Final, KU wins 94-59
After Cole Aldrich gave himself eight points on the night with a mid-range jumper on the baseline accompanied by a Conner Teahan dribble-drive feed, Matt Kleinmann got on the scoresheet with two inside while getting fouled to put KU within six points of the 100-point barrier. Those would be KU's final points in a 94-59 blowout.
Sherron Collins led all Jayhawks with 18 points, splitting them with eight in the first half and 10 in the second. Collins also had five assists and four steals. Mario Chalmers was KU's ultimate catalyst on offense in the first half, when he went four-of-five from three-point range. Darrell Arthur had 12 and Rodrick Stewart had 11 for KU.
KU will take on Fort Hays State in its final exhibition tune-up Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse, followed by next Friday's season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, also in Allen Fieldhouse.
3:18 second half, KU leads 91-53
Even though the score was out of reach with less than seven minutes to play, the KU starters were still getting their kicks. This time, it came with Mario Chalmers throwing a high lob for Darrell Arthur which was thundered home with two hands.
Chalmers and Arthur took seats on the bench moments later, Chalmers finishing with 14 points and Arthur with 12.
After Pitt State took a timeout, Cole Aldrich got his fifth and sixth points via another solid post move. Rodrick Stewart then notched the team's 15th steal of the game, and on a trip to the free throw line after getting hacked in transition, hitting both attempts. He now has 12 points on 10-of-12 free throw shooting.
The Jayhawks started unloading the bench with Conner Teahan, Matt Kleinmann and Jeremy Case taking over alongisde Cole Aldrich and Tyrel Reed.
Aldrich then missed a pair of shots inside, but trned some heads with a nifty offensive rebound following his first missed attempt.
Conner Teahan took the initiative stroking his first three after taking a high pass from Tyrel Reed into the corner. He swished it to put KU up 91-53 with 3:18 to play.
7:41 second half, KU leads 80-48
KU's free throw woes continued as Russell Robinson missed the front end of a one-and-one, though the Jayhawks have made up for it with defensive pressure, as both Robinson and Mario Chalmers earned floor burns lunging for steals with the game already well in-hand.
Robinson then rolled home a three which hit the front of the iron and then the backboard before dropping home to extend KU's lead back over 30 points at 77-46. Sherron Collins then boosted it some more with a three of his own, giving him a team-high 15 points on the night.
Abercrombie continued to be Pitt State's lone offensive weapon, scoring yet another deuce after a failed lob from Sherron Collins to Darrell Arthur which was a tad too high.
11:55 second half, KU leads 71-42
Russell Robinson continued to be a defensive pest with his third steal of the game after a Pitt State rebound, slipping in two points from close range on top of it.
After a pair of Cory Abercrombie free throws, Sasha Kaun had his first miss of the night appear on the scoresheet, missing a baby hook from close range. Abercrombie came back to put in a couple of the glass from close range.
Kaun was then whistled for an offensive foul trying to grab a rebound over a Pitt State defender from his second straight missed shot.
14:45 second half, KU leads 67-36
Carlos Taylor hit a three right away against KU's zone that it opened the second half with.
In response, Darrell Arthur used a nice power spin in the paint to put one off the glass for his first field goal of the game. Sherron Collins then used a nice pump fake on the next trip down to slip inside the three-point arc on the wing. He hit the long two and gave himself 10 points on the night.
Arthur scored again on a nifty-looking dunk thanks to a sweet feed from Russell Robinson. Arthur got maybe a little too ambitious with a three-point attempt atop the key, which was close but rattled out.
After Arthur showed some hustle in trying desperately to keep a rebound alive off of a Cory Abercrombie miss, Sherron Collins swiped the ball in one-on-one coverage on the inbounds pass. He took it the length of the court for an easy layin.
Darnell Jackson then took a dish from Darrell Arthur for two points inside, giving Arthur his third assist of the night - he had 17 all of last year.
Halftime, KU leads 55-29
Cole Aldrich hit his first bucket of the game out of the timeout, putting KU ahead by 21. The Jayhawks tried to move ahead by a little more when Darnell Jackson got to the free throw line with just under a minute to go in the half, but both attempts clanked out.
An aired three-pointer for Pitt State turned into two more free throw attempts for KU, and this time Rodrick Stewart converted both, making him five-of-six from the stripe so far. Jackson swatted a shot inside, setting KU up for the half's final possession, and with two seconds to go, Aaron Jackson fouled Rodrick Stewart to put him at the line one more time. Stewart hit the first, but after missing the second, Cole Aldrich cleaned up the mess and put one in off the glass before the half, to put KU up 55-29.
Mario Chalmers led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, including a four-of-five showing from three-point range. Sasha Kaun started hot early and finished the half with nine points on four-of-four shooting.
1:38 first half, KU leads 48-29
Mario Chalmers hit a pair of free throws after the timeout in casual fashion, extending his point total for the night to 17.
Russell Robinson then continued to be a defensive pest, forcing another steal and getting to the free throw line. He hit both, and it was followed by two from PSU's Aaron Jackson.
Sherron Collins then threw his hat in the ring, swiping a PSU ball of his own. He turned it into a dip pass underneath for Sasha Kaun, who was fouled in the process of putting in his fourth field goal of the night. He hit the free throw, giving him nine points before taking a rest.
McCoy put in two more, and Aaron Jackson splashed him a three, leading Bill Self to call a timeout to lay into his guards with 1:38 left in the half.
