Perry Ellis Lifts KU over Longhorns

Remember earlier this year, when Perry Ellis was struggling? That seems like such a long time ago.

The way the Jayhawks beat the Longhorns on Saturday night comes with the typical disclaimers — playing a bad team that might not make the tournament, struggling with length, continuing with the drive, and long-range shots not falling. Despite all that, Kansas found a way to win, 69-64. If I didn’t have a rooting interest, this game would have been fun to watch. Perry Ellis is playing a game of basketball Rampage lately, leveling opponents like he just rose out of the Pacific Ocean. The new Perry Ellis has heard everyone complaining about him being soft, and he decided to prove everyone wrong. And he’s doing it with dunks. Lots and lots of dunks.

The game started as a perfect indication of how the game would go. On the first possession, Texas got a block. They would finish with 14, and Kansas would get 10 blocks of their own.

The first half was back and forth. The absence of Cliff Alexander showed up on the boards, and Texas raced to a quick 10-2 advantage. (Alexander was held out of the game amid reports of a potential NCAA eligibility violation. His status for the rest of the year is undetermined.) Even with the rebounding advantage, Texas only was able to go into halftime with a 3 point lead on a shot that fell as the buzzer sounded.

It was clear the game plan was for the Jayhawks to attack the length of Texas – and they weren’t stopping.

In some ways, it worked: Kansas shot and made 14 more free throws than Texas, going 26-32 vs. 12-18.

In other cases, it didn’t work quite so well. Kansas shot 12/28 on layups and dunks.

The second half continued with much of the same, coming down to the wire. After a shot clock violation against KU, Texas had the ball down 2 points with 14 seconds left. Frank Mason forced a bad shot by Isaiah Taylor, and Kelly Oubre went to the free throw line to ice the game. He hit them both, as Kansas went on to win 69-64.

Once again, Perry Ellis and Kelly Oubre were the best players for KU. Ellis finished with 28 points, while Oubre had 15.

As Bill Self said postgame, “[Ellis] is playing as good as anyone in the country right now.”

NOTES:

  • Ellis: 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
  • Oubre: 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
  • Mason: 12 points and 3 assists.
  • Brannen Greene is 0/6 from three-point range in his last two games, and a lowly 2/13 in his last five contests. His three-point percentage has fallen from 63% to 46% since February 10th.
  • Speaking of having trouble shooting the long ball, Kansas hit ONE three-pointer all game. It fell with seven minutes remaining, coming from Frank Mason.
  • Kelly Oubre has been a fantastic rebounder this year. He might be KU’s best rebounder after Cliff Alexander.
  • Cliff Alexander played 0 minutes smh.
  • Stephen A. Smith was at the game, and he said, “You never know how strong the competition is in the Big 12, while you know Duke always has competition.” Why was he even there?
  • The uniforms today were absolutely beautiful. I’m all for making those the regular home uniforms.
  • We need to talk about just how much of a monster Ellis is now.
  • Maybe Daniel Cunningham really did fire up Mr. Ellis with his words on the Inside the Paint podcast

TWEETS:

Next up: Home on Tuesday against West Virginia.

After a solid week of rooting against Iowa State, the Jayhawks are now pulling for the Cyclones to defeat Oklahoma at home on Monday night. If Iowa State can get that win, Kansas will clinch a share of the Big 12 before they even take the court. An Iowa State win plus a Kansas victory on Tuesday gives the Jayhawks the outright crown.

Dylan King

Staff writer for Rock Chalk Blog. http://twitter.com/_DK22