LUBBOCK, Texas — Kansas basketball’s 2023-24 season continued Monday with a 79-50 loss in Big 12 Conference play on the road against Texas Tech.
Here are a few takeaways from the No. 6 Jayhawks (19-6, 7-5 in Big 12) defeat against the Red Raiders (18-6, 7-4 in Big 12):
Kansas was without Kevin McCullar Jr., Jamari McDowell again
For the second-straight game, Kansas did not have either graduate senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. or freshman guard Jamari McDowell available. That meant the Jayhawks were without a key starter and a rotation player who comes off the bench. And unlike a couple of days prior, they weren’t able to overcome those absences.
Graduate senior guard Nicolas Timberlake got the start again in McCullar’s place, and finished with 13 points and a few rebounds. Amid what was a lackluster performance for Kansas, Timberlake was a bright spot for the Jayhawks. Whether or not McCullar and McDowell return for Kansas’ next game, that’s a positive the team can build on.
Texas Tech’s 3s sink Kansas’ hopes
Kansas never led in the matchup against Texas Tech, and that’s in large part because of the amount of 3s the Red Raiders kept hitting. In the first half alone, Texas Tech went 8-for-14 from behind the arc. The Red Raiders finished 10-for-26 from behind the arc, but the damage was done early.
It wasn’t just one Texas Tech player who was lighting the Jayhawks up in this regard, but sophomore guard Darrion Williams led the way with his 4-for-4 mark on 3s. He didn’t miss a shot Monday, from the floor or the free-throw line. He finished with 30 points.
Kansas continues to struggle on the road
Ahead of Big 12 play, Kansas played one true road game. It went to Indiana and beat the Hoosiers. But since the Jayhawks embarked on their conference slate, they’ve routinely struggled to come away with positive results.
With this loss, Kansas is now 1-5 on the road during Big 12 play. This was by far the most lopsided final score the Jayhawks have experienced away from home during their conference slate. And unfortunately for head coach Bill Self and company, their next game is on the road as well.
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association’s sportswriter of the year for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.