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Kansas defeats Austin Peay, 105-79

  • 3 p.m., March 17, 2016
  • Wells Fargo Arena,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Impeached: Governors no match for Jayhawks in first round

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) celebrate a bucket by teammate Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk during the second half, Thursday, March 17, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) celebrate a bucket by teammate Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk during the second half, Thursday, March 17, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

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— Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is one of many Kansas University basketball players who, on Thursday, admitted to having a case of the jitters for the Jayhawks’ first game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

“The court seemed kind of longer. Everything was a lot bigger. But it’s still the same game, same basketball,” Mykhailiuk, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from Ukraine said after the Jayhawks — who led Austin Peay by a mere two points after eight minutes — impeached the Governors, 105-79, in a first-round South Regional clash at Wells Fargo Arena.

Mykhailiuk — he played just three minutes in KU’s Big 12 title victory over West Virginia last Saturday — scored a career-high 23 points off 9-of-11 shooting in 24 minutes. He hit four of five threes, including consecutive treys that opened a 23-6 run that stretched a 12-10 lead to 35-16 at 3:46.

Mykhailiuk, who had a dunk and did not receive credit on the stat sheet for a fierce block but altered a dunk attempt, also played point guard — yes, point guard — next to Lagerald Vick during a 10-0 run that helped the Jayhawks stretch a 61-44 lead to total blowout status in the second half. 

The work at the point was needed on a day guards Frank Mason III (nine points, four assists, 27 minutes), Devonté Graham (no points, six assists, 24 minutes) and Wayne Selden, Jr. (14 points, 19 minutes) were limited because of foul problems.

“I did when I was a kid, not when I was with my main team (Ukraine’s Cherkasy Mavpy),” Mykhailiuk said of his past experiences at point guard as a toddler. “I play it in practice on the Red team. With Frank and Devonté in foul trouble, I had to play point — focus more on my teammates, try to get shots for them instead of me.”

Selden was impressed with Mykhailiuk’s team-steadying performance.

“He’s a special talent,” Selden said. “He’s first-round material. He’s a special player. Him being aggressive, being confident. (It) was good to see.”

Especially on the first day of the NCAAs, when even juniors like Selden felt a bit nervous.

“I felt today we were a little tight for some reason,” Selden said after a game in which the Jayhawks hit 48.6 percent of their first half shots, 62.9 the second stanza. “I think that was pre-tournament, pre-game jitters. Those should be out the window now (entering Saturday’s second-round game against UConn, a 74-67 winner over Colorado).”

Reserve forward Jamari Traylor, who coach Bill Self said was the best player in the first half (his eight rebounds, two steals and block helped KU to a 48-28 halftime advantage), also thanked Mykhailiuk for steadying the ship early and helping out at point later.

“I’m happy for him (Svi). I told him to stay aggressive when he got in there,” said Traylor, who finished with nine boards in 18 minutes.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on KU's depth and moving on in NCAA tourney

After his top-seeded Jayhawks blew out Austin Peay, 105-79, Kansas coach Bill Self discusses his team's depth and what KU accomplished in its first-round victory in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Perry Ellis led the bigs with 21 points, while forward Landen Lucas tallied a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Cheick Diallo had nine points and four boards in seven minutes and Carlton Bragg Jr. four points in nine minutes.

“Svi got his 23 points on 11 shots. It was great for him. He didn't surprise me today, because I see it all the time from him in practice. He’s just gotta stay confident like this and he can do a lot for us. I’m just proud of him today and I know he can do even better, actually,” Traylor added.

Memphis freshman Vick, who hadn’t played at all in seven of the last 11 games, scored a career-high seven points with two assists in a 10-minute second-half stint.

The 6-5 Vick hit a three, cashed a layup on the break and had a steal in the stretch where he and Svi played some point.

“He was just ready,” Vick said of Mykhailiuk. Of his own effort, he said: “I was ready when my jersey was called.”

Noted Traylor: “Lagerald was great off the bench, and it was a point in the game when they were in we were actually better than when the starters were in. So I feel like we've got a deep group and got guys that you’ve gotta respect when you come out there.”

Self said he thought “the bench played pretty well.”

Specifically, of Svi, he said: “I would have liked to have played Svi more in the last game. The way West Virginia presses, you want your best ball-handlers out there and Devonté and Frank weren't in foul trouble and they weren’t tired, so you have those guys out there, and if Wayne plays well there is not a lot of minutes to go around.

“But I think the fact he came in and fired one right off the bat and I think it went down, and then after that he was ultra aggressive the rest of the way. I thought his moves off the bounce were actually more impressive than maybe the shots off the catch. I thought he looked athletic,” Self added.

And of Vick, Self said: “I don’t think it’s realistic to think he can come in and at the drop of a dime he’s going to go out and get you seven points and kind of take over the game for a short period of time where we kind of needed to extend the lead.

