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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Kansas basketball team humbled in 80-62 home loss to Kentucky

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) fights for a rebound with Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse. At left is Kentucky guard TyTy Washington Jr. (3).

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) fights for a rebound with Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler (2) during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse. At left is Kentucky guard TyTy Washington Jr. (3).

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Keion Brooks Jr. scored a career-high 27 points, including 15 in the second half, as No. 12 Kentucky resoundingly defeated No. 5 Kansas 80-62 at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday in the second-worst home loss in Bill Self's 19 seasons as the Jayhawks' coach.

Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun each scored 13 points for the Jayhawks (17-3, 6-1 Big 12), who had their five-game winning streak snapped against perhaps the toughest opponent they have faced all season.

Brooks' performance overshadowed the battle between two of the top contenders to be named the national player of the year in Agbaji and Kentucky junior forward Oscar Tshiebwe.

Tshiebwe had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (17-4, 6-2 SEC), who won in Lawrence for the first time since Dec. 10, 1983.

KU had no answers for Kentucky's offense, which shot 50.8 percent (31-for-61)— including 61.8 percent (21-for-34) in the first half. It also dominated the battle on the boards, grabbing 41 rebounds to the Jayhawks' 29 — and had a 38-22 advantage on points in the paint.

An 8-0 run during a two-minute stretch before the first media timeout set the tone for the Wildcats, who sailed to a 51-31 halftime lead.

Kansas tried to slow Kentucky down in the second half by turning to a 2-3 zone and a triangle-and-two defense, but that's when Brooks took advantage. He scored 15 of the Wildcats' first 17 points of the second half, often comfortably knocking jumpers down from the top of the key.

The Jayhawks drew no closer than 14 points in the second half despite their defensive adjustments, and a significant number of fans started to head for the exits during Kansas' timeout with 5:48 remaining.

Kansas shot 40.7 percent (24-for-59), including 33.3 percent (6-for-18) from 3-point range. Jalen Wilson had eight points and eight rebounds, and Mitch Lightfoot had six points and seven rebounds.

The Jayhawks lost by 25 points to Texas last season for Self's worst home loss as coach. They had won four of the last six games between the teams, which have played in six of the last seven seasons. They also met in the NCAA championship game in 2014, which Kentucky won 72-40.

KU will be back on the court Tuesday night when they face Iowa State on the road at 6 p.m.

Comments

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

In 2014, UK beat UConn 60-54 in the NCG In 2012, UK beat KU 67-59 in the NCG

Edward Daub 5 months ago

Dirk, you just gave Calipari a 2nd NCAA Title. UConn 70 UK 64 in 2014.

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

2014 is when Embiid was injured and we lost to Stanford.

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

The SEC is also humbling the Big12; 6-3.

Creg Bohrer 5 months ago

What a total embarrassment.. The players and coach Self both got out played. Why abandon the 2-3 zone while it was working and go back to tye triangle when Kentucky tore it apart all night.. SMH

Bryce Landon 5 months ago

Because Bill Self sucks as a coach, that's why! VOID SELF'S LIFETIME CONTRACT!

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

The ESPN Big Picture portion of the game summary begins with the all time wins total, just in case you were wondering if anyone else pays attention. It’s there; they do.

Bj Cassady 5 months ago

Only Wilson, Braun and KJ competed and had heart. The rest of the team was MIA. DMac was nowhere to be found, Ochai took poor shots. A lot of the players just did not compete, play tough as UK. We got our butts beat but we deserved it. We will get it handed to us again unless we play like men.

Barry Weiss 5 months ago

well, that was a beatdown. Clearly we have a problem at the 1 and at the 5. Harris, what you see is what you get. He is not a scorer and just can't penetrate a defense to open things up for the offense. DMac/Mitch....again, what you see is what you get. Coach either has to go another way at both of those positions or hope we can sneak by in conference and get a win in the dance. That is it....or.... try something different in place of Harris and at center. It sucks, but that's it.

Bryce Landon 5 months ago

Good Lord, what a $#!+show that was! Losing to Kentucky sucks, losing at home is terrible. But to lose by 18 and trail by as many as 24 through the course of the game - AT HOME, MIND YOU! - and not show any pulse, effort, or intensity is an unforgiveable offense!

It seems I spoke a tad prematurely in lavishing the Jayhawks with praise for showing toughness against Kansas State and Texas Tech earlier. Where was that toughness tonight? Why couldn't our guys be bothered to show up in the biggest non-conference home game of the year, with 16,300 adoring fans ready to cheer them on? Is it that much to ask that our guys crash the glass and rebound the god-damn ball? At least if you're going to get run out of your own gym, do it in a pandemic-restricted season like last year when only 2,500 fans were allowed in the building to watch you $#!+ the bed against Texas!

