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Kansas defeats Texas Southern, 83-56

  • 8:57 p.m., March 17, 2022
  • Dickies Arena - Fort Worth, Texas ,

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Magnificent game from Remy Martin sparks top-seeded Kansas to NCAA Tournament rout of Texas Southern

Kansas guard Remy Martin (11) gets past Texas Southern guard Bryson Etienne (4) for a bucket during the first half on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas guard Remy Martin (11) gets past Texas Southern guard Bryson Etienne (4) for a bucket during the first half on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Fort Worth, Texas — For the past couple of weeks, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has talked — marveled even — about how much faster senior Remy Martin has looked now that he’s healthy again.

On Thursday night, during an 83-56 first-round NCAA Tournament victory over 16th-seeded Texas Southern at Dickies Arena, Martin showed off every bit of speed and quickness he has in his bag of tricks to help lead the Jayhawks to a run-away win and into Saturday’s second round.

A spark off the bench if ever there were one, Martin first entered Thursday’s game at the 13:34 mark of the first half and immediately and completely took over.

In his first eight minutes on the floor, he made all four shots he took and dished three assists with zero turnovers.

The shots were routine. The assists all had energy and emotion behind them. And the combination of the two fired up the entire Kansas bench and the pro-Kansas crowd.

With each individual Remy moment, the smiles grew bigger from his teammates both on the bench and out there on the floor with him. It was as if they knew they were witnessing something special. And not special in the sense of watching a generational talent do his thing. More special in the sense of this was the guy they have been waiting for all season long. And their smiles made it darn clear that they were thrilled that he’s here.

“Just his passion adds a lot to our team,” KU junior Christian Braun said after scoring 14 points with five rebounds and four assists in Thursday’s victory. “We all kind of feed off of it. You can tell his confidence is coming back more and more. And when he plays like that, we’re tough to beat.”

Eight seconds into his first stint on the court, Martin made his presence felt by dishing an assist to KU’s Ochai Agbaji to push the Kansas lead to 14-7.

The Jayhawks (29-6) spent the first few minutes of this one shaking off some rust and fighting off some nerves, so getting an easy bucket from their leading scorer was a key part of the settling in process that turned this one from a haphazard affair of teams running up and down the floor without getting much done to a Kansas masterpiece that ended with the Jayhawks shooting 59% from the floor in the first half.

For the game, Kansas made 11 of 23 shots from 3-point range, out-rebounded the Tigers 44-32 and held advantages of 40-24 in points in the paint and 23-6 in fastbreak points.

Texas Southern trailed just 19-12 as deep into the game as the 9:33 mark of the first half. But the 10-0 run that KU ripped off to blow the game open was almost all Martin.

His assist to big man David McCormack — through the lane and skipping off the floor like a flat rock on a calm lake — led to a hammer dunk for McCormack (nine points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes) and a 21-12 Kansas lead.

Self called the pass “pretty special.” There was much more where that came from.

After a bucket by Dajuan Harris Jr. (12 points in 29 minutes) made it 23-12, Martin got into the high-flying act on his own, ripping a steal near mid-court and taking it the distance for a two-footed, two-handed dunk that put the Jayhawks ahead 25-12 and forced Texas Southern (19-13) to call timeout.

“I haven't dunked in forever,” Martin said with a smile after the victory. “You know, that felt great.”

Ribbed Self: “I didn’t know Remy could dunk a basketball until today.”

Martin pushed the pace for an easy layup to make it 27-12 and then assisted on another easy basket for McCormack, throwing a shoulder-high, side-eyed slip pass to the KU big man as he cut to the rim to give the Jayhawks a 29-12 lead with 6:49 to play in the first half.

“Remy was great,” Self said. “He came in and played lights out, terrific. I also thought Juan was good early. On a night where I thought that, from an offensive production standpoint, we had some guys do pretty well but nobody was really lights out except for those two. So, I thought they keyed it more than anybody else.”

Harris and Martin, whom Self called “about perfect” in the first half, combined for 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting. They were two of five Jayhawks who reached double figures in scoring. They also turned it over just one time between them and swiped four steals.

While Martin’s improved health and offensive production have provided Kansas a lift in recent weeks, perhaps the most important part about him being healthy again is that it allows him to try harder and be more effective defensively, too.

There was one possession in KU’s win Thursday night where Martin got sucked into the lane and watched as a teammate launched a shot from the outside that clanged off the back of the rim. Racing after it like Michael Phelps trying to touch the wall first to win another gold medal at the Olympics, Martin gave everything he had to get to the ball and save a possession for the Jayhawks. He got that one. It led to another Kansas bucket. And it was just another example of how good Martin was in this one and how easily KU rolled as a result.

“It's just fun playing with Remy,” Harris said after Thursday’s victory. “He gives us a lot of excitement on the bench, a lot of energy in the game. It’s really good playing with him.”

The Jayhawks now have done that eight times since Feb. 26 and they’re 6-2 in that span and riding a six-game winning streak into Saturday’s second-round matchup with ninth-seeded Creighton. Tipoff for that one is set for 1:40 p.m. on CBS.

“It felt great,” Martin said of his contributions in his first NCAA Tournament game since 2019. “These guys have been very good to me. Great teammates. I'm just happy to go out there and, you know, try to give it my all and help them out. That's just my goal, my goal is to go in there and help as much as I can. I think I did that today. I'm just happy that we got the win and it was a collective effort.”

Texas Southern coach Johnny Jones saw it through a slightly different lens.

“We ran into a team that’s very efficient, played extremely well and looked like one of the top two or three teams in the country tonight,” Jones said.

Comments

Barry Weiss 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Great start to the tournament! Balanced scoring with 5 players in double figures. Remy leads the way! Rock Chalk, beat Creighton!

Gary McCullough 6 months, 3 weeks ago

A win on Saturday puts us in a tie with UK for most wins in college basketball.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Good Grief!

Thats your take away from the game?

Kevin Boone 6 months, 3 weeks ago

He wasn't making a take on the game! He was just throwing a fact out there! Calm down, Hot Rod!

Scott MacWilliams 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Not bad for getting the jitters out! Remy is looking more comfortable by the minute!! Gotta say I had to go slice some onions to come up with some tears for Kentucky, biting the dust courtesy of Mighty St. Peters!! Go Peacocks!!

FYI, KU is now one game behind UK in total games won. KU 29-6 as of 3/17/22, 29 wins + 2323 (preseason total) = 2352 UK 26-8 as of 3/17/22; 26 wins + 2327 (preseason total) = 2353

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!

Lets go get some Billy Bluejay!!

Micky Baker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Gotta give some credit to Remy. He was the POG, and he did it almost all of it in the first half. He did make a few mistakes, but it was an improvement from previous games and those assists were teriffic.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I am very glad we got a big lead, that allowed Remy to play with more freedom. As others have noted he had some Remy mistakes, but a win so dominating should be all that matters.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I had to check the author of a reality tweet at half time. We were getting dominated at the FT stripe; 5/6 vs 1/4.

The highlights also had Remy completely leaving his man wide open - right before the breakaway dunk. Have heard an error total from the Mr. Reality.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Even a blind squirrel named Remy, finds a nut every so often.

Like I said, he can score 30+ and any other stat you want on offense and add on his steals, rebounds he gambles on, it does not change the fact he is terrible on defense.

Remy's excellence in defense in full view, example provided by Mr. Reality ---

TS had the ball out of bounds under their basket, Dmac had the lane covered, the left was covered, all Remy had to do was take away the inbound pass to the wing on the right. His man broke for the wing, he missed it looking for who knows what, his man got the wide open inbound pass on the wing and he hit the three in rhythm. Remy was 2 steps away, he hung his head down and everybody headed down the court. I think you can actually hear Self Yell NOoooooooo. He was subbed out at the next dead ball.

Since you asked, I mean after a big win like that who cares right? You do care, ahhhh - I quit counting after 8 missed assignments, with a lead that big and Meadowlark Lemon playing for us, why not just enjoy the show? He sucks on defense Dirk. You know it, Matt, even Mikey above saw some mistakes.

Now that I think about it Remy would fit right in with the Washington Generals on defense.

Barry Weiss 6 months, 3 weeks ago

you just can't help yourself...lol It's ok, we discount your microscopic view of Remy's defense to the exclusion of other other players lapses on defense. You do realize the others miss assignments too. Carry on.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Barry he asked for Mr Reality, I was content with my earlier comment. I loved the bounce pass, his bulldog fearlessness, fill in the blank. On Offense Remy was fun to watch. Loved the game, who wouldn't it.

If you ask me if I saw his mistakes, well yes I did.

Remy can't help himself, he is just not a good defender.

Steve Zimmerman 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What makes this win even sweeter:

Among ESPN's 54-person panel, 37 had the Wildcats reaching the Final Four, with a selection of those picking Kentucky to win what would have been the program's ninth national title.

