Friday, March 20, 2015

Jayhawks dispose of NMSU, move on to next round

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31), left, and Landen Lucas (33) right, go for a rebound against New Mexico State center Tshilidzi Nephawe (15) in the Jayhawks second-round NCAA tournament game against New Mexico State Friday, March 20, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31), left, and Landen Lucas (33) right, go for a rebound against New Mexico State center Tshilidzi Nephawe (15) in the Jayhawks second-round NCAA tournament game against New Mexico State Friday, March 20, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.


— A stellar first half and the return of some hot three-point shooting led No. 2 seed Kansas to a 75-56 victory over 15th-seeded New Mexico State and into the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks, who shot 53 percent in the first half, made 9-of-13 three-pointers for the game (5-of-8 in the first half) and used an attacking style and several lobs over the top of the NMSU zone to cruise to victory.

KU's defense was sensational in the first half, limiting the Aggies (23-11) to nine field goals in 27 attempts. Landen Lucas had a strong showing in trapping the post and making NMSU's guards finish over him, and also held his own against New Mexico State big man Tshilidzi Nephawe, who labored all game against the constant onslaught of KU's size.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self talks KU's rediscovered 3-point shooting and balanced scoring

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self saw his team make 9 of 13 three-pointers Friday in Omaha, where the Jayhawks advanced to the next round of the NCAA Tournament with a 75-56 win over New Mexico State. KU had seven players who scored seven or more points. Self discussed those topics ...

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Box score

Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor also did a great job of getting around the NMSU big men in the post to poke the ball away, particularly in the second half.

While KU's defense frustrated the Aggies on one end, the Jayhawks' offense hit them with some serious balance. Frank Mason III led the way with 17 points (6-of-7 shooting), 9 rebounds and 4 assists, but after that six other Jayhawks scored at least seven points.

That included sophomore sharp-shooter Brannen Greene, who made 3 of 5 shots — 2 of 4 from downtown — for eight points.

Perry Ellis scored nine points in 23 minutes.

The Jayhawks' nine made threes and 69 -percent shooting from downtown marked the first time since KU made 10, 10 and 11 triples in a three-game stretch during the middle of Big 12 play, that Kansas (27-8) made more than six three-pointers in a game.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: Kansas ripped off a 10-0 run that turned a 24-16 lead into a 34-16 lead late in the first half. Devonté Graham hit two three-pointers during the run and Mason and Jamari Traylor added jumpers.

• Offensive highlight: Pick a lob, any lob. KU's constant attacking of the NMSU zone from the high post led to several easy lobs for KU's big men, with Jamari Traylor pulling the trigger on most of the passes. There was one set play lob early in the game out of a timeout from Graham to Wayne Selden Jr.. Selden crept behind the NMSU back line on the far side, caught a perfect pass from Graham with two hands and hammered it to put Kansas up 19-9. Despite connecting on several lobs, the Jayhawks also misfired on at least two or three others.

• Defensive highlight: There were a ton of little plays that don't show up in the stats that guys made throughout this game, but one of the best highlights came early in the second half, when KU had almost turned it over but got it back when Selden poked his hand in to grab a loose ball and almost simultaneously fired a full-court pass to Traylor, who caught it, took a couple of steps and flushed it to put Kansas up 44-30 with 16:42 to play.

• Key stat: Field goal percentage. Kansas shot 54 percent for the game and was over 50 percent in both halves, while the Aggies shot just 36 percent for the game and were not above 38 percent in either half. KU also out-assisted New Mexico State 16-8.

• Up next: The Jayhawks advance to Sunday's Round of 32, where they'll meet the winner of this afternoon's 7-10 match-up between Wichita State and Indiana.

— See what people were saying about the game during the live blog.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats New Mexico State, 75-56

By the Numbers: Kansas beats New Mexico State, 75-56


JD Roth 3 years ago

Keep it going Jayhawks. Great defense and three point accuracy.

