Scouting the Jayhawks

Colorado will try to snap a two game losing streak and defend its 14-game home court winning streak tonight against the sixth-ranked Jayhawks.


Kansas wasn't into offering any excuses.

After all, the Jayhawks jumped to an 18-3 lead, yet they couldn't preserve the margin. They allowed 51 second-half points and watched as their 69-game home-court winning streak was snapped in a 74-63 loss against Texas.

The setback was the first of the season for Kansas and not only dropped the Jayhawks from the ranks of the unbeaten, but also out of first place in the conference race, with the Longhorns taking control.

But that all seemed rather trivial compared to the grief that swept the entire Kansas basketball family the night before. Lisa Robinson, the 37-year-old mother of sophomore forward Thomas Robinson, died of a heart attack. The loss left Robinson with only one living member of his family, the person who called to inform him of his mother's death, his 9-year-old sister.

After teammates, coaches, and others close to Robinson comforted him the night before the game against Texas, coach Bill Self had to decide what was best for the player's immediate future. In the end, he let Robinson decide. And Robinson wanted to play. So Self inserted the burly backup before the first TV timeout and eventually used him eight minutes.

"He's a stud," Self said.

If anything good came out of the stunning sadness, it was the togetherness the Jayhawks showed coming to Robinson's aid.

"I saw a different level than what I knew existed," Self said. "It was pretty special."


--A whopping four technical fouls, two on Kansas and two on Texas, were whistled in the second half of the Jayhawks' loss to the Longhorns on Jan. 22. All were called by the same official, Doug Shows. Kansas coach Bill Self disagreed with the calls, which stemmed from players jawing. "I didn't think there was one that was deserved, period," Self said.

--The 11-point margin Texas managed in toppling Kansas 74-63 was the largest margin of defeat for the Jayhawks since an 84-67 defeat against Arizona on Dec. 23, 2008. It was the second straight time at home the Jayhawks scored 63 points, their lowest output of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 69 -- Home-court win streak for Kansas (the longest in the country) that was snapped by a 74-63 loss to Texas on Jan. 24. The string dated to 2007 and a loss to Texas A&M, which was coached at the time by Billy Gillispie. The loss was just the seventh at home for Bill Self, who is in his eighth season as Kansas' coach.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're a great team, you can't take nothing from (Texas). But we beat ourselves." -- Kansas F Marcus Morris.



--at Colorado, tonight

KEY MATCHUPS: The Jayhawks will get their first matchup against new Colorado coach Tad Bayle, a Kansas product who played with Danny Manning and Mark Turgeon. Boyle has the Buffs rolling, enough so that seats will be at a premium for this game and not be occupied by huge chunks of Kansas fans. Exploiting Colorado's lack of size and playing inside-out will be beneficial for the Jayhawks.

--vs. Kansas State, Jan. 29

KEY MATCHUPS: The renewal of the in-state rivalry coincides with the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood. The Wildcats are struggling this season and usually struggle in this series, which the Jayhawks dominate. Applying defensive pressure is key. Kansas State is susceptible to pressure, particularly inside, where none of its bigs have good hands.

FUTURES MARKET: It is possible to pester F Marcus Morris and F Markieff Morris into poor decisions on offense. Nebraska did it with a sagging zone on Jan. 15. A week later, Texas exerted its toughness and limited the twins, as F Tristan Thompson controlled the paint with five blocks. The Jayhawks have no consistent shooters along the perimeter other than G Tyrel Reed, though the Morris twins are both capable of drifting outside and contributing jumpers.


--Freshman G Josh Selby played his 10th game of the season against Texas and was limited to four points on 2-for-9 shooting with two turnovers and one assist in 21 minutes. He was averaging 11.3 points and shooting 38 percent through Jan. 23.

--Senior G Tyrel Reed was the only starter to make 50 percent of his shots against Texas, going 5-for-10 for 17 points, with all his makes from 3-point range. The remainder of the Kansas starters went 12-for-41.

--Junior G Tyshawn Taylor had six assists against no turnovers against Texas. The six assists matched his Big 12 high.

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