Oklahoma State defeats Kansas, 84-79

  • 11 a.m., Feb. 3, 2018
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Saturday Stunner: Jayhawks upset, ‘whipped’ by Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhouse

Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff (12) delivers a dunk during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Oklahoma State forward Cameron McGriff (12) delivers a dunk during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Five years and a day after Marcus Smart's backflip on the Allen Fieldhouse floor put an exclamation point on a surprising Oklahoma State victory over Kansas, Smart's alma mater left Lawrence on Saturday with a downright shocking 84-79 victory that put a serious damper on the daylong celebration of 120 years of Kansas basketball.

The Cowboys on Saturday played tougher, executed better, looked quicker and completely controlled the game from start to finish, leading for 37:35 of a game that Kansas somehow found a way to make close at the end.

To be fair, that is what Kansas does. Even in the most dire situations during the past couple of seasons, Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk have been a part of some pretty big comebacks and mind-boggling efforts, the kind that have left the program with the general feeling that no matter how things look on the scoreboard, if there's time, there's a chance.

Saturday, the Jayhawks just were not able to make the right plays late to steal a victory that so clearly belonged to the other side.

“To think we had a chance to be in that game if we scored (late) was pretty amazing to me,” KU coach Bill Self said after the loss, his 13th all-time at Allen Fieldhouse and KU's third home defeat this season. “Because I thought we got whipped in pretty much every facet.”

When asked how it happened, Self pointed to a variety of factors and, seemingly, could have gone on for days. So many of the traits that led to Saturday's OSU victory were those that generally have been true about Self's Jayhawks.

“Poised, fast, athletic, tougher,” Self began. “When you force them to play the way they play, up the line, always denying, all that stuff. That may mess teams up some, but that's not what the purpose is. The purpose is to make your guys tougher and harder and faster and to be alert. That's the purpose of that.

“It's not to say, 'We're going to do this against this team so we take them out of offense.' That's not it. You do it against that team and the end result may be taking (away) their offense but the mindset is, ‘This is who we are, this is how we play.’ They play tough. They play very tough.”

The seventh-ranked Jayhawks (18-5 overall, 7-3 Big 12) certainly have done that at times this season, and they even did it at times on Saturday. But that type of identity has not fully taken root with this entire team, and it cost Kansas against Oklahoma State.

“There's Svi and there's Devonte’,” Self said, noting that Graham scored 17 points and dished eight assists in 40 minutes on Saturday while dealing with a bone bruise on his knee that kept him out of practice most of the week. “Those guys, God, they give their heart and soul to every game. If everybody else was committed like those guys, I think we would perform a little bit better.”

Behind the power of 8-of-18 shooting from 3-point range, an incredibly uncharacteristic mark for one of the conference's worst 3-point shooting teams, Oklahoma State (14-9, 4-6) built a lead of as many as 18 points in the first half and went into the locker room with a lead in the teens.

OSU big man Mitchell Solomon even hit one — his fourth 3-point make in 25 attempts this season — early in the second half with the shot clock winding down and OSU in a bad spot.

Although the Cowboys' hot shooting was eye-popping enough — OSU finished at 51.6 percent for the game, 12 of 27 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range — it was made even more impressive by the fact that the Cowboys limited Kansas to just one first-half 3-pointer, and that came on the first possession of the game.

The Jayhawks missed their next eight shots from behind the arc before finally hitting their second triple of the game at the 18:23 mark of the second half.

Between that and the furious finish in which Kansas used a late 12-4 run to pull within a single possession (82-79) with 14 seconds to play, it was the Cowboys who got just about anything they wanted, be it in the form of tough jumpers late in the shot clock, rebounds at an alarming rate that led to a 41-28 advantage on the boards and a 26-7 edge in second-chance points or, of all things, sloppy turnovers by Kansas.

One of the biggest came with 23 seconds to play, when Mykhailiuk's tough pass intended for Marcus Garrett was picked off, negating the lift KU got from Oklahoma State missing the front end of one-and-one free-throw opportunities twice in the last 30 seconds.

“That was just a bad play,” said Self of Mykhailiuk's miscue. “He was just trying too hard. Was he open for a second? Yeah. But the pass had no chance to get through. It was just a bad play.”

Although that one proved to be the dagger, a dose of foreshadowing for Saturday's outcome came a few minutes earlier.

With just less than four minutes to play, the Jayhawks fell victim to one of those bounces that sure made it seem like a comeback might not be in the cards.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self after loss to Oklahoma State: 'We got what we deserved'

After an 84-79 home loss to Oklahoma State, Kansas coach Bill Self discussed his team's problems with defensive rebounding, why he thought the Jayhawks played slow and KU's small margin of error in conference play.

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With Malik Newman hounding OSU guard Kendall Smith above the 3-point line, Newman poked the ball away from Smith (24 points) as he tried to make a move. Most days, it would've been an easy steal and a turnover for the Cowboys. Saturday, the bouncing ball found its way right to Cameron McGriff (20 points, nine rebounds), who found nothing but open space between him and the rim. Instead of Kansas going the other way with a chance to cut the game to a two-possession deficit with more than three minutes to play, McGriff punished the rim and gave OSU a 78-67 lead.

Although no one knew it at the time, that, essentially, was the big blow that put the Cowboys over the top, as OSU continued to execute down the stretch the way it had all game to deliver coach Mike Boynton a rare victory in Allen Fieldhouse in his first try.

Said Boynton of achieving something that legendary OSU coach Eddie Sutton never could: “I don't know if I want to be trying to say I'm as good as him. I've got a long way to go. I'm at 14 (wins) now and he won 800 and something. He won a lot more places than I have.”

