Compiled by the Dos Mundos Sports Staff
On Monday (Jan. 16), University of Kansas (KU) men’s basketball coach Bill Self saw his team experience what he called its “first real, true road test with a hostile crowd” this season – and he felt that the Jayhawks passed it.
That night, the Jayhawks faced Iowa State University at James H. Hilton Coliseum, where KU hadn’t won since 2014. Playing their second game in three days, they held off the Cyclones down the stretch for a 76-72 win. The victory put them at 17-1, with a 17-game winning streak entering their meeting with the University of Texas this Saturday (Jan. 21) at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I think that we grew up a little bit tonight,” Self said during a postgame interview with Greg Gurley for the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Guard Devonte Graham, who sank one of two foul shots with 12.8 seconds to help the Jayhawks ice the ESPN-televised, Big 12 Conference matchup, also felt good about KU’s road test.
“I felt like everybody was focused and locked in,” Graham said during an interview on the “Men’s Basketball Locker Room Show.” “And we did what we had to do.”
The Jayhawks – who were coming off of an 87-80 win over Oklahoma State University on Jan. 14 at Allen Fieldhouse – were expecting a difficult ballgame Monday, according to Graham.
“The last two years that we’ve played here, we haven’t really played that well…. It was a great atmosphere and we just we knew we had to make plays,” said Graham, whose box score line included nine points and eight assists.
Self probably felt that the Jayhawks could’ve made more plays if they’d taken better care of the basketball. One concern he expressed about the team’s performance was ball security, as the Jayhawks committed 18 turnovers to the Cyclones’ 10.
“That’s as careless as we’ve been, that I can remember, offensively,” Self said. “And their best offense the first half was our offense turning the ball over.”
Overall, though, Self considered it “a great team win.”
“(There aren’t) going to be too many teams come up here and win,” he said.