Kansas University freshman Joel Embiid was tossed out of Saturday’s KU-Kansas State game for committing a flagrant-2 foul on the Wildcats’ Nino Williams. By Gary Bedore
It’s as if Wayne Selden’s confidence took one look at the non-conference season in the rear-view mirror, another at the Big 12 schedule ahead, put down the decaf, and chugged a gallon of espresso. By Tom Keegan
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said his typical pre-game white board in the locker room features the names of seven or eight players on the opposing team and little tidbits on the tendencies and game plans for each. Before Saturday's 86-60 loss at Kansas, Weber's white board was nearly full. By Matt Tait
Naadir Tharpe, Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins discuss the latest victory in the KU-K-State rivalry
Bill Self on KU's 86-60 win over KSU and Monday's showdown with Iowa State
By Matt Tait — email@example.com
It was a classic, Allen Fieldhouse clash between Kansas State and Kansas, as the Jayhawks slowly and methodically built a 10-point lead and then dropped the hammer en route to a 86-60 victory over the visiting Wildcats.
By halftime, eight of the nine Jayhawks who had played had scored and KU led 45-28.
The Jayhawks (11-4 overall, 2-0 Big 12) used their size advantage and hot three-point shooting to open up a 20-plus point lead early over KSU (12-4, 2-1) in the second half. They cruised from there, with the final stretch proving to be mostly a formality and a chance for both benches to get extended minutes.
Andrew Wiggins led Kansas with 22 points (which included a 3-of-4 showing from three-point range) and Wayne Selden picked up where he left off against Oklahoma, scoring 20 points and playing with a much more aggressive mindset.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: KU delivered its typical knockout blow during the second portion of the first half. Leading just 20-14 with 9:08 left in the half, KU ripped off a 13-4 run highlighted by two buckets apiece from Jamari Traylor and Tarik Black. That stretch opened up a double-digit lead for Kansas, which finished the first half on a 30-16 run and led by 17 at the break.
• Offensive highlight: With just over six minutes to play in the first half, Jamari Traylor caught the ball on the left block and went to work on his post moves. As he did, Tarik Black came streaking down the lane and Traylor found him with a perfect pass. Rather than absorbing the contact and hoping for the foul, Black went up strong, off of two feet, and flushed it. You could see in his eyes before the take-off that he dug down a little deeper to make sure he hammered it. KU's big men did a nice job of finding each other in the paint all day. A close second for this one? Joel Embiid's three-pointer to open the second half. The guy just keeps showing more and more of his game.
• Defensive highlight: Speaking of Embiid, the Jayhawks would love for him to be more of a rim protector and he did finish Saturday's game with two blocks. But one of them, early in the first half on KSU guard Marcus Foster, came at the top of the key as Foster rose for a three-pointer. Embiid blocked the shot with the palm of his hand and then wrestled away the rebound, too, to start a fastbreak for KU
• Key stat: How about zero turnovers in the first half for KU? Impressive for a young team and made even more impressive that the Jayhawks were able to extend their turnoverless streak to the 16:44 mark of the second half.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will travel to Ames, Iowa, on Monday for a Big Monday, 8 p.m. match-up with No. 9 Iowa State, which lost at Oklahoma on Saturday for its first loss of the season.