From the beginning, you could tell this was going to be a rough game. The Jayhawks came out flat, playing a depleted Texas Tech team coming off a loss in which they scored just 47 points. And yet, Tech was playing better on both ends of the court from the word go.
Much of the first half was fairly even, with Tech leading by a bucket of two for much of it. They would then go on a 7-0 run to end the half, and went into the locker room up 33-25. KU's defense wasn't great to that point, but they'd done more than enough for one of the country's best offenses to at least make it a close game. Tech is a great defensive team, but KU's offense has shown the ability to be borderline elite at times this year. In the first half, they looked competely ordinary and dug a hole for themselves.
Anyone expecting Kansas to come out of the locker room looking to turn on the jets and take control was very disappointed. Less than four minutes into the second half, Tech had their first double digit lead of the game, and Kansas still looked more like a non-conference cupcake than a top ten team. The Tech lead reached 14 at the under-12 timeout, and Self and the Jayhawks were getting thoroughly outcoached and outplayed.
The Jayhawks whittled the lead down to five with less than seven minutes to go, but just couldn't find a way to cut it to a single possession game and the deficit was quickly back up to nine, a pattern that repeated itself several times.
In a way, watching this was worse than the scoring drought against Oklahoma State. At least in that game, you knew it was a matter of shots just not falling. This was a case of Kansas simply not being good enough to overcome what was really just a decent performance by short-staffed team. The Jayhawks made a few shots in the final minutes to generate glimpses of hope, but ultimately lost 75-67.
If you want to squint and try to find positives, Jalen Wilson got going offensively and put in 20 points, while Ochai got back to 20+ points after four straight games under that mark. But for the most part, it was an ugly game with few positives to point to. Self's overhaul of the roster from last year's disappointing team has resulted in the same disappointing lineup, plus Remy Martin (who has been inconsistent) and Jalen Coleman-Lands (who hasn't played much), but minus Marcus Garrett. Agbaji and Braun have improved, but at the end of the day this team does not have the talent it needs to play like a team with the type of goals this Kansas program has. It's the third time in four years we've seen that happen and it's getting tiresome. Kansas plays again Tuesday against an Iowa State team whose defense is rated even higher than Tech's, making a 1-2 start in league play a very real possibility.