Texas defeats Kansas, 81-69

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 1, 2014
  • Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Unbeaten no more: Texas hands Kansas first Big 12 loss

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor is followed by teammate Tarik Black as the Jayhawks leave the floor after their 81-69 loss to Texas on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor is followed by teammate Tarik Black as the Jayhawks leave the floor after their 81-69 loss to Texas on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self says Texas the hungrier team won at Texas

Bill Self says Texas the hungrier team won at Texas

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden discuss 81-69 loss to Texas

Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden discuss 81-69 loss to Texas

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Texas coach Rick Barnes blasts the "Overrated!" chant.

Texas coach Rick Barnes blasts the "Overrated!" chant.

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Box score

— Those who like drama during the course of the conference season have to be happy Texas’ basketball team crushed Kansas University, 81-69, on Saturday in Erwin Center.

The (16-5, 7-1) Jayhawks — who had raced to a 7-0 start and were threatening to leave nine schools in their wake while storming toward a 10th consecutive crown — now hold just a one-game lead on the (17-4, 6-2) Longhorns and two-game margin on Oklahoma heading into Tuesday’s game at Baylor.

“Obviously we could have put ourselves in unbelievable position today,” KU coach Bill Self said, realizing a victory could have given the Jayhawks a whopping three-game lead on their closest competitors.

“It will come down to the last week,” Self predicted. “I said 14-4 would win it. I’m not sure I’m going to be far off on that one.”

The Jayhawks entered Saturday’s game on the heels of a 92-81 home victory over Iowa State, after which coach Fred Hoiberg said he wouldn’t be shocked if KU ran the table in league play.

Saturday’s game —  in which KU hit just 25.8 percent of its first-half shots in falling behind 38-23 at the break — made the undefeated talk seem silly in retrospect. 

The Longhorns, who had a whopping 12 blocked shots to KU’s four and out-rebounded the Jayhawks, 44-37, held a game-high 20-point lead, 47-27, with 16:40 to play. UT’s lead never dipped below 11 the rest of the way.

“He (Self) told us he knew we weren’t going to run the table in the Big 12, but he also said they outplayed us, simple as that,” said KU sophomore Brannen Greene, who had three points off 1-of-3 three-point shooting in 10 minutes.

“He also said they outplayed us, simple as that. He said we are in Big 12 Conference play, it’s a quick turnaround, get ready for the next game. That’s what we’re trying to do, focus on the next game.”

There were plenty of negatives to dwell upon Saturday.

Point guard Naadir Tharpe had three points off 1-of-4 shooting with three assists against two turnovers in 26 minutes. He played just 11 minutes the second half to Frank Mason’s nine and didn’t play at all down the stretch. Mason had eight points off 3-of-8 shooting with two assists and a turnover in 16 minutes.

“Obviously I will not throw anybody (under the bus) ... there’s a reason he was not in the game late, because I felt he wasn’t impacting the game on either end,” Self said of Tharpe. “Naadir has played great for us. I felt we were better off having a guy in the game who could drive it and put pressure on the defense. Frank did a pretty good job with that.”

Noted Tharpe: “At the end of the day, we know what we need to do on the court. I don’t feel we did it as a whole starting out with me. I don’t feel I played well at all. You will have games like that. There are games you can play bad and win. We didn’t get any stops.

“I felt like we didn’t come out with the mindset and focus like we usually did. I felt like we kind of just were giving them the game the whole time.”

Andrew Wiggins had seven points off 2-of-12 shooting with five rebounds in 30 minutes. He missed his first nine shots.

“I think he settled a lot today,” Self said. “They played him smart and kept him out of the paint and made him shoot jumpers. When you don’t make jumpers, you can not look as good. It’s not just him, but Perry (Ellis, 11 points, two rebounds) or Naadir or Joel (Embiid, eight points 10 rebounds), any of ‘em. We didn’t get going at all in several of our starting spots. I thought Texas did a good job on Andrew.”

Embiid, who hit three of nine shots, had two blocks, three turnovers and two assists in 25 minutes.

“I don’t think so,” Self said, asked if Embiid’s recent knee sprain had a negative effect on the 7-footer. “It may be sore. That didn’t have anything to do with anything.

“I thought our big guys played pretty soft,” Self added. “I thought they may have surprised us a little bit with their athletic ability. We didn’t do a good job of playing physical and attacking the rim like we should.”

KU’s shooting as a team was abysmal. KU hit its first four shots, then went 4-for-27 the rest of the first half. KU finished at 25.8 percent for that half in lagging, 38-23, at the break and hit 38.5 percent for the game. KU hit six of 14 threes to Texas’ three of 10.

