Kansas was terrific defensively once again to start this game. The beginning of the game looked completely different than the last game these teams played.
And with the good team defense the Jayhawks were playing, they were passing the ball well offensively. It was a well-played team effort for the first five or six minutes.
But then it turned into missed assignments on defense. Drives to the basket on offense resulted in tough shots instead of passes to open teammates outside. Marcus Garrett was the only Jayhawk player having success attacking the basket.
And with the improvement in defense and fighting for every game, Kansas appears to be a tougher team than they were earlier in the season. You know Bill Self loves that.
And how great has Bryce Thompson been for this team since he has come back? He is attacking the basket and taking the mid-range jumper the analytics people hate. But you know what? He’s hitting those shots. Those points count. It’s better to take a dreadful analytics shot and make it than miss any other shot. Bryce Thompson is getting out in transition offense, and his teammates are finding him for easy dunks.
Kansas got a little sloppy in the last few minutes of the first half but led by 11 at the half. David McCormack got two quick fouls and sat on the bench for most of the half.
Texas came out playing better to start the second half. They made their first three-point shot matching the number they made in the first half. But as well as they played, they made up just two points in the first segment. Kansas didn’t have to win the second half. They just had to play close.
But Texas kept coming back. The Longhorns offense started to have success against Kansas’ defense. Texas made it a point to get into the paint instead of taking tough three-point shots. And getting to the paint broke down the Kansas defense. And at the under-12, Kansas was up just four.
With Texas having success getting to the paint, Bill Self switched the Jayhawks to a 2-3 zone. It slowed Texas down on offense as Texas stopped penetrating.
Texas appeared in control of the game but Kansas found a way to force it to overtime.
Kansas had its chances near the end of overtime to win or tie the game but just wasn’t able to get the job done. Texas did exploit the Kansas defense by driving to the basket. That should give Bill Self something to work on before Baylor comes to Lawrence on Saturday.