No. 12/13 Kansas Stays Flawless Against Texas Tech, 86-54

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – In his sixth-straight start, Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s transformation into the college spotlight certainly appeared complete on Saturday. The New Orleans native wasn’t stingy with his scoring modes, putting away three dunks and a pair of threes to power an 86-54 victory for No. 12/13 Kansas against Texas Tech to open the home portion of the Big 12 Conference slate Saturday afternoon.
Kansas (13-2, 2-0) welcomed a Texas Tech (10-6, 0-3) squad on the hunt for its first conference win. Allen Fieldhouse was not the right place. Kansas chalked up its 11th-straight win versus Tech in the series and remained an unblemished 15-0 against the Red Raiders at home.
In its last appearance at home against UNLV, Kansas muscled its way to a win using just eight players. On Saturday, 11 guys checked in by halftime and all 15 played by game’s end. In the first half alone, KU dished out 10 assists, forced 10 turnovers and held the visitors to a meager 5-of-24 shooting. KU finished its largest margin of victory for the year with 13 of the 15 Jayhawks on the scoreboard, a 52.5 percent (32-61) shooting effort and season-bests in steals (12) and assists (24).
Junior forward Perry Ellis led all players with 15 points, thanks to a 12-point flurry in the second half and a career-high trio of three-pointers. Oubre followed closely with 14 points on his 5-of-7 shooting. His McDonald’s All-American cohort, freshman forward Cliff Alexander, was equally efficient with a 6-for-8 performance from the floor for 12 points and a pair of blocks. Sophomore point guard Frank Mason III extended his double-digit streak with 10 points. He dished out five assists – and for the first time in a month – he had a true sidekick.
Freshman point guard Devonte’ Graham made his first appearance since suffering an injury exactly one month ago at Georgetown, and the crowd was thrilled to see him. He checked in at the 12:51 mark to a roaring ovation. In his 19 minutes, he led his teammates with six rebounds and six assists without a turnover.
On the opposing bench, the Red Raiders start the sixth-youngest lineup in the country and while the team was led by freshman forward Zach Smith’s eight points in the first half, he didn’t score in the final frame. He, junior forward Justin Jamison and senior guard Robert Turner were the only Red Raiders to hit a shot in the first half. Jamison ended the afternoon as the only opponent in double-digits with 12.
Not five minutes in, four of KU’s five starters were on the board and simultaneously suffocated the Red Raiders to a 1-for-8 shooting start. The hot start only got hotter. The cheers from Graham’s entrance didn’t have time to calm down before junior forward Jamari Traylor launched himself toward the basket for a dunk-and-one, putting his Jayhawks up 14-5.
 An excited Traylor, Graham and Alexander 
celebrate as Oubre flexes in the background.
Graham’s presence was huge. He lobbed a perfect toss to Alexander for a monster dunk. Not every play required flash, however, as he and Mason together in the backcourt ensured that the ball never stopped moving. Zip passes resulted in buckets, even a broken play evolved into a high pass from sophomore guard Wayne Selden, Jr. that ended in another Alexander slam. Kansas distanced itself early, 24-9.
One of the week’s main storylines revolved around freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s parents making the long journey from Cherkasy, Ukraine to watch their 17-year old son in action. In his first chance, he knocked down a three-pointer, his first since the Temple game (12/22), and finished with five points in his 14 minutes.
Jamison connected on a pair of threes, but Kansas had the answer. Oubre let loose for a dunk and three-pointer and Mason followed his lead, drilling his second trey of the day to shoulder KU’s lead past the 20-point mark. Even with a bad finish to the half – KU went 0-for-4 in the closing moments – the Jayhawks still cruised to a 42-25 halftime score.
The Jayhawks exchanged the underwhelming end to the first half for an overwhelming start to the second. Ellis drilled a pair of threes and a fastbreak 180-dunk from Oubre forced the Red Raiders to use a timeout to stop the 8-0 Kansas run. The pause didn’t help. Selden came out of the timeout to knock down a three of his own.
While classmate, Oubre, showcased his arsenal of scoring abilities, Alexander took his turn.  He strung together a dunk, hook shot and backed it up for one of his multiple mid-range jumpers to stretch the lead to 30 points, 65-35.
The reserves took over from there, enjoying every second. Junior guard Evan Manning drilled a three-pointer and senior Christian Garrett capped the day his first career points. Kansas sailed to the 86-54 win.
Kansas hosts Oklahoma State on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m., on ESPN2. Kansas will travel to Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay will originate from Ames, Iowa, on Jan. 17. KU will then host Oklahoma on Monday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m., in its first of four ESPN Big Monday appearances during the 2014-15 season. 

KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): So. G Frank Mason, III (15/18), So. G Wayne Selden, Jr. (15/50), Fr. G Kelly Oubre, Jr. (7/7), Jr. F Perry Ellis (15/52), Jr. F Jamari Traylor (6/7)

SERIES INFO: Kansas leads, 28-4

ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (219th-consecutive sellout)

  • Made Kansas 13-2 or better for the second time in the past three seasons and the seventh time in Bill Self’s 12 seasons at KU.
  • Saw Kansas go 2-0 to start Big 12 play for the ninth-straight season and the 11th time under Self.
  • Marked KU’s 11th-straight win against Texas Tech, including 15-0 in games played in Lawrence. For the all-time series, the Jayhawks now lead, 28-4.
  • Extended Kansas’ win streak inside Allen Fieldhouse to 16 games, which includes a 7-0 mark this season (8-0 home record).
  • Changed KU’s all-time record inside Allen Fieldhouse to 720-109, including 182-9 under Self.
  • Improved Self to 338-71 while at Kansas, 15-6 against Texas Tech (14-3 at Kansas) and 545-176 overall.
  • Made Kansas 6-0 against Tubby Smith coached teams in the Bill Self era
  • Made KU 2,139-824 all-time.


  • Thirteen different Jayhawks entered the score sheet against TTU, the most since 15 KU players scored against Texas Tech on March 3, 2008. 
  • After its 15th meeting with the Red Raiders in Lawrence, Kansas upped its average margin of victory over Texas Tech inside Allen Fieldhouse to 28.1 points.
  • For the second-straight game, Kansas tallied an opponent season-low point total. The Jayhawks allowed 54 Red Raider points after KU gave up 55 point to the Baylor Bears on Jan. 7.
  • KU also set season-bests in defensive rebounds (33), assists (24) and steals (12).
  • The Jayhawks’ 12 steals were their most in a game since they also tallied 12 thefts against Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship on March 13, 2013.
  • Kansas held TTU to 32.7 percent (18-of-55) from the field, which is the second-lowest opponent field goal percentage of the season. The figure also marked the first time in 2014-15 the Jayhawks held consecutive opponents below 35 percent shooting.
  • The Jayhawks’ 86 points were the most given up by the Red Raiders this season. Prior to Saturday, TTU had held 12 of its first 15 opponents under 70 points.
  • KU outrebounded TTU 43-44. Kansas has now outrebounded 11 of 15 opponents this season and is 11-0 in this games.
  • A host of Jayhawks got into the rebounding effort as a season-high 13 players brought down at least one rebound. That marks the most since 13 Jayhawks also entered the rebounds column in an 88-58 win over Towson on Nov. 22, 2013.
  • Kansas continued its trend of keeping opponents out of transition, allowing just two Texas Tech points off a fast break. The fast break field goal was just the second Kansas has allowed over its last four games.
  • The Jayhawks connected on 11 three-pointers, marking the third time this season KU has tallied 10 or more treys.
  • Six different Jayhawks have led KU in scoring over its last eight games.


  • Sophomore G Frank Mason III’s 10 points extended his double-digit scoring streak to 12-straight games. KU’s longest double-digit scoring streak a year ago belonged to Andrew Wiggins (eight games) and Mason is now on the hunt to catch Ben McLemore’s streak of 13-straight in 2012-13.
  • Mason also added five assists and has 33 assists to 11 turnovers over the last six games for a 3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Mason connected on two three-pointers and has now tallied at least one three in 12 of his 14 outings this season.
  • Freshman G Devonte’ Graham made his first appearance since an injury sidelined him for six games. He saw 19 minutes, scored six points and led all players with six assists, which doubled his previous career high.
  • Graham also collected a team-high and career-best six rebounds.
  • Junior F Perry Ellis led his team in scoring for the sixth time this season with his 15 points.
  • Ellis also tallied a career high from three-point range after he went a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
  • Freshman F Cliff Alexander posted a season-high in field goals (six) and field goal percentage (75 percent – with minimum of five attempts), accounting for 12 points for Kansas. This marked his best output since scoring 12 points against Florida (12/5/14).
  • Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., went 2-of-3 from three-point land, raising his percentage from beyond the arc to 56 percent (14-of-25) over his last seven outings. This after Oubre, Jr., was 2-of-7 in his first eight games.
  • Oubre, Jr.’s 14-point scoring effort also marked the fourth time in his last six games he has scored in double figures.
  • Senior G Christian Garrett scored the first points of his career on a running jump shot in the lane with 1:56 remaining in the game.

