Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said his No. 1 Jayhawks learned to grind this season, as they finished off an outright Big 12 title with a win at Texas Tech.
“They guarded us well, we guarded them well and we just found a way to make a couple great individual plays late,” Self said. “Guys deserve all the credit. That was fun for me.”
Kansas stars Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson took a lot of pride in helping their team go undefeated on the road in Big 12 play en route to an outright conference championship, they shared following the Jayhawks’ 66-62 win at Texas Tech on the final day of the regular season.
“We wanted to win it outright,” Dotson said. “We didn’t want to share the title with anybody.”
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was happy to see his players add to the program’s stash of trophies with a win over TCU in the Jayhawks’ home finale.
“It feels good,” Self said. “It’s a goal every year to try to win the league, and this obviously guarantees us a share of it. We’d like to go down and take care of business Saturday to win it outright (at Texas Tech). It’s been kind of a long grind through the conference season, especially when you start off from behind and the team in front of you never loses.”
Following the No. 1 Jayhawks’ 75-66 win over TCU in their home finale, seniors Isaiah Moss and Udoka Azubuike and sophomore Devon Dotson share their thoughts on the achievement.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said his team’s star center, Udoka Azubuike, is doing everything he can to make sure he’s able to play in the Jayhawks’ home finale versus TCU.
“I think that he definitely wants to. I don’t know that he will or not,” Self said of the possibility of Azubuike, who hurt an ankle this past weekend, playing. “It depends probably on how things go today and how sore he is tomorrow. But he’s trying. He’s getting treatment four or five times a day and doing everything he’s supposed to do. It’s one thing to want to play. It’s another thing to want to play on senior night. So I know he’ll do everything he can to get out there.”
Still recovering from the ankle injury he suffered on Saturday at Kansas State, Kansas center Udoka Azubuike gave an update on his status Tuesday, on the eve of the No. 1 Jayhawks’ home finale versus TCU.
“Hopefully I’m going to play,” Azubuike said, adding it would depend on whether his ankle lets him.
The added factor of senior night makes Azubuike even more invested in the idea of playing through some pain.
“It’s my last home game at the fieldhouse. I want to play,” he said.
For the first time in what the siblings estimated was roughly a decade, Chima Azuonwu got to see his younger brother, Udoka Azubuike, Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
Azuonwu, who now lives in Nashville, Tenn., said the two brothers hadn’t seen each other since they were last in Africa together.
“It was so shocking, seeing my brother, man, because I haven’t seen him for a long time,” Azuonwu said. “I was very happy.”
Azubuike’s older brother said he keeps up with his sibling’s basketball career at Kansas, and it’s “amazing” to watch him play on television.
“He’s a beast,” Azuonwu said, after watching Azubuike play in person versus Oklahoma State.
Morgantown, W.Va. — Kansas coach Bill Self was pleased to see his Jayhawks recover for a 58-49 win after an unimpressive first half at West Virginia.
“I thought that West Virginia was a lot better than us in the first half — we were awful. We guarded OK, but we didn’t rebound and obviously we couldn’t score,” Self said.
“In the second half, I’m not saying we played great, we actually got pretty good looks. And then we guarded and rebounded better,” Self added. “We won the game, but I don’t know that we would’ve won it unless Isaiah was in the game. So he really helped us second half.”
After a 60-46 Jayhawks road win, Bill Self explained how Udoka Azubuike responded to a quick trip to the bench at TCU.
Self also shared what happened after he picked up his 700th career coaching victory.
“I got a ball,” Self said, “which I’ll keep and everything. Jeff Long gave me a ball. I was surprised he was able to get that done in like seven minutes after the game ended,” he joked, looking at this watch.
“And then my granddaughter’s here, so I was able to take some pictures with her.”
After carrying the Jayhawks to a 60-46 win at TCU, Kansas standouts Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson described what worked for the team in yet another road win.
Dotson (18 points, 11 assists) gave a lot of credit to Azubuike (20 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks).
“Amazing,” Dotson said of the big man. He worked hard to get his spots down low and when he did he converted. He was dominant, finished around the basket, caught lobs, active.”