3:32 first half, KU leads 41-22
Keith Windom hit a quick three out of the timeout for PSU, and after a KU turnover, Nathan Lang hit his second deuce of the game to make it a 15-point contest.
Jeremy Case missed his second three attempt of the game, and Justin McCoy slipped in a shot inside to make it a 7-0 Pitt State run out of the timeout.
Rodrick Stewart slipped in a pair of free throws to give himself three points on the night, and Sherron Collins then hit a three for KU to push the lead back up to 18 points with just over four minutes to go in the half.
After Keith Windom missed a three, Chalmers tried to stroke another one, but it was his first failed attempt of the night.
Arthur hit another free throw for KU, giving him two points and leaving him still in search of his first field goal of the night.
6:00 first half, KU leads 35-15
Mario Chalmers came back into the game following the TV timeout, and quickly went to work. After a steal, he drove deep into the PSU paint and threw up an awkward-looking layup while getting hacked. The shot dropped in off the back iron, along with the subsequent free throw.
Another Abercrombie jumper was answered by Chalmers, who stroked his second three of the game, giving him nine points early on. Nathan Lang responded with two more for PSU, making it 24-13.
The next time down for KU, it was Sherron Collins flashing his ability to get to the glass, throwing one in high off the window.
Cole Aldrich and Tyrel Reed checked in for their first action in Allen Fieldhouse, but Keith Windom took Reed right to the rack on the defensive end, pulling PSU within 11.
Mario Chalmers answered back the way he's proven to best know how - with a three. The third trifecta of the night for Chalmers gave him a game-high 12 points so far.
On the other end, Cole Aldrich pulled down the first rebound of his young KU career, and it was finished with a corner three-pointer by Tyrel Reed.
Rodrick Stewart then took a long rebound and pushed the ball to Reed, who flipped it sideways for Mario Chalmers. The junior hit his fourth three of the game, giving him 15 points, as KU took a 35-15 lead with 6:00 left in the half.
11:16 first half, KU leads 18-9
Darnell Jackson put in a pair off of an inbounds alley-oop out of the timeout, putting him on the scoreboard immediately after entering the contest.
KU's pressure defense in the backcourt continued to stymie Pitt State's ability to set up its offense. Jeremy Case and Rodrick Stewart took the floor in place of Sherron Collins nad Mario Chalmers, and Stewart quickly showed some offensive aggressiveness, getting to the free throw line and hitting one of two.
Darnell Jackson then awoke the Fieldhouse crowd, shooting ahead after Russell Robinson poked a ball loose in the backcourt. He took a shoveled pass from the senior guard and threw it home with two hands, putting KU up 18-7.
Even as the offense started to sputter, the defense remained tight. Sasha Kaun pinned a PSU shot against the backboard to set up some transition offense, but Jeremy Case couldn't finish off an open three look. Then, after Cory Abercrombie put in two for PSU, Kaun turned the ball over off his hands under the hoop heading into the game's second full break.
15:52 first half, KU leads 13-4
Mario Chalmers got the season started in quick fashion with a three ball from up top. Pitt State's Michael Hutchingson rolled on in off the rim in the paint to get things going early for the Gorillas.
Darrell Arthur worked his way to the free throw line on the other side and hit one of two free throws, making it 4-2. Russell Robinson extended that early lead in a rowdy Fieldhouse with a three of his own after a Sherron Collins steal.
KU then turned up the defensive pressure in forcing the Gorillas into an ill-advised three with the shot clock dwindling. The resulte was an air-ball, and an and-one bucket for Sasha Kaun on the other end thanks to a nice power move off the block. He missed the free throw, but his bucket still put KU up 9-2 just two minutes into the game.
Pitt State called a thirty-second timeout to regroup, but it did the Gorillas no good in terms of swinging their fortunes. After KU turned the ball over, it came right back to the Jayhawks within seconds and then resulted in an alley-oop from Collins to Kaun.
KU had a shot at furthering its lead even more, but Russell Robinson missed a pair of free throws. Pitt State's Carlos Taylor then came down to hit his first bucket of the game.
Sasha Kaun kept his early roll going with a hook from in close that rattled in, putting KU up 13-4 with 15:52 left in the first half.
While it may not be an opponent who brings the sparkle that some awaiting KU in the non-conference slate do, Pittsburg State will serve as the guinea pig tonight in the 2007-08 exhibition opener for a Jayhawk squad carrying a top-five ranking and Final Four aspirations.
The No. 4 Jayhawks tip at 7 p.m. tonight against the Gorillas in the first of what will be several games to start the season without junior guard Brandon Rush, who is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL. But even without Rush, depth won't be an issue for KU to start the season. Bill Self's squad still boasts on of the nation's top backcourts between senior Russell Robinson, junior Mario Chalmers and sophomore Sherron Collins.
Tonight will also mark the first live game action in the Fieldhouse for freshmen Tyrel Reed, Cole Aldrich and Conner Teahan. Aldrich will have a tough time getting much playing time between a pair of seniors (Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson) and a sophomore with a bright NBA future (Darrell Arthur). Reed showed he's ready to play at the Division-I level during summer scrimmages and a 20-minute run at Late Night. Teahan has already established himself among his teammates as one of the squad's top shooters.
Stay tuned to KUSports.com for live game updates throughout tonight's contest along with every game this season.