Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self talks about KU's 74-65 upset loss to the Washington Huskies on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at the Sprint Center. Allison Long The Kansas City Star
Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self talks about KU's 74-65 upset loss to the Washington Huskies on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at the Sprint Center. Allison Long The Kansas City Star

University of Kansas

Bill Self blasts Jayhawks’ play in 74-65 loss to Washington

By Gary Bedore

gbedore@kcstar.com

December 06, 2017 10:20 PM

UPDATED December 07, 2017 11:17 AM

Bill Self doesn’t blame fans for heading to the Sprint Center exits with a few minutes remaining in Wednesday night’s shocking 74-65 loss to Washington, a team picked to finish 10th in the 12-team Pac-12 in that league’s preseason media poll.

“That effort tonight … if I had paid to see that I'd have wanted something to drink over at Power & Light long before two minutes were left,” said Self, Kansas’ 15th-year coach, after a game in which the Jayhawks, according to the coach, were “horrendous” on defense “and obviously our hustle plays weren’t very good, either.”

Self said he personally exited the Sprint Center for KU’s team bus believing all eight players had an off night.

“I will not leave here thinking anybody played well. Nobody did,” Self said after the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks suffered their first loss in eight games.

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That assessment included Lagerald Vick, who scored a career-high 28 points on 12-of-23 shooting. Vick, who had seven assists and five rebounds as well as four of KU’s 13 turnovers, went 0-for-2 on three-pointers on a night the Jayhawks missed 15 of 20 threes. Washington, which was led by Matisse Thybulle (19 points), Jaylen Nowell (17 points) and Noah Dickerson (13 points, 14 boards, five assists), went 9 of 21 from three and cashed 48.3 percent of its shots overall.

“Anybody in that situation would have put up numbers because they forced him to shoot,” Self said, referring to Vick’s performance.

Indeed, Washington employed a 2-3 zone that was designed to have a hand in the face of all of KU’s three-point shooters, even if it meant Vick “scoring 50” as coach Mike Hopkins told the media after the game.

“The numbers are fake,” Self added of Vick’s 28 points, “because they are not real numbers because of how they defended.”

How was that?

“They took everybody away but Lagerald. They even took Doke away,” Self said of center Udoka Azubuike, who had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting with nine boards in 23 minutes. Self said Azubuike, who had two fouls the first half, “has to certainly learn that two fouls at halftime is not foul trouble. He acts like he shies away from fouling because he doesn’t want to come out of the game.”

“They said (to Vick), ‘See if you can beat us.’ They dared him to make a layup there a lot of times. That was good strategy. We didn’t attack it (zone) very well. That’s my fault. They outhustled us. They were quicker, bigger, tougher. They deserved what they got tonight. We deserved exactly what we got tonight.”

Self said even though KU beat Syracuse and its 2-3 zone by 16 points Saturday in Miami, the Jayhawks didn’t play well in that game — one in which Devonté Graham had 35 points for the second straight game. Graham had three points on 1-of-8 shooting (1 of 5 threes) on Wednesday.

Devonte Graham: Huskies took KU shooters out of game

Kansas guard Devonte Graham said Washington’s 74-65 victory over No. 2 Kansas happened because of how the Huskies defended KU shooters.

Blair Kerkhoff The Kansas City Star

“We just weren’t ready to play,” Self said. “I am not going to accept this and say it’s a good thing. It’s not, but you could see this coming if you are a coach. We had a situation against Syracuse where one guy bailed us out. It wasn’t because our team played great. Certainly when we are energized and moving the ball and everybody is playing with energy, I think we are a really nice team. When we are not, we get average real fast. We are not extremely quick and are not big. Those are facts. That was evident tonight.

“If we don’t play with a chip on our shoulder and play scrappier than the opponent, there will be more nights than this. I can’t blame this one on Sprint Center (where KU lost to Oregon and TCU last season while winning four games). I think blame goes on the shoulders of me and everybody else that was out there playing,” he added.

Svi Mykhailiuk had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting (2 of 8 threes), while guard Malik Newman scored eight points on 3-of-6 shooting (2 of 4 threes).

“He is struggling,” Self said of Newman. “I think if he would just worry about things that have an impact on us winning or not I think he’d be better off. His shot is fine, just not making plays for others, not pitching ahead in transition, missed Devonté a couple times when he was wide open in transition, not getting anything out of it.

