Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Tom Keegan: Televised or not, Jayhawks handle road test

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) floats in for a bucket over San Diego State forward Zylan Cheatham (14) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 at Viejas Arena in San Diego.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) floats in for a bucket over San Diego State forward Zylan Cheatham (14) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 at Viejas Arena in San Diego.


— Since most of you don’t have access to the cable network that covered Tuesday night’s Kansas University basketball game against San Diego State in Viejas Arena, I thought I would do something a little different. I’ll  share what I saw and heard in chronological order, breaking the game down into the eight segments that stretch from one TV timeout to the next.

By the way, Kansas won the game that ended Tuesday night Pacific time, early this morning Central time, 70-57. Perry Ellis scored a game-high 20 points on a night second-ranked Kansas improved its record to 10-1.

Wayne Selden Jr.’s eight points during an 11-0 stretch midway through the second half, which increased the KU lead from four points to 15, were the biggest of the night.

The crowd had heated up but Selden put them back in their seats.

Several minutes before tipoff, all 12,414 seats filled, fans whipped white towels while chanting, “I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!”

The lights dimmed, a highlight video played on the video board, bad music with way too much bass blaring out the loudspeakers, fans held their iPhones above their heads, their flashlight features engaged.

Kansas took an 11-6 lead at the first TV timeout, thanks to Ellis getting hot, Hunter Mickelson playing well at both ends and in transition, and guards Frank Mason III and Devonté Graham applying defensive pressure. Selden picked up two fouls in the opening two minutes of the game, checked out, and didn’t play again until the second half.

Ellis scored on a put-back, an 18-footer from the top of the key, and a three-pointer from the top of the key.

When the second TV timeout arrived, Kansas led 19-11 after having taken a 17-6 lead with back-to-back three-pointers from Mason. Naturally, Mason’s expression never changed. Neither did Ellis’. Graham and Carlton Bragg looked really, really happy about the shots. Then again, maybe that’s just because they always look really happy when they’re playing basketball.

During the media timeout, former San Diego State phenom Stephen Strasburg was introduced to the crowd, triggering a roar.

The next TV timeout came with 7:55 left in the half and Kansas leading, 26-16. Ellis stayed hot and had 14 of KU’s points, his three from the top of the key making the score 26-13. Kansas moved the ball so well that Bragg was rewarded with a wide-open shot under the hoop. He probably should have dunked it but opted to lay it off the glass.

The next four-minute segment featured Cheick Diallo and Jamari Traylor filling the two post spots while Ellis caught a breather. Traylor brought hustle, swiping the ball right out of the hands of Aztecs forward Winston Shepard, and Diallo hit a pair of mid-range jumpers.

Diallo doesn’t always appear to know what to do, such as when he failed to provide help after Ellis blocked a shot and was out of position. But the freshman does have a nice touch.

Kansas came out of the final TV timeout of the half wth a 37-23 lead with 2:05 on the clock in part because Mason had little trouble working his way to uncontested jumpers and putting the ball into the hands of teammates for easy shots.

The Jayhawks moved the ball well throughout the half. Aside from a couple of Diallo defensive lapses and the KU guards losing track of the Aztecs’ three-point shooters from time to time, the Jayhawks defended well.

The half ended with Kansas leading, 39-27, and the basketball stuck where the back of the rim meets the glass, where Mason landed it on a buzzer-beating runner.

Kansas came out of intermission in a fog. 

The Jayhawks had as many turnovers in the opening two-and-a-half minutes (two) as they did the entire first half, the second coming on Ellis’ pass to the wing to Mason. One problem: Mason had cut and the pass landed in the stands.

The Aztecs (7-6) drew within 41-35, the closest the game had been since 13 minutes remained in the first half. Ellis’ driving shot pushed the lead back to eight heading into the first TV timeout of the second half. (At this point, the scoreboard flashed that the last time Kansas played SDSU in San Diego, late baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn scored 12 points).

The Aztecs didn’t disappear though and their suddenly energized crowd fed them fuel. Skylar Spencer’s uncontested dunk pumped up the volume and turned the lead down to 45-41.

Early in the shot clock and well behind the top of the key, Selden took the wide-open three and made it for the biggest hoop of the game to that point. Selden then pushed the lead to 50-41 with a strong drive from the left corner that he punctuated by laying the ball in the cup, scoop style, heading into the second TV timeout of the half.

Brannen Greene came out of that break by nailing a three and Selden built the lead to 15 points with an and-one drive so tough that a possible relative in the nose-bleed seats near mine couldn’t help but boast: “Yeah!” a man in KU gear said, pumping the air. “That’s my cousin!”

Selden’s eight points during an 11-0 run left the hosts facing long odds the rest of the night, down 15 points with two segments left to catch up.

Kansas closed the game well, enabling Selden’s scoring splurge to stand up as the one that put San Diego State away for good. The pre-Christmas letdown game did not resurface.