“I do have confidence in Lagerald. He’s our sixth perimeter player and a lot of times the sixth perimeter player is odd man out because we play five, but he looked good today and he looked confident. And certainly Brannen’s (Greene) back has been bothering him and he didn’t move very good today. The fact that you had all the starters in foul trouble we were going to play him (Vick) regardless and he responded like he's supposed to. He was ready.”

The only thing that seemed to bother Self was KU’s defense (Austin Peay hit 41 percent of its shots; four of 15 threes) and rebounding (KU out-rebounded Peay, 41-37).

“Today’s game was called much tighter than what we probably have been playing (KU hit 21 of 27 free throws to Peay’s 25 of 37). I'm not saying right, wrong, indifferent, I don't think our players did a good job of adjusting at all,” Self said. “I felt like we were defensive on defense.”

In all, 15 Jayhawks played, leaving a lot of happy players, ones who insist they’ll be focused, not nervous, heading into Saturday’s Round of 32 contest vs. UConn.

“I’d say we were a little (nervous) the first half. We finally calmed down and started to play well,” said Perry Ellis, like Lucas, a steadying force who hit eight of 12 shots. “We know we got that out of the way and will have to play better defense and rebound better the next game.”

“A little bit,” Lucas said of his also being a bit tense Thursday. “Going into this, the lights are brighter and they actually are brighter out there. It feels different on the court. The first game gets that all out of the way.”

Said Mykhailiuk: “It’s always great to win and go to the next round. To play a great game helps your confidence. If you feel confident, your teammates do, too. We won the first one. We need to focus on the next and keep going.”

— See what people were saying about KU's first-round victory during KUsports.com's live coverage


More news and notes from KU’s victory over Austin Peay


By the Numbers: Kansas 105, Austin Peay 79

By the Numbers: Kansas 105, Austin Peay 79

Comments

Dale Rogers 3 years, 8 months ago

A lot of those 50 called fouls were crap. Away from the ball, the AP player backs into Hunter and pushes him back and Hunter gets called for a foul. What's with that? Keep in mind that this was away from the ball.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 8 months ago

LOL, Dook shot almost 50 FTs alone (vs UNCW's 20). They won by 8.

Welcome to NCAA's tournament.

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

That's a typical Dook game. They would be a .500 teams without a consistent 2-1 FT advantage.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

The last few games, Mykailiuk has been looking like that first round draft pick we've been reading about. It saddens me to think he'll play lights out at the NBA work outs, resulting in his stock sky rocketing into the First Round. Yes I'll be happy for him but KU fans would never be able to see him play extended time. However, if he comes through like this and takes us to the NC, I'll deal with it.

I don't know if anyone else had a chance to re-watch the game. I did and there is plenty to be concerned about! Our D was not much better than the OSU-Stillwater game. APSU scored 51 points in the second half and played us even on the boards, turnovers and nearly every metric except shooting percentage.

I've go a lot of anxieties about this next game vs. UConn. This round has been our nemesis and UConn should be feeling like they are playing with a buckets full of house money. Our guys will be feeling more pressure in this game than any time this year.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm hoping Svi and Diallo come back, they each need another year. What is Selden going to do?

Joe Ross 3 years, 8 months ago

Excellent coaches coaching teams who fly under or slightly under the radar have been disastrous for Kansas.

Think about that for a minute.

Yes...Im concerned about UConn. I remember thinking before the game we lost to Stanford that we were going to beat them. Dawkins took us to the woodshed. Ill never take anything for granted again until I see the box score.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 8 months ago

I hear you Joe but this isn't the same UConn that played in the Big East anymore. The American Conference doesn't have the teams that can challenge UConn day in and day out.

Dawkins isn't a better coach than Self and UConn would probably finish the BIG 12 at around .500.

We got this.

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree. In the first half we were plagued by fouls, but after we got up 20, we stopped playing defense. It's hard to believe that we were up by 30 at some point in the game when our opponent was shooting better than 40% on FG. They should have been in the mid to low 30%s.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 8 months ago

Bring on the Shockers! What a sweet revenge it will be!

Joe Ross 3 years, 8 months ago

Im a little concerned about the defense in the game though. Of the 32 teams that played, only 12 had an offensive output HIGHER than APs. Only 12. And 9 of those were in winning efforts. Seventy nine points is a lot of cheddar to give up to a 16 seed.

Still doing my research to see whether or not we face any teams with formidable front courts, cause this team is not made to really stop bullies in the paint. Also hope we dont face backcourts who shoot the 3 particularly well, although we did overcome OU twice.

For now, just focusing on UConn though. Not looking past them, thats for sure. Certainly capable of having a good game and beating us.

Mike Riches 3 years, 8 months ago

We just stopped playing much defense in the second half. They had 51 second half points. Not sure if that's reassuring or worrisome, because if we take our foot off the gas like that against any other team in this tournament, they could easily make a comeback. Our guys need a chip on their shoulder for Saturdays game. UConn has some massive momentum right now.

To your point about opposing front courts, I thought Colorado's bigs were pretty good today. They may have given us some trouble had they been able to hold on to their lead.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 8 months ago

It's really difficult to play lock down defense when you're up 30, especially when you know you've got another game in 2 days that you need to have some legs for. It's just the way it is. I'm certain if it was a closer game they wouldn't have scored nearly that many points in the 2nd half. It's not ideal but it's reality.

