Three and OUch: Jayhawks’ skid continues with road loss to Sooners

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe hangs his head as he and Andrew White make their way to the lockerroom after the Jayhawks' 72-66 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The loss is the Jayhawks' third-straight.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe hangs his head as he and Andrew White make their way to the lockerroom after the Jayhawks' 72-66 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The loss is the Jayhawks' third-straight.

February 9, 2013


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Oklahoma

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 72-66 loss to Oklahoma on Feb. 9, 2013.

Box score


— Not in the best mood after his Kansas University basketball team’s third loss in the past eight days, Bill Self nonetheless smiled when asked how his team’s current losing streak compares to the last three-bagger — back in 2004-05.

“I can’t remember what happened last week let alone what happened in 2005. That may have been when we were all freshmen,” Self recalled on Saturday after the Jayhawks’ 72-66 loss to Oklahoma in Noble Center.

The loss, coupled with a home setback to Oklahoma State on Feb. 2 and road defeat at TCU Wednesday, gave (19-4, 7-3) KU three straight defeats for the first time since losses to Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma from Feb. 14-21, 2005.

That was when Wayne Simien, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles were seniors.

“We hadn’t lost two in a row since 2006. Obviously three in a row is not good,” Self said. “This game today ... I am not leaving here disgusted with my team at all. It’s the same result on the scoreboard, but it was a much better performance today. Fans can think what they want to. This was not a major upset today,” he added after falling to the (15-7, 6-4) Sooners.

“The upsets were losing at home (to OSU) and at TCU. This was going to be a coin-flip game no matter what, especially catching an OU team that shot well.”

The Sooners, in fact, hit 55.6 percent of their shots the first half in building a 38-34 halftime lead. By game’s end, the percent mark had dipped to 44.8. However, the Sooners hit some huge long-range bombs when it counted down the stretch.

“They hit shots today. It was frustrating but what can you do? They made shots. That’s about it,” senior center Jeff Withey said after scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.

KU, which trailed by nine, 57-48, with 9:21 minutes to play, rallied to within one point thanks in part to a triangle-and-two defense, 57-56, with 4:59 left. That’s when Amath M’Baye (eight points, 2-4 from three) stroked a three to give the Sooners a four-point advantage at 4:41.

With the score 60-59 (Travis Releford missed a back end of a one-and-one that could have tied the score at 4:12), Steven Pledger (15 points, 6-14 shooting) stroked a three to up the margin to four again at 3:51.

Next, with the score 63-61 following a Withey basket at 1:37, Je’lon Hornbeak (seven points) stroked a three to make it 66-61 at 1:21.

KU did get it within two (68-66) at :15.7, but Hornbeak hit two free throws to put it away.

“Our triangle-and-two was pretty good late. It got us back in it and gave us a chance,” Self said. “Hornbeak made a huge shot. We had a chance in traps to get a couple deflections. A lot of close things today didn’t go our way. It was a better effort. Our guys will leave here not feeling good but better than the last two games.”

One negative on Saturday was free throw shooting. The Jayhawks, who hit 46.3 percent of their floor shots and five of 15 threes, made 11 of 20 free throws to OU’s 13 of 16.

“You don’t make your free throws on the road ... that was as big a reason we didn’t win the game as any,” Self said.

Ben McLemore led the Jayhawks with 15 points and Elijah Johnson had 10 points. Releford nearly had a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds, but missed three of four free throws as OU snapped a 10-game losing streak versus KU and four-game losing streak in Noble.

The loss moved KU into a tie for second place with (7-3) Oklahoma State heading into Monday’s 8 p.m. game against first-place Kansas State (8-2) in Allen Fieldhouse.

“From a team standpoint, I hope the guys leave here down but not so down to the point where it’s broken,” Self said. “It’d definitely not good, but it’s not broken.

“We need our fans,” Self added. “I am not one to beg very often. I am not begging now. Our team has been stung a little bit — 19-4 isn’t the worst record we’ve ever had at this stage. We’ve had a great year. We’ve had a crappy week, but we can still get it back. If we win Monday we’ll be tied for the league lead. If not we’ll be looking up and put ourselves in position it’ll be very hard to catch up.”

The bottom line ... “ I hate to say this but there’s a lot of teams in the country who have lost two or three in a row and a lot of teams in the country struggle away from home,” Self said. “We didn’t make enough plays to win, but we competed hard. Give OU credit. They controlled the game from the start.”


rgh 5 years, 4 months ago

We went on the road and shot more free throws than OU yet shot 55% and lost the game. We make more of those and then we're not having to foul at the end of the game and get the win. Come on guys, you can step it up Monday and get the mojo back.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

This was not a major way jose'.

