Mon, 27 Jan 2020

No. 6 Kansas hopes to rebound in recent house of horrors

Field Level Media
14 Jan 2020, 14:25 GMT+10

Kansas and Oklahoma are both looking to bounce back from disappointing Saturday performances when they meet up in Norman, Okla., on Tuesday night.

Sixth-ranked Kansas is coming off a 67-55 loss to Baylor. It was the first time the Bears had ever beaten Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. It was also Kansas' worst scoring output at home in nearly 20 years.

"We just gotta lock in more," Jayhawks sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji told reporters after the game. "Once we get on a run, we can't let them have any breathing space.

"We've just got to stay in the game."

And the loss to Baylor might've been even more costly for Kansas (12-3, 2-1).

Sophomore point guard Devon Dotson was limited in the second half after trying to play through a hip injury he'd suffered earlier in the game. Dotson leads the Jayhawks in scoring, assists and minutes played.

"He's going to be sore," Kansas coach Bill Self said of his star. "Those hip pointers can linger and can be pretty painful. He was hurting out there, and there's no question about that.

"We need to get well quick."

Junior guard Marcus Garrett continues to battle an ankle injury, as well.

Garrett is the most experienced player on Kansas' roster. He was a freshman on the 2017-18 Final Four team.

"We just have to come ready to play the next game," Garrett said. "That's the good thing about basketball -- quick turnaround."

Tuesday's game is the first of two on the road for Kansas this week. The Jayhawks play at Texas on Saturday.

Oklahoma is coming off an 81-68 loss at Iowa State that snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped the Sooners, like Kansas, to 2-1 in Big 12 play. They are 11-4 overall.

Tuesday's winner will remain in contention near the top of the Big 12, while the loser could be in danger of dropping to the bottom half of the league.

"Means a lot," forward Kristian Doolittle said of the showdown against the Jayhawks. "It's one thing to have them here and coming to Norman, but we still have to play well."

The Sooners have beaten the Jayhawks in each of their last two meetings in Norman. During that span, Kansas has won in every Big 12 venue except for Lloyd Noble Center.

Oklahoma won last season's meeting at home 81-68. Doolittle scored 24 points in that game while Brady Manek had 21.

A big part of Oklahoma's recent offensive success -- the Sooners are the top-shooting team in Big 12 games so far -- is the emergence of freshman point guard De'Vion Harmon.

Harmon struggled for much of the season and was moved to a reserve role but has come on strong the last two games, averaging 10 points per game with just one combined turnover in 47 minutes.

"At the end of the day, I don't look at it as being a freshman. It's still basketball," Harmon said. "There's nothing really different. I've approached it the same way and with the same attitude. I'm just trying to be better in the areas where I fall kind of short of. People can say he's 18, he's a freshman, they are young. It's just basketball at the end of the day."

--Field Level Media

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