Tyshawn Taylor smiled and shyly leaned away from the microphone, staring down the table at his coach with something in between hope and cockiness in his eyes.
Taylor had just said that he hoped his 20-point, five-assist, four-rebound performance was good enough to prove "that I could start for the rest of the time."
Coach Bill Self smirked, obviously pleased with his mercurial point guard's outstanding performance on the day, but unwilling to be effusive in his praise with Taylor in the room.
"Still had those two turnovers," Self said.
Self was, of course, joking, but it was that kind of day for the Jayhawks, where two turnovers on an otherwise perfect stat line were worth even a sarcastic mention.
In looking at the box score, there's little the Jayhawks didn't do well. They outrebounded the fifth-best rebounding team in the country. They shot 57 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three-point range. They dominated the battle inside, scoring 38 points in the paint to Texas' 18.
"When we play like that, it's going to be hard to stop us," said Marcus Morris, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player after the game.
Basically, if there were flaws, they were miniscule and very difficult to find. The Jayhawks got their dream rematch with Texas, the only team they had played and not beaten, and they made the most of it.
"It just happened the perfect way for us to get them in the Big 12 Championship and for all the marbles," Morris said.
The Morris twins, who struggled in the first meeting with Texas, flourished with defensive stalwart Tristan Thompson relegated to the bench with foul trouble. Thompson played just 11 minutes and his backups were unable to hold the twins. Marcus finished with 17 points and six rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting, while Markieff had 14 and nine rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting.
And as efficient as the Jayhawks were offensively, they may have been better defensively.
"That was the best defense that we played in a while," Self said. "We played the scouting report very well."
The Longhorns scored 73 points, nowhere near the fewest Kansas has allowed this season, but the high score was more a product of the frenetic pace than of any particular efficiency from the Longhorns' offense. Jordan Hamilton - who was a member of the all-tournament team alongside the Morris twins, Colorado's Alec Burks and Texas' Thompson - led the Longhorns with 21 points, but it took him 21 shots to get there.
"I thought we guarded in a high-possession game," Self said. "Especially the first half. And I think that set the tone for a lot of things."
— Edited by Amanda Sorell