“We played pretty well first seven games of league play,” Self said. “We shot 50 percent in every game or close (49.2 percent at Iowa State; over 50 in all others). The law of percentages will prevail eventually. When you go on the road, you are not guaranteed to shoot 50 percent or even 40 percent.

“The way to win on the road is make sure your opponent plays bad. We did not have the mindset going into the game maybe because we didn’t anticipate having to play that way,” Self said, adding that he felt Texas was a hungrier team than the Jayhawks, partly because of being energized by the home crowd.

The Longhorns used a 20-6 run to stretch an 18-15 lead to 38-21 and basically take away all drama in this one. Isaiah Taylor had 23 points off 7-of-14 shooting, while Jonathan Holmes had 22 off six-of-13 shooting with three blocks and three steals. Prince Ibeh had four blocks for UT.

“I felt we didn’t compete that hard. That’s what happens,” KU’s Ellis said. “We didn’t come with a lot of energy and that’s the result.”

“We were on our heels the whole time. They were more prepared to play than we were. They looked fresher,” Self said. “They were faster than us. The whole deal was ... does their speed offset our length? It did. Taylor was by far the best player in the game. Holmes had a fabulous game. They protected the rim. Their big guys played much better than our big guys.”

As a result ... “it was a dominating performance by the Longhorns over us today,” Self said. “We never put ourselves in position to put any game pressure on them.”

And that, he said, was disappointing.

“I thought we would play better. I certainly knew Texas would play well. We can come down here and play well and lose, that's our league and that's every time you play. We didn’t give ourselves the best chance and certainly Texas had a ton to do with that."

Tip for Tuesday’s KU-Baylor game is 6 p.m., in Waco, Texas.


Rodney Crain 8 years, 10 months ago

Ahem, Ahem, ok Let's focus on Baylor, not a lot positive you can say about this game.

Mike Crosbie 8 years, 10 months ago

One positive...maybe a lot of NBA scouts were there writing notes saying Wiggens and Embiid aren't ready, they need another year to fully develope. !?!?

Andrew Dunlap 8 years, 10 months ago

disagree with that. They are both gonners. I know we would love them to stay all 4 years but if I am a NBA GM, I'm gonna get fired for passing on either of them.

Mike Crosbie 8 years, 10 months ago

That was supposed to be sarcasm...or wishful thinking...

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 10 months ago

Embiid is someone who would legitimately benefit more from a second year in college than he would by going pro after this year. He still needs work on his fundamentals and that's only going to happen in college. He already has a great foundation to build on, but just an extra year of learning the game and developing good habits against less competition will do more for Embiid than the NBA will.

Andrew Wiggins on the other needs to go. His ball handling is his biggest weakness and that will improve much quicker in the NBA against elite level defenders than it will against college athletes where he'll maybe be guarded by 1 or 2 great players all season.

They both need physical development, but that happens at either level because that's something that happens with age and they'll get to that point as their bodies mature and fill out their frames. Personally, I would advise Wiggins to go pro and I would advise Embiid to come back for 1 more year.

Allin Herring 8 years, 10 months ago

I do think it is very interesting that when there is 14 NBA scouts in the building Wiggins plays good (Iowa State Game) but when there is only his third cousin twice removed in the stands he plays like crap( like he did in the Texas game)! NO heart and way over rated!! Maybe they will hold the NBA draft next week so he can focus on that since he didn't during the Texas game!!

DaNeille Dani Davis 8 years, 10 months ago

And why didn't we come out with any energy?? WT??? I just don't understand how our guys can't get motivated for this game. We had a chance to go 3 up in conference and yesterday they were saying how they didn't want Texas to tie us for the 4 wins over ranked teams! Did you notice how the players weren't cheering for each other, talking, high fiving, NOTHING! Get your heads out of your a*es and play like a team that is FAMILY! Wiggins, Ellis, and Embiid lose their confidence when they don't make shots. Grow up boys. You are definitely not ready for the NBA...none of you!

Len Shaffer 8 years, 10 months ago

Wow, overreacting much? It's one game, ONE game, for crying out loud. Bad games happen. I'll say one thing: I sure feel sorry for Baylor on Tuesday.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 8 years, 10 months ago

Take a chill pill it was a Big 12 game on the road to ranked team. Also, Texas shot like 45 free throws to KU 19. The a lot fouls that were not consist

Allin Herring 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree. This game shows they are not close to be ready for the NBA. They all got pushed around by Texas Bigs especially Joel and Perry. They really need more time in the weight room or the NBA Big guy are gone to eat them up!

