Saturday, January 23, 2016

No. 3 Kansas recovers from poor start to beat Texas

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) bangs into Texas center Prince Ibeh as he heads to the bucket during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) bangs into Texas center Prince Ibeh as he heads to the bucket during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The Kansas University men's basketball team took a heck of a punch from visiting Texas on Saturday afternoon. And then decided to throw one back.

Trailing from the opening tip well into the second half, Kansas did not take its first lead until the 12:30 mark of the second half. But once it did, KU never looked back, building a lead as large as 13 points before knocking off Texas, 76-67.

KU shot just 38 percent from the floor in the first half, including 4 of 13 from three-point land. That changed drastically in the second half, however, where KU shot 43 percent and knocked in 6 of 12 from three-point range.

KU's big push — a 24-6 run that turned a 40-33 deficit into a 57-46 lead — featured four three-pointers, two from Wayne Selden Jr. and two from Devonté Graham, almost in the exact same spot in front of the KU bench.

Perry Ellis led Kansas with 26 while Selden (19) and Graham (14) also contributed big days to the KU scoring effort. Landen Lucas, who started at the 5, led all players with 10 rebounds.

The victory improved KU to 16-3 overall and 5-2 in Big 12 play. Texas, meanwhile, fell to 12-7 and 4-3.

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

• The game turned when: KU surged ahead with a 14-2 run midway through the second half. The Jayhawks had trailed the entire game, at one point by as many as 12 points, and found themselves down 40-33 early in the second half before ripping off the 12-point run sparked by six points from Ellis and a pair of threes from Selden and Graham.

• Offensive highlight: With the shot clock winding down and KU struggling to get anything going offensively, Frank Mason III caught a pass on the left wing, immediately attacked the paint and looked to make a play. As he got close to the rim, UT's Prince Ibeh swallowed him up, but Mason dropped a perfect pass to Ellis, who had a clear path to the rim for the monster jam.

• Defensive highlight: There were no monster blocks (those belonged to UT big man Ibeh) or big-time steals, but KU's defensive intensity during that decisive run forced several missed shots from the Longhorns, many of them coming right at the rim. Maybe next time those shots go in and this is a different story, but they didn't on Saturday and KU's defense gets the credit for at least some of that.

• Key stat: Second-chance points. KU outscored Texas 19-5 on second-chance points and ripped down 13 offensive rebounds compared to 4 for Texas. Lucas grabbed six of those.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will head out on the road Monday night for a Big Monday showdown with Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. The 8 p.m. tip off on ESPN will mark the first meeting this season between these two preseason Big 12 title favorites.

— See what people were saying about KU vs. Texas during’s live blog.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas

By the Numbers: Kansas 76, Texas 67

By the Numbers: Kansas 76, Texas 67


Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

I was at the Hy-Vee deli in Topeka for this game, and the girls at the counter could not figure out how to change the channel on the TV from The Weather Channel. While they were fumbling around, KU was getting clowned by UT. But as soon as they finally figured it out, that's when the Jayhawks slowly but surely began to show signs of life. So if you guys want to blame someone for the Jayhawks' super poor first 10-12 minutes of play, blame it on the Hy-Vee girls.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh yes, they had a great all-you-can-eat salad bar, with chunks of grilled chicken and Oreo-flavored pudding for desert! That's why I go there whenever possible to watch KU games on the ESPN channels.

Cameron Cederlind 6 years, 3 months ago

23 min, 0 points, 4 personal fouls, and 10 rebounds. That is not a good stat line, yet Self praised him on the post game show. To imply that Diallo or Mickelson, who are statistically better at rebounding, couldn't grab 10 rebounds with Ridley on the bench serves as no basis to praise Lucas for his play. If Self continues to have him on the floor the majority of the game, we can look forward to another 2nd round exit in the tournament.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

While I agree with your premise that Lucas is not deserving of the PT he is receiving over the likes of Mickelson and (to a lesser degree) Diallo, he is actually the team's best rebounder from a statistical standpoint. Not sure where you're finding your stats.


Lucas 19.9 Mickelson 16.3 Diallo 16.7

Lucas also leads that trio in rebounds per 40 minutes.

