Friday, December 29, 2017

Notebook: Marcus Garrett earns spot in starting lineup; De Sousa travels but awaits certification

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) strip a ball from Texas forward Mohamed Bamba (4) during the first half on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) strip a ball from Texas forward Mohamed Bamba (4) during the first half on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.


Austin, Texas — Marcus Garrett sure has impeccable timing.

After making the first start of his career in KU's home opener this season against Tennessee State on Nov. 10, Garrett picked up his second start on Friday night in the Jayhawks' Big 12 opener at Texas.

Garrett, who entered Friday's 92-86 Kansas victory averaging 20.7 minutes per game in 12 appearances, started in place of sophomore guard Malik Newman, who also came off the bench during Garrett's first start.

Self said after the victory that Newman currently has a bad foot, but added that Newman's ailment was not why Garrett earned the start.

“We just wanted to try something different to give us some energy,” Self said. “And I thought Marcus actually played pretty well.”

It might purely have been coincidence or maybe the start proved to be a boost of confidence for Garrett, who had struggled offensively during KU's most recent games but looked more comfortable on that end in this one.

Never was that more true than midway during the first half when he caught the ball behind the 3-point line and attacked the rim instead of looking jump shot. As he got to the rim, two bigger Longhorns elevated with him, but Garrett dipped under them and came out on the other side of the basket to finish the reverse layup that put Kansas up 22-17.

“I've been telling him he needs to do that a lot more,” senior Devonte' Graham said. “Just being aggressive and not being so passive. You know, he's still trying to find himself and where he can attack and get off within the system, but he's been doing a great job being active defensively, guarding the four man and little things like that.”

For the game, Garrett finished with two points, three rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals in 18 minutes.

Zone defense

They did not use it much, but enough to make a difference.

For a handful of possessions during Friday's victory, the Jayhawks employed a 2-3 zone that produced a mixed bag of results.

Kansas recorded steal on the first possession of its zone and forced a shot clock violation on the second possession.

“We just tried to use it the first half when we thought they had rhythm,” Self said of the 2-3 zone.

Silvio in the house

Newcomer Silvio De Sousa, a second-semester freshman from IMG Academy in Florida, was with the team on Friday night but did not play.

De Sousa, who still must have his amateurism certified by the NCAA before being eligible to compete in a game, went through pregame shoot-around and warm-ups in a track suit, bobbing his head to the music on the loud speaker and rebounding for teammates.

“He couldn't sit on the bench,” Self said. “How about that. He traveled but can't sit on the bench. But I think he was excited to kind of see kind of what it's like.”


Newcomer Silvio DeSousa talks with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend prior to tipoff against Texas on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Self vs. Smart

Third-year UT coach Shaka Smart remained winless in five attempts against Kansas coach Bill Self since joining the Big 12 Conference. But Smart's all-time record against KU's head coach has the one win that probably means the most.

That came back in 2011 when Smart's VCU squad defeated Self's Jayhawks 71-61 in the Elite Eight in San Antonio.

As for the overall series between KU and UT, that dates back to 1938, it's been a mostly one-sided affair in favor of the Jayhawks.

That's not to say the two teams have not waged some memorable battles. Chief among them are four matchups in the Big 12 tournament title game, with KU winning all four by a combined 28 points.

This and that...

KU's Friday night victory in Austin pushed the Jayhawks winning streak in conference openers to 27 games, a stretch that dates back to the Big Eight days of the 1991-92 season... The Jayhawks now have won eight straight against the Longhorns and lead the all-time series, 30-8... Kansas is 10-6 all-time in games played in Austin and Bill Self is now 20-8 overall in head-to-head matchups with UT.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas

By the Numbers: Kansas 92, Texas 86

By the Numbers: Kansas 92, Texas 86


Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

It sure seemed like more than a handful of possessions we were in the zone. It worked out well I thought. I sure hope we get Billy and Silvio soon. We were shooting lights out with our three ball game and still only won by two possessions and got out rebounded. We need some tall beef down low!

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Did anyone else think that the post-game greeting between the coaches was particularly chilly?

Looked like Self said "Nice game" as they were approaching and Smart practically ran past. Or maybe I'm just imagining things.

Also wish there was more insight into the T. I think every time I've seen Coach get T'd, he absolutely earned it, and was fully intent on getting it as a matter of impacting the team positively. Smart on the other hand just looked dumbfounded.

In totally tangential news, was anybody surprised when Marcus Smart flopped into drawing 2 O fouls on the Beard? The second one in particular. Somethings never change.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

"Smart looked dumbfounded."

Nice play on words, Dirk. :)

Marcia Parsons 4 years, 9 months ago

KU announcers said the technical was for being out of the coaching box. He had been warned once but kept it up after the warning. If Smart was surprised, it was because he didn't think Higgins would do it.

Doug Clark 4 years, 9 months ago

Shaka Smart looks like that Everytime I have seen him get a technical, he was obviously still pissed after the game and also probably because he hasn't been able to beat ku yet since he came into the league. In my opinion he is overmatched as far as coaching in this league and I think that's why he has that dumbfounded look to him, I really think he is better at a lesser school without the big time recruits and plays the pressing style, he doesn't seem like he is a very good half court offensive coach, if they didn't have that freak athlete Bamba they would have got destroyed last night.

