Self’s outburst prods No. 3 Kansas to 90-60 win over Loyola of Maryland
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP)—Kansas coach Bill Self watched the lazy pass float into an opponent’s hands, leading to an open 3-pointer. He screamed for a timeout, then at his players, venting for a solid 30 seconds.
Self can’t remember what he said. Whatever is was, it sure worked.
Sherron Collins scored 18 points and No. 3 Kansas finished the first half on a 15-2 run after Self’s outburst, beating Loyola of Maryland 90-60 on Tuesday night.
The Jayhawks (15-0) had hoped for an easy win in the last nonconference game before their Big 12 opener Saturday at Nebraska. They got it, though it took Self screaming at them to break out of an early funk.
“I don’t really remember exactly what I said to them,” Self said. “It’s not the score, it’s playing the game and we just didn’t play the game for that stretch.”
Playing without injured guard Mario Chalmers (groin), Kansas seemed disjointed early without his on-the-ball defense and steady decision-making, allowing Loyola to stay close with careless passes and poor shot selection.
Self accepted the early struggles but he was clearly fed up when Gerald Brown hit a 3-pointer that cut Kansas’ lead to 26-22 with just over five minutes left in the half. He immediately called the timeout to chew out his players and the Jayhawks responded, picking up the defensive pressure and getting easy shots on offense to start a 29-5 run that put them up 55-27 early in the second half.
Kansas improved 15-0 for the fifth time in school history, the first since starting the 1989-90 season 19-0. Darrell Arthur and Sasha Kaun added 14 points each for the Jayhawks, who remained one of six undefeated Division I schools.
“We just came out a little flat and just not into the game a little bit,” Kaun said. “But we picked it up.”
Brown had 13 points for Loyola (6-9) which was playing a ranked team for just the 18th time in more than 2,200 games. It was their highest-ranked opponent since facing No. 3 La Salle in 1953. The Greyhounds are 0-18 against ranked teams.
But the tough test was by design.
Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos likes to schedule a difficult opponent just before the start of conference play, a ploy that worked last season when the Greyhounds reeled off six straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wins after a close game against Michigan State.
“I was trying to get them to say that if you can execute against Kansas, you can execute against anybody,” Patsos said. “I just wanted them to keep executing. If we play as hard and execute like we did against Kansas, we will be in good shape.”
Loyola seemed headed toward another confidence-booster, staying close with solid defense and the hot shooting of Brown, who hit four 3s in the first half, including the one that set off Self.
Then things fell apart.
The Greyhounds started trying to dribble through traffic and made poor passes into the post instead of working the ball around the perimeter. Kansas’ increased defensive pressure didn’t help and Loyola failed to hit a shot over the final 5:08 as Kansas built the lead to 41-24.
Patsos flew into a rage several times during the closing drought, most notably in the final two minutes, when he tore off his coat and threw it in the lap of guard Brett Harvey, who looked at it quizzically for a second before handing it to an assistant coach.
The Greyhounds shot 33 percent and were outscored 38-12 inside.
“We got a little over-excited,” said Brown, who had one point in the second half. “Sticking with the No. 3 team in the country, anybody would get excited. We made a few mistakes and they converted on them. Our hopes were high and it got us down a little bit.”