Rebounding, however, is the ONLY statistic that Lucas is better in. Defensively, he's the team's worst shot blocker. He provides virtually no threat to driving guards and forces fewer steals than the other bigs.

Offensively, Lucas turns the ball over more than Mickelson and Diallo and is virtually no threat to score.

Why Landen is getting more minutes at the expense of Hunter I have absolutely no effing clue.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

That's the point of using advanced and per-40 statistics... Minutes aren't relevant. Per-game stats are not always great indicators of how effective a particular player is in any given category, for obvious reasons I hope...

But to answer your question, Lucas has played considerably more than both.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Because he rebounds. KU killed UT on the glass on both ends and those limited possessions were a big reason why KU won. It's not rocket science to figure out you play your best rebounder when nobody else on the roster is even close to Lucas in rebounding ability. I know rebounding and not turning the ball over are new concepts in basketball, but it's amazing how effective they are for winning games.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

Lucas turns the ball over at a considerably higher rate than the other bigs.

I don't actually hate Lucas playing much against Texas given the matchups, but I still maintain Mickelson deserves more minutes at the expense of Lucas'.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Lucas actually does not turn the ball over at a higher rate than the other bigs. Bragg and Traylor each have a higher TO% than Lucas does.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry. I should have been more clear. I meant Mickelson and Diallo. Given that the "bigs" in discussion previously were Diallo and Mickelson, however, I assumed that they were implied.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

What's been a common denominator in KU's losses? Rebounds. KU has lost the rebounding battle in each of their 3 losses this year. Hunter Mickelson is the absolute worst rebounding big man I have ever seen (advance numbers back up that he's a horrible rebounder). Cheick Diallo has the potential to be a great rebounder, but he still goes for too many blocks and takes himself out of the picture to get a rebound far too often. What does Landen Lucas do better than any other player on KU's roster? Rebound.

Why is this important. Landen's rebounding prevents teams from getting second chance opportunities and any time you limit an opponents number of chances at putting the ball in the basket, it increases your teams chances of winning.

I'm not about to call Landen a great or even good player, but he does excel in an area that KU has been dominated in their 3 losses. He's also the best screen setter on the team so while he doesn't get an assist or any credit on the stat sheet for that, it is a very important role within KU's offense.

This year it doesn't matter what post player you stick next to Ellis, KU is going to be sacrificing skill in a major area. It boils do to which skill is deemed the most valuable and I happen to agree with Self that rebounding is the most valuable skill that is needed from the 5 with this roster. In a different year with different players, I would view the situation differently, but for this team this year nobody can convince me that Landen's rebounding isn't the most important skill needed out of the 5.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 3 months ago

And Landen is not a great ft shooter. I get the argument and I wish we were better at this position but to me it's not an obvious choice. This is just a casual observation on my part by it seems like Hunter is out of position to rebound too often.

David Kemp 6 years, 3 months ago

Dead on if 4 guys score 95% of the points we r screwed. This reeks of 2nd round exit. We need to see other players step up.

Barry Weiss 6 years, 3 months ago

I am scratching my head over the Lucas deal. Did coach say anything about Diallo or Mickelson? I agree with just about everyone here, we probably won't go far if all we get is zero points out of the 5. Strange.

Phil Leister 6 years, 3 months ago

Landen: 10 boards, ZERO points. Man, I sure would like to see more of Carlton or Cheick. Got to believe Bill has a very, very good reason for not playing Cheick. I can believe it, but to have a guy in Lucas who is absolutely zero of an offensive threat, it must be a great reason.

Perry is on his way to becoming an all-time great at Kansas. And doing so as a native Kansan. I'm enjoying every minute of watching him play. Rock Chalk!!

Barry Weiss 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe its time for the Free Diallo signs again

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

Lucas is a liability. He is not a rim protector, he can't shoot, he doesn't block out and he probably has reached his ceiling... Michelson and Diallo go from starting to DNP coaches decision.

If there is any reason to the wild swings of PT or player rotation, it is far above my head. Greene played 9 min of goose eggs on the stat line. Svi never stepped on the court. 7 games into Conference play and nowhere close to any consistent rotation.

