I was going to ask Warden to write this mainly because I had to be up a little before 8 this morning and I have a ton to do on my plate, but the loss really threw a wrench into those plans as I didn't want it to seem like sour grapes.
Anyways, all good things must come to an end, and the 69 game home winning streak did at the hands of Texas. First off, I have to mention that this was the first "big" game I had been to, and the atmosphere was amazing. From the pregame festivities, to the video, to the sheer amount of noise during a game, I can't imagine a better college basketball atmosphere. And that was in a loss. Full credit goes to Texas, who came out and held the Jayhawks to just .88 points per possession. After the first 11 minutes it was 22-9 Kansas. The rest of the way it was 65-41 Texas.
If there is one thing I am worried about in this team it is offense. The defense gave up over a point per possession, but a lot of that was Texas shooting 45% from three, including one banked in, and somehow getting to attempt 31 free throws (they also made 80% of them, which is 15% above their season average). You will never see me blame the refs for a loss, and I think they made their fair share of horrible calls both ways, but there's no question to me that when games are called tight it favors anyone but Kansas. For all the veteran leadership this team has we are just not a good halfcourt team, and the game being called as it did really limited our chances to run.
Other than the fact that no one could shoot, I think we played fairly well actually. We had less turnovers than they did, and were both under our season average in turning it over and made them turn it over more than their season average. Even though the rebound margin was such in Texas's favor (whoop tee), our offensive rebounding percentage was only .2% lower than theirs. This game came down to us not making as many jumpshots as they did and not getting to the line as much. It happens.
Two final notes that I would like to pass along: First, obviously major condolences to Thomas Robinson, who has gone through more tragedy in a week than most people go through in several years. His play on the court is secondary to how he recovers, but from watching how the team interacted with him, it's clear that they have great chemistry and genuinely like each other. And secondly to the Texas fans, both the ones who stopped by in the game threads and who were at the game: a very classy bunch. It's nice to know that we can be pretty heated rivals yet still be civil with one another.
Unfortunate player notes after the jump:
- I think unfortunately we have moved to the point where we can ask whether Josh Selby is a good college basketball player. There is no doubt that he has elite athleticism, which you can see when you watch him play defense, but the speed of the game is just too much for him offensively right now. He's always a step too slow offensively, and he has really lost his shot, as evidenced by his 0-4 from three. I'd like to see him abandon the outside shot a bit and focus more on getting to the basket.
- Tyrel Reed's shot is here to stay. 5-9 from three on the game and 6 rebounds to go with it. He almost singlehandedly pulled it out for us.
- I think we have answered the question as to whether we can score enough when the Morri aren't playing well. They had 26 points between them, but had a 35.7% and 35.2% eFG.
- I thought Tyshawn had a really nice game. He guarded Jordan Hamilton well when he was on him, though he got beat off the dribble a couple times by Texas's quicker guards. I think he's more suited to guard a guy like Hamilton than maybe Alec Burks or Jacob Pullen, but I bet he will draw those assignments in his next two games. He only was 2-8 from two, but he had 6 assists and didn't turn the ball over.
- Today was another good game for Brady Morningstar, who was 4-5 from the floor, played some good D, and was just an all around steadying influence for the team.