Saturday, February 23, 2019

Jayhawks demolished by Red Raiders in worst conference loss under Bill Self

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is surrounded by fans running onto the court after Texas Tech defeated Kansas 91-62 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is surrounded by fans running onto the court after Texas Tech defeated Kansas 91-62 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)


Lubbock, Texas — Three weeks ago, after his team’s 16-point loss to Kansas in Lawrence, Texas Tech coach Chris Beard called Allen Fieldhouse and the KU environment, “a hornet’s nest,” and said he knew his team was walking into a tough situation that day.

If that was Lawrence the last time these two met, sold-out United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday was one of those YouTube videos featuring an alligator eating a hornet’s nest and a shark then eating that alligator.

From start to finish in a game with major Big 12 title implications, 14th-ranked Texas Tech dominated No. 12 Kansas, leading by 25 at halftime before cruising to a 91-62 victory that put a dent in KU’s hopes of winning another Big 12 title.

“It felt like we never got going and we played on our heels the whole game,” sophomore guard K.J. Lawson said after scoring 8 points in 20 minutes in the loss. “We didn’t hit them in the mouth and we weren’t aggressive the whole game.”

The 29-point loss was the worst to a Big 12 opponent in the Bill Self era — topping the previous mark of 25 against Texas in 2006 — and, although Self said his team “contributed” to Texas Tech’s strong effort with poor play of its own, Self and the Jayhawks could do little more than tip their beaks to the Red Raiders for a monster offensive performance.

Texas Tech (22-5 overall, 10-4 Big 12) made 16 of 26 3-pointers — second recently only to Villanova’s mark of 18 in last season’s Final Four — and outrebounded the Jayhawks 30-23 while winning the war of second-chance points 11-3 as a result.

“They’d have beaten anybody in the country tonight,” Self said of the Red Raiders, who won for just the sixth time in the all-time series with Kansas.

Throughout the game, Self and his coaching staff searched for some way to slow Texas Tech down. But nothing, from switching everything to hedging hard and even playing zone on defense, seemed to work.

“When they go four guards it changes what we do,” Self said. “We played the percentages in some ways and they burned us, and after we got discombobulated it didn’t make any difference what we did. After we started changing what we were doing we just became very poor at everything we did.”

There were signs of what kind of night was ahead for Kansas in the very early going. Texas Tech hit 7 of its first 8 shots and 9 of its first 14 to open a 24-10 advantage in the first eight minutes of the game.

TTU sophomore Jarrett Culver, who responded to a rough, turnover-ridden game in Lawrence with a 26-point, 0-turnover outing on Saturday night, hit 3-of-8 from 3-point range, including a banked-in 3-pointer in the game’s first 5 minutes to give Texas Tech an early 12-4 lead.

No amount of preparation in the world can brace a team for shots like that to go in and both Dedric Lawson (14 points, 5 rebounds) and Self said they felt the Jayhawks were ready to play but simply could not overcome Tech’s red-hot shooting.

“When you come in and guys make shots like (that), it’s kind of like a backbreaker,” Dedric Lawson said. “Sometimes you lose confidence when you see shots like that go in.”

Texas Tech senior Matt Mooney also banked one in during the second half — although the game was far out of reach out that point — causing freshman David McCormack (8 points, 4 rebounds, 16 minutes) to grimace and pain and Mooney to do his best Michael-Jordan-against-Portland-in-the-NBA-Finals shoulder shrug.

The sharp-shooting Mooney finished with 13 points and 6 assists in 31 minutes and was one of six Red Raiders to hit two or more 3-pointers in Saturday’s victory.

“Whenever you have three guys make three 3s and none of them take more than four, that’s pretty impressive,” Self said.

While the Red Raiders remained red hot from start to finish, Kansas continued to suffer through a series of gut-wrenching errors that both kept the Jayhawks from ever being in the game and inspired Self to routinely hinge at the waste and throw his hands down while trying to decipher what went wrong.

Charges and turnovers and airballs, oh my.

For a little perspective, Texas Tech scored its 50th point with 17:47 to play in the second half. Kansas did not get to 50 until the 6:04 mark of the second half. And the two free throws by David McCormack that got them there merely cut Texas Tech’s lead to 30 points.

That fact made a transition dunk by Texas Tech senior Tariq Owens, which put the Red Raiders up 63-40 at the 11:53 mark of the second half, the de facto game winner for the Red Raiders.

“They found something and they just stuck to it,” sophomore Marcus Garrett said after scoring 9 points in his first game back since injuring his left ankle just before KU’s last game against Texas Tech, six games ago.

