KANSAS CITY — Kansas men’s basketball’s 2021-22 regular season continued Tuesday with a matchup against UTEP.
The Jayhawks came in off of a win in New York against St. John’s. The Miners came in off of a loss at home against New Mexico State. This was Kansas’ fifth-straight game away from Lawrence, although it was much closer than the previous four.
Did Jalen Wilson rebound for his best performance this season for the Jayhawks since returning from his suspension? Did Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun once again finish as the main scorers for Kansas? Did UTEP do what it nearly was able to last season, and upset the nation’s No. 7-ranked squad?
Here’s what happened, with the latest news first, at the T-Mobile Center:
FINAL: Kansas 78, UTEP 52
Kansas coasted to its latest victory this season, and topped UTEP by a sizable margin. Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun led the Jayhawks in scoring by far, finishing with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
Michael Jankovich and Chris Teahan were each able to see some playing time late. Teahan even hit a layup with less than a minute left and Jankovich added a 3-pointer.
Kansas leads 67-45 against UTEP with 3:58 left in 2nd half
Jalen Wilson hit his first 3-pointer on the season during this stretch, and then proceeded to miss the next one he took. But it’s a step he needed to take, and with about four minutes left Kansas is up 67-45.
Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji have had much of the Jayhawks’ production. They’re a combined 18-for-25 from the field with 43 points overall. That means Kansas has 24 points from the rest of its team, which is shooting 8-for-23 from the field.
Kansas leads 59-39 against UTEP with 7:39 left in 2nd half
The Jayhawks haven’t hit a shot in nearly three minutes, but that hasn’t hurt them as much as it could have because the Miners haven’t scored in a little more than two minutes. Kansas still leads by 20 points, despite being out-scored by a point in the second half so far.
Jalen Wilson has played an extended amount of time during the second half, but it hasn’t translated to a whole lot of offensive production. For the night so far, he is 0-for-3 from the field and 0-for-2 from behind the arc. He does have three assists to go along with five rebounds.
Jayhawks head coach Bill Self received a technical foul during this stretch. There was a foul call on Jalen Wilson that Self didn’t seem to agree with, and his reaction to it and toward the official who called it didn’t go over well with that official.
Kansas leads 56-35 against UTEP with 10:53 left in 2nd half
The slow start to the second half has continued for the Jayhawks, who are tied 14-14 with the Miners when it comes to just second-half points alone. However, considering the first half, Kansas is up 56-35 with about 11 minutes remaining.
Souley Boum is up to 12 points for UTEP. But he hasn’t been very efficient getting there, with a 4-for-14 mark from the field and 2-for-9 mark from behind the arc.
Kansas leads 47-28 against UTEP with 15:39 left in 2nd half
Neither team has shot the ball well to start the second half, but UTEP does have a 7-5 advantage in points since halftime. No Miners player has reached double figures scoring. Two Jayhawks players have.
Ochai Agbaji has 15 points to lead all scorers. Teammate Christian Braun isn’t far behind him with 13 points.
Kansas leads 47-25 against UTEP with 16:28 left in 2nd half
It’s another slow start for the Jayhawks out of halftime, and with about 16 and a half minutes left before the second half is set to end it’s a 47-25 games. That’s still a 22-point lead for Kansas, but it’s only leading 5-4 in the second half so far.
Jayhawks head coach Bill Self has seemed upset at times with the decisions that his team has made offensively. Kansas does have two turnovers already in the second half.
HALF: Kansas 42, UTEP 21
Kansas leads 40-17 against UTEP with 2:45 left in 1st half
It’s possible that Ochai Agbaji could finish the first half with as many points as UTEP, as he has 13 and the Miners have 17 with about three minutes remaining. It’s not even that UTEP has ben hassled by Kansas defenders every time down the court, as sometimes the Miners have simply been making unforced errors.
Christian Braun has had a nice start to this one, and has 10 points and five rebounds so far.
Kansas leads 36-13 against UTEP with 5:27 left in 1st half
Another Ochai Agbaji dunk has led to another UTEP timeout, as Kansas is more than doubling up its opponent on the scoreboard with about five and a half minutes left in the first half. It’s a 23-point game right now.
However, the highlight of this most recent stretch might have been a behind-the-back pass from Remy Martin to David McCormack. McCormack didn’t finish his shot, but the pass itself got fans to their feet.
Kansas leads 32-11 against UTEP with 6:58 left in 1st half
UTEP had a player air-ball a shot heading into this break, and there may not have been a more appropriate way to do so. The Miners are shooting 27.8 percent from the field and have hit just one of their last seven attempts.
On the other end, Kansas just saw Ochai Agbaji hit a 3-pointer off of a nice feed from Jalen Wilson. The Jayhawks have hit four of their last five attempts and are shooting 68.4 percent from the field, with Agbaji leading the way with 11 points.
Mitch Lightfoot has been an effective finisher around the basket for Kansas in the amount of time he’s had off the bench tonight, and thanks to a pair of and-1 baskets has six points.
Kansas leads 18-5 against UTEP with 11:49 left in 1st half
It took about six and a half minutes for UTEP to finally score its first points, with a 3-pointer falling with 13:23 remaining before halftime. And with 11:49 left before the first half is over, Kansas is leading 18-5.
Ochai Agbaji had a breakaway dunk to force UTEP to call a timeout. The Miners are still shooting 2-for-9 from the field and 1-for-6 from behind the arc, while the Jayhawks are shooting 8-for-12 from the field and 0-for-2 from behind the arc with a pair of free throws made as well.
Jalen Wilson was Kansas’ first substitution off of the bench. He came in for Dajuan Harris Jr. with about 14 minutes remaining in the first half. Mitch Lightfoot and Jalen Coleman-Lands appear to be the next ones coming in, as they were waiting to enter the game when this latest timeout occurred.
Kansas leads 8-0 against UTEP at a timeout with 15:48 left in 1st half
Dajuan Harris Jr. already has three steals, and the Jayhawks are up 8-0 about four minutes into this contest. Overall, Kansas has four points off of four UTEP turnovers. The Miners have yet to hit a shot and are 0-for-3 from the field.
David McCormack had the first points on the night, but it’s Ochai Agbaji who leads the Jayhawks and all scorers with four points.
Kansas won the opening tip, with Ochai Agbaji going up for it. This one is underway.
Bill Self talks on Kansas’ pregame show
Jayhawks head coach Bill Self recapped the team’s win against St. John’s, and said his team still needs to improve defensively.
Regarding senior forward David McCormack, Self said McCormack complicates the game sometimes instead of just making easy plays. That’ll allow McCormack to keep building off what was a more positive performance against the Red Storm.
Regarding Christian Braun, Self said that Braun still needs to become an elite shooter. He likes that Braun is already really good, and has been aggressive, but feels that Braun’s ceiling is still a long ways off.
Regarding Bobby Pettiford, Self said that Pettiford has the potential to be the best guard on the team. Self doesn’t know if that would have happened by the start of February had Pettiford not gotten injured, but he’s confident it’ll happen. Right now, Self described Pettiford being close to 80 percent but not where he needs to be health-wise to make the effect he can when closer to 100 percent.
Bobby Pettiford here, not participating in warmups
Kansas head coach Bill Self said this week that freshman guard Bobby Pettiford could miss four-to-five weeks with a type of abdominal strain. Pettiford is at the game, but much like those who are redshirting this season is not going through warmups.
Jayhawks warming up
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Live updates, analysis from KU basketball’s game against UTEP