LAWRENCE, Kan. — Both Missouri coach Mike Anderson and Kansas coach Bill Self included comments on the resignation of Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight in their postgame press conferences Monday night. Each sounded like they weren’t expecting to lose Knight as an adversary so soon.
“You’re talking about one of the Hall of Fame coaches, and he’ll be dearly missed,” Anderson said. “He brought a lot to basketball. Just look at his teams. They all were an extension of him.”
Self made it clear he felt Knight is stepping down too early.
“I’m disappointed,” Self said. “I’m disappointed for selfish reasons. It’s like when Barry Sanders retired from football. He couldn’t do that to all the people out there, retiring that early. That’s kind of how I feel about Coach (Bobby Knight) because he’s great for our league.
“I’m happy for Pat (Knight) and I know Pat will do a great job. And I’m happy for Coach (Bobby Knight). Whatever he wants to do, he has the right to do that. Selfishly, he was so good for our league and I was really looking forward to him coming to Allen Fieldhouse on more time.”
SUSPENSIONS OVER: Guard Jason Horton and forward Darryl Butterfield returned from their suspensions Monday at Kansas. Horton entered the game with 9:37 left in the first half and Butterfield came in with 8:22 to play in the half. Neither player scored a point.
OFF TARGET: A big part of Missouri’s 90-71 loss to Kansas on Monday night was that the Tigers did not make any of their 10 3-point shots.
“They made us take some rushed shots,” guard Keon Lawrence said. “It’s up to their defense. They did a good job on us.”
Guard Matt Lawrence, the Tigers’ 3-point specialist, missed all five of his attempts from that distance. He only attempted one shot from inside the arc, which he also missed.
“I’ve never had a team that didn’t score a 3-point shot,” coach Mike Anderson said. “That tells you that is really strange there.”
The Jayhawks did not have a great shooting night from beyond the arc, but they were effective, making seven of 21 attempts.
Any time Missouri started to get on a run, a missed 3-pointer would stop the momentum.
TILLER RECOGNIZED: Guard J.T. was named co-Big 12 Conference player of the week on Monday. Tiller shared the honor with Nebraska center Aleks Maric.
Tiller recorded a career high in points with 14 when Missouri played Nebraska on Wednesday. He set a new career high on Saturday with 20 points against Kansas State.
Tiller continued his good play in Monday’s night’s game by scoring 13 points He did get into foul trouble, though, when he picked up his fourth foul with 10:12 left in the game. He did not foul out, but his playing time was limited from that point on. He also had to reel in his high-energy play a bit to avoid picking up the fifth foul.
FREE-THROW DISPARITY: Another big difference in the game was Kansas’ free-throw shooting. The Jayhawks made 21 of their 25 free-throw attempts, while Missouri was just 15 of 25 from the line.
REBOUNDING STRUGGLES: Kansas demolished Missouri on the boards. The Tigers were outrebounded 48 to 25 by the Jayhawks. Forwards Darnell Jackson and Cole Aldrich led KU with nine rebounds apiece.
“We just didn’t go after the ball aggressive at all on rebounding,” Keon Lawrence said. “They just killed us on that.”
Perhaps the Tigers playing a couple of hard fought games in the past week when they were short on players carried over to Monday’s game against Kansas.
“They were a lot quicker to the ball,” Anderson said of the Jayhawks. “There was some balls where we were in position and we just didn’t come up with it.”
ALLEN FIELDHOUSE WOES: The last time Missouri won in Lawrence, Kan. was on Jan. 24, 1999. The Tigers won 71-63. The losing streak in Lawrence is now at nine games after Monday’s loss.
FREE-THROW STREAK: Matt Lawrence missed a free throw on Monday. That may not seem like much to talk about, but it was the guard’s first miss from the foul line since the Tigers played Southern on Nov. 16, 2007. It was a span of 14 consecutive makes.