Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jayhawks survive Sunflower Showdown, 73-72

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets to the bucket under Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32) and Kansas State forward Makol Mawien (14) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets to the bucket under Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32) and Kansas State forward Makol Mawien (14) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.


It took a full 40 minutes for Kansas to emerge from the Sunflower Showdown victorious Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.

Visiting Kansas State looked right at home much of the matinee, despite playing in hostile territory.

The star of KU’s last home game, sophomore Malik Newman, saved the Jayhawks against K-State, making two clutch free throws and defending the potential game-winning shot in the final seconds of a 73-72 Jayhawks win.

Newman (seven points on 2-for-6 shooting) drove the lane to draw a foul on Makol Mawien at the rim with 15.2 seconds to play. After making both free throws for a one-point lead in crunch time, Newman contested a Barry Brown 3-pointer in the final seconds with big man Udoka Azubuike right there with him to hinder a difficult fall-away attempt that could have sent K-State back to Manhattan victorious.

It looked as if the Jayhawks might be able to dispose of the Wildcats early in the second half, thanks to their veteran leader and massive big man.

Devonte' Graham (23 points, five assists) established himself as an aggressor after intermission.

The Jayhawks achieved their first double-digit lead and largest of the game less than seven minutes into the second half as the senior point guard made sure his team didn’t open the second half flat in a game that was tied at the break.

Graham nailed a 3-pointer with 16:56 to play and visited the free-throw line twice in the next two-plus minutes. His second 3 of the second half, with 13:33 to play, built KU’s advantage to 11 points.

The floor general made sure Kansas went to its most effective scorer in that stretch, too, as Azubuike (18 points, eight rebounds) aided the Jayhawks’ crucial 15-2 run, with a pair of layups and a two-handed finish of a Graham lob on an alley-oop.

However, K-State didn’t buckle and even took a 3-point lead on a Dean Wade 3-pointer with 3:30 to play.

Wade (22 points, six rebounds) and Cartier Diarra (18 points) had the Wildcats in position for an upset before KU escaped.

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

• The game turned when: Well, it really never did.

K-State redshirt freshman guard Diarra spearheaded a Wildcats response to the Graham-and-Azubuike fueled KU run that opened the second half. Diarra scored 11 of his second-half points in two and a half minutes, allowing the visitors to tie the game at 55 on a Dean Wade jumper with 8:28 to play.

Less than two minutes later Kansas State took a 59-57 lead on a tough Xavier Sneed fade-away jumper.

The Wildcats led by three with less than five minutes to play when junior big Dean Wade hit a pair of free throws.

A Lagerald Vick 3-pinter, a Malik Newman offensive rebound and jumper and an Azubuike tip-in slam kept Kansas in it, setting the stage for Newman’s game-winning free throws.

• Offensive highlight: The Wildcats controlled a giant stretch of the first half thanks to their collective defensive effort.

The Jayhawks had trouble finding open looks and spent a good eight minutes of the opening half clanging 3-pointers and turning the ball over as K-State built a 6-point lead.

That Wildcats’ cushion disappeared over the course of the final 38 seconds, though, as Mykhailiuk made up for KU’s struggles with back-to-back, momentum-building long-range bombs.

Freshman sub Marcus Garrett set up Mykhailiuk for the Jayhawks’ first successful field goal in five minutes to cut the visitors’ lead in half.

The next trip down the floor, following a Bill Self timeout with five seconds on the clock, Mykhailiuk got a look at a long 3-pointer from the top of the key with a quick pump fake. Then the senior from Ukraine buried a 3 to beat the buzzer — making him 3-for-4 from long range in the first half. He pounded his chest, and led the Jayhawks back to the locker room with the rivalry game tied at 34, as the crowd showered Mykhailiuk and his teammates with cheers.

• Defensive highlight: Azubuike looked more active and mobile than he has in weeks and it really showed up on defense, where he blocked five shots in the KU home win.

• Key stat: K-State shooting. The Wildcats ran effective offense the majority of the rivalry showdown having connected on 49 percent of their shot attempts.

The Jayhawks had issues denying the Wildcats the shots they tried to get most of the afternoon.

Kansas State shot 50 percent form the floor in the second half.

Among KU’s opponents this season, only Arizona State has shot the ball better against the Jayhawks.

