By Jesse Newell
Well, no one can say Kansas coach Bill Self doesn’t have options.
The KU men’s basketball team showed just how deep its bench was in its final exhibition game Tuesday, as nine players scored at least six points in a 92-75 victory over Fort Hays State.
Four different Jayhawks hit double figures, led by Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden, who had 13 points each. Jamari Traylor added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting with three rebounds, two blocks and steal to go with a turnover in 10 minutes.
A pair of Jayhawks also made it a little tougher for Self to consider red shirts for them. Brannen Greene scored six points on 2-for-4 three-point shooting, while Conner Frankamp — he played some point guard in the second half — scored eight points on 2-for-3 three-point shooting with a pair of steals.
Naadir Tharpe and Frank Mason added six assists apiece.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action Tuesday night:
• The game turned when: Brannen Greene checked in for KU at the 13:43 mark of the first half. With the Jayhawks trailing 14-9, Greene hit a three exactly six seconds after going in, then picked off a steal on the next possession that led to a short shot from Joel Embiid. Greene’s boost helped KU to a 10-0 run that made it 19-14, and the Jayhawks never trailed after that.
• Offensive highlight: After sitting most of the first half, Andrew Wiggins announced his presence at the 3:01 mark of the first half. With Joel Embiid sealing his man under the basket, Wiggins drove baseline, then finished with an emphatic two-handed jam for his first two points. That seemed to get the 6-foot-8 freshman going, as he scored six points in the final 3:01 of the half.
• Defensive highlight: Wiggins showed his quick leaping with 7:30 left in the second half, knocking a Jake Stoppel shot off the glass for a block before corralling the rebound to start the break. Perry Ellis converted in transition, putting in a two-handed slam five seconds later.
• Key stat: As is normally the case against Div. II opponents, KU was able to get better shots, partly because of execution and partly because of better athleticism. The Jayhawks outscored the Tigers, 44-22, in the paint, and that was basically the difference in the game.
• Up next: KU will open the regular season with a home game against Louisiana Monroe at 7 p.m. Friday.
That's a wrap. KU will open the regular season Friday night.
3 minutes remaining.
About to put the final touches on this one... Jayhawks in total control and Justin Wesley and Landen Lucas are both on the floor.
Tonight's offensive highlight just happened, courtesy of Frank Mason and Andrew Wiggins. I'm sure you can guess the rest. Here are a couple of hints: High flying. Perfect pass. Lots of smiles.
Under 12 timeout 2nd half.