NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Kansas

Jan 9, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward David McCormack (33) shoots a free throw during the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse. \

Kansas men’s basketball fell to Oklahoma State Tuesday, despite a strong second half comeback fueled by a career night from junior forward David McCormack. 

McCormack, who finished with a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds, scored 12 points in the second half to help erase a 16-point deficit. 

Kansas coach Bill Self said after the game that McCormack is "certainly on an uptick" with his production in recent games.

“I thought everybody was so poor defensively the first half, but I thought he had a great game,” Self said. “We threw it to him, he delivered, he made some hard shots. Defensively, he controlled the defensive glass for the most part."

Over the last three games, McCormack has been exceptional, averaging 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. 

“I just kinda played to my size advantage, did what coach [Self] asked, posting deep, tried not to force any shots and just made some good reads,” McCormack said after the game.

Overall, McCormack is averaging 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 block per game in 13 games played this season. 

“I don’t know that he can average 20 and 10 the rest of the season, but I do think he has the potential to get 20 and 10 in any game,” Self said. 

In addition to McCormack, Kansas also saw junior guard Ochai Agbaji and senior guard Marcus Garrett score in double-figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. 

Kansas struggled to contain Oklahoma State in transition, as the Jayhawks were outscored 37-8 in fast break points. 

“Certainly, pride and toughness is a big part of stopping people and we've got to get better. I’ve got to demand more,” Self said. “I’m talking about our transition defense and our half court defense.” 

A large factor was the play of Oklahoma State star freshman guard Cade Cunningham, who finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks for the Cowboys in the win. 

“Well, he was the best player in the country for the first 10 or 12 minutes of the game,” Self said. “I thought he showed everybody why he was so good because he did it in a plethora of ways."

“It wasn’t just catching and shooting — he did it by playing," Self continued. "I thought he was very impressive.” 

The Jayhawks were dealt another blow Tuesday as freshman guard Bryce Thompson suffered a broken finger in the loss.  

“I don’t know the exact details of that. All I know is that we’re sure he broke his finger,” Self said. “We’ll go back and get it examined.” 

Self said he expects Thompson to "be out a while," isn't sure yet if Thompson's  injury will require surgery.

“All we know is that there was definitely a break," Self said.

Kansas will return home for its next game against Iowa State Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.