Looking at the stats, one would be hard-pressed to tell this was the same Northern Arizona team that hung with the Arizona Wildcats one week ago. Against Arizona, NAU had 17 assists to 15 turnovers and actually out-rebounded them, 37-30.
Tonight, not a single player scored in double figures for the Lumberjacks, who had 10 assists to 18 turnovers and shot under 32 percent for the game. KU coach Bill Self said he thought it was the best defensive effort by the Jayhawks thus far.
For KU, 10 different players ended up in the scoring column, and all of them had at least five points. During the regular season, the Jayhawks have won every game by at least 23 points, and tonight's 41-point margin of victory was the largest of the season. KU is now 600-106 all-time at Allen Fieldhouse.
Another fact of note in KU's blowout win: NAU's 10 points scored were the fewest by an opponent in the first half since KU held Mississippi Valley State to the same number on Dec. 12, 1992.
The Jayhawks also saw some new career highs from a few of the freshmen. Tyrel Reed's five assists were more than he had on the season combined (three). Cole Aldrich's seven points were a new career high, as were his 17 minutes played and three made field goals. And for the second straight game, Conner Teahan set a career high in points, finishing with nine on 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
Next comes KU's biggest early-season test: a match-up with Arizona Sunday night at Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks will look for win No. 601 in the old barn.
Final score, KU wins 87-46
This one has been all KU. They're out-rebounding NAU 29-20 and have 23 assists to nine for the Lumberjacks. In the turnover department, KU has eight while NAU has 18. However, the 'jacks did have 15 at the break, so they've settled down some.
Kleinmann missed a pair of free throws. KU got the ball back and Tyrel Reed hit a 3-ball from the corner to put KU up 81-38. Teahan was called for a foul. And here come Brennan Bechard and Chase Buford with just under three minutes left. Kleinmann alters a shot and Buford misses a 3-pointer on his first touch of the game.
Teahan, who isn't shy about putting up the triples from anywhere, nails a long 3-pointer from the left of the top of the key. With 1:51 left, Brad Witherspoon makes an appearance. The 'Spoon 'o' meter, as it is known in KU's student newspaper, must have been high for this game.
Buford is short on another 3-pointer but KU gets the ball back. Teahan nails another 3-pointer, giving him nine points on the night. Consistent shooting like that is tough to keep on the bench.
Zarko Cormagic goes to the line for NAU and hits a pair of free throws. KU leads, 87-42. Buford turns it over and Cameron Jones pull up for a 2-pointer. The chants of 'Rock Chalk Jayhawk' are rising from the Fieldhouse with 30 seconds left. Bechard misses a 3, and NAU's Comagic dunks as time expires. KU runs away with this one, 87-46. The win marks victory number 600 in Allen Fieldhouse. Final statistics in a little bit.
3:49 left, second half, 'Hawks lead 78-38
Cameron Jones goes to the line for the Lumberjacks, making both foul shots. KU's lineup is Reed, Arthur, Kaun, Chalmers and Case. Reed spots up for 3 and misses, bur Arthur is there for the putback. KU leads 71-33. Arthur now has 13 points, Chalmers seven, Kaun seven and Reed five.
Nick Larson hits a 3-pointer from the corner. Jeremy Case follows with a miss, but yet again, Arthur is there to clean up the garbage. He now has 15 points and KU is up 73-36. Quite frankly, the only question now is when Bill Self will start putting in the practice players.
Landry misses a jumper, but NAU gets the ball back as the rebound goes off Arthur's hands. Landry misses another shot and Arthur snags this rebound. At the 5:38 mark, Conner Teahan is at the scorer's table.
Darrell Arthur continues to impress, knocking down a jumper to give KU a 75-36 lead. And here comes Matt Kleinmann to the scorer's table as well. The two check in for Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur. Both receive loud ovations, although the majority of the cheering probably went to Arthur, who had a fantastic game.
Conner Teahan immediately knocks down a 3-pointer from the corner. The Rockhurst product was a two-sport athlete in high school , and he's shown a lot of promise on the hardwood for the Jayhawks in the first few games. KU is up by 40 points now, 78-38.
7:54 left, second half, KU up 69-31
Rodrick Stewart and Russell Robinson checked back into the KU lineup. Tyrel Reed tried an alley-oop for Aldrich that fell short, but Aldrich brought it down and still had time to lay it in. After an NAU miss, Robinson missed a 3-pointer, but Darnell Jackson got the rebound and put it in to give KU a 66-24 edge.
