Like watching the commercial where the guy who calls himself ‘Mayhem’ is trying to create distractions for everyone on the road in the hopes drivers will lose control and crash, Kansas kept Texas off balance, distracted, confused, and would not allow Texas to recover the entire 40 minutes which ultimately gave Kansas the win 88-80.
Texas never had the lead one time the entire game and would only tie the game twice — Kansas would not allow Texas to settle in and run a play or control the game.
There seems to be a pattern emerging with Texas’ opponents. Throw Texas off their game in the first half and try like heck to not let them recover. This time it worked.
From a stats perspective, the game was fairly close — certainly always within reach for Texas. One solid run and Texas may have been the victor.
Texas shot 48% (30-63) from the field versus 49% (32-65) for Kansas. Texas hit six three-pointers while Kansas hit two. From the free throw line, Texas hit 78% (14-18) to Kansas’ 79% (22-28), however Kansas went to the line 10 more times.
Again, from the stats perspective, there are four stats that could explain the reason for Texas’ loss, however there is a bigger reason we will get into after the four stats.
The flashing neon sign of 15 turnovers by Texas was clearly a reason with 10 of those in the first half. Kansas’ ability to convert those turnovers to points was reason number two. Kansas scored 18 points on Texas’ TO’s. Plus, Kansas has 19, count them, 19 second chance points while Texas had 10.
The remaining two stats were fast-break points and assists. Kansas scored 24 points to Texas’ eight and had 16 assists to Texas’ 6.
Those are the statistical reasons Texas lost. The bigger reason was that Kansas found a way to play chess instead of basketball by letting ‘Mayhem’ drive.
Kansas could not stop Marcus Carr from having another outstanding game of 29 points or Timmy Allen from scoring 18 points who averages 11.1 points per game. Jabari Rice did score 12 points which is around his average of 11.2 ppg and he pulled down five rebounds.
Kansas figured out a way to put the brakes on everyone else. Tyrese Hunter scored just six points when he averages 10.1 points per game. Brock Cunningham landed one of only two three-point shots and did not shoot any more while playing just 19 minutes. Kansas also shut down Dylan Disu who scored two points when normally averaging 6.7 points per game.
Kansas revealed a potential weakness in Texas’ winning secret sauce by disrupting quickly, often, stopping the players from scoring their average points, and by constantly changing things up.
Texas had a real chance, but Kansas caused too much mayhem.
Texas remains at the top of the Big 12 Conference and will host West Virginia back on the Moody Center Feb. 11 (Sat) at 11: a.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcasts on the Longhorn Radio Network.