With Kansas falling at Oklahoma 75-68 Saturday, the Jayhawks have now dropped three straight Big 12 games for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
Kansas will now have to go on a big run to get back in the Big 12 race and in the NCAA tournament.
Despite the loss, senior guard Marcus Garrett kept Kansas in the game and played one of his best games of the season, finishing with a team-high 21 points and 12 rebounds. He also went 3-for-5 from three-point range and looked more confident in his shot than earlier this season.
“I just take the shots that I’m open,” Garrett said. “[Kansas coach Bill Self] tells me that everyday during practice if they are leaving me open, take the shot.”
If it wasn’t for the 2019-20 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, Kansas would’ve been in a tough spot in the first half as the Jayhawks were down just 29-28 at halftime while struggling offensively.
Garrett finished with 10 points in the first half and shot 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. The pair of three-pointers were the first made three-pointers for Garrett since playing West Virginia on Dec. 22.
The Dallas native also showed his defensive presence early and often throughout the game guarding the Sooners' best offensive player. He caused a few turnovers for Oklahoma and was able to provide some easy baskets on the other end.
Self said he was grateful for Garrett’s efforts, and that he was the factor keeping the Jayhawks in the game throughout.
“Fortunately we had [Marcus] today,” Self said after the game. “If we didn’t, this game would have been ugly."
"He made a couple of bad plays late due to fatigue, but think of it like this: who guards the ball late in the clock other than him? To think that he got [21 points and 12 rebounds] and was by far our most efficient and most superior defender says, I think, he had a heck of a ball game,” he continued.
Garrett has been the most consistent defender for the Jayhawks all season and has shown what he can do time and time again guarding the best player on the opposing team. If Kansas wants to move up in the rankings and be a team that can make a solid run in March, Garrett will need to continue playing strong defensively and provide a solid offensive attack.
Kansas will look to bounce back against TCU at home Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.