The Lumberjacks have scored 24 points in just over 29 minutes of play, but they already have more points in this half (14) than they did during the entire first half. It may be small, but at least it's something to build on if you're NAU Head Coach Mike Adras.
Cameron Jones hit a jumper to give himself four points tonight. Darnell Jackson then spotted up for 3, knocking it down from the corner off an assist from Stewart. The big man is showing his range, having already knocked down a long 2-pointer.
Nate Geiser hit a jumper on the other end for NAU, but KU still leads big, 69-28. Darnell Jackson, feeling the hot hand, tried another jumper, but this one was off the mark. Matt Johnson was left wide open in the corner, and he hit a 3-pointer. Jackson took yet another shot and another 3-pointer but missed it. KU leads 69-31.
11:25 left, second half, Jayhawks dominating, 62-24
Mario Chalmers was called for his third personal foul at the 12:16 mark. Landry missed a shot and Darnell Jackson pulled down a big rebound. Chalmers then found Aldrich inside from midcourt, and he layed it in. Aldrich came up with a steal on defense, and Darnell Jackson was fouled inside. KU holding strong, up 62-24.
13:05 left, second half, KU leads 60-24
Some pretty amazing halftime stats, depending on which team you are. NAU had just two assists but 15 turnovers. They shot 4-for-24, good for just under 17 percent. KU, meanwhile, has 12 assists to five turnovers and is shooting 61 percent.
Darnell Jackson had eight points at the break, Darrell Arthur seven and Brandon Rush six. Nine different KU players scored in the first half.
Rodrick Stewart hit a 3-ball following the teams trading buckets. NAU's Nate Geiser made a triple. And here comes Brandon Rush at the 17:34 mark for Stewart. Sasha Kaun made 1 of 2 free throws, giving KU a 52-15 lead.
Darrell Arthur made a nice turnaround from the corner, followed by a nasty block by Sasha Kaun. Kaun was rewarded on the other end, scoring a layup and getting fouled. He missed the free throw, and KU leads 56-15.
Josh Wilson hit a jumper, cutting the lead back under 40 points. Kaun scored inside again, as KU leads 58-17. NAU's Kyle Landry then made his second bucket of the half, after being held scoreless in the first half.
KU is really putting on a clinic in all facets of the game. Chalmers hit a cutting Robinson for a nice layup, and KU seemingly is scoring whenever they please. Arthur recovered a loose ball and found Chalmers, who missed a slam dunk on the other end. If you'll recall, he missed a couple of dunks against UMKC a few games ago. He'll either need to start making his dunks or stop trying them. NAU's Josh Wilson hit a 3-pointer to cut the KU lead to 60-24.
Aldrich made 1 of 2 foul shots to put the 'Hawks up 37-10. A wild shot by Matt Johnson was taken away, and Darnell Jackson streaked down the court for a fast break layup. George Sharp, who ended NAU's scoreless draught earlier, was called for traveling.
Brandon Rush missed his second 3-ball after making his first two attempts. The lineup right now is Tyrel Reed, Aldrich, Rush, Arthur and Jeremy Case. Reed got on the board with a jumper from the corner to give KU a 41-10 lead. He followed that up with a 3-pointer. Five quick points from him. Rush then blocked a shot on defense, and Reed drove to the hoop, getting fouled. He's really showing why he was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas in the last minute.
Reed missed the front end of a 1 and 1 attempt, but KU got the ball back for the final possession of the half. Conner Teahan, who just checked into the game got the ball to Jeremy Case, who missed a 3-ball at the buzzer. KU is looking really good, up 44-10 at the break.
3:26 left, first half, KU leading 36-10
A backdoor attempt by NAU's Matt Johnson went off his hands for another turnover. Rodrick Stewart made a strong move into the lane, getting the hoop and the harm for KU. His free throw was good at the 7:14 mark to put KU up 29-4 now. The Jayhawks finally seem to have put their free throw shooting troubles behind them.
Darnell Jackson stepped just inside the top of the key to knock down a jumper, and the rout is really on here, 31-4. Josh Wilson responded with a 3-pointer for NAU, only to have Russell Robinson knock down an open 3 from the corner. KU really is firing all its pistons right now, leading 34-7.
Russell Robinson made a nice pass in the lane to Cole Aldrich for his first points of the night. Nick Larson then got the Lumberjacks out of single digits with a 3-pointer from straight on as the shot clock was down to 2. That's 10 points in 16 minutes for NAU. Aldrich was then fouled inside. KU has a comfortable cushion, leading 36-10.
