Shorthanded Kansas Jayhawks blown out by Texas Tech in Lubbock. Here are takeaways

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Midway through the second half, a usually energetic Bill Self sat subdued on the bench while holding his head in his hands.

The Jayhawks’ coach was despondent as he had watched his Kansas team give up yet another Texas Tech 3-pointer in what felt like a seemingly endless barrage of deep balls.

Not long after, Self was ejected after arguing an offensive foul with about six minutes left. It perfectly encapsulated KU’s day, in which nothing seemed to go right.

Texas Tech defeated No. 6 Kansas 79-50 on Monday at United Supermarkets Arena.

KU dropped yet another conference game, matching last season’s Big 12-winning team in conference losses (13-5).

Texas Tech controlled the first half, leading by as many as 15 points and taking a 37-28 lead into the break. A shorthanded KU team never got closer than nine in the second half.

The Jayhawks were down to seven scholarship players once again for this game. Self told the Star on Monday afternoon that starter Kevin McCullar (bone bruise, knee) and Jamari McDowell (illness) were out for a second straight game.

Nick Timberlake, who played well against Baylor until a rough final 30 seconds on Saturday, started in McCullar’s place.

Johnny Furphy and Timberlake each scored 13 points, but KU (19-6, 7-5 Big 12) fell to 1-5 on the road in Big 12 play.

Up next: Kansas will travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to play Oklahoma on Saturday.

Until then, here are some takeaways from Monday’s game.

KU’s (active) core players struggle

It’s not often you see KU veterans and team leaders KJ Adams, Dajuan Harris and Hunter Dickinson struggle this badly on the offensive end — at the same time.

The trio combined for 17 points while shooting 5-for-30 (16%) from the field. Harris had seven points. Dickinson and Adams had five points each.

Every KU offensive possession felt like an arduous task, with many possessions ending on a wild shot as the shot clock expired.

It’s hard to win basketball games when Timberlake (his KU career-high was 12 points until Monday) is one of the team’s high scorers.

Without McCullar, at least two of the three needed to play to their usual caliber for Kansas to win. Instead, none of them did.

Kansas coach Bill Self ejected late

It’s not often you see Self lose his cool enough to get ejected from a game, but it happened on Monday.

Self was ejected with about six minutes left. He said he did not curse at an official postgame but indicated he said another word that will generally get you tossed.

The Jayhawk coach was arguing an offensive foul called on Dickinson. Self got into a heated argument with the officials before he was tossed. As he walked off, the Tech faithful waved Self goodbye.

KU’s 3-point defense struggles ... again

Add Texas Tech to the list of schools that have burned KU’s defense from deep in conference play.

Kansas has allowed at least seven 3-pointers in each Big 12 loss, to West Virginia (12), Iowa State (14), Kansas State (9), UCF (7) and now Texas Tech (10).

Tech demolished KU with its 3-point shooting, which relied on dribble hand-offs and ball screens.

A few of Tech’s 3-pointers were well contested, but more often than not a mistake by Kansas led to wide-open shots for the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech shot 10-for-26 (38.5%) from deep on the day. Tech was particularly strong in the first half, shooting 8-for-14 (57.1%) while that percentage dwindled to 16.7% in the second half.

KU made only three 3s for the game.

Timberlake keeps Kansas close early

As mentioned, Timberlake had a decent outing against Baylor — scoring eight points with two rebounds — until a disastrous 30 seconds that involved two blown defensive assignments. When Self was asked directly about Timberlake’s play after the Baylor game, he gave a non-answer.

“I thought ... we won, so I’ll just leave it at that,” a frustrated Self said. “So, we won.”

Regardless, Timberlake seemed to build off the positives from that game on Monday night. He was one of the few bright spots for Kansas in the first half. He had nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting line, including two made 3-pointers.

Most important: He wasn’t tentative in taking any of his shots and made a couple of crucial buckets that kept the game within reach, at least for a while.

He finished with 13 points and three rebounds. He played 29 minutes.