Caleb Longbine 8 years, 10 months ago

i heard the commentators say ut had a week off this wk. thats crap consider we had a road game wed night. they had a wk to prep for us, we maybe had a day and a half to run scout team . i know that cant be a player or coach excuse but i dont think they would have looked so impressive given roughly the same time to prepare as we had.

Mike Riches 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm very interested to see how we come out Tuesday against Baylor. If the OU game was any indication (following the SDSU loss) then our guys should come out hungry Tuesday and leave Waco with a W.

Truthfully, I wasn't surprised at this loss today. UT is a good, big team, nationally ranked, 2nd in the Big 12, and the home crowd was fired up...Three weeks until the rematch in Lawrence, I expect a very different outcome then! Rock Chalk!

Allin Herring 8 years, 10 months ago

It is not the lost but how we lost that looks very bad. The team (except Wayne) gave up by the 7 minute mark of the 2nd half. Seldon seems to be the only one of the Freshmen who has bought into Self feeling about hustle and going for the loose ball.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 10 months ago

RockkChalkk Thoughts:

1) This game was horrendous to watch. Its one thing when the team plays hard and just gets outplayed. However today that was not the case. The team on the court today showed no heart. To play as poorly and emotionless as they did I feel embarrassed for them.

2) I am shocked Black didn't get more minutes. Texas is a big bruising type of team inside. Perry was getting pushed around with little resistance, Embiid was getting beat on so much he often looked tired out there. There was finally a game for our big bruiser to bang around with the boys inside and he spent most of the time on the sideline. Disappointing.

3) Bad Bounces - they didn't go our way tonight. I'm still undecided if its chance or if its a product of the players. When UT misses a free throw and our two rebounders knock it out of bounds when nobody is within 5 feet of them, is that bad luck or guys not focused? When most balls on the ground go the other teams way, bad luck or lack of effort? Countless offensive rebounds going to UT, is that bad luck or poor boxing out?

4) Refs - there were a ton of calls tonight that had me exercising my voice box at full capacity. Every time UT had the ball in the paint and went up for a shot they were blowing the whistle. On the other end, not so much. There was a foul called on Embiid early in the game that replay showed he didn't even touch him. They called an offensive foul on Selden on a drive at the top of the key which all 10 players thought was an and-1 play. Even at the end, the inbound pass where Embiid was trucked over I thought was surely a charge.

5) I'm baffled why this team cannot get a 5 second call while playing defense. They put no defensive pressure on the ball handler. They haven't gotten one all season long to my knowledge. UT was obviously milking the clock starting from the 9 minute mark. Push up on the ball handler and force him to drive, even if he manages to get by you and score less time will be taken off the clock.

Awful game from top to bottom. Hope they learn from the loss and make it their last one of the season. Lets bounce back against Baylor and get back to the real KU ball playing. RCJH.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 10 months ago

Black was coming off of an injury and hadn't played the previous two games. We don't know how healthy he was, not to mention that he was probably a little rusty. I would bet that if he hadn't been coming back from an injury he would have played a lot more; he was obviously playing much more before he was hurt.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't buy it, if he played at all he was good to go. Self even said he could have played last game but there was no need for him to.

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 8 years, 10 months ago

I disagree with you take on effort, I saw guys diving on the floor for loose balls.I do believe it more bad bounces, plus adjusting to poor officiating. Also the Big 12 refs seems not know how call "over the back."

Ben Schwartz 8 years, 10 months ago

the guy you saw diving for loose balls was Selden... credit Embiid for crashing the media desk early...

I was at the game, the UT fan next to me and I both agreed Selden was the only one putting any effort into the game. He at one point asked me: "What year is Selden, junior?" On a side note, the UT fans on both sides of us were very respectful. I shook hands with the gentleman next to me and politely told him we would see them in Lawrence... then proceeded to drink my face off on 6th street.

kellerman411 8 years, 10 months ago

KU basketball is in a very dangerous place. Today rattled these young kids. It wasn't just a loss, it was a beat down. They won't get to come back to Lawrence to lick their wounds and heal up. They'll have to deal with this out on the road and try to get a win over an all of a sudden good looking Baylor team.

Today, no one could challenge Andrew's shot, he elevates over everyone at this level. The shot simply wasn't falling. 18 years old or not, if he is half the player they say he is, he will write this off, forget about it and come out as aggressive as ever against Baylor and impose his will on them.

I think KU probably will pull out of it but a loss at Baylor and the wheels come off mentally for this young team.

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 10 months ago

I really think this game was more of Texas making us look bad than anything else. They had what, 11 blocks on us? They did give us a beat down, but UT played strong & solid, and always had an answer for us whenever it seemed like we were gathering up for a rally.

