Kansas coach Bill Self on why his Jayhawks lost their second home game of the season Tuesday night. Rich Sugg The Kansas City Star
Kansas coach Bill Self on why his Jayhawks lost their second home game of the season Tuesday night. Rich Sugg The Kansas City Star

University of Kansas

KU’s Bill Self bemoans lack of competitiveness in 85-73 loss to Texas Tech

By Gary Bedore

gbedore@kcstar.com

January 02, 2018 10:31 PM

LAWRENCE

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has noticed fans exiting Allen Fieldhouse with a significant amount of time left on the clock in two of the last three home games, losses to Arizona State and now, Texas Tech.

He knows why 1,000 or so in the throng of 16,300 would check out early rather than stick around for a possible comeback victory … or two.

“People have been filing out because we weren’t competitive,” a disappointed Self said after Tuesday’s 85-73 loss to No. 18 Tech (13-1, 2-0), a squad that raced to a 23-7 lead, led by 11 at halftime and never saw its lead dip below six points against a 10th-ranked KU team (11-3, 1-1) that opened Big 12 play Friday with a win at Texas.

“In all of our losses at Allen have we ever lost by double digits? Didn’t Arizona State beat us by double figures (10 points)? We have not been very competitive of late,” Self added after the Jayhawks suffered their worst home loss in Self’s 15 seasons at KU.

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Texas defeated KU by 11 points in 2011. It’s the first time KU lost a pair of home games by double figures since 1983-84, when KU fell to Kentucky by 22 and Oklahoma by 10.

Self was downright dismayed at lack of competitiveness against the Red Raiders, who improved to 1-17 all-time at Allen Fieldhouse and in the process snapped an overall 16-game losing streak versus KU.

“I’ve done such a crap job getting guys to understand how athletes who are hungry play,” Self said. Texas Tech outrebounded KU 44-29 in handing the Jayhawks their worst home conference loss since a 25-point defeat to Missouri in 1989.

“Those are hungry athletes on the other side (that) we didn’t match from an intensity standpoint. We got what we deserved. I hate to say this as a coach because I’m really disappointed in the way we competed and that’s on me more than the players. Those kids (from Tech) tried hard. They wore us out.”

For the first time in the Self era, the Jayhawks never led at any point in a game contested in the fieldhouse.

“Just competitive plays, acting like you wanted to be an athlete and competitive … we weren’t even in the game there,” Self said. “When you have to make shots to play well because you are a pretty team or a finesse team, that’s a formula for getting beat when you play against tough teams. That’s certainly what happened tonight.”

KU, which went 0-for-12 from three the second half, hit 6 of 26 three-pointers to Tech’s 6 of 24.

Devonté Graham led the Jayhawks with 27 points, six assists and five turnovers in 40 minutes. He was 2 of 8 from three. Svi Mykhailiuk missed six of nine threes en route to 11 points. Udoka Azubuike, who said his back has been feeling better following treatment, had 11 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. Lagerald Vick was 0 of 6 from three, 1 of 9 overall and had two points.

“They played four guards. They weren’t any bigger than us,” Self said. “They were so much more athletic than us. I think we are fairly athletic when we were turned up. We didn’t come close to even jumping for balls. Their wings, their guards, obviously outplayed our guards.”

Keenan Evans scored 15 points, while Justin Gray, Jarrett Culver and Norense Odiase had 12 points apiece for the Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0), who led by 11 points at halftime and by 13 points with 9:25 left.

Kansas cut the gap to six with 6 minutes left but did not complete any comeback for victory this time.

KU senior guard Graham said the fact that Tech raced to leads of 17-5, 19-7 and 23-7 proved critical.

“We came out flat. They did a good job coming out and hitting shots and getting stops early. It really kind of disrupted us offensively,” Graham said. “You’ve got to want it, guys who want to compete and know that everybody will shoot for us. We have a huge target on the front of our chest. We know we’ve got to be scrappier. It’s basically just an effort thing.”

