Allen Fieldhouse

Head basketball coach Rick Barnes chats with Kansas head coach Bill Self after their tow teams matched-up Saturday night. Kansas delivered the Longhorns another road loss as Texas continues to struggle in away competitions, losing all seven of them this season.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Texas will have to wait another year to steal a win at Allen Fieldhouse after getting pummeled 73-47 by Kansas on Saturday night.

The Longhorns made only two of their 21 three-point attempts and committed 16 turnovers in a game that could have ended up a lot worse for Texas. The loss drops the Longhorns to six games behind the Jayhawks (21-4, 9-3) in the Big 12 standings and to an overall record of 11-14 on the year. The Longhorns have lost all six of their Big 12 road games.

“Guys get away mentally from what we want to get done,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s the thing that bothers me. Kansas is as good as anyone when they make shots.”

Texas’ 21.8-percent mark shooting the ball marks the worst shooting percentage in the Barnes era.

“You can’t coach making shots,” Barnes said. “All the things we talked about that we wanted to do, we didn’t do.”

Myck Kabongo scored a team-high 13 points with nine of those points coming from the free-throw line. Connor Lammert had seven points in the first half but scored just two more points before fouling out with under four minutes left in the game. After showing some signs of improvement in recent games, freshmen Demarcus Holland and Ioannis Papapetrou combined for just eight points. Fellow freshman Cameron Ridley missed on all five of his free throw attempts and, like Javan Felix, failed to score a single point.

The Jayhawks’ starters combined for 61 points, led by Jeff Withey and Travis Releford with 15 points each. Withey rounded out a double-double with 11 rebounds and two blocks, the second of which moved him in to sole possession of the Big 12 all-time block record with 265 career rejections. The record was previously held by Texas’ Chris Mihm.

“We had an emphasis on trying to get inside more but the outside shots kept coming open and we couldn’t make them,” Lammert said.

For much of the game the Jayhawks’ defensive pressure forced the Longhorns into hurried shots inside the lane, turnovers and eventually two shot-clock violations. Kabongo and Felix had several passes into the post tipped, leading to fast break opportunities for the Jayhawks.

“We did a good job making them uncomfortable shooting the ball in the second half,” Releford said.

Withey had a lot to do with Texas’ alarmingly low field goal percentage, but senior guard Elijah Johnson thinks the Jayhawks can get even more from the seven-footer.

“Frustration sets in for other teams when they have to take a detour around Jeff,” Johnson said. “We know how to use Jeff but right now we’re not doing it.”

Kansas scored 38 points in the paint, thanks in large part to Withey’s presence around the rim and Releford’s 4-of-5 night shooting from behind the three-point line. Freshman Ben McLemore picked Kabongo’s pocket late in the second half, taking the ball the length of the court and finishing with a 360-degree dunk that sent the home crowd in to all-out chaos.

A freshman on the other end of the talent spectrum from McLemore, walk-on Tyler Self, scored a basket with just under a minute to play which caused Allen Fieldhouse to roar even louder. Tyler, son of head coach Bill Self, was fouled on the play but would go on to miss the ensuing free throw attempt.

“That was a hard shot, but if he wouldn’t have gotten fouled it probably wouldn’t have had any chance to go in,” Self said. “I will probably hear at home how he needs to probably start getting more playing time.”

Texas will get another shot at its first road conference win when it takes on TCU in Fort Worth on Tuesday.

Published on February 18, 2013 as "Laugher in Lawrence". 

Forward Connor Lammert goes up for a shot in the second half. Lammer finished 3-8 for 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A pregame reading of the noise level at Phog Allen Fieldhouse showed that the raucous crowd of 16,300 registered at 117 decibels.

In their last meeting with Kansas, Texas lost by just five points, 64-59, on Jan. 19 in a game it led by six points with less than six minutes to play. But the Longhorns, whose roster includes six freshmen, did not respond well to facing the Jayhawks away from home as Texas fell to Kansas, 73-47, on Saturday night.

"We went up to Michigan State earlier in the year and we got a little taste of what it would be like," freshman forward Connor Lammert said. "After a while, we kind of got used to it. At the end of the day, it definitely came down to the 10 guys on the court. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well at all. We got some shots we were looking for. As far as the fans go, they were great. It just came down to us."

Texas fell to the Michigan State, 67-56, at the Spartans' Breslin Center, which is considered one of college basketball's best gameday atmospheres. But it pales in comparison to the intensity and hostility that comes with playing at Allen Fieldhouse. With the win, Kansas has now won 104 of its last 106 games at home.

"It's different playing at home," freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou said. "They came to our place and played a really good game for about 36 minutes. The last four minutes of the game, we basically gave the game away. That wasn't the case today. The place was packed. They're playing for the fans. They executed more and outplayed us. It really came down to execution and they were better."

Allen Fieldhouse may have been at its loudest long after the outcome of the game had been decided. With Kansas leading Texas, 66-34, Jeff Withey stole the ball from Myck Kabongo and passed it head to Ben McLemore, who had a clear path to the basket with no defenders nearby.

McLemore came at the basket from an angle, stutter stepped and leaped into the air, spinning 360 degrees before bringing the house down with what was the most impressive play of the game.

"It was a pretty athletic dunk," Jayhawks head coach Bill Self said. "It was nice. I didn't think he was trying to do that. He slowed down. I thought, 'What was he doing?' I didn't think he would do it. But he did."