Kansas head coach Bill Self
On how the starters played:
“They were good, everybody played well today. We got off to a good start even though we turned the ball over the first two possessions. After that, we went about 18 minutes without turning it over. We shot the ball fairly well, especially in the second half, and the starters were good, but I thought our bench was solid too. I thought everybody played really well.”
On how Devonte’ Graham makes the Jayhawks a different team:
“He’s a ball handler, he’s a true point guard, he can play with Frank (Mason III) and he can get in the lane. He had six assists and no turnovers today and also had six rebounds, but he was dead tired. His conditioning isn’t good at all but he will be better in a week. I was real pleased with him and hopefully he will be pain free tomorrow; which, if he is, will be a big step in the positive direction. You can tell, regardless if he’s scoring or not, that we’re a totally different team from being able to slide our feet and do some things that we don’t do near as well if he isn’t available to us.”
On Cliff Alexander’s jump shooting:
“He can shoot, he’s a good shooter. I don’t think he’s a three-point shooter or 18-foot shooter, but inside 16 feet he’s pretty good. He doesn’t do that consistently all the time, but it’s nice to see him make a couple. He made 15-footer early on and then was feeling it. The best shot he made was the jump hook and it will look more natural as he develops.”
On how the team utilized alley-oops:
“Believe it or not, the lob has always been part of our arsenal. We have always played to that and trained that. If a guy gets above your level on a ball screen we want to throw the ball up to the rim and we haven’t done that well at all this year. It was nice to get some easy baskets today.”

Kansas freshman guard Devonte’ Graham
On when he found out he can play:
“Yesterday after practice. I was really excited; I could barely sleep last night.”
On his toe during today’s game:
“I felt great. The toe wasn’t hurting and I just tried to come in and contribute the best way I could. The ovation I got as I walked on the court was great and made me more nervous.”
On watching the bench players getting involved in the scoring and watching from the sidelines:
“I love it because Evan (Manning), Tyler (Self) work hard in practice, like Perry (Ellis) said.”
On throwing lobs to Cliff Alexander:
“We talk about that all the time. Once we make eye contact, I know he is going to get it.”
Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis
On the starting five’s start of both halves:
“We got out there defensively. We did a great job on both ends of the court; (our) offensive was going good. It was one of our best games (both) first half and second half.”
On watching the bench players getting involved in the scoring and watching from the sidelines:
“It is great; they work hard every day in practice and it is a great feeling to see them get out there and do their thing. It is great to see them have success late in the games.”
On having guards Mason III and Graham on the floor together:
“It really helps the offense flow and move. They both can make plays and they’re smart players. They see the floor great.”
Kansas freshman forward Cliff Alexander
On the multiple baseline jumpers he hit today:
“I have been working on that in practice.”
On watching the bench players getting involved in the scoring and watching from the sidelines:
“It just feels really good to see those guys make shots; they work hard in practice, too.”

Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith
Opening Statement:
“I felt like we played okay in the first half, as far as doing some of the things we needed to do, but we just came out of the locker room… I guess it was a poor locker room talk, because we just didn’t show up. We have to compliment Kansas, they are a very talented team, the most talented team we have played so far.”
On what impressed him about the Kansas team:
“Their length and athleticism, and their ability to shoot the ball from the outside. I just looked like they were making some shots outside, although they only made five out of 17. Their sheer physical size made it tough for us.”
On making offensive adjustments for the second half:
“Yeah we made some adjustments, but I probably should have told the guys not to show up. They maybe should have gone to the bus that first group that came out there. We were hoping we could execute, we were trying to run more of a motion offense with flex type actions and set screens. I thought maybe that would get us some open looks, we just didn’t do it in the second half. Our guards, when they shoot like this, 0-for-4, 0-for-5, 1-for-6, its going to be a long day.”
On Justin Gray’s health:
“We are just going to shut him down, he will be out for a couple of weeks and we will see how it goes, it’s just tendonitis.”

Texas Tech Freshman forward Zach Smith
On Kansas’ overall play:
“They played aggressive defense and great on-ball defense, so that made it hard for us.”
On Texas Tech’s halftime preparation:
“At halftime Coach (Tubby Smith) said we have to show our heart and fight back. We needed to play hard and execute.”
On what the team needs to improve on for the next game:
“We need to play more aggressive, that’s pretty much it.”
On if he was surprised how well KU came out and played today:
“No, I wasn’t. We’ve all played against great talent before, we just weren’t able to execute a match today.” The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.