“He’s better than what he is playing. We’ve got to get more out of him. Now it’s almost like we (the opponent) only have to guard two guys on the perimeter, Svi and Devonté. Malik is a lot better than that.”

Of Graham’s off night, Self credited Washington’s zone: “They put four perimeter players to guard it (three),” Self said. “Our execution is so bad. We are not a good execution team. We haven’t scored all year on plays. That was the case again tonight.”

KU lagged by eight points at 52-44 with 13 minutes left, but it cut the gap to 53-52 with nine minutes left thanks to four points from Vick and two from Azubuike. However, Washington (7-2) kept its poise and rebuilt the lead to 64-54 at the 5:27 mark and 73-59 at 2:12.

“We cut it to one, you think you are OK,” Self said. “They punched us in the mouth and went on a 7-0 run. We didn’t recover from it at all.”

Hence some of the fans leaving early as Washington led by double digits down the stretch.

“We didn’t have it tonight. Give them credit. They executed their game plan well. It felt like they made every shot,” Graham said. “They did a good job not letting us get comfortable and make shots. I felt we had good practices. Everybody was locked in as the weekend. We just came up short.”

KU will meet another Pac-12 team, Arizona State, at 1 p.m. Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Watch: Washington Huskies celebrate after beating the Kansas Jayhawks at Sprint Center

The Washington Huskies had an epic locker room celebration at Sprint Center after beating the No. 2 ranked Kansas Jayhawks. Video courtesy of @Scott_Allsop8 and @Doc_Shimer_3/Twitter.

Jason Boatright The Kansas City Star

A visit from grandpa

Self on Thursday is planning on traveling to Dallas to meet his granddaughter, Ella Jane Browning. Self’s daughter, Lauren, gave birth to Ella Jane on Tuesday. She was 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 21  1/4 inches long at birth.

Everybody’s doing great,” the 54-year-old Self reported of baby and mom during his pregame interview on the Jayhawk radio network. “I get a chance to meet her tomorrow. I’m excited about that,” he added.

WASHINGTON 74, No. 2 KANSAS 65

Washington

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Dickerson

31

5-13

3-4

14

5

2

13

Timmins

18

4-5

0-3

3

0

1

8

Crisp

37

3-9

2-4

2

7

3

10

Nowell

35

7-16

2-3

3

1

2

17

Thybulle

35

7-11

0-0

4

3

1

19

Wright

27

2-5

0-0

6

1

3

5

N.Carter

13

1-1

0-1

2

0

1

2

Green

4

0-0

0-0

1

0

2

0

Totals

200

29-60

7-15

35

17

15

74

Percentages: FG .483, FT .467. Three-point goals: 9-21, .429 (Thybulle 5-8, Crisp 2-5, Nowell 1-4, Wright 1-4). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 4 (Wright 3, Thybulle). Turnovers: 12 (Crisp 3, Dickerson 3, Nowell 2, Wright 2, N.Carter, Timmins). Steals: 6 (Nowell 2, Thybulle 2, Dickerson, Timmins). Technical fouls: Crisp, 2:11 second. Fouled out: none.

Kansas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Azubuike

23

5-6

0-0

9

0

3

10

Graham

40

1-8

0-2

1

5

0

3

Mykhailiuk

38

3-12

0-0

2

4

5

8

Newman

29

3-6

0-0

4

2

2

8

Vick

39

12-23

4-6

5

7

1

28

Garrett

15

1-3

0-0

5

2

3

2

Lightfoot

8

2-3

0-0

6

0

3

4

Young

8

1-1

0-0

1

0

2

2

Totals

200

28-62

4-8

33

20

19

65

Percentages: FG .452, FT .500. Three-point goals: 5-20, .250 (Newman 2-4, Mykhailiuk 2-8, Graham 1-5, Garrett 0-1, Vick 0-2). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 3 (Azubuike 2, Young). Turnovers: 13 (Vick 4, Mykhailiuk 3, Azubuike 2, Garrett 2, Graham, Newman). Steals: 6 (Garrett 3, Graham 2, Mykhailiuk). Technical fouls: None. Fouled out: Mykhailiuk.

Half: Washington 36-34. Att: 17,106.