Love 'em or hate 'em, it's always a big deal when the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team comes to town. While Texas played a solid game overall, Kansas played arguably their most consistent game of the year against a top-level opponent and came away with a 75-62 victory in Austin.
- I think it's safe to say Isaiah Taylor's finally 100% again. At a certain point in the first half, after Taylor hit yet another floater in the lane, he ran back on defense, got in position, stared down Frank Mason, and yelled 'THEY CAN'T STOP ME'. Twice. He was right, Kansas has no answer for a fully healthy Zay, and neither does anybody else in the Big 12. 23 points, 7/8 from the line, & 5 rebounds..Zay is fully weaponized, y'all. In case you weren't sure, there's this:
- Jonathan Holmes had a quietly effective performance. He took good shots - and hit most of them - and played decent defense. For a guy that was pretty uneven the last couple weeks, 14 points on 9 shots and only 2 fouls is a good day for Holmes.
- Texas only had 9 turnovers on the day, which is nice. Getting Zay back to full speed has helped Texas in this department significantly and turns Texas into a middle-of-the-pack team in this respect.
- Cameron Ridley needs some love for the work he did today. He didn't put up a lot of stats(and his free throws were an uncharacteristically bad 2/5), but he was open plenty and made good decisions almost every time he had the ball in his hands.
- The crowd showed up early for this game. I'm guessing because there were football recruits in attendance because the only thing more exciting than Texas basketball to Texas fans is Instagramming zoomed-in photos of 17 year old football players, but whatever. They showed up, they yelled for a good portion of the game, and they theoretically realized that Texas has more guys than 'that one with the bucket hat' worth watching.
- Connor Lammert did this to a 5-star freshman:
The Javan Felix Memorial(™) Mixed Bag Category
- Stop me if you've heard this before: feeding the post players was inconsistent throughout the game. As Scipio screamed at me via text messages - little-known fact: in order to get his phone number, Scipio requires us all to install the Comic Sans font so his texts will have 'the proper tone' - many of the bigs were open on pick & rolls only to be ignored by preoccupied guards. When they were fed, they made good decisions. It happened more in the 2nd half, but still could've been better utilized.
- Javan Felix brought a big bag of nothing to this game offensively. Most of his shots were the ones you'd want from Felix; I'm not going to bag on him for his shot selection, it's just a fact that he needs to make some of those to justify his minutes. I don't know if he was tired(most of his shots were short) or just had an off game.
- The lack of forcing turnovers has become a significant drain on this team. Texas is one of the 15 worst teams in D1 at forcing turnovers and Kansas had ZERO in the 2nd half. You're not going to beat a top-level team at home or on the road forcing only 3 turnovers in an entire game.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Per Kansas record book, Jayhawks tied school for fewest turnovers (3) today in win at Texas.</p>— Jim Vertuno (@JimVertuno) <a href="https://twitter.com/JimVertuno/status/559106614842896384">January 24, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
- 3/18 from behind the arc is painful, though I will say that most of the 3s were decent looks. Still, missing 15 shots from behind the arc is handing the other team run out opportunities.
- Look, I like a good block as much as anybody, and I don't have a problem with the general philosophy Barnes is using of funneling opponents towards the big men for swats. However, a good team like Kansas will adjust to this and learn to make 1 extra pass to neutralize a big man leaping out of the frame. That's essentially what Kansas did in the 2nd half and it accounted for probably 8 of Alexander's 15 points. Hats off to Bill Self for the adjustment, and hopefully Barnes & crew sort out a rebuttal because I almost guarantee you Self will do it again in Lawrence.
The bottom line to me is that this kind of performance would result in a win against a lesser opponent, but they need to bring it a little harder if they're going to challenge Kansas & Iowa State for the conference title. Speaking of, next up is a road game against the Cyclones & Mayor McDreamy on Monday at 8pm Central(ESPN).