• Up next: The Jayhawks hit the road for their annual trip to Morgantown, W. Va., where Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers have had KU’s number each of the past four seasons. Tip-off is at 8 p.m., on ESPN’s Big Monday.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. K-State

By the Numbers: Kansas 73, Kansas State 72.

By the Numbers: Kansas 73, Kansas State 72.


Barry Weiss 3 years, 2 months ago

everything about this game was as close as the final score. big time 3's by Vick down the stretch. wish we could win easier at home, but I think all of these teams are fairly equal. would love to see Tech pull out a win over WV today to set up a big battle Monday in Morgantown. Only way we win that game is if we are super hot from beyond the arch and keep TO's under 10.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

Or we could realize that we aren't going to get many easy, open outside shots and decide to attack the basket, feed Dok, crash the boards, and play unusually inspired D.

Just a thought.

Steve Johnson 3 years, 2 months ago

2 minutes great,2 minutes poor, thats how they play this year. To be a contender, Vick has to be more active. This may have been Dok's best game on offense and defense Garret and Lightfoot should not be allowed to shoot a 3 the rest of the season unless we are up double digits. Svi has to stop his offensive fouls.Every game he drives the ball slow and everyone can see he is going to charge. Silvio, welcome to the Big 12. He needs a KU blowout game to get time and a feel for the big stage. Sam has looked horrible overtime he is in the game which is a concern.

DiscGolfer Jason 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes, Mitch needs to get the go ahead on threes. He's not a center, he's a power forward. In 2 years you'll be going nuts when he makes those shots. I bet you didn't have a problem when the Morris twins were shooting and making them. Self has had many bigs that could not shoot the ball 3-5 ft from the basket. Landen was the worst. JW wasn't that great. TR was not either. I'd like to see KU players under Self thrive in the pros. Most have not.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely. We can't have 45.5% 3 pt shooters going off taking open shots. And 1 or 2 a game is a veritable ball hog. No wonder it was close.

Ross Hartley 3 years, 2 months ago

We can lick down and defend when absolutely needed, but can't keep up defensive intensity long enough to all us to really distance ourselves.

Tevin Brown 3 years, 2 months ago

That West Virginia game is gonna be interesting!

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 2 months ago

I'll take a one-point win in a rivalry game anytime. KState put this game on the calendar last year after losing the Fieldhouse. Beating Kansas is often Kansas State's highlight of the year.

I think De Sousa was more than a little bit overwhelmed in his first game. He was sweating heavily after the shootaround and looked out of place in the few minutes he played. Still, I think he can have a huge impact before conference play ends. I expect he will play more minutes at West Virginia.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

WVU will be a tough tough place to learn to play Big12 BB. Coach will undoubtedly continue to give him some minutes, because he knows better than anyone that we need to get him up to speed. I'm sure Sam is telling him how many minutes he gets is a matter of learning to play D, hustle (R), and help the team.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 2 months ago

Very impressed with K-State's poise, even though they didn't get a decent attempt on their final shot. Credit goes to Coach Self for setting up the defense and to Malik Newman for hounding Brown without fouling him.

I thought they would have tried to set a screen for Dean Wade, who is one outstanding player. He's the most versatile K-State player, and he is deadly from the foul line. He clearly comes from a good old Kansas family. Great to see the little town of St. John represented so well.

I know that KU was never in the mix for him during recruiting (a solid KSU family), but he would have been a fabulous addition to KU's team. I just hope that Mitch Lightfoot can develop into being a similar player. Mitch is making progress, and when he gets to play his natural position, he should be even more effective. I don't have a problem with him taking an uncontested "3", and I doubt that Coach Self does either.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 2 months ago

The play they drew up was a pick by Wade and then he'd roll to the top of the key for a 3 pointer. It all worked, he was open as Udoka was slow to react but Brown decided to play hero ball and not pass. This forced Brown to have to call Wade back over for another pick, at which point there wasn't enough time left to do anything but shoot a contested off balance 3 pointer.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 2 months ago

When we got up by double digits I thought no lead is safe, from us. We made a couple of really bad turnovers and then got three good calls in a row to stay in it.

Vick showed up a bit and you have to choose Malik over Marcus. Garrett is good when spelling Svi and will be really good next year.

