When KU head coach Bill Self perused scores from the world of college basketball Tuesday night one result in particular caught his eye – Texas Tech 83 North Texas 92 in overtime.
"I'm surprised," Self told reporters on Wednesday at his weekly press
conference. "Not taking anything away from North Texas, but I know how
good Texas Tech is going to be this year. Tech returns five of its six
top scorers. I believe North Texas returns four starters. It's not a
shocking win, but as good as Texas Tech is, I was a little surprised by
"I didn't get a chance to watch too much of it," junior guard Tyshawn Taylor said. "They played really well. They got a big win under their
belt with Texas Tech."
Head coach Johnny Jones is getting used to big wins and he has a
veteran bunch starting four seniors and a junior. Under Jones the Mean
Green has made the NCAA Tournament two of the last four years and
earned four straight 20-win seasons. This season is no different. Again
UNT is a unanimous pick to again win the Sun Belt Conference this
season and the win against a fellow Big 12 member was plenty to raise
the eyebrows in the Kansas basketball offices.
"North Texas did a really good job getting our attention (Tuesday)
night," Self said. "We got Texas Tech pretty good at our place last
year, but in the tournament it was a two-point game at halftime. We
know that (Texas Tech) is better than they were last year, so North
Texas got our attention without question."
"I figured they were pretty good. Being from Texas the Southern guys
are really athletic. They beat Texas Tech which we just found out,"
Mario Little said after finding out five minutes prior what the final
score was, "and they're a pretty good team it just shows you can't take
any team lightly."
"Every team gets my attention," said junior Marcus Morris. "You can't
overlook a team, but beating a team in the Big 12 definitely got my
"I mean they beat Texas Tech and they beat us before," Little
Kansas will have to contend with George Odufuwa, who currently comes
off the bench and is an automatic double-double. The 6-8 senior posted
15 points and 14 rebounds against the Red Raiders. Senior guard Josh White scored 32 vs. Tech with 11 of them coming at a critical juncture
"He's fast," Self answered when asked about White. "North Texas' whole
team is fast. He dropped 32 points on Texas Tech. He's good. They've
had experience knocking off Big 12 teams. They beat Oklahoma State a
couple of years ago when those kids were freshmen, and of course they
got the big win last night (against Texas Tech).They have our respect
without question. Their perimeter (players) can all score, and their
big guys are all quick and active."
White is the team's leading scorer (20.5 ppg) but is only half of a
stellar backcourt. He is complimented by senior Tristan Thompson who is
the team's second-leading scorer at 18.0 ppg.
"Johnny (Jones, North Texas head coach) has done a great job since he's
been there. They've been in the NCAA Tournament pretty consistently. I
thought they played Kansas State really tough in the first round and
hung with them for quite a period of time last year in Oklahoma City,"
So while telling Phog.net his team is definitely playing "better" Self
also admitted that North Texas will provide a "good test" for his
Jayhawks on Friday night.
North Texas is pesky, athletic, fast, and unafraid of running up and
down the court with the Jayhawks. Coach Jones admits his Mean Green are
looking for a "breakthrough" but winning in Lawrence is a tall
"They're fast. I think they return all of their starters (from last
year's NCAA Tournament team), so I think it's going to be a good game.
They like to get up and down (the court) like we want to play, so I
think it's going to be fun," Taylor said.
The defense will again be the focus for Kansas as it tries to again
protect home turf and extend the home winning streak to 62 games, tying
a school record. The key to that is simple. The Hawks will be
determined not to give up anything close to 92 points on its home
floor. As Self says "under 70" is always the hope but at home "under 60
really" is the true goal.
"I will talk to them about it," Self responded when asked if he would
talk to his team about the streak. "That should not be our motivation
to play, but these guys owe it to everybody else that has been a part
of this streak that is not on this team to make sure that they are
recognized as being part of this streak. I think they should be playing
for others every bit as much as they are playing for themselves on
"It means a lot," Marcus Morris admitted. "I strive day-in and day-out
to make sure that the streak continues because I don't want that streak
to end while I'm here. There's a little pressure because it's the
longest streak in the country right now.
"It means a lot," Taylor said echoing Marcus' statement. "I definitely
don't want to be a part of the team that breaks the streak. I think
it's definitely important. We haven't really talked about it too much.
I feel like if we come out and play how we want to play, we'll be fine."
"I never expect to lose here. This is the best home-court advantage in
the country. Coming in here and getting those chills before the game, I
definitely don't expect to lose here," Marcus told reporters.
By beating Texas Tech in Denton North Texas may have done the worst
thing it could do heading into a game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse – it has
grabbed the attention of a team that's already won 61 in a row at home
and be certain the Mean Green will not be overlooked.
- Selby update – head coach Bill Self told Phog.net he is still hopeful
about hearing something on Selby this week but honestly still has no
idea when a ruling will come down.
- Jeff Withey's xrays have shown no reason why he should not be 100
percent all the time. Self also reiterated what he told Phog.net the
other day – Withey could impact the rotation even more than Cole Aldrich did in his freshman year.
Phog.net Top Stories
Kansas True Freshman Delivers Big HitKansas Jayhawks true freshman safety Mike Lee delivered a big hit on a Texas Tech runner. Lee came into tonight with four tackles in his young career and he made the fifth one…
Scout CFBYesterday at 7:22 AM
Big 12 Recruiting Notebook (9/29/16)News, notes and recruiting scoop out of the Big 12...
Scout FootballThursday at 8:47 AM
Big 12 Football Roundup: Week 3 Top StoriesAll you need to know about Big 12 teams leading into Week Three of the college football season.
Big 12 Recruiting Notebook (9/15/16)News, notes and recruiting scoop out of the Big 12...
Scout's Inside Recruiting ScoopSep. 14 -- What's the latest on the top recruits in the country? Scout's basketball recruiting team -- Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon -- break down the latest, including…
Bruin Report Online09/14/2016