I think what I've noticed is that in games we lost this year it wasn't because we were poor shooting or someone else shot the lights out, we get manhandled physically. With such a young team, that's going to happen, and when Embiid isn't playing well or gets taken out, that affects us all. He is a bit of a lynchpin, much more than Wiggins. Play strong & hard KU!

Bryce Landon 8 years, 10 months ago

Seems like all the progress Kansas made over the previous seven games was undone yesterday. KU reverted to the team that got its clock cleaned by San Diego State. Only thing more embarrassing than getting waxed by Texas would be to lay an egg against Baylor.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago


1] Every season is a journey and this game happened to be a really bad truckstop. Lessons will be learned and applied in three weeks.

2] NOT TO WORRY - I will be at the Texas game in Allen and I have not seen the Hawks lose since the last time they played Norm Stewart about a 100 years ago. :).

4] Bill says 10-4 will win the conference [probably a tie]...something tells me we won't lose three more games!!

5] I'm not worried about the Big 12 or even Arizona...however, Syracuse does give me a pause.

6] I think Texas has some tough away games including KU, OSU, OU and Baylor...I think.

7] This was a bad game lost to a jacked up Top 25 team on the road who is playing better right now than half the top 24 teams ahead of them. Our fate is still in our hands. GO HAWKS!!!!!

Eric TheCapn 8 years, 10 months ago

14-4. And he SAID that; he is not still saying it. He said his original prediction would be CLOSE to accurate. Close could be a couple of losses off.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

Look, the days of 3 game losing skid are way behind for this team. Much better rehearsed now than back in December. The main thing that bothered us was length and physicality in this 1 game...Length and physicality didnt bother us so bad against Baylor in AFH last week. The game at Baylor will be tough, as they are fighting for their Tournament lives right now.

If KU can collect their focus, on the road, and come up with a W at Baylor, it will be a nice yardstick on where this team is at. The KU youngsters just learned that records and stats dont mean a thing once the ball is tossed for the opening tip, and that the phone-it-in version they tried @ TX simply leaves them feeling an L. Learn and grow.


Mike Tackett 8 years, 10 months ago

The KU 'touch me nots'. The word is out, push us around and you have a great shot at a 'W'. The games where we have struggled we've been beat up. If we draw a team like this in March, we're in trouble. We have so many balls stripped on drives and rebounds lost even when we are the first to have two hands on the ball. We will have a nice W/L record, but an early exit is very possible pending the draw.

Titus Canby 8 years, 10 months ago

There was no way we were ever going to run the table, so I'm not horribly upset about a loss to a top 25 team on the road.

Given that, I'm a bit concerned about our defense. In our last two games we've given up 79 and 81. This is just a guess, but I have to wonder if common wisdom among players is that scouts don't get excited about defense. And since I didn't see the game, I have to wonder if the players were freelancing on both ends of the court - playing for the scouts. What did you guys notice?

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

Personally, I think this is becoming clearer. This team is a finesse team, led by Mr. and Mrs. Finesse, Perry Ellis and Andrew Wiggins, and their son, Naadir Finesse. Uncle Finesse (Embiid) vists on weekends. The Finesse family.

Right now, this is not a tough team. Oh how I'd like to see TRob at the 4 right now with this group.

Now, I do think Embiid can be tough. But did you see him after Ridley tossed him to the ground? He looked stunned. There is a difference between slapping at a KSU player, and bucking up against Mr. Ridley. Selden is not part of the Finesse family, just an in law. Not surprising that he excelled in a game like yesterday.

As an aside, after Embiid got hammered, I would have put Tarik in the game and told him to blast Ridley at the first opportunity, Flagrant 1, 2, 3 and 4 .. whatever. Send the freaking message.

But this is a finesse team. And we will have win with what we have. That is reality. But we can win the NCAA title with this team.

We have to shoot the ball. We may have to outscore teams as opposed to banking on stopping them from scoring. There was a lot of talk about turnovers a while back. But we won on the road at ISU with 24 turnovers, and lost at Texas with just 12. I, of course, don't want turnovers, but as I've mentioned before, turnovers aren't the know all, say all about how well you're playing. We may need to risk more turnovers, we may need to be more reckless and aggressive on offense. We may need to run at every opportunity.

We have to create better scoring opportunities. We might need to mix in a press. It's pretty simple to me. We'll have trouble with teams like SDSU and Texas -- tougher teams. We have the opportunity to adjust, get better at what we do, compete better, and find ways to win games.

Can this team change its level of competitiveness and toughness?

My answer to that is "perhaps marginally." What I mean is that the Finesse family I mentioned above are not going to change their stripes in a few weeks. And that is the core of this team. So I do not think that discovering something right now, or in a few weeks, will occur.