What happened 50 years ago is not important. We have different people on the team. This is what we work with.

Actually the team played about as good as always and OU also played well. OU got more points.

Kevin Enos 5 years, 4 months ago

I too thought they played better today than in the previous two games. The previous two losses were so frustrating because those were ones they should have been able to salvage. The loss today is no great shame, except for missing so many free throws. The defense looked better except for allowing too many open 3-pointers which really were the dagger - seems like everytime we'd get close they'd come back with a three and shut the door.

One thing I'd like to see more of - a few games back B-Mac showed a move where he caught the ball outside the 3-point line with a defender on him. He shook the defender by faking to one side then scooted the other direction and sank an uncontested 3. He did it twice, I think, and made it look so easy both times I'd think the coaching staff would be telling him to keep doing it until someone could prove they could stop him.

leftylucky 5 years, 4 months ago

The curse of KU endowment and (Bliss) rock chalk park continues.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Agreed with Kbean. If it wasn't for Wednesday, this loss would be no great issue. That one is coloring everything. But it definitely is as Self said. Everybody comes in believing their going to come in and beat us now. There's no more fear.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

You can''t win all the time. KU will be back on top soon enough.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 4 months ago

The one and done rule needs to end. How many of you would hand over a million dollar business to a 19-20 year old? What have you heard lately about T-Rob or any of the others? Oh sure, they are in the NBA, but doing what? It takes maturity to handle that life.Few youngsters have that kind of maturity. It's affecting the NCAA AND the NBA.

windjammer 5 years, 4 months ago

It is not affecting the NBA like it is affecting the NCAA. The NBA lets them sit for awhile and learn the game as it is played in the NBA. The NBA makes those one and done rules not the NCAA. It is to the NBA's benefit. The NCAA just follows the rules set by the NBA.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 4 months ago

Keep them out of the bars! During the week they should be practicing or studying.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

Whack the Cats Monday and we will be back on track. ROCK CHALK.

Douglas Garst 5 years, 4 months ago

After reading the comments, most think that KU will be back...just wait till the next time...not a big deal...

Been a KU fan for over 50 years...the TCU game was the worst game KU played. The OU game was not that much better.

So Monday Night is a Clint Eastwood Night...You gotta ask yourself, Do You Feel Lucky??? Well, KU Team, do you??? If you, KU Team, feel lucky then Rock Chalk UP YOUR FOURTH LOST IN A ROW. Playing on Your Luck is what got you three straight losses.

Perhaps grammaddy is on to something...because in the last three games it appeared the KU team was playing as if they had a huge hangover.

prf 5 years, 4 months ago

The outcome didn't come down to a single play or a single statistic. KU was playing from behind the whole game. They were a step or two behind on defense. Their offense was listless. They didn't push the ball and take advantage of fast break opportunities. You can see and appreciate effort even when it doesn't pay off. Regardless of how much talent is lacking compared with previous years, especially at the 1 and 4, and that several players are playing out of position, I'm seeing something that hasn't raised its ugly head since the last years of the Ted Owens regime. Owens was once a darling of college basketball, just like Self is now. A few years of lackluster, uninspired, play -- what Owens called "lack of passion" -- and he was gone. Next year, we'll see if what is happening now is a blip or a trend.

Jaded_one 5 years, 4 months ago

Everyone please take a moment and relax. Take a look around the country and see what is happening. No team is running away with the trophy right now. Keep it all in perspective. Just think what Carolina fans are going through...

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

While it is easy to panic, I remember when Ku had losses in double digits and they hung a banner that is still in Allen Fieldhouse. Funny thing is, there is no banner representing their 11 losses that year.

I think they will get things turned around. Their defense has just not been as good and that is allowing these teams to get into a comfort zone. As soon as their defense starts suffocating opponents again, the offense will get fast break points and momentum. Might start hitting free throws again. That alone could have beat OU. I'm sure KSU is going to come to town with a lot of swagger thinking they have a good chance of knocking off the Hawks but I predict the Hawks will snap back for that one.The wildcats might just become kittens.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

OU was getting in the paint and scoring....the bottom line.

Sheet happens...

jayhawkjohn71 5 years, 4 months ago

No one talks about TO's. As of late KU has more TO's than the opponent. When you don't have a pt. guard, TO's increase. How did we get in a position to not have a pt. guard this season? Not blaming EJ since he was recruited as a shooting guard. His final year he is switched to pt. guard, and the disaster/ TO's/ missed layups continue game by game.

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