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Moments That Popped: No. 9 Kansas clobbers Texas

Highlights, highlights and more highlights for the home team in a run-away win

6 min read
The Kansas men's basketball team sent Texas out on an ugly note on Saturday, rocking the Longhorns in their final trip to Allen Fieldhouse. [R1S1 Sports photo]

The 9th-ranked Kansas men’s basketball team won another game without senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr., who missed Saturday’s 86-67 over Texas because of that lingering bone bruise on his knee.

With McCullar in street clothes and Nick Timberlake in the starting the lineup, the Jayhawks got one of their most complete team victories of the season. The three-man rotation off of the bench of Elmarko Jackson, Jamari McDowell and Parker Braun all contributed and the starting five was both solid and efficient.

Hunter Dickinson reached 20 points again and added 7 rebounds. Freshman Johnny Furphy scored 16 points on just 3 shots. And KJ Adams added 16 on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor.

Next up, the Jayhawks will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night, where they’ll take on Big 12 newcomer BYU at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

After that, it’s on to the home stretch – a road game at Baylor next Saturday, the Sunflower Showdown vs. Kansas State on March 5 and the regular season finale at Houston on March 9.

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights and memorable moments from the Jayhawks’ beatdown of Texas on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.



• Top shelf for Mr. Timberlake: During a first-half stretch that saw the Jayhawks turn a 1-point lead into a 13-point advantage, senior guard Nick Timberlake played a memorable starring role. Not only did he knock down a key 3-pointer from the corner, but he also finished a gorgeous, highlight lob through contact that turned the place into a mad house. Hunter Dickinson went nuts after Timberlake’s flush, barking and hyping him up right in his face as the other Jayhawks came over to give him some love, too. It was a big time play by an underrated athlete and it had nothing to do with shooting the ball from the outside.

• Furphy’s poster: Midway through the first half, with the Jayhawks leading by a point, KU freshman Johnny Furphy caught a pass near the paint off of a back cut and immediately elevated to the rim to dunk the ball. He did, with two Texas defenders contesting and brought the KU crowd to its feet. Quickly, flashbacks to Uncle Anthony (after the Wayne Selden dunk vs. Baylor some years ago) appeared on the video board and the Jayhawks were well on their way to putting the hammer down to close the first half.

• Fly, Parker, fly: With KU leading 30-19 with 5:30 to play in the first half, the KU big man came barreling down the lane and caught a perfectly place pass that gave him no choice but to go up and attack the rim. He did and was met in mid-air by UT forward Kadin Shedrick. The two collided at the highest point of their jump, causing Braun, who might’ve had eyes on a dunk, to release the ball after the contact. As the whistle blew and both players landed, the ball rolled around on the rim and fell through to give Braun a shot at an old-fashioned three-point play. He laughed and rolled his eyes a little at his good fortune and then missed the ensuing free throw. Didn’t matter. It was a heck of a highlight and KU’s lead grew to 13 en route to a 45-25 lead at the half.

• KJ’s self-inflicted harm: I lost count late in the first half of how many times KU forward KJ Adams pounded on his chest after a big play by the Jayhawks, be it one made by him or by a teammate. It had to be close to double figures. And it makes perfect sense given the fact that, (a) Adams is ALWAYS that dude, and, (b) Adams was playing his hometown Texas Longhorns for what could be the final time in his career. With Texas headed to the SEC next season, the only chance Adams and the Jayhawks have of facing them in the foreseeable future is in the postseason. Adams clearly wanted to make this last one a memorable one, and he did both with his celebratory gesture and the 16 points he put up in the win.

• Horns down: Seeing how Saturday was the final time for the Texas basketball team to play in Allen Fieldhouse for the foreseeable future, it made sense that we saw a lot of “Horns down” gestures and signage from the KU crowd. Sure, this was deemed highly offensive earlier in the season, when students at BYU painted those letters on T-Shirts for a home game vs the Longhorns. But it did not appear to bother anyone at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. In fact, the more people did it, the more those around them joined in on the fun. The Fieldhouse was filled with chants of "S-E-C! S-E-C!" as the final minutes ticked off the clock.


• No McCullar: The on-again-off-again injury saga with KU senior Kevin McCullar Jr. pointed downward again on Saturday, when McCullar missed his third game in the last two weeks because of the lingering effects of the bone bruise on his knee that has been bothering him for the past couple of months. McCullar played in last week’s road win at OU and the hope was that a full week of rest between then and Saturday’s game vs. the Longhorns would do him well. But the injury has not improved. KU coach Bill Self said before Saturday’s game, on the pregame radio show, that McCullar was “doubtful” for Tuesday’s game against BYU and should be considered “week to week” at this point.

• Hunter from distance: The KU big man missed both 3-point tries he attempted on Saturday and now is 3-for-28 from behind the 3-point line since Jan. 10. It’s not just the misses that are the problem here. It’s the why behind them. Like he had done earlier in the season, Dickinson continues to look for his 3-point shot early in most games — and did again Saturday — and then goes away from it completely if they don’t fall. You can’t blame him for that. And no one wants to see a team’s 7-foot center jack up 10 triples. But that is one of the biggest areas that Dickinson can exploit a mismatch and him turning gun-shy so quickly negates that potential edge.

• Sluggish start to the 2nd half: KU had the advantage of opening the 2nd half with a 20-point cushion, so the ugly play on the floor to start the final 20 minutes didn’t kill them. But it sure wasn’t pretty either. KU turned it over 5 times in a stretch of 2:33 to open the second half and looked generally sloppy and slow at the same time. Perhaps that was to be expected after the Jayhawks’ stellar first half, but, had the Longhorns been just a little better, it could’ve made things a lot tighter than they needed to be. Instead, UT used KU’s sloppy play to turn that 20-point lead into just 13 (47-34) but the Longhorns could get no closer.


• Behind-the-back dime: Late in Saturday’s first half, KU freshman Elmarko Jackson attacked the paint off the dribble down the right side of the lane and, before reaching the low block, zipped a behind-the-back dime to Hunter Dickinson on the other side of the paint. Dickinson caught the pass in stride and easily scored the 2 points — KU’s 30th in the paint to that point — to send the home crowd into yet another frenzy. Here’s the deal. A lot has been made about Jackson’s confidence, comfort and ability to make an impact so far this season. But you don’t make that pass – nor do it with such ease and smoothness – if you’re not comfortable and confident. It was just one play in a game full of impressive ones by the home team, but we might remember that one in the fairly new future.

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