Coming off three double-digit wins, Kansas men’s basketball has been led primarily by some great defensive performances.
As was the case Saturday in KU’s 67-61 home win over No. 15 Texas Tech at Allen Fieldhouse, where defense was once again the main takeaway from this victory.
Despite the Red Raiders shooting 42% from the field and 33% from three-point range, Texas Tech struggled offensively, having to score primarily on put-backs off offensive rebounds.
Early on, Kansas forced Texas Tech junior guard Mac McClung to take some tough shots, holding him to only three first half points on 1-for-6 shooting.
The Red Raiders were able to make a few shots, but overall Kansas played some of the most sound defense that he has all year.
Redshirt freshman Jalen Wilson was a key piece to Kansas’ defense, as his defensive efforts have been his and the Jayhawks calling card over the past few weeks.
“We know we are going to win the game on the defensive end,” Wilson said in the postgame press conference. “Games we play against good teams aren’t going to be won if we’re just trading buckets back and forth. So with us we just have to focus on defense and getting stops and not allowing teams to get comfortable from the three point line. I think we did a really good job with that.”
Despite Kansas missing multiple open looks from beyond the arc by Wilson, junior guard Ochai Agbaji and sophomore guard Christian Braun, consistent defense kept the Jayhawks ahead.
Kansas led throughout as the Jayhawks had an answer for every Texas Tech run.
“I think we were [sound defensively],” Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self said. “If you eliminate them scoring with less than three on the shot clock, I thought we were pretty good. I didn’t think we rebounded great, we rebounded okay, but overall, I thought we did some really good things defensively.”
The Jayhawks will look to close the season strong with upcoming matchups against No. 12 Texas and No. 2 Baylor. Locking in defensively will be the primary calling card for Kansas to come away victorious heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
Kansas faces No. 12 Texas on the road Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.