J.L. Forge 4 years, 9 months ago

Guards came to play, that's for sure! Perimeter defense looked much better against some pretty active guards from Texas. Our rebounding will vastly improve adding another body or two. Dok just isn't an instinctual rebounder, shot blocker or defender in the paint. Hoping he can pick up a few things after watching the film from Bamba. That dude just has great defensive instincts to protect the interior, hoping Dok continues to improve in that area. Great overall game though, HCBS even had a consistent mix between man and zone D! Strong road win against a pretty tough squad. Rock Chalk!

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 9 months ago

Bilas was pretty outspoken regarding the ref's actions surrounding the Shaka Smart T. I've heard criticism of foul calls, etc. plenty of times by a commentator, but can't remember such a harsh tirade about an official's actions like that. ESPN didn't choose to show a replay of it either, that I saw. That may say something. Regardless, it had little or no bearing on the outcome of the game, so.....

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 9 months ago

Shaka Smart was close to getting a technical throughout the game. On one occasion beyond the half court line, the ref turned around and glared at him. I think that it was in the first half, and a time out shortly ensued. The ref went over to Smart and the camera followed him. You could tell that he gave Smart a warning.

The one loss to Coach Smart occurred almost 7 years ago, so let it go. I suppose that if KU continues to beat him while he is at Texas, we still will be harping on 2010 forever. It's kind of like the year we lost at TCU, and Coach Self made a reference to playing like a YMCA team. That clip was still being played when KU played at TCU last year. Hopefully, now that TCU's program is on the rebound, the past can be put to rest.

When Smart got his technical, he appeared to want an explanation, and the ref came over and calmly gave his explanation. However, in the middle of the explanation, Smart turned around and walked away, which I think was an act of disrespect. The ref followed him and that is what Bilas objected to.

I generally like Jay Bilas as an announcer, and he has always been highly respectful of KU. However, in this instance, I think that he was wrong.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 9 months ago

It was refreshing listening to Jay Bilas do the game .He is very knowledgeable and knows the game and most important talks about the game . Bill Walton he is not and thank god for that.He will do the Tech game on Tuesday as well so we already won...

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 9 months ago

Harlan Imo Jay was right , It is not an officials place to be confrontational with a coach or player.Smart didn't like the call so be it ....but he is not obligated to stand there no longer than he felt he should .The officials should not be bigger than the game and for an official to follow a coach to back to his bench crosses the line . The official place was to walk away until time to resume play

Doug Clark 4 years, 9 months ago

Smart was warned earlier in the game so he probably deserved the technical, he kept griping at the ref and said something else that really pissed off the ref and walked away and the ref followed him asking Smart if he wanted to stay in the game or wanted a 2nd technical, I agree with Jay bilas that the ref shouldn't have followed him to the huddle, but Shaka Smart acts like a little baby and never thinks he deserves a tech, I have seen it several times when he has gotten a tech, he stands there with that dumb look on his face and keeps complaining.

Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 9 months ago

I still think an ESPN quick decision was made not to re-play the interaction. They would never want to intentionally put a referee in a negative light when it would probably be too controversial. The coach's actions and reactions are always captured and shown. But, this situation involved the ref's involvement that was to have become confrontational from his angle, not Smart's,

Of course, the Bilas comments were nowhere as inappropriate as the Dan Dakich comments regarding the ref's having bias toward higher ranked, more prestigious programs, as he said a couple of games ago.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 9 months ago

No offense Mallory, but we can just agree to disagree. When you try to show up the ref, you are asking for trouble. The same is true in every other sport.

Bilas is entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us, but the fact is that he couldn't see the particulars other than he saw the ref follow Smart.

Frankly, it's not that big a deal to me, and like I said, I almost always prefer Bilas over any of the other color analysts, especially Bill Walton whom you mentioned, as well as Dickie V and Dan Dakich. They are mostly into self promotion while Bilas gives much better insights into what we are watching.

J.L. Forge 4 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, it seemed to me like Smart was throwing a tantrum and didn't like what he was being told and stormed off. If you are gonna flap your gums at the official to a point of drawing a T, be prepared to hear what he says. The official sat there and listened to Smart then seemed to offer his take on things and it was shortly after that when Smart just walked off. I'd be a little hot after listening to his crying and when I tried to explain my reasoning for the call he walks off. Who knows what was said, but from my armchair position at home, I certainly didn't see anything to show the official was blatantly wrong.

Brian Babcock 4 years, 9 months ago

My guess is that when Smart turned away he said something, shall we say, not nice and the ref followed saying something like, "You want to repeat that?"

Totally agree on having Bilas over those other announcers.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Harlan I like your take on both our opinions . And its great that we have this forum to express our thoughts and opinions Hope you have a safe New Years and may 2018 be a prosperous one for you and your family

Len Shaffer 4 years, 9 months ago

"... Smart's all-time record against KU's head coach has the one win that probably means the most."


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