Personally, I think that coach Self has to find a way to win with this group as they are. How can this team, in March, win playing a finesse game?

That requires detailed scheming and strategizing. It may require running more set plays. It may require changing our approach to attacking zone defenses, i.e., more screening. It may require tweaking our lineup and minutes against such teams to emphasize those not in the Finesse family. But I do think it will require coach Self to adjust to what he has -- to have a chance to win the NCAA title.


Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

"As an aside, after Embiid got hammered, I would have put Tarik in the game and told him to blast Ridley at the first opportunity, Flagrant 1, 2, 3 and 4 .. whatever. Send the freaking message."

That's a key point in my opinion... had we returned that in kind, it would have: 1) maybe injected a bit more confidence in Embiid, 2) showed Texas that this wasn't going to be a free-for-all, and 3) established everywhere that if you thump one of us, we're going to grind you into the court.

I feel that was the turning point of the game. Texas realized they could get away with anything short of murder and KU realized that getting someone hurt over what would be a non-call isn't worth it.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago


This is a very, very good team. But the harsh reality may be that our progress in March may be more dictated by match-ups than in the past. Play gets even rougher in the tournament. Perhaps coach Self can limit that some by adjusting to the team that he has moving forward.

I just don't see Wiggins flipping a switch and diving for a ball, or Tharpe becoming magically aggressive, or Ellis instantaneously not hunching away from contact on a contested basket at the hoop, or Embiid adding 20 pounds anytime soon.

We have great talent that really showed in our 6-0 conference start. That has not changed. This team can win the title. It just may not be playing the kind of game that Self wants them to play.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 10 months ago

This is a very, very good OFFENSIVE team. Last week, Newell showed the metrics that supported what many of us had been seeing. We have a team of extremes. Simaltanously we have the best and worst offensive and defensive, respectively, in Self tenure.

The softness shown on defense has been reflected on offense by the timid finishes at the rim. We can hit a good percentage of those against undersized teams. Against big teams, i.e. UF/SDSU/UT, we get 25 percent shooting and 12 blocked shots.

The really good thing is our schedule. If somehow we get past BU with a 8-1 record, we should be able to work on some things with a much weaker second half schedule. Self will be able to spend some minutes to develp our bench getting more shooting in the lineup. Also, he can work on our press.

I've completely given up that some our guys (Tharpe, Greene, Ellis) will be able to play defense. It simply is not in their DNA. Selden has been a dissapointment because he's been so spotty.

Adam Miller 8 years, 10 months ago

It's funny how a loss brings out the "sky is falling" folks... we lost on the road by 12 points to a top 25 team that was literally throwing our players to the court with no call. If we lose to Texas in Allen, THEN feel free to complain about how we're getting out muscled and outplayed.

We're not perfect, but we're getting better -- and a good loss against a team that is getting all of the calls can be an excellent learning tool for how to handle 8 on 5 adversity.

Ben Schwartz 8 years, 10 months ago

There was a play early on where it looked like the defender (I think Ridley) elbowed Embiid in the head, it was a no-call. I then remember a play a little later on where Embiid hit the floor pretty hard and was really late getting back down the floor, also a no-call. I am not sure which one is being referenced as the "Ridley throws Embiid down" play, because if it was not the first one I mentioned, I definitely think the defender (again I think it was Ridley) could have been ejected for a flagrant there.

That game would have looked a lot different if Ridley was booted and the message was clear that they couldn't cheap shot our players.

It has become very clear: any team that plays hard-nosed zone against us is likely going to give us major problems.

The UT fan next to me at the game pointed out how we continually got our faces stuffed by that weak-side shot blocker when we went inside, but we kept taking it and refusing to give it up to a guy who would be COMPLETELY OPEN on the weak side when the defender committed to the block. I had to agree...

Melissa Hedges 8 years, 10 months ago

We were at the game and I remember watching their warm-up and commenting to my husband, "they look so slow and lethargic, if this is any indication of the game to come, we're in trouble". And, I was right. The energy at UT was unlike anything I've seen before for a basketball game at Texas; and this living there for 16 years. Finally, UT had some loud fans who actually outnumbered the KU fans. I've been to many UT/KU games where it almost appeared that there were more KU fans. All that aside, KU looked horrible....HORRIBLE. They looked as if their hearts were not in the game and very annoyed to even be there. Slow, sloppy, and immature. They looked so off and didn't even resemble a team. I think the freshman from UT, Isaiah, looked much more mature than either Wiggans or Embiid. I'm not here to say this is all bad for KU, it's probably a good learning experience; I think the next month will be very telling.

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