Skip to content

Moments That Popped: KU-OSU in Stillwater

More Furphy, a bunch of points and a huge highlight from Nick Timberlake

6 min read
Under the orange glow only found in Stillwater, the Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma State Cowboys prepare take the floor for the opening tip before Tuesday's 90-66 KU win at OSU. [R1S1 photo]

Stillwater, Oklahoma — They still had to play out the final 39 minutes, but everything you needed to know about how Tuesday’s game between 3rd-ranked Kansas and Oklahoma State would go showed itself in the first minute.

From there, the Jayhawks merely kept pouring it on, using a balanced effort from its starting five and quality contributions off the bench to roll past the Cowboys 90-66.

The win moved KU to 15-2 overall and 3-1 in Big 12 play and was the team’s first Big 12 road win of the season.

The game will forever go down as freshman guard Johnny Furphy’s breakout performance. More on that below and later. The young Australian finished with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a team-high-tying 7 rebounds in 33 minutes.

Hunter Dickinson added 21 points and 7 rebounds in 30 minutes and Kevin McCullar Jr. flirted with another triple-double finishing with 18 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds.

KJ Adams also chipped in with a solid line of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.

This one was never in doubt and was played in front of a half-empty arena. Of the half of the seats that were filled, half of those had KU fans in them.

Next up, the Jayhawks will travel to West Virginia on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tipoff in Morgantown before returning home for next Monday’s Big Monday battle with Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati at Allen Fieldhouse.

Here’s a look back at some of the many highlights from Tuesday’s comfortable and convincing Kansas win.

More from Tuesday's win at Oklahoma State...






• Johnny competes early and often: As expected, KU freshman Johnny Furphy was in the Jayhawks’ starting lineup again on Tuesday night and, for the second game in a row, the freshman from Australia opened the game with great energy that made a major impact. First, was a dunk in transition to put KU up 4-0. Then, after an Oklahoma State miss on the other end, Furphy jumped not once, not twice, but three times, with two Cowboys, to pull down a rebound. His reverse layup that was essentially uncontested on KU’s next trip put the Jayhawks up 6-0 and forced OSU to call a timeout just 1:08 into the game. A few minutes later, as former Jayhawk and current OSU guard Bryce Thompson tried to bully his way to the basket in transition, Furphy rose with him and just took the ball away from him in mid-air.

• KU’s first substitution pretty noteworthy: For a couple of reasons. First, it did not come until the 10:32 mark of the first half, as the Jayhawks were off and running and there was no reason to slow their roll. Second, when it did come, it was both expected and unexpected. What you would’ve predicted was that Elmarko Jackson was the first Jayhawk off the bench. What you might not have guessed is that he was going to come in for Dajuan Harris Jr. and not Furphy. Simply put, Furphy was too hot to take out. More than that, though, this might just give us a glimpse at Self’s thinking on how to handle his lineup and rotation moving forward. More on that in tonight’s “What was it, How did it happen, What does it mean?” feature a little later.

• Parker pulls one: Late in the first half, while playing post defense during his time on the floor, KU big man Parker Braun drew a charge on Brandon Garrison by falling flat on his back in the lane as Garrison was dribbling and backing him down toward the basket. The official immediately waved off the bucket and called the charge and the stoppage in play allowed the Jayhawks to substitute, with Dickinson coming back in for Braun. As the veteran big man ran to the bench to take a seat, he smiled and shook his head with his teammates when he reached the end of the bench.

• 90 points and just 5 3-pointers: Few things speak to the effectiveness and efficiency the Kansas offense played with on Tuesday night like the fact that they were able to score 90 with just 15 of them coming from behind the 3-point line. All five starters scored in double figures. KU clobbered OSU in points in the paint (46-24). And the Jayhawks followed up last weekend’s record-setting showing of 2 turnovers in a win over Oklahoma with just 11 in this one.

• McDowell’s shoes: KU freshman Jamari McDowell went into the belly of the beast, where EVERYTHING is orange, and came out wearing a pair of neon-orange Adidas basketball shoes. Clearly, Jamari wasn’t worried about what people would think of the decision to go orange in Stillwater. He played just a few minutes to close out the game and picked up one foul as his only stat.


• Late-half execution on final offensive possession: After Oklahoma State miss late in the first half, KU called timeout to set up what could’ve been the final possession of the half. Self loves that moments. And he loves it even more when his teams execute in them. The Jayhawks did not on Tuesday night. Instead, the play broke down on the left wing, Dajuan Harris Jr. turned it over in traffic and KJ Adams couldn’t corral it while running it down near mid-court. That left three seconds on the clock and Bryce Thompson’s 3-pointer to beat the buzzer pulled the Cowboys within 15 at the break (48-33) in a game that looked and felt more like Oklahoma State should’ve been down by 50. Although I’m sure he hated to see his team’s failed execution, you know Self loved the moment in another way because it allowed him, if he chose to, to spend the bulk of the half grilling his team for that miscue instead of praising them for what was otherwise an outstanding 20 minutes of basketball.

• Defensive lapses: There were still a few defensive lapses in this one – the kind that made Self turn to his assistants and gesture wildly or drop his head toward the ground while trying to figure out why someone just did what they did. That’s gonna happen. And it happened with everyone from freshman Elmarko Jackson to veteran point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. The key for Kansas — and it looks like they’re getting this — is to keep those moments to a minimum. That’s easier to do against teams like Oklahoma State than it will be against the Houstons, Baylors and Texas Techs of the world. But, still… KU needs to continue to make progress in this area because those types of possessions could cost them in closer games.


• Timberlake’s hammer: It hasn’t been the best few months for Towson transfer Nick Timberlake, who has struggled to shoot the ball and seen his playing time shrink as a result. But no matter how things play out the rest of the season, no one will be able to take away Timberlake’s hammer dunk in transition over former Jayhawk Bryce Thompson that sent a hush over the crowd. Self has praised Timberlake for his attitude and team-first approach throughout his slump, so there’s no doubt that everyone on the KU side was thrilled to see him deliver such a big-time highlight. It shouldn’t have been a total shocker. Dating all the way back to Puerto Rico, Timberlake has shown he’s a good athlete and can get out and go in transition. You just have to be on the floor to be able to do it. It’s worth noting that even this highlight belonged in part to Furphy, whose block, rebound and sweet outlet pass to Timberlake sparked the whole thing.

— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit