Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jayhawks cruise, 92-74; Mason barely misses on triple-double

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets to the bucket against Washburn during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets to the bucket against Washburn during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The highly-anticipated debut of Kansas basketball’s latest freshman phenom, Josh Jackson, didn’t start out the way most inside Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night anticipated. But the No. 3-ranked Jayhawks didn’t need their likely lottery pick to do it all in a 92-74 exhibition victory over Washburn.

Jackson, who finished with 14 points (6-for-12 shooting) and four rebounds, went scoreless in nine first-half minutes and didn’t convert his first basket until more than six minutes into the second.

Still, with senior point guard Frank Mason III asserting his will with the ball in his hands, driving for baskets and assists, and junior backup wing Svi Mykhailiuk finding his shooting stroke, the Jayhawks didn’t exactly miss Jackson’s production against the Ichabods. Mason posted 21 points, nine assists and added 10 rebounds while flirting with a triple-double. Mykhailiuk nailed four of his six three-pointers and added 16 points.

KU certainly didn’t look crisp on offense, turning the ball over 24 times. But WU’s defense couldn’t stop Bill Self’s players when they took care of the ball. Kansas shot 54 percent from the floor and went 10-for-22 from behind the three-point line, making for an easy enough victory.

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

The game turned when: The Jayhawks put together a few strong minutes to close the first half, carried by their 3-point shooting. The Ichabods stayed within single digits or so of the Jayhawks deep into the first half. When Mason hit a three at the 5:12 mark, KU began building a little momentum. A Mykhailiuk three soon followed, and the junior wing from Ukraine was just getting started. The man known as “Svi” nailed another from downtown to build a 14-point lead with 2:35 left until the break, and later drained his third three-pointer of the half to beat the buzzer and send Kansas to the locker room with a 50-34 advantage.

Though Washburn didn’t cave early in the second half, the Jayhawks had all the separation they needed.

Offensive highlight: After freshman big man Udoka Azubuike worked hard from block to block, looking for a post feed, Mason drove and rewarded the youngster with a perfect pass above the rim for an alley-oop. Azubuike’s first basket came emphatically less than four minutes into the game thanks to Lucas drawing two quick whistles, paving the way for the freshman’s minutes. But Azubuike didn’t get an opportunity to build up his confidence, because he fouled three times in three minutes and sat the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Defensive highlight: Washburn’s Brady Skeens decided early in the first half to challenge Azubuike and promptly had his attempt swatted out of bounds. The 7-footer from Nigeria followed up the first of his two blocks on the night (before fouling out in eight minutes) with a little “no-no” wag of the finger.

Key stat: Rebounding. It’s well documented how much Self values controlling the glass, and the Jayhawks failed to live up to their coaches’ standards against an undersized Washburn team. Not only did the Ichabods out-board KU, 45-44, they turned 19 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. The next few practices don’t figure to be too enjoyable for KU — the team’s bigs, in particular. Lucas and Bragg combined for three rebounds, while Mason led the team with 10 boards.

Up next: The Jayhawks will be back in Allen Fieldhouse Sunday night for their final preseason tuneup, versus Emporia State. The exhibition, which comes five days before the regular-season opener versus Indiana, tips off at 7 p.m.


Noah Oone 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, that was as uninspired of an exhibition as I can remember in my lifetime of being a fan. They let Washburn get twenty five fast breakpoints and around fifteen offensive rebounds. Landon and Carlton, with so much being expected out of them, were uninspiring on both ends - I think Landon had a grand total of one rebound. Unacceptable. I sure hope this was just a result of looking ahead to Indiana and Duke because this "special season" we are all hoping for could turn into another second round exit if they don't step it up and have a little passion. Devonte was uninspiring also. Not what I was expecting from a team that said they were motivated by last year's loss to Nova. Frank looks like he is ready to have a strong senior year, JJ looked more comfortable second half, and Svi shot it well. That's about it as far as positives. I was hoping they would be competitive and have a chance to beat Duke, but I am not nearly as confident now.

Sorry, don't mean to sound negative, but this did not look like a title contender this evening.

Jay Scott 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure the hard core Chicken Littles will be along soon to demand Self be fired.

Noah Oone 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't want Self fired - I just want the guys to focus and play to their potential. Landon, Carlton and Devonte were complete non factors against an NAIA opponent. What I am saying is they better start taking things a bit more seriously.

Gerry Butler 5 years, 1 month ago

you can take it to the bank they will be better Sunday. This was their 1st game, No not trying to make excuses, because it was pretty bad BUT this is why we have exhibitions isn't it? - -To see where the guys are at? - -Be able to see what we have to work on. You know the next few practices will not be nice. When Coach was asked what positives he could take away from this game - - His Response? - - That we got nobody hurt - -pretty well sums up what he thought about it. We will be ok, just back to work, get things together.

Bill McGovern 5 years, 1 month ago

It's the first game of the year, you can't decide if they are a title contender right now.

Noah Oone 5 years, 1 month ago

No, a title contender does not get outrebounded by an NAIA opponent - no disrespect to Washurn (they play very hard).

Dale Rogers 5 years, 1 month ago

Been around long and watched prior season exhibitions? And compared those results to late in the season results? This was not a good start but it's way to early to go into woe-is-me mode.

Anyone see how Indiana and Duke fared in their exhibition debuts? I haven't but I'd bet they have fans posting about they played so poorly they'll never be ready for Kansas. Etc.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 1 month ago

Watch the NFL Pro-Bowl if you want uninspired exhibition. KU often comes out flat in their exhibition games although this one was perhaps one of their worst performances.

Don't put too much into the exhibition games, playing Indiana should give us a much better idea of how this team rates but even the first few nonconference games will not give you a real picture of how this team will be next March.

Jay Scott 5 years, 1 month ago

Bragg had a tough night. Azubuike looked good at times but is learning what a foul is. Svi looked good. Coleby and Lightfoot were effective.

Hard to read too much into a strange matchup.....

Noah Oone 5 years, 1 month ago

Jay - I normally agree with what you say, but the lack of rebounding and bad defense is a little concerning, even with Washburn being a fairly small team. There were a lot of long rebounds due to the huge number of threes they shot, but the O Reb. we gave up are still way too high

Shannon Gustafson 5 years, 1 month ago

Nobody is saying anything otherwise.You just seem to be putting more stock into it than everyone else. It's the first game, things never go perfectly from the start. Furthermore they aren't used to guarding such short "posts" which makes it harder to not foul, harder to rebound without going over the back, harder to keep the quicker/smaller guys boxed out without manhandling them (fouling them), etc. Lucas has been a proven great rebounder his whole career so I'm not putting any stock in one bad game meaning anything for the future. I'm certain Self will let them hear all about it and they will rebound better going forward.

Jay Scott 5 years, 1 month ago

Well said Shannon.

Washburn was basically playing a 5 guard lineup. I'm sure Bragg hasn't spent much time in practice rebounding against Vick or Clay Young. If this were a first round NCAA game Coach Self would likely have played "4 guard" even more. Lightfoot looked more effective because he was in his element. Credit Coleby for adapting well.

The "bigs" will be fine when they're needed, against bigs.

Shannon Gustafson 5 years, 1 month ago

I had the same thought about Lightfoot, he had the most rebounds (for a Big) because he's used to playing against smaller high school opponents, and because he's our smallest/quickest "big" so he matched up better with Washburn's lack of size.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 1 month ago

Vick started off looking great then just about disappeared in the second half. I can see keeping our Bigs on the court could be a problem with their propensity for fouling.

And why is it that Kansas always seems to be dreadful at the free-throw line?

Joe Ross 5 years, 1 month ago

Josh Jackson is hiding a handsome young man under all that hair. Speaking of (and said this elsewhere), this game is not the kind that's going to win a beauty contest. Chipman is a great coach and has teams that play us really well. They took Jackson (first half) and Lucas out of their games for sure. Some of the old staples were visible from last year, especially the perimeter shooting. We've gotta get better in the post though, both on the offensive end and limiting fouls on the other end of the floor.

Judging from exhibition games is, appropriately, a lot like calling a presidential race from absentee ballots. My intuition is whispering, however, that Wiggs > Jackson. Still looking for 13, though...

Gerry Butler 5 years, 1 month ago

Josh had the TYPICAL Freshman 1st game - -nerves and jitters, settled down some in the 2nd half, he is going to be fine, just to sped up for awhile last night, trying to over think to much instead of just playing and going with the flow. - - Having said that, kind of hard to achieve a flow when you have the officials blowing the whistle every time it seemed or every other time down the floor. I bet you won't see a lot of those called in the regular season. I WILL agree and Coach mentioned this we can't have 3 rebounds from our 2 starting bigs & then our what 5ft 10 - -5ft 11 Guard Frank getting 10? that's unacceptable, but I know this will change. We gonna be all right again it was the 1st game

Tyler Capone 5 years, 1 month ago

Your intuition will soon prove to be wrong, Joe.

Joe Ross 5 years, 1 month ago

It may be. If so, that'd be welcome news. Jackson didnt look assertive in the scrimmage game at Allen nor in the game last night. My guess is that he is making the adjustment to the college game mentally more than physically (which is good news, in a sense, because the mind is more easily changed). I think Jackson is probably a kid who makes the freshman spring in January though. He's in his head a lot and it might take some time for him to sort it out. Just saying it wouldn't surprise me if it went that way. As far as Wiggins goes, I just dont see Jackson on the favorable side of that comparison...yet. Like I said, though, Im open to being proven wrong.

Jay Scott 5 years, 1 month ago

Joe, you've shown that being "proven wrong" makes you crazy.

There are several dozen comically angry insulting posts of yours with misquoted scripture, irrelevant song lyrics and references to "imported" Italian wine. All these to defend your idea that Harrison Barnes and Perry Ellis are identical players at the same position with the same potential, because they're the same size.

Is there a better example of being "proven wrong"? Ever? One has a max NBA deal. One is unemployed.

Joe. Not only are you a fountain of absurd opinions, being proven wrong brings out the lunatic in you.

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