Even Tech’s mistakes seemed to turn in their favor.

Early in the second half, with the TTU fan base grumbling after KU trimmed the lead to 20, Matt Mooney nearly lost the ball in front of the Texas Tech bench. Instead of it sailing out of bounds or falling into Devon Dotson’s hands, adding to the KU momentum, Mooney raced to track down the bouncing ball, saved it along the baseline to Brandone Francis, who quickly hot-potatoed a pass to Norense Odiase for a two-handed, monster jam and a 22-point Texas Tech lead.

“We (were) prepared,” K.J. Lawson said after the loss. “But sometimes you get a flat tire. We had a bad game as a team.”

For a team that has talked all season about watching its margin for error get smaller and smaller, the Jayhawks have reached the point now, where they can’t have any more setbacks if they hope to extend their streak of Big 12 regular season titles to 15 in a row in the next couple of weeks.

“I don’t really even pay attention to that stuff,” Dedric Lawson said after Saturday’s loss. “I just take it one game at a time. If you don’t win the game that you’re in, it don’t mean nothing.”


Tony Bandle 3 years, 4 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Was at a family function so I missed seeing the game......I owe that relative a special Xmas present next December.

2] As Tom Cruise's friend said in the movie, Risky Business, "Sometimes you just have to say what the ####!!" .

3] The good news is KU will most likely play all their NCAA Tourney Games on neutral courts so they will be unstoppable and win the Championship the one year they don't win the conference.

4] When is the last game KU had only one guy in double figures. I've been a Jayhawk since 1966 and I can't remember any. Was it with Wilt???

5] Jay......the sky may not be falling but the ceiling is getting pretty damn low!!!

Robert G Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Although I realize that Garrett is a good player, if one notices that they played better without him and with Dotson getting fewer minutes, it takes away one of the best shooters on the team. Then Ochai had a bad night out, shooting wise and the whole team seemed to fail to go to the basket for rebounds.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

THE TRUTH HURTS: It's not just Garrett. Bottom line Bill Self is being out coached! We were not prepared. The same things are happening over and over again and our team is not adjusting. Similar to last year’s season ending game against Villanova, we got beat by four guards. We lost the rebounding battle 30 to 23 and had 13 turnovers to their 8. But more telling is TTU’s 19 assists to KU’s 8 and KU shooting just 45% to TT’s 60%. And yes, Garrett and Grimes are taking minutes away from better performing players. They need to ride pine and become role players at this point!
So, what you have to bring away from the game is several things.
1. KU’s guards are not prepared to defend against teams with four good guards that can shoot. KU does not have four guards that can shoot let alone play defense and KU is not learning to defend the perimeter well. Deranged way to look at it, but If we let TTU drive and get 2 on those 16 three's the game would have been 16 points closer. Against teams like this KU needs to just step outside and get into their face and defend the three. Sometimes we should change from traditional thinking and maybe just let them have room to the bucket in order to defend the perimeter. Better twos than threes in some cases!
2. KU is unwilling to bench higher rated players that are not performing. Grimes and Garrett once again were absent in production. KU had guards with less minutes combine for more production. Not good!
3. KU is not learning to play its best lineup. KU should make other teams play our game and not be forced into a four guard offense. KU’s preferred guards are not performing. And until they demonstrate they can, KU should start the best lineup and just develop, tweak, and support what works rather than playing the same lineup thing over and over and over praying the players come out of their funk.
Every time I post suggestions I get hammered with ….are you a better coach than BS crap ta da ta da! BUT THE TRUTH HURTS, Bill Self is one of the best coaches period! However it is obvious that this year he is not adjusting. Could it be too many distractions!?

Micky Baker 3 years, 4 months ago

Maybe it's being short the two best players on this team, and another with the potential to be the 3rd best had a terrible attitude and wasn't a good teammate. Yeah, it could be the distractions too. We just don't have the personnel.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

How is it we are not supposed to have the personnel though? Who's fault is that?

Tom Jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Spot on.

Can't believe Self hurt Dok's wrist, paid Silvio's guardian and created the family issue that Vick has to deal with.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't see how you can blame Marcus in ANY way. His defense and tenacious effort might not show up in the record book but you seem to ignore his impact.

Outcoached? Sh** happens. Vick, Silvio, Udoka and the poor play of our top five recruiting class. Let's not forget that guess what? We beat Tech fairly easily in Lawrence, And look how well Self did in signing Mason, Graham and now Agbaji before other Division I coaches ever had a chance.

I think getting this team to the Sweet 16 would be remarkable. It's a long way off from preseason expectations but who could foresee what was coming?

