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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Quick recap: No. 6 Kansas surrenders 102 points in loss to No. 1 Gonzaga in season opener

Kansas head coach Bill Self calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Kansas head coach Bill Self calls a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

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The long-awaited return of college basketball certainly delivered, even if it meant a 102-90 loss for the Kansas men’s basketball team.

No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 6 Kansas traded punches for much of the second half before the former delivered the knockout blow over the final eight minutes of the contest. The Bulldogs’ juggernaut offense was simply too much to overcome for the Jayhawks on Thursday in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off in Fort Myers, Florida.

With 10:18 left in the game, Kansas senior Marcus Garrett netted a layup to pull his team within a 72-71 margin. The Jayhawks found some success with their five-guard lineup of Garrett, Christian Braun, Jalen Wilson, Bryce Thompson and Ochai Agbaji and seemed to be within striking distance because of it.

Gonzaga’s length ultimately overwhelmed Kansas, however. The Bulldogs scored 6 unanswered points to create some cushion. Their lead eventually ballooned out to an 85-73 advantage, and the nation’s No. 1 team was in complete control after that.

It marked the most points allowed by Kansas in a non-overtime game in the Bill Self era.

Gonzaga (1-0) finished with 62 points in the paint in the win. Drew Timme paced the Bulldogs with 25 points, finishing as one of three players with 20-plus points. Jalen Suggs finished with 24 points in his collegiate debut, while Corey Kispert poured in 23 points.

Garrett led KU (0-1) with 22 points in a losing effort, shooting 7-of-9 from the floor.

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

• Defensive highlight: Five-star freshman Bryce Thompson was as advertised in his Jayhawk debut.

Thompson didn’t end up in the starting rotation even though he was believed to be in the mix. He did get first dibs on the floor to begin the second half, thanks to his strong play in the first half.

Thompson came through with a big-time block in the first half, and provided strong defensive play for much of the game. He brought the energy off the bench, and had a feel for the game that seemed so rare for a freshman.

Having Marcus Garrett and Bryce Thompson in the same backcourt should create problems for opposing Big 12 squads. After Thursday’s showing, Thompson might get a crack at the starting rotation in the near future.

None by Kansas Basketball

• Offensive highlight: Thursday’s game certainly lived up to the hype.

The Jayhawks were down by as many 14 in the first half before clawing their way back and making it a game down the stretch. It ended up being a back-and-forth battle between two of the best teams in college basketball. Not a bad way to spend Thanksgiving, huh?

Perhaps no stretch illustrated that better than than a sequence midway through the second half. The Bulldogs missed a shot at the rim, and Thompson ended up with an open look on the other end. The only way it could have been a bigger sequence was if Thompson got his foot behind the 3-point line.

Expect the freshman to learn from that mistake.

None by FOX College Hoops

• Up next: Kansas will face Saint Joseph's at 1 p.m. Friday to conclude the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Comments

Jeff Foster 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It had Covid and wasn't allowed to play! :-)

Tony Bandle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Random Thoughts:

1] It appears that Bill may have to tweek his man to man defense a tad!!

2] Turn overs and missed free throws....the beat goes on.

3] KU has a cycle that every few seasons we have a true chance to win a championship. This is not one of those seasons.

4] No sour grapes....the Zags beat us, but boy, there were some bad calls against us.

5] Well, the good news is that it's early, we played one of the best teams in America, and, at times, showed some grit and fought back to single digits and the game film will provide a good template on how not to play defense !!

6] At time, the freshman looked like freshmen, but I think there is a lot of potential there.

7] Score 90 points and get beat by double digits......the next full practice will be a doozy!!!!!

Layne Pierce 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Defense can and will get better Lineup still very open.

Rcjh

Marc Frey 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Give the other team unopposed layups, you tend to lose by double digits.

Allin Herring 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It is going to be a long season if we can not find anyone to play defense. Whoever steps up to play defense on this team will get a starting job. Our point guard's had 2 assist, four turnovers and one steal in this game not an all everything kind of game. There was only one really good freshman on the floor today and he did not wear blue. Thompson showed signs he cam be outstanding but he could hold the jock for Skaggs. Wilson showed that we really could have used him last year and if wans to play defense he could move up to a starter soon.

Steve Zimmerman 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Agreed. Wilson, Thompson both looking good on D, and O. They have a shot to start in the next game, i believe. Garrett at least made up his production offensively. Suggs is as good as advertised, but seeing Thompson, TGF played without fear - that's a great sign.

Barry Weiss 1 month, 3 weeks ago

well, I think our defense will get better. That was a seasoned Zag team we went up against. Just keeping an opponent out of the paint will knock 25% of those points off. It was frustrating seeing the Zags with so many bunnies.

On the bright side, we did hang 90 points on a good team, ranked number one. And I thought our 3 ball game was way, way better than what I thought it would be. I think we will be there in the end.

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