Jayhawks senior leader talks about the lack of effort after home loss to Texas Tech. Rich SuggThe Kansas City Star

Graham did add that he does feel “everybody wants it. We’ve got to come out from the jump, jump on teams like they jumped on us today.”

Self his team had better want it more than the opposition.

“It’s ridiculous kids could say we’ve got to want it more. I think that’s a ridiculous statement but what’s sad is it’s true,” Self said. “Whenever you say somebody wants it more than you, to me as a coach it makes me cringe. It’s my responsibility to put them in position to be competitive. We haven’t done that near enough.

“Devonté tried his butt off. I didn’t see really that much juice or intensity (from other Jayhawks), guys rebounding the ball above the rim, playing with reckless abandon. I didn’t see any of that.”

KU has lost two home games in the same season for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.

“It’s terrible,” said Mykhailiuk.

“After we take an ‘L’ I don’t really know the word for it,” Graham said of the players’ reaction in the locker room. “We’re disappointed. We felt we were prepared to win, had all the right pieces. We just didn’t come out and perform tonight.”

KU will next meet TCU at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tech notes

▪ Tech coach Chris Beard on the game: “No way did I expect to beat Kansas on its home floor. I did expect us to play hard and well. You’ve got to compete hard. Every possession has to have a life of its own. You have to do what it takes. I had confidence. To win the game, no, no. To play well and give ourselves a chance to win, yes sir.”

▪ On holding KU to six threes in 26 tries, Beard said: “It’s impossible to stop them. You try to contain ’em. The way they shot in Austin (17 threes) they are not going to get beat. They’ll play on the final Monday. You’ve got to be fortunate. Tonight we were. Give our players credit. I felt there was urgency to guard the three-point line.”

No. 18 TEXAS TECH 85, No. 10 KANSAS 73

Texas Tech

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Gray

24

5-7

0-0

6

0

3

12

Za.Smith

5

0-0

0-0

1

0

2

0

Odiase

20

4-6

4-4

8

1

3

12

Evans

29

4-16

7-8

6

3

0

15

Stevenson

20

1-8

2-4

6

4

1

4

Zh.Smith

30

4-9

3-3

5

2

1

11

Culver

24

3-6

5-6

4

2

2

12

Francis

20

3-6

0-0

2

0

2

7

Hamilton

14

3-6

0-0

1

0

1

7

Moretti

12

2-3

0-0

2

2

2

5

Webster

2

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Totals

200

29-67

21-25

41

14

17

85

Percentages: FG .433, FT .840. Three-point goals: 6-24, .250 (Gray 2-4, Moretti 1-2, Culver 1-3, Francis 1-3, Hamilton 1-4, Zh.Smith 0-1, Stevenson 0-3, Evans 0-4). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 1 (Zh.Smith). Turnovers: 9 (Evans 2, Moretti 2, Stevenson 2, Gray, Hamilton, Odiase). Steals: 9 (Gray 3, Odiase 2, Culver, Evans, Francis, Moretti). Technical fouls: None. Fouled out: None.

Kansas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Azubuike

28

4-6

3-7

7

1

3

11

Garrett

26

3-3

0-2

6

0

2

6

Graham

40

6-13

13-13

0

6

2

27

Mykhailiuk

36

4-11

0-0

6

2

5

11

Vick

34

1-9

0-0

2

0

2

2

Newman

21

4-8

1-1

3

0

2

9

Cunliffe

8

3-5

0-0

2

0

2

7

Lightfoot

8

0-0

0-0

1

1

1

0

Totals

200

25-55

17-23

27

10

19

73

Percentages: FG .455, FT .739. Three-point goals: 6-26, .231 (Mykhailiuk 3-9, Graham 2-8, Cunliffe 1-1, Newman 0-2, Vick 0-6). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2 (Azubuike, Lightfoot). Turnovers: 15 (Graham 5, Mykhailiuk 5, Azubuike 2, Newman 2, Garrett). Steals: 7 (Mykhailiuk 3, Garrett 2, Graham, Vick). Technical fouls: None. Fouled out: Mykhailiuk.

Half: Texas Tech, 43-32. Att: 16,300.