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Apologies. When using DragonDictate, I need to do a much better job of editing.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 4 months ago

Tech is a better team, we are a wounded team. Be thankful we will probably still have a shot entering the tournament. But lower your expectation. NIT is more probable. This young team is not the same as that of UK's or Dookie's. More important is next year will be hopefully a better season. Rock Chalk!

J.L. Forge 3 years, 4 months ago

NIT more probable? I would hardly agree with that assessment although their poor play may make many think that's all they are capable of. They are absolutely a NCAA tourney team, probably coming in as a 5-6 seed this year depending on their finish thru the Big 12 tourney. Next year will definitely be a better season for us spoiled Hawk fans!

Bryce Landon 3 years, 4 months ago

NIT? Come on, man, we were bad last night, but we're not NIT bad!

Tony Bandle 3 years, 4 months ago

Steve..not to pile on, but this may be the most ridiculous post of the year! [Sorry, I guess that was piling on].

Don't let this one game color the whole season. KU has beat a hell of a lot of Top 25 teams. We lost both our lynch pin centers. There are a half dozen guys in the rotation playing Div 1 for the first time. I could go on and on about injuries, departures, etc. but you guys know it all already. I will say, if Bill gets this team into the Sweet Sixteen, it will be one of his best coaching jobs at Kansas.

Sit back and just enjoy the ride.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

It's still February. Plenty of time for far worse on overstatement day after a loss. I'm sure Bryce will top that several times before this season is over.

Damn, I really thought we were legit this year.

John Kelley 3 years, 4 months ago

I believe Kansas will make the NCAA Tournament but you don't get brownie points because players are hurt, you win or you don't. I read this from someone "Get Bill Self to come here because I think the KU run is done" talking about the Phoenix Suns, he may be right.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 4 months ago

I haven't given up on our team yet. But I like surprises and us to be the underdog in the tourney. There's still hope, for sure. But our kids have to show their hunger, their energy, their no-fear, their beast mode. I keep repeating, they have to play as if every game is their last game. No matter how much potential players we've got, HOF coach - those players have to show their best, our coach has to come up with the best strategy defending 3s; come tourney time, you'll see plenty of teams shooting the lights out from downtown. Guaranteed.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't like the zone much but Coach Self has effectively used the zone with his hybrid box and one or the 1-3-1 in the past

Max Ledom 3 years, 4 months ago

Everything was bad tonight.

But for the life of me I can’t understand why Grimes starts and plays so many minutes. It hasn’t worked all season. Mix it up, take him off the bench and see how he reacts. Maybe Bill is scared benching him will destroy any confidence he has left, but to me our team is hurt with him on the floor. He doesn’t get to the line, he doesn’t shoot the ball, he doesn’t drive the ball, he just hasn’t been good. I feel terrible for the kid but maybe try coming off the bench. Maybe it’ll slow the game down for him.

Of course I am not coach Self nor will I pretend to be. I’m sure he knows what’s best. But it’s an idea.

J.L. Forge 3 years, 4 months ago

Agreed! I've wondered for several months now why Coach keeps running Grimes out there. It must be that he is concerned that his fragile confidence will be completely crushed if he comes off the bench. I think, as you mentioned, it might do him some good and take some pressure off of him. Additionally, his play can't get any worse or more inconsistent and the team should come first. I would have no problem with Garrett starting in place of Grimes. Like you said, hopefully Coach knows what is best and there is a method at work. lol

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Grimes was that good last year. No one had him playing this poorly. I think Self doesn't want to get too far away from his comfort zone and still believes that Grimes is just a shot away from getting his game back.

If it works, he'll be a genius.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 4 months ago

"Grimes was that good last year."

What on earth are you talking about??? Do you mean he was that good as a HIGH SCHOOL player??? There are thousands upon thousands of cases over the years of great high school players not being very good on the collegiate level. That's completely irrelevant to the current situation.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you actually think that most of these kids are ranked based on their high school performance? You'll find your share of scouts at high school games but you'll find far more at the AAU games.

These kids get recruited on how well they have played on AAU teams and coaching clinics. It is the basis of how well recruits are ranked. How well does it do? About as well as the NBA does is there draft.

Chris Condren 3 years, 4 months ago

Going into the game KU had a plan....then they got punched in the mouth and it was all over.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 4 months ago

“We (were) prepared,” K.J. Lawson said after the loss. “But sometimes you get a flat tire. We had a bad game as a team.”

Prepared? Sure you weren't, K.J. And no, that was not a flat tire, that was a car getting hit by a 200-car freight train!