Next 2 games will tell us a lot about this team.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Bye bye Josh. Bye bye B12-championship ring. Welcome NIT. Good job coach.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Josh Jackson, the top recruit that was in AFH today.

Phil Leister 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh ya, gotcha. See ya Josh! We won and are in first place in the Big 12. See ya!!!

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Winning against UT, without Ridley, in AFH, by single digit, barely breathing in the 1st half? First place in the B12, and you are satisfied? Do you really think KU will win B12 this year? We'll talk again soon.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 3 months ago

I think there is a very real chance we don't win number 12 and I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. Early indications are the Big 12 is a very good conference but a conference title is not a prerequisite for tournament success.

When you say Welcome NIT are you intentionally exaggerating?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry but you're full of crap if you think today was the deciding factor in whether or not Josh Jackson ends up at KU. If KU loses out on Jackson, it's going to have a lot more to do with whether or not any of KU's wings leave after this year than a single game will.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree. How Self utilizes his freshmen in game time situations is far more important...

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Previous OAD wings under Self. Henry, McLemore (I'm fine if you don't count him as OAD), Wiggins, Oubre. Jackson will be fine there's an opening on the wing next year and he chooses to fill it. Wayne Selden's future at Kansas will have the biggest impact in the Josh Jackson recruitment for KU.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 3 months ago

LMAO , NIT now that's funny. It's awesome to have fans like you

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Gerry. LOL. I get that a lot. I do care about the future of KUMBB. Not like some fans that see winning is everything.

Drew Doerfler 6 years, 3 months ago

i'm going to guess he meant a top recruit we had in for the to bye bye 12 ....i'll agree....ku is not playing good basketball right now and ou is looking tough...also no way we end up in the nit. we are not getting josh....we will not be losing any guards (which i can't decide is a good thing or a bad thing) and selden will play over him as a senior, so why would he come to ku? the more disturbing we had the top jr player, who happens to be a post player, in allen and he saw cheick sitting on the bench all game without even getting a chance to play....not a good recruiting tool....Self has a big problem recruiting guards to come to ku and he's going to start having a larger problem recruiting e;elite bigs soon too

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Playing with 8 players vs UT. I sense urgency by BS when it comes to Shaka. Bill is intimidated by Smart. Smart will own Bill starting next season, if he's still believing in his high-low or whatever it is. Just watch it.

Leon Trotter 6 years, 3 months ago

I think you might be intimidated by Smart but I am not sure anyone else is. (A bunch of 10 loss seasons in the Colonial Athletic Association and 1 magical run to the Final Four isn't that great) (Also, we really haven't run much high-low for years now. The offense is basically ball screen continuity, with bits of high-low from time to time depending on personnel and matchups)

Phil Leister 6 years, 3 months ago

Sky is falling, end of the world, we are awful, fire Bill Self!

In an absolutely stacked conference, we are tied for 1st. It's a privilege to be a KU fan where we think being in our position is grounds for panic. We've had our struggles, and I'm as worried as the next fan. But, I can admit when there are guys like Buddy Hield leading teams like OU who are going to challenge for the Big 12 crown. We're tied for 1st in the conference. I'll panic in mid-April.

James Smith 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes Phil you will panic. We will be worn out on Monday night with mainly playing 6 players. Just poor coaching again.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 3 months ago

Mid-April might be a little late as the season ends April 4.

-just saying

Jared Reeves 6 years, 3 months ago

Even though Lucas didn't score any points, I thought he played decent. He does a good job on help defense and set good screens on offense. Lucas is going to play more against team with really big guys, such as TX with Ibeh (spelling?).

The player who has played horribly recently is Mason. He looks afraid to take a 3, like he knows it won't go in. His shot is off, and yet he keeps driving and just throws the ball to the basket. He needs to penetrate and pitch more, and find Selden and Graham, who are good 3-point shooters.

Every win is good. RCJH.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

Oklahoma's win @ Baylor places OU in the best position to win the conference at the moment. The Sooners have no bad losses and now have the only really good road win among the current contenders. (I'm not including Texas as a real contender, though its win over WVU is obviously a good win.) Oklahoma also has a favorable schedule going forward with road games against Kansas, Iowa State, and Baylor already out of the way.

