Tue, 29 Sep 2020

No. 6 Kansas will have hands full with resurgent Texas

Field Level Media
17 Jan 2020, 19:19 GMT+10

If you're looking for defense, the Big 12 Conference offers your style of basketball, and No. 6 Kansas, as one would expect, is among those teams setting the pace for stops and in-your-face challenges.

The Jayhawks will look to continue their efforts when they travel to play Texas on Saturday inAustin.

Kansas (13-3, 3-1 Big 12) shrugged off a home loss to Baylor last Saturday with a definitive 66-52 win at Oklahoma on Tuesday.

Isaiah Moss led the Jayhawks with 20 points while hitting on six 3-pointers in the win and the Kansas defense held the Sooners to a season-low 30.6 percent shooting from the floor.

Marcus Garrett added 15 points for Kansas and Udoka Azubuike scored 16 points and took 14 rebounds in the win. The Jayhawks' 14-point victory marked their largest over Oklahoma in Norman in the Bill Self era and the largest by Kansas in Norman since Feb. 8, 1975.

The victory also marked the ninth time this season (and the fourth consecutive true road game) that Kansas has limited its opponent to under 60 points. The Jayhawks is now 8-1 in those contests.

Kansas won despite playing without leading scorer Devon Dotson, who missed the game with a hip injury.

"Knowing Dotson would be out, all our guards had to step up and fill in that void," Moss said. "I knew I'd have to step up. Devon is a big part of our offense and defense."

Asked if Dotson will be able to play Saturday against Texas in Austin, Self said: "I have no idea. He just hasn't responded quite as well to treatment as we hoped. Who knows how long he'll be out?"

Texas returns home after a workmanlike 76-64 win over reeling Oklahoma State on Wednesday behind a career-high 15 points by Kamaka Hepa, 15 more by Jase Febres and total of 15 3-pointers.

The Longhorns (12-4, 2-2) also got 14 points from Courtney Ramey while Andrew Jones scored 12 points and Matt Coleman III added 10 for Texas, which has won two straight after dropping its first two conference games.

"I think these last two are who we want to be," Ramey said about Texas' play in the past two games. "It's who we have to be if we want to contend in this league."

A big part of the Longhorns' turnaround in conference play has been on the defensive end. Texas allowed Oklahoma State to shoot just 40.3 percent in its win Wednesday after holding Kansas State to 30 percent shooting in the second half and forcing six shot-clock violations in a victory in Austin on Jan. 11.

"You always want to create an epiphany in the mind of your guys," Texas coach Shaka Smart said about his team's defense-first focus. "What I've learned in coaching is sometimes you want that capital E epiphany, but sometimes there's a lowercase E and then you need another one."

"When you have that common cause, that connectivity, and you're able to lose yourself in a fight, that gives you the best chance," Smart added.

Kansas has won 33 of the 42 games played against Texas in the rivalry. The teams split their regular-season series last year, with both winning at home.

--Field Level Media

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