Not DeVonte's best game but good enough. He can be a lot better and when he is it's great.

Dok looked athletic as all get out and quicker on his hook shot.

Again a team looked confident against us on offense.

How long since we hit on all cylinders? And until then KSU and KU are playing to be second best team in the state. KSU is really good and was without their starting point guard.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

Guessing this is the best that Dok's back has felt in weeks.

Mike Greer 3 years, 2 months ago

All these guys, well, maybe not Dok, practice 3s, they have to take the wide open shot. Both Mitch and Marcus were left wide open, they had to take the shots. Now they need to make some of those to force guys to come out to guard them.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely, and especially Mitch, who is shooting 45%. Guessing Marcus knows what he'll be working on extensively in the future (if not all of his free time now).

Kent Richardson 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree Mike. We are not a confident team, or fan base right now. How in the heck are we still flirting with a top ten rating with all our missing parts? It was nice to see the team answer time after time, again. It would be nicer to be making the other team answer more often.

Steve Corder 3 years, 2 months ago

With an assist from the bench, KU claims help from none other than Coach Weber.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 2 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Texas Tech.....THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

2] Frank Mason lost four straight times in Morgantown, Does this team look like a team that will break that streak?

3] Give Silvio about two weeks then let's see what he can do on the court;

4] Dok keeps this up and he will be gone.

5] Give the Wildcats credit, They played a heck of a game without their best player and the calls certainly favored the home team.....which has never been uncommon.

6] Monday we will need top be scalding from beyond the arc to have a chance.

Drew Doerfler 3 years, 2 months ago

2.ku's guards have never handled west virginia's press very well...i don't see it being any different this is going to take a miracle for this years team to go to west virginia and win....we barely beat k-state at home without their best player. 4...unfortunately for Dok, His type of game is not very popular right now in the nba. he is nowhere to be seen on any of next years draft boards, first or second round. Right now he is doing well because he is just that much bigger than anyone else. That won't be the case in the nba. He really doesn't have very many actual skills right now that would translate to the nba. He is an average rebounder - ie, he doesn't rebound outside of his own little area very well, poor passer and ball handler, and has no shooting ability whatsoever..basically if he's outside of 5 ft from the basket, he's not going to score.

the good....he's going to get better and better. team him up next year next to dedric and he will shine. We will finally be deep again in the keeping malik newman another year, marcus garret, and Vick seems to be playing himself out of the draft, add in the new guards...and next year could be the best and deepest team KU has had since the championship team.....good and deep and experienced backcourt and frontcourt

Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

2 - No one guard will break WVU. The good news for KU is they have 4 perimeter players that have learned to share the ball very well. Not optimistic, but efficient ball movement can break a pass and create really easy offensive.

4 - the best news for Dok is how young he is literally and in terms of BB. The NBA loves potential, but has transitioned away from dominant low post players (Dok's strength). His recent back history isn't a good sign, as that has been the achilles heel of many previous bigs.

Rob Byrd 3 years, 2 months ago

Yonatan, not painful for MOST of us, but brutal for K-Staters!! Lol

Bob Bailey 3 years, 2 months ago

A lot of you seem to be good BB coaches. Many readers should respect your evaluations. Like Suzi a male from Houston; yesterday who coached 33 yrs and never ran into a disaster like leukemia; etc. Some of you are good BB players. Your evaluation is good but not up to the long term coaches. My only claim to fame is being a grad from '48, a long term observation.

We should all know we have one of the top 4 BB coaches in the US. They are MSt; N Car, Duke, and us. But it seems to me that any of you would be hard pressed to rank the four in order.

The four seem to harbor the same long term problems. They are unusually slow to adapt to the game as it unfolds before them. And the change seems to be arriving progressively, but slowly i.e 3 pt shooting. It is apparently here. And none seemed to have adapted their game to accommodate it. Going back a few years our star scored 4 pts in the Final Four. Had he scored 11 pts we would have won. He was overwhelmed by double and triple guarding. No adaption in game time. He could shoot 3's. Why could we not have pulled him out to the perimeter? Three 3's would do it. Later, one of our guys got 0 pts from 11 shots. Seven points would have won it.

They seem to be the 4 best positioned coaches in the country. But they either have to adapt to the game, or they will have their ranking, but may pass from the scene!

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