Kansas up 41-30 at the half. Jayhawks went 7-9 from 3 point range. The Cowboys went 0-fer and seemed to have no offensive rhythm at all.
Then the second half...
A Tale of Two Halves
It was the best of halves,
It was the worst of halves,
It was the moment of "I told you so."
It was the moment of symbolic, nose bloodying humility... (writer looks at himself in the mirror)
So What Happened Here?
I mean, other than the hell of an effort the Cowboys displayed to come back and take control of that game... It was the fifth loss for Bill Self in the gym of his Alma Mater, which ties Gallagher-Iba with the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas for the places where Self loses the most in the Big 12.
As in the first game between these schools at Allen Fieldhouse, the refs did their best to completely disjoint the flow of the game. It played in Kansas' favor in Lawrence. It benefited the Cowboys down in Stillwater. So the pendulum swings.
Still, while they made the game ugly, the refs didn't win the game for KU on January 13, and they didn't win the game for the Cowboys on Saturday. This KU team cannot keep letting teams get up off the mat after beating them down. The point margin was 11 at the half. It very easily could have been 15 to 20. They were playing that much better than OSU and then, like Walter Mitty, their minds just drifted off to where? We don't know...
Cliff Who Now?
I continue to scratch my head when it comes to Bill's usage of Cliff Alexander. Up in Ames, Cliff was 3-3 on FGs with 6 points and 6 boards - 5 on the defensive side - in just 14 minutes. Saturday he was 4-5 from the field for 8 points and 4 boards in just 16 minutes. It's starting to feel like 2005 when Coach Self obstinately kept running Christian Moody out there while Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson sat on the bench so long that it started to fuse with their rears.
Remember Christian Moody? The guy who scored 5 whole points in 32 minutes against Bucknell.
Remember D Jacks?
Oh, and remember this guy? I think he's still on the team.
So What Now?
I stand firm with my public statement that, in the Big 12, it's Kansas and everyone else. Hell of an effort by Oklahoma State, but this loss was more of a glaring indication of Kansas' flaws than anything else. Gotta stop helping your opponent. It's okay to bury them and stand on the grave for a while. The Hawks tripped over their own feet here.
I had a coach that used to say, "In sports, there's a midnight rule. Gripe and moan about a loss all you want until midnight. But when that clock reads 12:01, you move on to the next game."
I didn't need to wait. I had moved on to the Red Raiders before dinner.