Seriously, how the hell do you show up like that when you've had a week off to prepare for the game and when you knew what was at stake? What was really going on during practice this past week?

Edward Daub 3 years, 4 months ago

Bryce, you took the words right out of Gary Dolphin's mouth. The blow out was part of a plan to make KState cocky for Big Monday. Strategy?

Chris DeWeese 3 years, 4 months ago

This team is pretty young, so it doesn't surprise me that they still don't get it. Unfortunately, some of these guys just aren't very tough. Give them another year and some more experience and I think we'll see some improvement.

Jason Venable 3 years, 4 months ago

Almost reminiscent of Self's teams when playing TT when Knight was there. Really bad losses.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

I hated the losses to Oklahoma State even more. Beating Bobby Knight is always tough even at Texas Tech where he averaged 21 wins per season.

But the OSU losses were inexplicable other than that Self is an Oklahoma State graduate and a former player. I do not think Self has ever thrown a game but maybe he lacked that killer instinct against his former alma mater

Brad Watson 3 years, 4 months ago

Look for the sunny side of things ....This team will learn a lot of valuable lessons from this loss...yes...we lost ...what IMO think was a championship our chances are slim now..but we are not dead...we can still win the Big 12 tournament and win the The NCAA Tournament.......What was learned can't just show up and expect to win...Texas Tech was ready for this game...their fans were was going to be tough to win...even if we played great....we played with no fire......we just were not ready to match the incredible energy in their building last night...but we can rebound...HUSTLE WINS...HUSTLE TRAVELS......if we out HUSTLE ...everyone we play.... from this point forward...we will be fine....always look for the sunshine...even in the lowest moments......find the positives......and learn not to repeat the negatives...we have a young group....these are important lessons...and last night the team got an education.

Chris DeWeese 3 years, 4 months ago

At this point, we'll be lucky to make it to the field of 32.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think this team believes it has any chance of winning it all.

Brad Watson 3 years, 4 months ago

Duke beat Kentucky by 30....Kentucky now is a No. 1 seed.....Kentucky lead Tennesseee by 30 late...won by over 20...Tenn was No. 1 at the time...Louisville beat UNC by 30....we beat Texas Tech by over 20 at home...and we played poorly...funny year...lots of blowouts...but we can...and we will rebound from this...

Brad Watson 3 years, 4 months ago

Michigan beat Villanova by 30 in Philly lots of unusual....strange....blowouts this year...and there are more...too many to mention

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

As I've stated before Brad, I admire your optimism. With BS as our head coach, we've been excellent during the regular season. Probably the best team several years under our coach.

It reminds me of the Atlanta Braves back in the 90s and early 2000s under Bobby Cox. They won the division titles an unprecedented 14 consecutive times. They obviously made the playoffs and had several trips to the World Series coming away with winning it all back in '96.

Atlanta is by far one of the worst 'bad luck' cities when it comes down to its professional teams. But that's a different subject.

Mike Tackett 3 years, 4 months ago

Brad, please help me. Win the NCAA? So far it appears this team has learned very little. I think one win in the NCAA would be the ceiling for this team. Watching the Hawks for over 50 years and that's the worst so far. You learn when you show progress, like beating good teams on their court. We have yet to do that. Sorry.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Positivism, even in the face of overwhelming proof to the negative, is an admiral trait.

Not one that I share.

Chad Durbin 3 years, 4 months ago

All is not lost, and the sky hasn’t fallen completely, however it is important to remember that 4 freshmen started and 1 first year player. These are for the most part kids, 18-20 y.o, playing on a national stage, with the weight of the KU world on them to bring home the 15th consecutive title. The last time a HCBS team saw a lights out shooting team like that was the final 4 loss to Nova! The team was prepared, but so was the team that lost to Nova, the difference was the experience of the players. Anything can happen in the Big 12 title race, and it isn’t over. I am betting that the Phog will be rock’n when K-St comes a knock’n, and The Hawks will either come out flat or with a chip on their shoulders. I would hate to be Bruce Weber coming into this environment.... the streak may eventually end, but this team will rebound and remember last nights loss. I am still a proud Jayhawk fan for life!