Bob Thompson 6 months, 3 weeks ago

If Kansas goes all the way,it will because of the play of Remy

Chad Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't even like commenting on Remy anymore haha. As long as KU wins and he provides more good than bad, I say amen. Whether anyone here likes it or not, when he's playing well, KU elevates. And he's going to continue to get minutes, because juan has his weaknesses too. Would I love to see yesufu get in there and light it up? Absolutely. But remember all, it's a team game and when everyone contributes, KU is tough to beat. RCJH let's go beat Creighton!

Brianna Zaleski 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Rodney, With all due, what is so funny about Bob’s post? It is absolutely true…

You are obviously one of the top posters here, and your basketball acumen is more than most. But you’re dislike of Remy, is rendering you blind… Remy is a role player on this team. He’s not a complete package, he fills a need. Much like a defensive stopper, or a dead-eye, 3-pt. specialist off the bench, Remy brings a skill set that Coach Self can rely on, IN SPITE of his bad defense. And it’s a gamble Coach takes in spurts. If Remy is particularly on, then you ride that hot hand a little longer than usual, but usually you have to take a role player back out of the game, because their deficiencies start to show up. And that’s ok! That’s why they’re role players… Most people here don’t believe Remy should start and log 30+ mins. per game, but to pretend that Remy is not the CLEAR X factor on this team, and one who will likely push a really good team over the goal line (ala Sherron in 2008), is short sided at best.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Bri,

Well so much to unpack here where to start?

Bob, like quite a few on here, make some bravado statement with no reason. They do not have to provide a reason, and sometimes I find that funny. A few days ago, someone said OA is the most improved player in the NCAA's and there should be an award for that. OA has improved, but in the NCAA's, how can you back that up? They couldn't.

I am not a top poster.

I do not have basketball acumen

I did not care about Remy's bad defense last night, Dirk asked for a reality check. I do like to help Dirk out from time to time. Even on Matt's ranking, I liked watching Meadowlark Lemon play, it was great to see a bounce pass between defenders, in transition no less, to a big. Has to make One Shining moment at the end of the tourney.

Remy is not the Clear X factor. OA is our ride or die. Remy could be great, but if OA can not find a way to score we do not win. Against better teams it is OA who matters.

Remy gets more freedom the bigger lead we have. Self will yank him if he pulls a boneheaded play like leaving a wing open on an inbounds play. You rarely see a senior, leave a wing open like that under the other teams rim. Remy gambles you are right, I think he does it to cover up for how bad he is on defense.

He could push us over the top, or in a close game he could cost us the game with his D play. With a lead we can risk it, with the game on the line he is not worth the risk.

Thanks for your post.

Benjamin Shear 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I also didn't know Remy could dunk. Seems like he is fired up for the NCAA season. I believe it's whey he came to Kansas, for a chance to win it all. He could be the key to us winning. Opponents now have to think about him going off scoring big. That can only help us as a team.

Bryce Landon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It's been a few years, but I could have sworn Remy dunked on us as a Sun Devil when Arizona State came into Allen Fieldhouse and whooped us.

Barry Weiss 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I went to that game in Tempe, Arizona....Remy ate our lunch that night.

Bryce Landon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow, to think that I thought playing a Texas team in Texas would cause us problems...

Kansas looked as dominant in the first half against Texas Southern as they did against Missouri earlier this season. In the second half, I feel like KU slacked off some, but at the end of the day, the Jayhawks did what 1-seeds are supposed to do to 16-seeds.

On another note, if we lost by 18 at home to Kentucky, and Kentucky lost to St. Peter's, does that mean that St. Peter's is better than Kansas?

Tony Bandle 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Random Thoughts:

1] I can relate to Rodney's frustration because when Remi makes an error in judgement, it's pretty obvious. Still, basketball is a bottom line sport. Any game that your score more points than the other guy, is a "good" game.

2] The door is open for KU. TexSO dispensed with, Creighton's leading scorer and rebounder apparently out, Iowa sent home, now if Jackson State can just beat Auburn.... :}.

3] I get the fun of comparing win history with UK but maybe it could be tempered with a comparison of NC's.

4] Kind of lost in the shuffle, what's with CB's sudden foul shooting issues?

5] When the Hawks are firing on all cylinders, they really are a match up nightmare for any opponent!

6] Brianna, would you please stop bringing calm, studied, logical posts to this site...your ruining all the fun!! :).

7] Come on, Bryce, aren't you even just a little bit happy that Iowa football fans who happen to like their basketball team are crying in their coffee this morning!

Bryce Landon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

4) Christian Braun has been inconsistent with free throw shooting all season long, this isn't a "sudden" issue for him.

7) I don't give a rat's ass about Hawkeye basketball.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Tony.

