KU Notebook

KANSAS CITY, MO. — News, notes and quotes while wrapping up KU's 80-68 victory over Texas Tech in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.

OPENING-ROUND STRUGGLES

Kansas has struggled in recent years during its opening-round game of the Big 12 Tournament.

"We were the two seed I think and played Oklahoma State a one-point game in Dallas (63-62 victory in 2006)," KU coach Bill Self said. "The next year we struggled with Oklahoma in the first round (64-47 victory in Oklahoma City). The (following) year we played Nebraska after handling them pretty good (84-49 win in Allen Fieldhouse earlier in the 2007-08 national championship season). They got us down 15 or whatever (before KU won, 65-54, in Kansas City)."

And last year, KU lost to Baylor, 71-64, in its opening-round game in Oklahoma City.

"We probably played better today than we did those games," Self said, "if that's any consolation for us at all."

COLLINS & ALDRICH RESPOND TO CHALLENGE

Self wasn't pleased with Cole Aldrich's and Sherron Collins' play the first half, even though they fared well statistically. Collins had nine points in 11 minutes the first half, while Aldrich recorded seven points and 10 rebounds.

The KU coach challenged his star duo at halftime.

Collins finished with 19 points on 5 of 8 field goal shooting and 6 of 6 from the charity stripe. He also had six assists. Aldrich had 12 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks.

"I didn't think either one played very well the first half," Self said. "Sherron had points, but had a couple of bad fouls, and I didn't think Cole was a factor at all. He got 10 rebounds but I didn't feel he was a factor.

"I thought they both played very well in the second half. Cole's got to be hungry to score. He's not as hungry to score as he was last year at this particular moment. We've got to be able to throw the ball to him, have him come away with points or fouls. And I think he can do a better job of that. I thought the second half he did a much better job.

"We've addressed it ... but to me he can manufacture points off transition, off board play, off scoring before he catches," Self added. "Teams have done a good job defending him. It's not all on him. We have to do a better job getting him the ball. (But) I want him to be hungrier to demand it and hungrier in areas where he doesn't have to bounce it. It's something that most guys go through; that's not being negative. That's a technique thing that he can get better at as we move forward, hopefully. "

"WE GAVE KANSAS ALL THEY CAN HANDLE"

Tech coach Pat Knight was proud of his team's effort. And so were his players.

"We just wanted to come out in this tournament and play hard and just lay everything on the floor," junior forward Mike Singletary said. "I think we did that in the two games, and we gave Kansas all they can handle. They're a great team. And we were right there with them."

THIS & THAT

Kansas improved to 25-7 all time in the Big 12 Championship and 12-2 in quarterfinal contests...The Jayhawks advanced to the semifinals for the 12th time...Collins moved into fifth place on KU's all-time scoring list with 1,822 points, passing Keith Langford and Darnell Valentine...Collins now has 35 career Big 12 Championship assists, ranking him eighth on the all-time list. He needs three more assists to move into fifth place...Aldrich moved into 11th place on KU's all-time rebounding list with 825, passing Dave Robisch... He's 15 rebounds away from moving into 10th place.

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