Turns out the 69-game home winning streak that the Longhorns snapped two weekends ago at Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse was not the only major loss that occurred on the Lawrence campus in January.

Thomas Blubaugh, a former consultant to KU’s basketball program, had knowledge of a ticket-selling scheme headed by his wife Charlette, an employee in the university’s ticket office. She was reportedly put aside huge amounts of season tickets and illegally sold them in an unofficial, non-KU-affiliated ring. She would then split the proceeds from the illegal sales with her husband, who last Friday pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, tax evasion and transportation of stolen goods.

The tickets were reportedly worth more than $2 million in total, and the sentence could be up to 20 years in jail with a hefty fine, in addition to the mandatory repayment of the lost revenue.

“[Thomas Blubaugh] will continue to cooperate with the government in the prosecution of others in this case,” Stephen E. Robison, Blubaugh’s lawyer, said to a judge last week.

The Blubaughs and three others were indicted in November. Kassie Liebsch, also a former employee in the ticket office, and former Kansas assistant athletic director Rodney Jones pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Ben Kirtland, a former developmental director, is the last remaining defendant and is scheduled to go to trial in March.

<strong>Singletary, Selby earn honors</strong>

After big weeks for No. 2 Kansas and resurgent Texas Tech, Jayhawk freshman Josh Selby and Red Raider senior Mike Singletary earned the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week and Player of the Week awards, respectively.

For Selby and the Jayhawks, the week started with a tough road win at Colorado and ended with a home romp over crumbling rival Kansas State. Selby averaged 14.5 points while shooting more than 50 percent from the floor in the two wins for the one-loss Jayhawks.

Meanwhile in Lubbock, Pat Knight’s Red Raiders are starting to gain some momentum after wins at Iowa State and in overtime against Oklahoma State. Senior swingman Singletary was a major player to the big week for Tech. He averaged a stellar 29 points and nearly nine boards per game while shooting 60 percent on 18-of-30 from the floor and 91.3 percent free-throw shooting.

Last week, Texas frontcourt mates Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson took home the weekly awards.

<strong>Weather delays Baylor game</strong>

A conference game between Oklahoma and Baylor, scheduled to be broadcast as part of ESPN2’s Super Tuesday, has been postponed until today because of the monumental winter storm that has torn through more than half of the country. Up north in Norman, Okla., officials predicted large amounts of wintry weather last night and did not want to take any risks with the game.

A huge event for both teams, including bubble tournament contender Baylor, the makeup game will take place today at 3 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center, and OU will offer free admission to all.

The Sooners have won three straight since their trip to Austin, while Baylor has lost three of five and only received one vote in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll this week. However, the Bears can move to 5-3 in the Big 12 with a road win at Oklahoma.

One of the many songs on the warm-up playlist blasting inside the Frank Erwin Center before basketball games is J. Cole’s “Higher,” in which he croons, “Come here, I’m about to take you higher.”

Ironic, considering the large number of students — the ones who were lucky enough to get past the entrances — that had to ascend higher and higher up in the mezzanine for a chance to see the Longhorns in person Saturday.

There weren’t too many problems with the 71-58 win over Missouri. Free-throw shooting, sure, but that’s another story. But what did stand out considerably from my birds-eye view of the arena was this: Our student section needs some work.

Clearly, the area granted to the O-Zone is much smaller compared to the rest of the floor and arena seating, which is given to season-ticket holders. Two slim strips of student areas running behind each baseline give the students a whopping four of the 29 arena sections to call their own. Four.

This is the reason that the aura of the Erwin Center won’t ever strike fear in the hearts of opponents like Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium or Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse do. In those and most other arenas around the country, student seating takes up a much larger part of the floor seating, and not just behind the backboard. Rather, behind both benches, all along the sidelines and behind the baselines. This kind of layout creates a more raucous crowd, a wave of heckling students all around the court. The Drum? Well, the crowd of students behind the backboard does its part to distract opposing free-throw shooters, but alumni prefer to sit in mostly silence during the game, usually only rising to their feet in
dire situations.

Now, because of Texas’ success this year, the small area of student seating becomes a problem. Students want to see their team in person. But because so many of them come, mass amounts are either turned away despite early arrival (see Texas A&M game mob scene) or just relocated up to the nosebleeds when there is no room left on the floor for them. How much of an impact will even the loudest fans have from up in the mezzanine? Not too much, considering while we stand, chant and holler, the season-ticket holders directly below favor sitting and chitchatting.

I understand that the price is high for a prime spot in the stands and that the season-ticket holders dish out considerable dough for the right to be close to the action. But we’re paying also in steep tuition bills, as well as the price for an LASP season pass. It’s only $80, but if I’m going to pay, I expect to get in.

The fact that the LASP tickets are accepted (and then turned down) on a first-come, first-served basis at the door rather than in an online raffle with only a certain amount available continues to befuddle me because I think all crowd-control problems could be solved with that simple adjustment. Yet students continue to print out their tickets days in advance and arrive an hour before doors open, but these preparations hardly guarantee good seats — or even admission.

I can’t remember a more fun Texas team to watch. High-flying and energetic, it’s no wonder so many students are willing to arrive early to see them play. I just wish that they didn’t have to sit so high up to do so when the place is at full capacity. And I’d like to think that the Erwin Center, and its 16,000 seats, would be big enough to accommodate that request.