Wiggins floors it against Towson


1. Andrew Wiggins: Again played a terrific game defensively and scored 14 of his 16 points in a 49-16 first half played with the pedal to the metal. Four of his seven rebounds came at the offensive end. He made 6 of 8 shots, his only three-pointer and 3 of 4 free throws. Wiggins has nine dunks, compared to four for all KU opponents combined. Look for his offensive-rebounding production to become a consistent path for him to score. “He really hasn’t been that aggressive getting rebounds, but he was aggressive tonight,” coach Bill Self said. “He got four offensive boards. We haven’t done a good job offensively rebounding.” Wiggins doesn’t create many offensive-rebounding opportunities for others. He’s shooting 60 percent from the field this season.

2. Joel Embiid: Runs the floor great and does an even better job of whipping outlet passes that others run down. Again playing an excellent game with his father in the stands before he returns to Cameroon. Made 4 of 5 field goals. Had eight points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Did a better job of not biting on shot fakes and timing his jumps on blocks.

3. Andrew White III: Had no trouble keeping up with the wicked fast pace in the first half and showed how far he has come in attacking the basket. He’s no longer just a long-range shooter, but man, what a long-range shooter. Made 3 of 4 three-pointers en route to a 13-point, three-rebound outburst in 14 minutes. He’ll play significant minutes some nights, not as many others, but he’ll bring maximum effort every night. Smart, mature guy. Potential future president.

4. Wayne Selden: He drove in for a layup and then, wham, out of nowhere he jammed it with two hands. Whatever injury it was that stripped him of his quickness and power for a stretch obviously has mended. He does so many things well, even if there isn’t any one thing he does better than anyone else on the team. Contributed 12 points in 16 minutes.

5. Frank Mason: The human fast-forward button makes everything faster. If you listen closely, you’ll notice cheerleaders cheer faster, coaches yell at the refs faster, spectators talk to each other faster and iPhone addicts text faster when Mason is on the floor. He scored six points and has six assists and one turnover in 18 minutes. Set up Wiggins for a dunk with a beautiful bounce pass in transition.

6. Perry Ellis: His swished jump hook from the right baseline early was a thing of beauty. Had a quiet night by his standards with 10 points and four rebounds, but didn’t make mistakes.

7. Tarik Black: Got the team off to a great start and made one of the plays of the night. He stole the ball from a dribbler and took it in for a one-handed throw-back dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Brought great energy out of the locker room. Foul trouble stormed back into the equation and limited him to 15 minutes, but it was a very productive 15 minutes.

8. Naadir Tharpe: Made 2 of 6 field goals, 1 of 3 three-pointers and had five assists and two turnovers in 23 minutes.

9. Conner Frankamp: Looked very comfortable in his 12 minutes on the floor, scoring five points without any turnovers. He’s going to make a lot of three-pointers in his four years at KU and made one Friday.

10. Landen Lucas: Not as quick as the rest of the scholarship players, Lucas hustles to make the most of his minutes late in games. Mixed in a nice little hook shot on his way to five points in eight minutes.

11. Jamari Traylor: Played 12 minutes and didn’t get a rebound or score, but did block a shot and dish an assist.

12. Brannen Greene: Two points and two rebounds in six minutes, but failed to run the floor hard once after a mistake.

Season standings

  1. Andrew Wiggins (41 points)
  2. Perry Ellis (38)
  3. Joel Embiid (35)
  4. Wayne Selden Jr. (31)
  5. Frank Mason (28)
  6. Andrew White III (26)
  7. Naadir Tharpe (21)
  8. Tarik Black (19)
  9. Conner Frankamp (13)
  10. Jamari Traylor (11)
  11. Brannen Greene (7)
  12. Landen Lucas (7)


Brett McCabe 7 years, 3 months ago

How long before Mason starts? Self keeps talking about how the team needs to run and attack, and that is much more Mason's game than Tharpe.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 3 months ago

Never. Self is smart to start Tharpe because of his experience. Mason will play a lot and plays well with Tharpe, who does lots of little things that you don't recognize.

Bob Forer 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree. Also, Self has a strong bias for starting upperclass players instead of freshmen who are arguably as good. I don't necessarily disagree with the stance. Mason will get his minutes, but he won't be seeing 35 mpg until his junior year.

Craig Kristi Alexander 7 years, 3 months ago

As many posters before have noted, Self's comments are sometimes his way of motivating other players. This is motivation for Tharpe. I don't see Mason starting over Tharpe this season. Next season maybe but not now. The only switch in the starting line up that I see is JoJo for Black potentially as JoJo gets it more.

Self likes to start the most mature players in the games because it leads to a better beginning position usually. If they are more calm and composed at the beginning of the game they tend to have better games. Mason could deliver that later in the year but Self likes to dictate the flow of the game and if something is working then don't mess with it. If he can have Tharpe start and get good production out of him, then substitute Mason for pure jet fuel off the bench to take the game faster right now for success then he will stay with it. Self likes leaders with experience and Tharpe provides it. He stays with Tharpe as the starter, but Tharpe just might have a shorter leash knowing that Mason is itching to get out there.

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