KU’s Svi Mykhailiuk struggles with shot in Baylor loss after he takes hit to eye

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Bill Self had a feeling Kansas senior sharpshooter Svi Mykhailiuk would put up some big numbers Saturday afternoon at Baylor.

“He didn’t miss yesterday. I think he made eight threes in a row when he we were scrimmaging. I thought he may come out and be on fire,” KU coach Self said of the 6-foot-8 shooting guard from Ukraine.

Instead, Mykhailiuk, who entered on the heels of Monday’s one-point outing against TCU, was accidentally hit in the right eye by freshman guard Marcus Garrett during warmups Saturday, and with the eye badly swollen, was 1-for-8 shooting — 0 for 6 on three-pointers — and scored just two points in KU’s 80-64 loss to the Bears.

“He was messed up. He was icing it (the eye) the whole time,” Self said of Mykhailiuk, who was hit when Garrett swung his hand back after missing a dunk during layup drills. Mykhailiuk played 35 minutes, and during his rare time on the bench he applied ice, which kept the eye open.

Mykhailiuk never once blamed his poor shooting performance on his puffy eye.

“It didn’t really affect my vision. It didn’t,” Mykhailiuk said.

He had four rebounds and four fouls on a day in which center Udoka Azubuike, who had eight points and four rebounds, played just 19 minutes because of foul problems. Forward Mitch Lightfoot, who fouled out in 22 minutes, had three rebounds, two blocks and two points while making his second start in place of Lagerald Vick, who scored nine points in 32 minutes.

Asked if he could see the rim, Svi said simply: “I was good.”

KU hit 2 of 13 threes in the first half while falling behind 30-20 at the break. It was the Jayhawks’ lowest scoring output in a half this season; 28 was the previous low against West Virginia and Stanford. In fact, the last time KU had 20 points or fewer in a half was on Jan. 7, 2015, when the Jayhawks totaled 18 at Baylor.

Kansas made 4 of 18 three-pointers in the second half and finished 6 for 31 from three.

The result? KU’s lowest scoring output of the year. Its 64 points were one fewer than the 65 the 10th-ranked Jayhawks (19-6, 8-4) scored against both Kentucky and Washington.

KU senior Devonté Graham, who scored 23 points and hit 4 of 10 threes to his teammates’ 2 of 21, stood up for his buddy Mykhailiuk in speaking with the press.

“It could have,” Graham said of a nearly-closed right eye affecting Svi’s shot. “It’s hard when you’ve got a black eye and and can’t really see.”

Kansas did not lose to the Bears (15-10, 5-7) just because of poor marksmanship. Baylor torched KU for 50 points in the final half, outscoring the Jayhawks 22-8 in the final 7:21.

Self discussed poor team chemistry after watching Jo Lual-Acuil, Manu Lecomte and Nuni Omot score 19, 18 and 17 points, respectively. Jake Lindsey added 11 points for the Bears. Lecomte also had six assists, Mark Vital 11 rebounds and Lual-Acuil six boards for Baylor.

“No, not at all,” Self said asked if KU’s team chemistry was where it needs to be. “We know what we need to do to be pretty good and have a chance to really compete at a relatively high level. The players haven’t quite bought into that totally yet. It’s getting late in the season to see if they are going to buy into it.”

Self implemented a new starting lineup for the second straight game.

Garrett (six points) started over Malik Newman on the perimeter, to go with last game’s switch of Lightfoot for Vick.

Vick started the second half in place of Garrett. Garrett, in fact, played just 3 minutes in the final half.

“I thought his attitude in practice was better,” Self said of Garrett. “Malik in my opinion didn’t deserve to start. I’m really kind of tired of starting guys that don’t really put themselves in a position from what we need to do (from an) intangible standpoint of being out there.

“Because to me it’s not about winning and losing from that perspective. It’s about, ‘Hey this is what we need to do to be good. This is what we need to do in order to give us the best chance.’ If guys won’t do that … I’m tired of rewarding guys to start whenever I feel like those things are not taking place. It doesn’t have anything to do with making shots. You can miss all the shots you want to. At least from an intangible standpoint, give us stuff.”

Newman scored 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. He had five assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes.

“I think anybody watching the game knows I was terrible the first half (three points on 1-of-6 shooting). The second half I was good. I know why I came off the bench,” Newman said, not providing the reason to media.

Self was not enamored with the play of the Jayhawks’ bigs on a day in which Baylor snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Jayhawks. The Bears also snapped a four-game skid against KU in Waco.

“We need him to be in the game. I didn’t think he was much of a factor when he was in there,” Self said of Azubuike, who had three turnoveres. “We didn’t get much low-post scoring when the whole game plan was to throw the ball in and isolate him on the post.”

Self said the bottom line is: “I thought Baylor was a lot better than us. Even though we cut it (a 13-point second-half deficit) to two, and even though obviously (from) the first half until the last 4 minutes it was a one- or two-possession game, I still felt they controlled the game.”

The loss was costly for KU, which fell out of first place in the Big 12 standings following Texas Tech’s 66-47 road win over Kansas State on Saturday. Tech finished the week 9-3 in the league, followed by KU (8-4), West Virginia (7-5), K-State and Oklahoma (6-6), Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas (5-7) and Iowa State (4-8).

KU, 4-2 on the road in the Big 12 this season, will next meet Iowa State at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Ames, Iowa.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

BAYLOR 80, No. 10 KANSAS 64

Kansas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Lightfoot

22

1-6

0-0

3

2

5

2

Azubuike

19

4-4

0-0

4

1

4

8

Garrett

20

2-3

2-2

3

1

0

6

Graham

40

8-17

3-3

3

4

1

23

Mykhailiuk

35

1-8

0-0

4

2

4

2

Newman

32

5-16

2-2

4

5

0

14

Vick

32

4-9

1-2

4

1

1

9

De Sousa

0-0

0-0

0

0

1

0

Totals

200

25-63

8-9

25

16

16

64

Percentages: FG .397, FT .889. Three-Point Goals: 6-31, .194 (Graham 4-10, Newman 2-10, Garrett 0-1, Lightfoot 0-1, Vick 0-3, Mykhailiuk 0-6). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 3 (Lightfoot 2, Azubuike). Turnovers: 12 (Azubuike 3, Graham 3, Vick 3, De Sousa, Garrett, Mykhailiuk). Steals: 3 (Garrett 2, Vick). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: Lightfoot.

Baylor

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Clark

11

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

Lual-Acuil

35

9-17

0-0

6

0

3

19

Vital

32

1-2

2-4

11

2

2

4

Lecomte

37

6-10

4-6

1

6

1

18

Lindsey

31

4-8

2-3

3

3

2

11

Omot

29

6-9

2-2

6

2

1

17

McClure

16

2-3

0-0

1

2

0

5

Maston

9

2-4

0-0

2

0

2

4

Totals

200

31-54

10-15

31

15

11

80

Percentages: FG .574, FT .667. Three-Point Goals: 8-15, .533 (Omot 3-4, Lecomte 2-5, Lual-Acuil 1-1, McClure 1-2, Lindsey 1-3). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 4 (Vital 3, Lual-Acuil). Turnovers: 14 (Vital 7, Lecomte 2, Lual-Acuil 2, Lindsey, Maston, McClure). Steals: 6 (Clark, Lecomte, Lindsey, Maston, McClure, Omot). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: None.

Half: Baylor 30-20. Att: 9,323.


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