  • 2] you are right, the path is clear to the elite 8.
  • 3] very brave to risk the most wins beatlemania to NC talk. :)
  • 6] I loved Briana's post, it was statements, it was calm, studied. Very welcome.
  • 7] We have been on the wrong side of games like that. Fricking killer B's

Brad Watson 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Great job!!!...get some rest...shoot lots of free throws...blinders on ...total focus!!!!!

Chad Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Side Note to all of this, Creighton's dominant center Kalkbrenner who had a double-double against SDSU left the game in OT with a pretty gruesome knee knjury. He's definitely NOT playing Saturday. I feel really bad for the kid, but that definitely helps KU.

Andy Godwin 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I will reiterate, the best thing that happened in KC last week was KU was able to play 3 games and Remy Martin had a chance to play meaningful minutes. It provided a chance for him to begin messing with the team. Those minutes are starting to pay dividends, which will hopefully continue.

KU played a great first half. One of the best first halves of the season, despite some shooting struggles for Braun (5-12 overall) and Agbaji (5-14 overall). If would be nice to be able to bottle that performance (i.e., Harris, Wilson, McCormack, Lightfoot, and Martin who were a combined 21-30 overall) and apply it to the next game(s). It was, however, unfortunate that the Self felt it necessary to reinsert the starters to maintain a solid lead after it looked like they could rest with about 8 minute to go. The fall off with the bench was a bit of a disappointment. Coleman-Lands stroke is so pure (2-3 from three), but Clemence needs to get his shots (1-7) and free throws (0-1) to fall.

Johnny Jones is a class act. The postgame interview is worth a listen. A true leader of men.

Mallory Briggans 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I attended the game last night ................I will give Bill Self credit for pulling his starters earlier than normal because of the blowout score , unfortunately the reserves played terrible defensively giving up numerous cheap baskets .........prompting Self to put all the starters back in . He should have left Mccormack on the bench , big Dave was really in some pain and during a late timeout he was doubled over at the freethrow line and hadnt made it to the bench yet Something that is a great thing and not mentioned was the point production last night from Harris and Remy ........we all know Remy can score but Harris scoring is a bonus......

Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Chad - I believe Creighton is also without their pg. Hopefully another game we can play well and get some more experience all around. That being said, I’m reminded of a uk team in the 90’s (?) that absolutely dominated the first 3 games then lost in the E8.

Bob - I think it was Coach Self that commented similarly about David back in January when he was still struggling and many were clamoring for his replacement. Coach knows who those players are with the elite potential that is crucial for 6 games this time of year.

Tony - I’m recalling CBs freshman year him having similar troubles and more consistently, enough that he was asked about after games. He commented at the time that it had always been a weakness in his game. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much he’s improved over the last 2 years.

Brianna - It reminds me of a dog and his bone🦴

One of the things that struck me was tsu shooting under 30% in the first half. Coach has pointed out many times that some of whether a shot goes in or not can be a matter of luck, but it would seem that part of that had to do with our D making them uncomfortable; creating less desired shooting opps. The team seems to be embracing that more and more which bodes well for the future.

Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Dirk did you see the movie UP? It is why I used the squirrel reference for Remy.

Come on now try to keep up.

Mallory Briggans 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Took a peek at the BIG BLUE NATION this morning ........theyre not taking the loss very well The Kentucky twitter world is on fire .The meme of Bob Huggins on a boat fishing not catching a fish ,but catching an " L " and showing it was priceless .........They are ready to run Coach Cal out of town ..........Loving it

Armen Kurdian 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Texas So was seriously overmatched...I knew we could turn them over a lot and we did. We drained a lot of outside shots because we knew we could, but I wanted more inside play, more lobs, because that's how we are going to win, in the paint. Want to draw more fouls. DMac was in a bit of pain, maybe we don't start him on Saturday to give him more rest?

Loved Remy, he's so excited and on an upswing...everyone is. But there's no gimmes in March.

Enjoyed watching the game w/some San Diego County alumni at the KC BBQ in Downtown.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Hot Rod - Your attempt at UP humor was a backfire and choking on fumes. There are no blind squirrels in UP. It’s just “Squirrel!”

{Priceless}

A blind squirrel reference could also be valid, except when it’s not the exception.

As for “keeping up”, personally I’m trying to keep my distance. Sorta like when the drunk guy swerved around me on the highway and went from almost running into the median then off the road. Just kept my distance hoping he didn’t crash into anyone while calling the highway patrol.

Luke Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Remy is a tournament player. He's one of those guys you hate to go against because he has infinite energy and can drive to the basket before anyone realizes what is going on. And once his confidence is up, it seems like he doesn't miss. We've been missing emotional leaders like that at times. He may just be the key to make a run.

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