Roy Williams mentioned Ryan Minor's name quite a bit in Kansas' pre-game chalk talks on Monday.
"When we get ready to play somebody and spend as much time talking about one player ... that's as big a compliment as you can get," Kansas coach Williams said after his Jayhawks held Oklahoma's All-America candidate to 22 points on 7-of-22 shooting on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
Shadowed by Jerod Haase at times, and slowed by Kansas' zone and box-and-one defenses on other occasions, Minor didn't inflict major damage as the Jayhawks stopped the Sooners, 72-66, before a crowd of 16,300 fans.
"He was player of the year last year and just phenomenal," Williams said of Minor, who entered as just a 38.7 percent shooter for the Sooners, 10-7 overall and 2-3 in the Big Eight.
"You can talk about 38 percent shooting but he is a fantastic player," Williams added.
Haase hit 3 of 9 shots and scored just nine points, but his defense on Minor proved to be a key in the game, Williams said.
Minor hit 2 of 6 shots and scored seven points the first half as KU blazed to a 39-28 halftime advantage.
"Out of 22 points, when Jerod was guarding him it was six or eight (points total)," Williams said. "Jerod wants to do well, but he also wants Kansas to win.
"What he did on the defensive end of the floor balances out the offense. Coming up with loose balls...his tenaciousness, he had seven rebounds," Williams exclaimed.
Haase also had an assist and three turnovers in 30 minutes.
"As far as I was concerned he was a key to the game, not the only key, but a key," Williams said.
KU outrebounded the Sooners 32-19 the first half in building its 11-point advantage. Raef LaFrentz had 11 boards to go with his 12 points and Scot Pollard nine boards to go with his team-leading 15 points.
The Sooners outrebounded KU the final half, 21-16, but could not cut a second-half deficit of 16 points (46-30) below six (72-66).
Also for KU, Jacque Vaughn tied a Big Eight record by dishing 11 assists to go with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
"Jacque was really good," Williams said. "He's developing into our best three-point shooter."
Vaughn hit 3 of 5 threes and has now cashed 14 of 25 threes in his last eight games.
As expected, the No. 3-rated Jayhawks (15-1, 3-0) faced an inspired Oklahoma team, one that dropped its past two games, including a home loss to Kansas State on Saturday.
OU led, 13-10, with 15:51 left in the first half, following a Tyrone Foster three-pointer.
However, Kansas immediately went on an 8-0 run and upped it to 15-4 as the Jayhawks held a 25-17 lead with 5:14 left in the half.
The Jayhawks missed eight straight at one point, while OU hit 2-of-16 in the burst.
OU hit just 31.3 percent of its shots the first half to KU's 39.5 percent. Also, Ernie Abercrombie picked up his third foul with 13:42 left in the half and didn't play again until the second-half tip.
"They may have had a little hangover from the game against Kansas State. The second half you saw the real Oklahoma," Williams said.
Pollard scored and Haase canned a three to open the final half to open a 44-28 lead at 18:28.
Thanks in large part to Minor, who had 15 points on 5- of-7 shooting -- he scored twice after grabbing missed OU free throws -- and rebounding, the Sooners rallied.
"We were more tentative and they were hungrier," Williams said of the final 20 minutes.
The Sooners, who trailed by 12 with 5:11 left, trailed by seven (70-63) when B.J. Williams swished two free throws at :36.8. Foster hit a three at :31, cutting the deficit to six, but OU could creep no closer.
"We knew they'd be enthused," Williams said of the Sooners. "They were mad (after the KSU game) and playing like it. I said earlier in the season in this league, you better be ready every night regardless of where you are playing the game."
KU will next visit Nebraska on Sunday for a 2:05 p.m. tip.