7:52 left, first half, KU up big, 26-4
Jackson made both free throws, as KU is dominating, 22-4. Tyrel Reed then forced a jump ball to give KU the ball back. A backdoor pass for Rush was fumbled out of bounds. Matt Johnson missed, followed by a Darnell Jackson turnaround that missed. Yet another NAU turnover was followed by Sasha Kaun's first points on a nice layup inside to put KU up 24-4.
Even the bunnies won't fall for the Lumberjacks, with Landry missing a putback inside. So far, their two leading scorers, Landry and Wilson have no points. Kaun is looking much better than he did against Washburn, making himself a force on defense. Darrell Arthur just drove the lane for a thunderous dunk that bounced out before bouncing back in. It's just one of those nights for the Jayhawks, who lead 26-4.
11:41 left, first half, KU cruising 20-4
Chalmers made the bonus shot to give KU a 9-0 lead. Kaun then scored inside, NAU missed again, and Arthur got fouled and went to the line. At the 14:55 mark, Brandon Rush checked in to a loud ovation. Arthur made 1 of 2 shots. 12-0, KU.
On the other end, NAU turned it over again but KU couldn't convert as Arthur missed inside. After yet another Lumberjacks turnover, Rush got his first touch but was called for an offensive foul. NAU's Nathan Geiser missed a three, and the drought continues.
Matt Johnson missed a three, but George Sharp scored NAU's first points after six-and-a-half minutes. Brandon Rush then responded with not one but TWO 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. Welcome back, Mr. Rush! It prompted a Lumberjacks timeout, which didn't seem to help because they committed another turnover. Kansas leads 18-2.
Darnell Jackson scored his first points on an easy layup to give KU a 20-2 lead. Matt Johnson put in a jumper from the corner on the other end for NAU. Jackson drove to the hoop and got fouled for KU. The Jayhawks are looking in mid-season form already, easily handling NAU thus far with a 20-4 lead.
15:57 left, first half, KU leads 8-0
Before we tip off, it's worth noting that KU is looking for its 600th win in the illustrious history of Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas won the tip. Rodrick Stewart got it inside to Darrell Arthur for an easy bank shot to put KU up 2-0. On the other end, Sasha Kaun swatted Kyle Landry's shot out of bounds. Josh Wilson's wild shot from the corner rimmed out, but NAU retained possession before missing again.
After a sloppy possession from each team, Russell Robinson lobbed one for Arthur who layed it in for a 4-0 lead. Mario Chalmers committed the team's first foul on the other end. NAU's Josh Wilson then turned it over on a bad pass but the Lumberjacks got the ball back on a loose ball, jump ball.
At the 16:38 mark, neither team seems to have found a rhythm with consecutive turnovers. Robinson found a cutting Stewart inside, and KU now leads 6-0. Kaun then blocked another shot.
Chalmers drove to the hoop, made the shot and got fouled to give KU an 8-0 lead. The Lumberjacks have barely even sniffed a basket. Despite a few rough offensive possessions from the Jayhawks, their defense is stifling thus far.
Tonight's game between Kansas and Northern Arizona is a continuation of the six-team Jayhawk Invitational. KU beat UMKC and Washburn handily in the mini-tournament and stands at 3-0 overall. The Lumberjacks are 3-1 overall, with their lone loss being a close 76-69 decision to then No. 17 Arizona.
These two teams last met a year ago, as the Jayhawks handed NAU a 91-57 thumping. Kansas is 3-0 for the first time since the 2004-2005 season when the Jayhawks began 14-0. KU has five players averaging in double figures but is without leading scorer Sherron Collins (16 ppg) for the second straight game with a foot injury. Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Russell Robinson round out the double-digit scorers for the No. 4-ranked Jayhawks.
KU's Brandon Rush made his much anticipated season debut against Washburn on Thursday. Wearing a thick, black brace on his right knee, he was limited to 12 first-half minutes, but he put in seven points with three rebounds and two assists. Except Rush to see more minutes tonight.
NAU, meanwhile, is led by the duo of Kyle Landry and Josh Wilson. Landry, a 6-foot-9 forward, comes in averaging 15.8 points per game and nine rebounds. Wilson, a 6-2 junior guard, is scoring 12.8 a game while dishing out 7.5 assists.
The Lumberjacks led Division I in three-point field goal percentage as a team at 42.6 percent last year. NAU joined only national champion Florida and Texas A&M among teams to rank among the top 10 in both FG percentage and 3-point percentage. They will be looking to defeat a ranked opponent for the first time in school history (0-20).