— See what people were saying about Kansas at San Diego State during’s live blog

More news and notes from Kansas at San Diego State

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, San Diego State 57

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, San Diego State 57


Kit Duncan 3 years, 11 months ago

Well written, Tom! Thanks for the exciting narrative!

John Randall 3 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Tom, for the timely and informative recap. I kept track of the running score and individual stats on CBSSports Gametracker, and your narrative fills a few gaps very nicely.

Scott Smetana 3 years, 11 months ago

Just watched the game on Dish Network. My thoughts....

This game had the feel of a Big 12 road game, say against KSU. They had a cheesy announcer that went nuts anytime they scored and fans that booed at every call. SDSU played like it was their season on the line (it may have been.)

We came out intense and shooting lights out. I thought this was one of the better halves we played all year. Hunter looked confident and played very well at both ends at the start. Ellis, Graham, and Mason played hard all night, again. As stated above, Seldon hardly played much in the first half. But again we saw aggressive, Korean Wayne in the second half.

Hunter got beat back on Defense once and then got the bench mid 1st half and didn't seem to play much after. Lucas had a short appearance on defense, but looked weak and slow. Bragg had some excellent rebounds (again), but only to be outdone by Traylor, who played his butt off. He fought harder than ever on the glass on both ends. Nice minutes for Green who looked more emotionally under control. Svi didn't play much and missed 2 threes.

I'm thinking our five spot is currently: Hunter when against a big man or in a slow game. Fast games Bragg then Traylor then Diallo. Lucas gets the bench.

Merry Xmas, time for a break. A ll the players get to fly straight home from San Diego... very nice!!!

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 11 months ago

This must be the shortest and most informative sport narrative I've ever read! May I add: Traylor's (KU's only) dunk puts an exclamation to our first tough win on the road.

Dave Miller 3 years, 11 months ago

I must say that I am very disappointed in televised games so far this year. Come on, KU !! I hope that next year will be better.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 11 months ago

I must say, that first half was what I've been craving to watch our team on the court each and every game. Our Offense was so well coordinated. Stingy Deffense. Mad Hunter played angry. Ellis was shooting the lights out (but still missed bunnies). Our guards pushed and pushed the tempo. I'm waiting for Mr. Tait's take on the game. This team made progress but there is definitely room for improvement.

David Friend 3 years, 11 months ago

CBS sportsnetwork is on both satellite companies and on comcast cable. I would assume its on the other cable networks and cant be to expensive to add.. Great channel if you like CBB.. Not sure why most don't have the channel.

Steve Kubler 3 years, 11 months ago

Now that is interesting statement, it appears our definition of expensive is at odds. It would cost me ` $70/month to add the package that includes cbssports. That to me is a pretty expensive add on to get one channel I'd watch once or twice a year.

Dale Rogers 3 years, 11 months ago

It's also on Cox cable out here in San Diego county. But I think it's in one of the optional packages we have. We obviously can't get Jayhawk TV but always check to see if some other network picks up the game. If not, then this laptop gets connected to the TV and we watch it via ESPN3, another option through our Cox cable.

Bill Nienstedt 3 years, 11 months ago

Finally a game that WAS on an available channel. Jayhawk TV is unavailable to every rural Kansan. It's a shame so many people can't watch games due to the new Time Warner deal. I know no one who can get Jayhawk TV. I'm on DirecTV and have the Sports Package so I get lots of college games, unless it's a KU Jayhawk TV game. Those games have shown in the guide but have been blacked out. If you live in Missouri you can get it, but if you live in Kansas you can't. That's just wrong. Terribly frustrated now that WIBW TV 13 no longer carries Jayhawk TV.

Jake Esau 3 years, 11 months ago

Most games that are "Jayhawk TV" can be streamed using WatchESPN if you have regular ESPN through your cable or satellite company. That being said, there are geographic blackouts that I know apply to areas where cable service is available from Cox, Comcast, WOW, and Time Warner.

I live in Colorado and have been able to watch all the games but this one and games on ESPN-U, as I'd have to pay more to get the package that has those.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 11 months ago

If I'm not mistaken, Kansans can watch the J-TV games on Cox 22 or WOW 37.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 11 months ago

Do what I did and listen to the games on the radio. It's free, and the announcers are on our side. And here in Topeka, we get three stations that broadcast the games:

*KMAJ-AM 1440

*KWIC-FM 99.3

*KKSW-FM 105.9 (based in Lawrence but covers Topeka too)

Humpy Helsel 3 years, 11 months ago

Something is messed up. We live in Tulsa and have seen every game this year on one of our cable stations. Different stations on different games. Our family who live outside of Topeka have seen very few games this year. My wife sends update texts to her sister during the game. Freaking messed up! I could lose my mind if I was living in Kansas and couldn't watch the games like we do here in Oklahoma.

Steve Koch 3 years, 11 months ago

People all over the country can watch Jayhawk games. Here in Kansas we cannot. Even in the cities you can only watch on cox or time warner. Most all of Kansas does not have access certainly none of rural Kansas. This is extremely disrespectful to the people of Kansas.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.