Armen Kurdian 3 years, 8 months ago

With starters on the bench for a big part of the 2nd half, I'm not quite as concerned w/what we gave up in the 2nd half because we were still so efficient on offense. I'm sure after our game against Baylor, Coach had his finger on the trigger to put the starters back in had the bench not been able to cut it. But Traylor was a freakin monster under the basket, just out-muscling on the defensive glass, literally ripping the ball away from the AP player.

That said, I want to utterly shame and destroy UConn, they are always a hot team in March, and I very much doubt they're going to get overlooked, but it would give me joy & succor to make every UConn fan wholly morose and despondent tomorrow.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

i'm with you about utterly shaming UConn!!!

Perhaps it is jealousy on my part but I view the NCAA Tournament as being mostly about luck and UConn has been the luckiest of teams since their first Tournament win. How does a school like UConn have 4 NCAA Titles and Kansas only 3 since this format has commenced?

Jealous...yes

Spiteful....very

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 8 months ago

How does a school like UConn have 4 titles since 1999 and a school like Kansas only 1?

To answer it in the spirit of Taurean Prince from Baylor. When you score more points than the team that you're playing against, you get credited with a win. If you do that six times in a row in the NCAA tournament, then you will win a championship. If you do that 4 different times, then you will win 4 championships.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

I also thought Prince's reply was one of a smart-ass.

Joe Ross 3 years, 8 months ago

I hope we destroy them too. But I gotta tell ya: this game (for me) will conjure up memories of Stanford a couple of years ago, or at least until it's over.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

I somewhat agree but Stanford's strength was with their bigs. I'm concerned about their guards vs our, especially with Mason injured again and Selden, seldom plays well in the NCAA Tournament.

I've got tons of confidence that Ellis could go off for a huge, 30/10 type game. Ellis is playing with tons of confidence and desire.

Joe Ross 3 years, 8 months ago

Do you actually have a purpose other than exchanging oxygen and CO2? Be gone. Before someone drops a house on you.

Joe Ross 3 years, 8 months ago

"Im a little concerned about the defense in the game...Seventy nine points is a lot of cheddar to give up to a 16 seed." --Joe Ross

Notebook: Jayhawks Not Thrilled With Defense in Tourney Rout --Gary Bedore

Very clearly, I did.

David McGee 3 years, 8 months ago

There was an extended period in the second half where KU had Svi, Green, Bragg, Vick, and Traylor on the floor, and it was working pretty well. Granted, it was the 1 v 16 game, but I thought that was pretty neat. On a side note, Lucas going for 16 points was pretty darn out of character but definitely welcome.

I think this team caught a break with the Cal point guard breaking a finger because if KU gets past UCONN, the Bears were a scary draw. I think it'll be Maryland (rather than Hawaii) instead for us now, and I like that matchup a little better. If we get past the Terrapins, Miami's lineup is serious business.

KU better start hitting more of their 3's if they're gonna be shooting them early in possessions like they were last night (which I think is a good thing for a team with 5, or rather 6 (!) now after Svi's makes last night, players hitting over 40% on the year). Svi was our only consistent deep-ball threat last night. We wound up blowing AP out, but it was still a tight game midway through the first half. Sluggish starts like that can mean death, I hope to see us come out and stomp on teams' throats right out of the gate.

Dee Shaw 3 years, 8 months ago

Devonte' Graham has 0 points. Love it. We still win by 26 points and score 105 points. I understand it's a 16 seed but how encouraging. Rock chalk Jayhawk.

Rae Bricil 3 years, 8 months ago

Not a shock (no pun intended) but Wichita State is looking really good in the tournament again. I would not be surprised if KU (assuming they take care of business the next 2 games) sees them in the elite 8. Hopefully KU will have quite a bit of motivation after last year's performance.

The Shockers are now 8th in Ken Pom ( i think they were 11 before the tournament started) and they are an 11 seed. I would say they are way under-seeded. Also will be interesting to see Frankamp going against his former teammates--he performed well last night.

Jerry Tompkins 3 years, 8 months ago

6:45 Saturday on which channel? CBS, truTV, TNT, or TBS?

Chad Harris 3 years, 8 months ago

Let's all quit worrying about everything, that's the coaches job. Let's all just cheer on the Jayhawks as they March to the Championship game. I know in the past KU hasn't played well in the Round of 32. Even though the defense wasn't good last night, KU was VERY AGGRESSIVE. When was the last time we had an aggressive team? UCONN will not be a push over, but KU will still win by double digits.

I felt like KU lost to Standford two years ago because Perry wasn't the Perry he is now, Joel was hurt, Mason wasn't who he is now, and Selden didn't even score. This will not be a repeat of the 2014 season. Self and the players won't let that happen. I'm impressed with how the bench continues to root for one another. They're being very selfless. KU 80- UCONN 65.

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