As for Bill Self, I wonder what excuse he'll have for this pitiful showing. I thought losses like this weren't supposed to happen this year like they did last year when we repeatedly got our faces caved in by the likes of Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and Southern California. I thought having faster, more athletic players than what he had last season would cure our ills from the season before. Apparently not if we can't be bothered to show up at home against Kentucky. Games like today serve as further evidence that (A) allowing him to have a lifetime contract was an enormous mistake that will keep this program from winning another national championship until at least the 2040s, and (B) if we want to win another national title sooner than that, we need new leadership for this program, because the program is as stagnant and predictable as Wheel of Fortune, and Self is not doing what he's getting paid millions of dollars to do.

VOID SELF'S LIFETIME CONTRACT!

Lee Short 5 months ago

I knew going in, this was going to be terrible. Reason? Our comments made going in showed we did not have the right perspective to beat such a good team. Dmac says on camera, were just going to go out there and have fun. Coach says before the game, "this isn't our focus". What? You can change the focus after the game for subsequent games, but this game absolutely needed to be treated extremely seriously as every game needs to be when it is game right in front of you.

Also, I think telling Ochai he's so great, as is, does no favors for Ochai. We need to be hungry, humble (in some regards respecting our opponent) and extremely focused, not rest of laurels, etc. Wins against any team are not handed out, especially against a team like KY.

I do hope Coach Self and Dmac learn from this humbling event to not belittle games (conference or otherwise) going forward. Important life lesson.

If we want to lose more games going forward, the recipe is to just do what we did for this game going into it.

Steve Zimmerman 5 months ago

Do you think coach expected us to win? If he did, or any of you also expected that, well, lower your expectation. I didn't think we had a chance at all. I laughed when I saw ESPN predicting 48-52% or something like that. They've got more talents, more athleticism with more lengths. Much better offense plays (some of you might still blame our D is bad) - you can tell, everybody can shoot. We don't have good offense flows. Kenpom OE rating is questionable. Someone perhaps can educate me on this. Coach BS offense strategy has a lot of flaws. Hard to predict when a player will pass, as seems like every pass is a desperation pass. Shoot 3s or drive, the rest relies on rebounds, pray time. We tried to pound inside, that didn't work. Lobs - only a handful of actions. That won't be as effective against smart 5 like Thsibwe. Coach BS needs to forget about Xs & Os. Teach players HOW to beat any defense instead. They'll develop bball IQ.

Allin Herring 5 months ago

An unbelieveably poor performance by the Big 12 and KU in particular. In the future please i do not want to hear how great the big 12 is because the SEC just handed big 12 their heads. The KU team needs to be totally embarrassed. It seems they began to,believe all the hype of,ESPN game day on how good they were and they played like they had this game won before they played it. This is especially true for Agbaji. It sems he read all the press clippings and forgot to play the game. News flash to Agbaji you lost the POY today.So now lets,just to play to win games so that we do not loose,the next 3 games! ( Iowa State, Baylor, and Texas which we have a really good chance to do. PS to Agbaji lets stop the espn interviews, 94 feet interviews with Jay Bilas and all press clipings and get back to taking good shots and leading this team.. if you do that then maybe we can make it thru the first weekend of the NCAA. Oh and,Self why not keep playing a defense that works instead going back to one that your opponent is killing you with. Oh and please let Remy be Remy! I know you do not want to have him,show up your favorite but maybe he wont clutch in the big time like your favorites did to day!

Barry Weiss 5 months ago

totally agree on Remy. He led the Pac 12 in scoring last year, something over 20 points per game and Coach has throttled him back so hard he rarely even tries to shoot. What a mess.

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

LOL

We looked like a high school JV team out there. Completely Outclassed.

I don't see this team winning a game at ISU, against either Texas or Baylor, home or away. Count a loss in the B 12 tournament and we have 9 loss's on selection Sunday.

At least this free's up most of March.

Mallory Briggans 5 months ago

When you hitch your wagon to 1 horse and that horse throws a shoe you need a another horse to pull the wagon. We dont have any other horses to do that . OKC had a bad game nobody stepped up ........but its been that way all season . And let me say this Dmac has been a whipping boy all season justifiably so and Braun has gotten a pass . Brauns game has digressed ..........He cant "catch and shoot" He cant " shoot off the dribble " he has been missing open 3s all season . He was flexing earlier in the season against lesser teams now hes just average. we've ragged on seemingly every player except Braun . If OKC is going to be Batman then Braun needs to Robin

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