Said Self, summing up his team's subpar effort: “I love our team. I love our guys. But there's not much margin for error out there. And when one guy doesn't bring it or one guy has some mental lapses or whatever, it's magnified more with us. … Hey, we could win four in a row in this league or you could lose four in a row. It's been proven by other teams. The league is so good and if you just don't bring it at all and the other team plays well, you're going to get beat.”

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oklahoma State

By the Numbers: Oklahoma State 84, Kansas 79.

By the Numbers: Oklahoma State 84, Kansas 79.


John Brazelton 4 years, 10 months ago

Self needs to call more time outs and re-set the team in the first half. Never should have go into half time 18 points behind. I think Self has a mental hang-up when playing OSU.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 10 months ago

KU was 13 points behind, not 18. They were behind by 18 at one point, but it was 13 at halftime.

And teams only get four timeouts for the entire game, so there are not a lot of options there.

Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 10 months ago

Getting the ball; we don’t value blocking off an opposing player or having hands ready to catch it. Doke had 20 points today; but about 5 more rebounds and we probably win. One possession in the 1st half sums it up: shot clock winding down, the Cowboys step back for a 3 just before the clock violation; Dok and Svi are standing in front of 1 OSU player; on the other side of the basket are 2 OSU players. So of course, Dok helps Svi block off one guy (Svi had him just fine); the ball comes off the rim soft, right in front, and the OSU kid couldn’t have had an easier rebound and stick back. If Dok just swings around in front of the basket, he probably gets the board. This season could still be a great story; but it will be a sad one if we can’t make these simple, ball sending plays.

4 years, 10 months ago

john: pay attention. we were down 13 at half.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 10 months ago

There's no sugarcoating this loss in any way.

[1] We lost at home for a third time this season (four if you count the UW loss in KC).

[2] We lost to a team that entered the game with 9 losses and that was 3 games below .500 in Big 12 play.

[3] We lost to a coach who had never before won an away game until now.

[4] We not only lost but got our asses kicked almost all the way through, trailing by as many as eighteen - EIGHTEEN!!!!!!!! - to this 9-loss OSU team with a rookie head coach.

F-minuses all the way around, from the coaching staff who didn't do jack-squat to get the team ready, to the players who clearly have no pride in defending Allen Fieldhouse.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 10 months ago

No Stops. No Stops. No Stops.

Thats it. OSU got every shot they wanted today. And when they missed, they chased down the rebound.

After finishing 7-2 to start the conference season, it's certainly a buzz kill. My faith in this team just isnt there. They're not consistent enough.

Robert Brock 4 years, 10 months ago

The Jayhawks stunk their own place up in every way. It’s like they kept hitting the snooze button.

Doug Clark 4 years, 10 months ago

Lagerald Vick needs to get his head out of his you know what and acts like he gives a crap. I am sorry to say this team is so limited that I think this play good one game and then horrible the next will continue until this season is over. I know we play 4 quards but I am so tired of that excuse as to why we aren't a good rebounding team, rebounding is about effort and timing and these guys don't put out the effort to rebound, especially at home. There wee several times the ball went right to a guy off a shot and he just got an easy put back, this team needs to realize that Allen fieldhouse is not their savior, they need to put out maximum effort.

Jacob Zutterman 4 years, 10 months ago

I’ve never seen such an athletically gifted team that gives suck poor effort. We give 85% on O, 60% on D, & 10% on the boards, maybe less. Every time a shot goes up, we have 4 guys running to the other side of yh court. Zero effort to box someone out, find a man, or crash the board. Flat out embarrassing

Jerry Walker 4 years, 10 months ago

“I think we get a little comfortable,” Kansas guard Malik Newman said. “We came out lackadaisical, not playing with much energy or effort. We dug ourselves a hole and it was hard to dig out of.”

I get it that playing college basketball at an elite university with huge expectations is not all that easy. But....

It's damned unbelievable that they can give such a shameful lack of effort. They're treated like celebrities on campus - live in a palace with every need catered - and provided with the very best training and medical staff.

Losses happen. But they should never be due to giving less than maximum effort...especially at home in front of 16K raucous fans. It's gut-check time for this bunch of Jayhawks after laying that egg against a conference tailender.

Edward Daub 4 years, 10 months ago

Who is this guy Kendall Smith who controlled the game? He is a graduate transfer from Cal State Northridge!

Cameron "Crime Dog" McGriff was also tough down on the blocks, and Mitchell played with the "Wisdom of Solomon"!

No Excuses. The Cowboys flat out beat the Jayhawks.

Amazing we almost caught up, they missed the front end of 2 1and1's , but by then the clock was below 1 Minute to Play.

Kent Richardson 4 years, 10 months ago

Everyone is right but what can coach do when he has no options? Our seven are it and when they don't execute that's the bottom line. We got outplayed and there was nothing we could do about it yesterday.

It was so bad in the first half that being down only 18 at one point and 13 at the half was a blessing. We were not cohesive and when that happens someone needed to step up until we got it together. Missed layups, missed threes and allowing second chance points were enough to have us down by 25 to 30.

Our conference leading three point defense of about 29% coming in was exposed as a lie. We gave up the same wide open ones which we always have. They hit them and we didn't match or exceed the makes like we usually do.

At one point during our second half rally we forced or they made 7 turnovers in 10 straight possessions. We cut it down to seven points but missed shot after shot, made bad passes and poor ball handling mistakes. Then the lead went repeatedly up to double digits again.

We just didn't have it in us this game. We may be different next game if we hit shots. We have out skilled a lot of teams this season as our record shows and we are skilled. We are out muscled and undersized by every conference team.

We need to be scrappy and quick on defense and hit shots. When we don't we are subject to defeat.

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