Kansas vs. Texas Tech score: Jayhawks win easily at Allen Fieldhouse, but have challenges coming up on the road
Kansas will need to play better on the road to win the Big 12 again
LAWRENCE, Kansas -- Kansas was dominant from start to finish in a 79-63 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. The result isn't surprising because the game was played at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, where the No. 11 Jayhawks are now 13-0 on the season.
What has been an unusual Achilles' heel for the Jayhawks is their performance on the road, where they are just 1-5. That's not the kind of record that normally translates to a conference championship and Kansas is trying for its 15th straight Big 12 title.
It has been a challenging season for KU coach Bill Self in 2018-19. Perhaps the biggest loss has been center Udoka Azubuike, who is injured and out for the season. The Jayhawks, a No. 3 seed in the latest Bracketology, are 9-0 with him in the lineup, but only 8-5 without him.
The injury has forced Self to change his offense on the fly. Now, he is starting four guards and forward Dedric Lawson, a junior playing his first season with Kansas after transferring from Memphis. Against the Red Raiders, he started three freshmen guards and senior Lagerald Vick with Lawson. Sophomore Marcus Garrett has been starting lately, but now he is out with an injured ankle. He will likely miss the game at Kansas State on Tuesday.
That's a young lineup, and now one without much productive depth.
If Kansas is going to win the league title and get a good seed in the NCAA Tournament, the team's performance on the road will have to improve quickly.
As Self has noted, the Jayhawks have played a tough road schedule. The Big 12 is strong top to bottom this season and their one road non-conference game was at Arizona State. However, one of those road losses came at league cellar-dweller West Virginia.
Self feels that the younger players need to learn to execute better late in games away from home and he puts some of that on himself. What the young players can do better on their own is to bring the same energy that they showed today, and to bring it especially late in games. That is the kind of thing you see veteran teams do, like Tennessee. Kansas needs to grow up fast if it is going to have the kind of season that was expected before it started -- the kind of season that is always expected around here.
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