At this point in time the Sooners have to be considered the favorite.

A win in Ames - unlikely as it may seem right now - and Kansas immediately projects as the favorite again. It's gonna be tough, but Iowa State has proven beatable at home.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 3 months ago

I would agree. We have been very vulnerable on the road and the same can not be said for the sooners.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

Yea your right. OU remains perfect at home (3-0 vs our 4-0) and has the better road record (2-2 vs 1-2) with two big road wins @OSU & BU.

I also believe an ISU win would enable us to gain a slight advantage but, like you, believe it to be a long shot. In fact, I expect a double dgit loss.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

I still see Kansas as the favorite to win at least a share of the conference. I see this as a year where the streak continues, but where KU will have to share the title with another team or two like they did in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2013.

Len Shaffer 6 years, 3 months ago

We beat a very good (and red-hot) UT team and led by double-digits with a minute to go. Remember, this is a team that had beaten three ranked teams, including # 1 North Carolina.

We also overcame a 12-point early deficit, and did all of that while not making a high percentage of shots.

I'd say it was a pretty good day. People are so over-the-top in their criticism that it's ridiculous.

I also think that Lucas played an excellent game despite not contributing much on offense. He played very well defensively and had a number of huge rebounds.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

The team looked a bit better in the second half, although UT was off the chart horrible from the 17 to 11 minute mark in the second half. Still the team is not operating on all cylinders.

Mason's play remains troublesome. Something is amiss with him physically or mentally or both. He's extremely tentative with his shots, drives and going after loose balls, which was the most obvious tell-tail sign in the second half.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree! Free Diallo...once he learns how to play basketball!

Barry Weiss 6 years, 3 months ago

well, I think he has done reasonably well given the playing time he's gotten. I know you have been down on him since day one, but I think given the same minutes as Lucas, he would have easily matched the rebounds and probably added 6-8 points.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

I have NEVER been down on Diallo. What the NCAA did to him was criminal. He really needed those early games and practices to develop his skills. You have seen him play. Go back and watch his time on the court. He does not know that playbook at all and makes mistakes on nearly every possession. Sure he has tons of talent, works hard with enthusiasm, but apparently has never/seldom played real team ball.

Robert Brock 6 years, 3 months ago

Diallo is clueless. He breaks down our offensive sets and ruins designed plays routinely. And he constantly blows defensive assignments. He plays the way he practices - poorly. He is not ready. Self will play him when he shows that he understands basic basketball; it's not about running back and forth.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow. McDonnald's AA doesn't understand basic basketball. Justin Jackson, Jahlil Okafor were McDAA. So, Diallo is clueless. Wow. Just wow. We got Cliff - where is he now? He was in the same class as Jackson, Okafor, Melo, Winslow, etc. Somebody has got to open eyes, grab a telescope. It's coach system that fails to develop these kids or give them exposure to the League. They come to KU to watch how the seniors (non-OAD) get the W for the coach.

Bill Corey 6 years, 3 months ago

Seems to me we would do better starting Mason, Selden, Ellis, Bragg, Diallo. Ride that horse a lot further than we are destined to now. Let Ellis develop at 3 where I thinks he's more comfortable. Give Bragg Diallo a real chance. Stop being so stubborn running an unworkable high-low all the time. Let Mason Seden slash and burn with Bragg Diallo protecting rim. I dunno. His Majesty HCBS makes money more in a year than I've made in a lifetime so......

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 3 months ago

A quick look at the rankings indicates there are no real beast this year. Nova, Carolina, Sparty, and Maryland are good teams but not prohibitive final four teams. It's hard to believe in Xavier and A&M. Iowa is this years Wisconsin.

That brings us to the Big 12. West Virginia is dangerous but nobody ever won a championship on energy alone (see Wichita St.) KU has experience and talent... and holes even the biggest Jayhawk fans can't ignore! We're overly reliant on three's and, if he still had eligibility, I'm pretty sure Christian Moody would start ahead of our 17 other bigs. If I had to put money on one team making the final four RIGHT NOW, I'd bet on OU. My eyes tell me they're the best of a pretty good bunch.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow....The Chicken Littles really lost it over this win.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.