The reason was the noise: It can get so loud in Kansas’ venerable gymnasium, especially during the video montage before the Jayhawks are announced, that it’s almost impossible to hear.
He didn’t pull them off the court Monday night.
Then the Jayhawks made it look like the Bears never showed up at all.
Thomas Robinson had 27 points and 14 rebounds, Tyshawn Taylor matched a career-high with 28 points and the seventh-ranked Jayhawks rolled to a 92-74 victory, ending No. 3 Baylor’s perfect start and proving once more that the road to the Big 12 title goes through Kansas.
“Loudest place we’ve ever played. Their fans got into the game,” said Perry Jones III, who had 18 points to lead Baylor. “We still tried to stay together and not let the noise affect us.”
It didn’t work.
A trendy pick to end Kansas’ seven-year stranglehold on the conference, Baylor (17-1, 4-1) had been riding the longest winning streak in school history to its best start ever. It left Lawrence with the school’s first loss in football or men’s and women’s basketball since Oct. 29, a span of 40 games.
“Start with their leadership. Thomas Robinson showed why he’s a player of the year candidate. Tyshawn Taylor was outstanding,” Drew said. “Early on we didn’t have some success in the paint, got away from it. From there we couldn’t stop them all night long.”
Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson added 11 points each for the Jayhawks (15-3, 5-0), who won their 16th straight game at Allen Fieldhouse and 10th in a row at home over the Bears.
Kansas is 17-2 against them all-time.
“I think we made a big statement tonight,” Taylor said. “I told my team with like, 11 minutes left, that we have to make a statement. I don’t know if people are sleeping on us _ they know we’re good _ but I don’t know if people knew what we could do.”
Quincy Miller finished with 17 points, Quincy Acy had 14, and Pierre Jackson had 11 points and 11 assists for Baylor, but the long and lean Bears were dominated in the paint and had no answer for the combination of Robinson and Taylor, one of the best inside-outside tandems in the nation.
Robinson overpowered the Baylor front line with an array of rim-rattling dunks and short-range jumpers, while Taylor hit four 3-pointers and had six assists. The outcome left No. 1 Syracuse and No. 12 Murray State as the only undefeated teams in Division I.
“This was a nice win for us. Baylor is terrific,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “They’ve got length, they can score, and we caught them on a night when maybe they weren’t their best.”