to prepare? Chris Beard had has guys ready with every little detail on how to beat us, and they followed their game plan to a tee.

At this point, I don't see how Kansas wins the Big 12 this season. Not if they can't bring toughness and pride to the table and show that they care about protecting their home court. To lose at home when your home court is Allen Fieldhouse is unacceptable; to lose 2 out of 3 games at AFH (plus the home-away-from-home game to UW in Sprint Center) and lose them the way we lost them is intolerable.

Layne Pierce 2 weeks, 5 days ago

It ain't over yet, but we nearly have to win our next game on the road at TCU.
Fact is, teams are starting to believe they can bully us, and we won't fight back. We lost more because of no defense, or rebounding than missing 3 point shots. If a team gets 10 points ahead of us, right now, it is over, because we can't get the stops, or even the loose balls and rebounds to catch up. Our only pony is 3 point shots and bad post defense. If a team runs us off the 3 point line, and closes off Graham and Azubuike, we are done.

I frankly am really down on Billy Preston, because his presence alone could really change the equation. If DeSouza can play we need to get him in fast, so he can get up to snuff.

Our margin for winning No.14 even tied with someone else, is very thin. One more loss at KU, and we are probably done.

Before we panic completely, however, you will recall that we were out of it Buddy Hield's big year, and we managed to catch up, and win at Oklahoma.

So keep the faith. Rock Chalk

Bryce Landon 2 weeks, 5 days ago

One big difference between KU in 2016 and KU in 2018 - we had a bulldog named Frank Mason who wouldn't let us lose. We don't have anyone with an "I-refuse-to-let-us-lose" mentality like Mason had.

David Morrison 2 weeks, 5 days ago

These losses are quite predictable. With little interior presence, we live and die by the 3 point shot. We will not succeed this year without Preston and/or DeSilva. We look good when we hit 3 pointers.... otherwise, we are average at best. Sad to say it as I am a lifelong diehard Jayhawk fan.

John Strayer 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Why do we all think Preston is going to expand the front court? I seem to remember the Italy games...and the recruiting coverage...Preston wants to be a 6'10" guard...have read he doesn't like mixing it up in the post area...how is any of that going to help Dok? He sounds like Bragg part II.

Luke Kading 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Have to agree with David. This team turns mediocre very quickly when shots aren't falling. But it's not always necessarily bad shooting. They're lack of play makers has them settling for bad shots many times. All their best players are shot makers first and making plays off the dribble does not appear to be anybody's strong suit. I've been waiting for Newman to come around, but unfortunately at this point he's doing more harm than good out there. Not to be overlooked too is the fact they have zero interior presence on D. For as big as Azubuike is he sure doesn't seem to be much of a difference maker to me on defense. This team has firepower but is also extremely vulnerable. Probably the worst team Self has had at Kansas, in my opinion.

Darrel Stice 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I love this team when things are clicking. However, when we die by the 3, it's downright painful to watch them. When shots aren't falling, that's when it's time to step up the defensive effort, especially when defending our home court. It was really frustrating watching Tech out hustle us in every aspect tonight. Simply put, they wanted it more. They had a great game plan, and they made shots and got stops when it counted. They are the real deal this year for sure.

I am finding myself becoming increasingly frustrated with Preston. Whatever he's being held out for was preventable if he'd just followed the rules. He'll go on to make his millions (probably without ever stepping foot on the court for KU), but he has really hurt this team through his presumed actions.

All that said, I'm not giving up hope for number 14! The Big XII Championship still goes through Lawrence! Rock Chalk!

Michael Sillman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Surprisingly this team’s fire is lowest in front of home crowds. It appears that they think home court wins are a given. Hopefully they’ve learned the error of their ways.

Self could be a lot tougher on his starters mid-game. Why was a completely unproductive Lagerald Vick given 34 minutes of playing time? Giving a bunch of those minutes to Cunliffe probably would not have turned this game around but it would have sent the message that playing time comes from on-court results.

To win the Big12 will probably require the immediate availability of both De Sousa and Preston. Azubuike can’t handle the middle all himself and Lightfoot simply does not qualify as a big.

To tell the truth I think Self should start pointing this team to the post season by spreading the minutes around to try to develop some depth by March. Put the football guy out there to show the rest of the team what toughness looks like.

Tony Bandle 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Losing sucks.

2] Losing at Allen Field House sucks 100 times more.

3] Losing at Allen Field House and totally deserving it sucks google times more.

4] One thing to hold onto is that OK, WV, TT BA, TCU, OSU and TX all have to play each other. 13-5 or even 12-6 may do it.

5] Silvio needs to be out there, even just to give Dok and Lightfoot a break. As far as Preston goes, he will be the goat if this season goes sour.

6] This is a year that ends in 8. No conference title, no 30 wins, no #! seed doesn't necessarily mean no chance for a NC...as long as we can get it together by March.

7] Expect at least 2 more losses at Allen, Tech saw the key...put bigs on Dok, force Graham off the three point line and make free throws.

8] We need EVERYONE to crash the boards on every enemy attempt to make up for our lack of height and bulk.

9] I am sure that in private the other nine coaches have committed their teams to keep KU from winning number 14 and thus adding their names to a list of infamy....KU and the Nine Dwarfs.

10] Please tell me if there was anything out there tonight that could be considered a positive?

Edward Daub 2 weeks, 4 days ago

The one positive I saw was the potential shown by Sam "I Am" Cunliffe. KU's Pre Game Meal Chef must have served "Green Eggs and Ham"!

Dave Miller 2 weeks, 4 days ago

re: 10) The final 8 minutes of the game finally saw Graham try to drive the lane and get fouled. This was the only 'positive' that I saw.

John Joseph Gorski 2 weeks, 4 days ago

4) and we have to play them all. We will lose more than 6 conference games this year with this team.

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 4 days ago

That was painful to watch. Not since the time Kentucky blew us our a couple of years ago on their home court can I recall our guys looking so out manned. Losing the boards 44-29 if I read that correctly is a recipe for a loss. It almost seemed as if our guys were flat footed and ALL of the Tech players just grabbed rebound after rebound right over us. Then add in 5 TO's by Graham and 5 by Svi and there is just no way to win it. Heck, absent our blistering shooting at Texas, we miss several there and we could easily be 0-2. We need Preston and Silvio very, very soon. This "fools gold" 3-ball is not going to cut it this year.

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