The further we get into the season, the more discouraging this team becomes. The Jayhawks entered this game 8.5 point underdogs, and the reason became clear early on.
Baylor started by hitting a three just 15 seconds into the game. David McCormack followed that up by traveling, and Baylor added two more to set the early tone. By the under-12, Kansas had shown no signs of anything resembling an offense and found themselves down 18-7. Christian Braun would start to heat up, knocking down three triples in less than four minutes, but the Jayhawks just weren’t getting stops on the other end.
At the halftime break, it was an ugly 41-28 deficit. Even as the shots had started to fall, Baylor was getting everything they wanted on the other end, as the Jayhawks just looked completely outclassed both in terms of talent and athleticism. Braun’s hot shooting was the only thing keeping the score even halfway competitive, as no other Jayhawk had more than four points (and that was Mitch Lightfoot) headed into the locker room.
Kansas was just 10-26 (38%) from the floor in that first half. They were much better from three (56%) than two (29%), but because coaches hate adapting to their players’ skills, KU took only 9 of their 26 first half shots from deep, choosing instead to continue ramming their heads into a brick wall against the country’s best defense.
Kansas did come out and trim the lead to single digits in the first two minutes of the second half. Turns out shooting the shots you’re better at is a good idea, as a pair of threes was responsible for the improvement on the scoreboard. Kansas continued to fight and had the deficit down to seven, 58-51, at the ten minute mark. Unfortunately, the Bears pretty quickly pushed the lead back to double digits, and Kansas never really made it a game after that. The Jayhawks lost 77-69.
Braun ended up leading the team in scoring despite just four second half points, with 17. Ochai Agbaji had a nice second half to end up with 16. Jalen Wilson may have officially hit the freshman wall, struggling for a third straight game, scoring just four on 2-7 shooting with five boards. David McCormack’s run of solid games also came to a screeching halt, as he scored just six with only two boards, turning it over four times and picking up four fouls as well.
Kansas drops to 4-3 in Big 12 play, and KenPom now has them picked to finish 10-7. Their next game has the potential to drop them to .500, with a road contest Saturday against an Oklahoma team that held a late lead on them in Allen Fieldhouse just nine days ago.