Lubbock, Texas — Kansas University’s basketball team committed a season-low six turnovers while dishing 17 assists en route to a 51.4 percent shooting performance in Tuesday’s 88-66 road rout of Texas Tech.
“Offensively, we played well for 40 minutes,” KU coach Bill Self said on Wednesday’s Hawk Talk radio show.
The Jayhawks’ ever-demanding coach still sees room for improvement on the offensive end, however.
“Of all the things we could do that we are doing poorly, that is probably the worst thing,” Self said of converting points in transition. “When we get numbers, whether its 3-on-2, 3-on-1, 2-on-1, 4-on-2, it makes no difference, it seems we are converting at a remarkably low rate or turning it over. That’s my fault. I’m probably not putting guys in the best situations in practice working on numbers.
“The other day we had a 3-on-1 and make five passes and don’t get a shot off (in 90-66 home rout of Kansas State), which is better than running over somebody or throwing it out of bounds,” Self added. “We’ve found a lot of ways to screw it up. Most teams get easy baskets in transition. We are getting our easy baskets in halfcourt offense.”
On Tuesday, KU inside players Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson combined for 46 points and 25 rebounds. Mario Little, who plays inside and out, hit for nine points off 4-of-5 shooting.
“We’ve not shot as many threes lately, though we did shoot 20 yesterday (making eight),” Self said. “We’ve not shot as many in large part because we’ve gotten the ball inside. We need to play inside/out. Our guards are doing a better job driving, too. That’s one reason the bigs are getting it in tight. The guards are doing a good job driving.”
Perhaps the most impressive offensive stat Tuesday came at the free throw line. Thomas Robinson, who entered a 45.8 percent free thrower (36.4 in Big 12 play) hit five free throws in five tries.
“He was excited after the game, not because he scored 17 points, but he actually made his free throws,” Self said on Hawk Talk. “I don’t know what we were as a team, but if Thomas did not make them we were under 50 percent (other KU players hit three of 10). We didn’t shoot that many of them. Thomas has played extremely well the last two outings and has had good practices. He is obviously playing for more than just himself. Sometimes in life we do things for ourselves. When there’s a bigger cause out there (playing to honor his mom, grandmother and grandfather, who died recently) it brings an extra gear maybe we didn’t know we had. I think he’s experiencing that right now.”
Back in town
The Jayhawks arrived at Topeka’s Forbes Field at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a few hours behind schedule, and did not practice. KU will meet Nebraska at 3 p.m. Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.
Bill Self’s Assists Foundation is part of the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge. On Jan. 21, fans, alumni and friends of KU’s program began to cast their votes on ESPN.com for their favorite coach participating in the Infiniti-sponsored GameDay Games of the Week.
The coach with the most votes at the conclusion of the program will receive a $100,000 donation from Infiniti to the winning coach’s charity.
The remaining coaches will receive a $10,000 donation from Infiniti for their selected charities. Voting runs through March 11, with the winner announced on March 14.