One frustrated Kansas fan apparently wasn’t satisfied just to stew at home the day after sophomore center Udoka Azubuike’s six straight missed free throws doomed the fifth-ranked Jayhawks to an 85-80 loss at Oklahoma.
The fan instead made the ill-advised decision to try to help his favorite team improve its foul shooting.
A man entered the dorm that houses the Kansas men’s basketball team on Wednesday and wanted to offer the players “free-throw advice,” University of Kansas police Deputy Chief James Anguiano told Yahoo Sports. Police were called to McCarthy Hall at 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Anguiano said, but were unable to find the man after checking the area.
Anguiano did not specify the identity of the man in question. The Lawrence Journal-World reported earlier Wednesday that the man had been at the basketball dorm multiple times during the day before the police were called and was said to be wearing a blue and red windbreaker.
It seems pretty safe to assume the man was there to offer guidance to Azubuike considering the way Tuesday night’s game in Norman ended.
Azubuike went 0-for-6 at the free throw line during the final four minutes of the game after Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger instructed his team to begin intentionally fouling the Kansas 7-footer. Those four empty Jayhawks possessions helped the Sooners stay in striking distance long enough for Christian James and Brady Manek to hit a pair of huge 3-pointers in the final 70 seconds.
Kansas coach Bill Self explained his thought process for leaving Azubuike on the floor late in the game despite Oklahoma’s strategy of intentionally fouling the 41.1 percent free throw shooter. Not only was Self reticent to cripple his defense by removing his top rebounder and rim protector, the Kansas coach also wanted to instill confidence in his starting center by showing trust in him at the foul line.
“It was obviously the wrong thing to do to win this game,” Self told reporters in Norman after the game.
“If I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I might have done it differently, but I’ve never believed that you take out one of your best players because you show him you don’t have confidence in him.”
– – – – – – –