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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Quick recap: No. 7 Kansas bounces back to claim win over No. 25 TCU

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) battles for a rebound with TCU center Kevin Samuel (21) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) battles for a rebound with TCU center Kevin Samuel (21) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Few things are as automatic as a Bill Self-led Kansas team bouncing back from a loss.

Following its first conference defeat of the season, No. 7 Kansas got back in the win column with a 77-68 victory over No. 25 TCU Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are now 87-11 in games following a loss over the last 16 years, which is the best win percentage in the nation in such contests.

The circumstances were vastly different this time, but it still did not matter. One day after KU suffered a 77-60 loss at Iowa State, the team announced that starting center Udoka Azubuike would be out for the remainder of the season. It forced Self to pull the redshirt off freshman Ochai Agbaji to add some much-needed depth.

Agbaji finished with seven points, including a pair of alley-oop dunks, in his collegiate debut. And Kansas led for over 85 percent of the game. Junior Dedric Lawson paced KU with a game-high 31 points. Lawson added 14 rebounds to notch his 11th double-double of the season.

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

• The game turned when: When Lawson took over in the second half, which was similar to a stretch he had earlier in the season against New Mexico State.

Lawson scored 11 consecutive points for Kansas, which started at the 10:11 mark in the second half and concluded with 5:03 left to play in the game. During the run, Kansas stretched its lead to as many as nine points.

During that stretch, Lawson buried a triple from the left baseline to net his second 3-pointer of the night. It marked the first time that Lawson had connected on multiple triples in a game this season.

• Offensive highlight: Kansas fans were patiently waiting for Agbaji to make his collegiate debut against TCU.

The night before, Self announced that he was pulling Agbaji’s redshirt and planned to use him for depth in the backcourt. Once Agbaji checked in at the 15:51 mark in the first half, Kansas fans did not have to wait long to see why Self opted to burn his redshirt.

Self called a lob for Agbaji, and he demonstrated his athleticism on his first collegiate possession. Freshman Devon Dotson threw it up to Agbaji, who finished things off to complete the first alley-oop of the contest.

None by Shane Jackson

• Defensive highlight: You can start to see the identity that this Kansas team can embrace with Udoka sidelined for the rest of the season.

The Jayhawks can employ more guard-heavy lineups, and try to create more pressure on the perimeter. If Kansas can create turnovers by doing this, the guards can push the ball up the court and get more buckets in transition

At least for a sequence, KU fans saw just that. Charlie Moore got in a passing lane, and snatched a kick-out pass. Moore immediately pushed the ball in transition, and Agbaji was one step ahead of him. Moore lobbed the ball up to Agbaji, who ended the sequence with another slam.

•Up next: Kansas travels to Baylor at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Comments

Bryce Landon 6 months, 1 week ago

All things considered, I'd say Ochai Agbaji had himself a pretty good showing his first night in a Kansas uniform. Those seven points played a big role in helping Kansas win.

Dedric Lawson was the man tonight with 31 points. Whenever we needed a basket, he delivered.

Marcus Garrett came up big when it mattered with his play, but none more so than when he rebounded a LaGerald miss and put it in the basket.

LaGerald Vick didn't have a great game, or even a good game, but he had a moment toward the end that I thought was awesome. When Devon Dotson came up with that big block on Alex Robinson, during the stoppage in play, LaGerald Vick chest-bumped Devon and displayed a great deal of excitement for Devon's critical play. That says to me that LaGerald is coming in with a team-first attitude instead of with a me-first attitude that he used to have.

A good win, and sorely needed after Saturday's thumping at ISU.

P.S. How about West Virginia blowing a 21-point lead at K-State? Everyone is getting in on the act of coming back on WVU!

Tony Bandle 6 months, 1 week ago

Random Thoughts:

1] I looked at the bench at one point in the game and saw a senior and two junior guards, then looked out on the court and saw three freshmen guards and a sophomore guard in action. YIKES!!!

2] Bill said he red shirted OKC because he wouldn't get much playing time. I know it's a small sample but he looks like a better overall guard than Grimes, Moore and Lawson and a better offensive threat than Garrett.

3] I have to admit, even with the maddening turnovers, bad shots, shaky foul shooting and defensive lapses, this team is a lot of fun to watch!

4] Play a zone, pack the paint, triple team Dedric get back on "D" and dare KU to beat you with the three. That's what every coach on the remainder of KU's schedule is telling their staffs right now.

Steve Zimmerman 6 months, 1 week ago

What excites me other than Ochai is how many times we saw pick and rolls between Dedric and Garrett.. Then, somebody screened for Garrett driving to the basket. These plays were not out of timeouts. That's an improvement in offense plays.

We looked aggressive, hungry in both O & D (look at those steals!!) - thanks to DD, Garrett's & Ochai's energy! There are always rooms for improvement.. guards feeding Dedric, even though there were 2-3 froggies hopping around him (hellooo.. he needs room to operate!!), Vick is the opponent's salvage warrior - he's our top TO performer... we're still way below good in terms of # of assists/TO, 3pts (these two come up every game.. no improvement... deep breath....).

But nevertheless, the Hawks are back in business again if they keep playing with focus like this. Rock Chalk!!!

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