Dale Rogers 3 years ago

Many times I've been "promised" two days of no questions. Yet never do I get more than a couple of hours before those questions are back. Apparently I need to enable cookies for some site in addition to ... anyone know which one that might be? I'm not enabling for known spammers and adware sites.

Bert White 3 years ago

looking at the source starting at line 232 has

new google Survey code 'scr'+'ipt '+ 'src="//'+ '&url='+encodeURIComponent(ARTICLE_URL)+

so I'm assuming it's likely

Suzi Marshall 3 years ago

Ellis looks like he still has a ways to go with regards to trusting his knee. He's extremely hesitant taking off and landing resulting in several easy basket misses and defensive lapses.

Tyson Ailshie 3 years ago

Mason had a whale of a game. 17 pts and 9 rebounds 4 assists. That's the kind of PG play we need to make a run. Oh and Devonte wasn't too bad either. The only concern I have after today is that we gave up 33 points in the 2nd half and only 23 in the 1st half. We are going to need to finish games on the defensive end in the 2nd half if we want to get to the final four.

Brian Mellor 3 years ago

Admittedly, I've not been able to watch as many games as this year as I'd like with no cable, but this seemed like the most complete game that KU has played since Texas at Texas.

John Fitzgerald 3 years ago

For not watching many games you know what you're talking about. And by that I mean you are exactly right. We played under control and didn't turn it over as many times as we usually do. We also shot the ball really well and it was good to see Greene get some shots to fall. My only complaint would be a few lazy passes and our defense got complacent at some points in the 2nd half. Let's hope it continues.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

I agree. This is as close as KU has come all year to giving a full 40 minutes. Great to see the threes falling again, too.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

That's a good way to get a virus or malware.

Suzi Marshall 3 years ago

Game ON!!!

Kansas vs. WSU

WSU has wanted us, now they have us.

Micky Baker 3 years ago

Wichita State beat Indiana 81-76, so here we go.

Kit Duncan 3 years ago

Looking forward to a great game and an article on Monday titled,

"Hawks Shock Shockers!"

RCJH! Shock the Shockers!

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

How would beating WSU be shocking? We're supposed to win that game.

Len Shaffer 3 years ago

You're right, Bryce. A better headline would be "Hawks Rock Shockers."

Micky Baker 3 years ago

It's a figure of speech for "Harvest the Shockers".

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

Looking forward to KU-WSU. I know I'm in the minority among KU fans when I say this, but that's a game that should be played every year.

Len Shaffer 3 years ago

Well said, Adam. In addition to that, we haven't said no to playing them at Allen, have we? They're not in a position to ask for a home-and-home.

JD Roth 3 years ago

I'm glad somebody finally exposed that fact. They are the ones that tapped out after that 103-54 drubbing.

Aaron Paisley 3 years ago

WSU wants to be Gonzaga without taking the same path Gonzaga took. Gonzaga proved themselves by going on the road and playing any major schools they could. They even played in Allen Fieldhouse to open the season about 15 years ago. KU never made a return trip to Spokane because it wasn't worth it and Gonzaga didn't demand it. If WSU wants legitimize themselves, they can come to Lawrence, they can go to Stillwater, Norman, Fayetteville and other regional programs and also make some trips to other power schools.

I also find it funny that Marshall isn't griping about not being able to play KSU since it's been over a decade since that series ended with no sign of it starting up again either.

KU has a 12-2 all time lead over WSU and have never played WSU on a regular basis so there's never really been much of a rivalry no matter how much they want to claim one.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

If I remember correctly, Marshall did complain to Jim Rome about Kansas State not scheduling any games with Wichita State during an interview with him last February.

Joe Ross 3 years ago

im with you Bryce. I'll glady take the minority position and admit Id like to see the game annually. At least schedule a home and home.

Brianna Zaleski 3 years ago


"Shock the Shockers" is a play on words. It's not meant literally, you grinch.

Joe Ross 3 years ago

Wow, Brianna.

I wish our players played as angry...

Kit Duncan 3 years ago

Brianna, you get the meaning. Thanks for the assist!


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