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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Extra Minutes: Kansas 64, Ball State 46

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What this means...from Las Vegas

Gary Bedore, Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer

"The best thing that could be said about the performacne was that KU's defense came to play, holding Ball State to just 19 points in the first half.

Perhaps the Jayhawks' minds were on Florida, but a win's a win.

Some of the fans are probably upset considering they were screaming for Sherron Collins to shoot as the clock ran out, because the Jayhawks did not cover the point spread, which was 20 points.

Yet another strange example of games being played in the gambling mecca of Las Vegas."

Inside the numbers

0: That's how many points KU allowed Ball State's Julien 'Skip' Mills to score in the game's first half while holding the Cardinals to 19 points as a team. Mills was the leading scorer in the MAC last year. He finished the night with 13 points, but most of those came when the game was out of reach in the second half.

5: That's how many field goals the KU bench accounted for. While the Jayhawks recovered from a wretched shooting performance in the first half to finish the game a respectable 22-of-55 from the floor, the bench quartet of Sherron Collins, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Rodrick Stewart combined to go just 5-of-19 from the floor. A couple of lowlights in there were Jackson going 1-for-5 and Kaun shooting 1-for-6.

7: That's how many rebounds sophomore Brandon Rush accounted for, on the heels of his first double-double of the early season. While Rush continued to impress under the glass, fellow sophomore Julian Wright led the way for KU with 10.

Just in case you missed it...

Sherron Collins' 19 points made him the third different Jayhawk to lead the team in scoring in KU's four regular season games to date. More importantly, in each game, the Jayhawks have had at least four players score in double figures, with five doing the deed in two of those contests. While the team's intensity and focus may have seen some inconsistencies early on, its offensive balance certainly has not.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

Julian Wright can be a game-changer when he gets off to an all-around start like the one he had on Tuesday. On top of his 14 points came seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. More importantly, he never went away, and never had a lull in his game. He brought the constant energy Self demands of him.

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