Brad Watson 3 years, 4 months ago

I have confidence that we will bounce back and have great effort moving forward

Barry Weiss 3 years, 4 months ago

I went into this one thinking we would either win a close one or lose by up to 10....but a 30 point beat down?? No way. That game reminded me of the one Kentucky throttled us on several years ago and also the Nova lights out shooting loss. Last night we were beat on the boards, had more turnovers, and Tech shot 60% from the field and 60% from beyond the arch. Those numbers are unbelievable. I think we bounce back with a win Monday night against K-State.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

Arizona coming back from a 20 point deficit at Allen Fieldhouse always sticks in my mind after games like this.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 4 months ago

So we only win 14 consecutive conference titles instead of 15.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

It's a pretty remarkable achievement. It reminds me of the Braves back in the 90s.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 4 months ago

Or 13 if the NCAA acts as it usually does and vacates a bunch of wins from last year ...

Carolyn Hunzicker 3 years, 4 months ago

Grimes to the bench.......KJ Starts remaining games..Grimes Pouts and transfers

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

Is that what you really want? Grimes seems like a really great kid to me. Why do you assume he has a bad attitude and would pout?

Carolyn Hunzicker 3 years, 4 months ago

KJ much more productive and he can play defense much better Oh Check his rebounding compared to Grimes Grimes is a great kid.....He has never seen this kind of competition he needs to come off the bench and take that pressure off him.

RJ King 3 years, 4 months ago

But you didn't explain your comment that he would pout and then transfer. To me, that was unnecessarily snarky and without evidence.

Bj Cassady 3 years, 4 months ago

I hope we recruit a couple of power forwards like Mark Randle, Collison, Pollard. We are in desperate need of inside muscle. We get out rebounded in most games, out muscled, out-toughed. I like Dotson, Ochai, KJ, Garrett is fair to middlin, D Lawson hopefully might be back, Doke seems to be injury prone so I would not count on him for next year. Grimes might transfer and he just isn't very good if he doesn't so we need another guard or two. We might be a year or two away from competing.

Bob Zielinski 3 years, 4 months ago

Garrett is way better than 'fair to middling'.

Gary Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

His defense is stellar. The rest of his game is fair to middling.

Bob Zielinski 3 years, 4 months ago

If you look at the guys we are starting, their actual game experience and the injuries, suspensions and defections this is a foreseeable result. Coach Self doesn't have magic dust that he sprinkles on the players to win all of these titles. However, even though we have hit a rough spot we can still end up 13-5 in conference and see what happens.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 4 months ago

No starters from last year's team. Injuries have certainly taken its toll but even Duke that has at least six NBA potential players have lost in games that baffle more than just me. This team still has time to make a lot of improvement.

Tim Orel 3 years, 4 months ago

I hope the NCAA is happy that KU's streak is in trouble. They're at least partially responsible, having suspended one of our starters from last year. Maybe that will allow them to not penalize KU for lack of Institutional Control when they're considering having us forfeit wins from last season.

Ah, who'm I kidding. They want even more blood before they anoint Duke for being saints.

Nathan Scholl 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't be fairweather like this posters! Yes, that game was hard to watch, yes, that wasn't like the Jayhawks, but KU's constant success isn't normal. It's extraordinary. This team has lost three of its top players, is extremely young, and is arguably doing they best they can (they still don't get it though). Yes, they looked like absolute doo doo last night, but you gotta root for your team and support them regardless IMHO and give Tech credit! Their defense was amazing and they weren't missing, a la Villanova last year in the FF. Kansas is in the top 25, is in the top three in their conference and has 20 wins. Do you know how many teams would kill for a season like that? Just once? The many Kansas fans that act like the world is falling right now are the reason a lot of people think KU fans are snobs. We are spoiled. Kansas beat Duke in the elite eight last year. Memories are short. Love you all, but come on. They're kids and I'm confident that losing hurts them more than it hurts all of you. Even though it does seem like they don't care that much. Rock Chalk always, not just when it's convenient and popular!

Brad Watson 3 years, 4 months ago

Long season...Texas Tech was so embarrassed by their performance here...they were determined to revenge that blowout in the Phog....they focused on us in every practice...they probably had some things in their locker room motivating them for the 23rd of February...we beat them there last year...they were ready....I don't think we were focusing on them in the same way...and that was part of reason we lost....but do not forget....we blew them out here....and we played ....its one game....learn from it and get back to business...I hope we catch them in the tournament...we will be ready!

Dale Koch 3 years, 4 months ago

Let’s start thinking about not letting our in-state rivals sweep us Monday night. Rock Chalk!

Allin Herring 3 years, 4 months ago

Bob Z Garrett is just barely fair to middling. He shoots mostly bricks from three, can not shoot free throws, when He has to defend the other teams 4 they just posts up on him and pushes back under the basket for an easy bunny shot. We won 5 out of six with him out of the line up so why did he play 22 minutes in this game? A real Self error. There just was No defense played my ĶU last night Including Garrett.

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