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Naadir Tharpe stands out as top Jayhawk at Baylor

1 - Naadir Tharpe: Teammates were missing easy shots, but Tharpe never let the droughts last too long, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot on pull-up jumpers, drives to the hoop, tear-drops and four three-pointers. He scored a game-high 22 points, but even that doesn’t capture to what extent he led Kansas to victory.

2 - Perry Ellis: Totaled 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots, playing a physical game. Showed nice sweeping drives across the lane.

3 - Tarik Black: On a night Joel Embiid didn’t bring his best, offensively or defensively, and battled foul trouble, Black rode to the rescue with a strong physical presence. In 23 minutes, Black produced six points, nine rebounds and two assists.

4 - Andrew Wiggins: Scoreless until he hit a half-court shot to beat the buzzer at the half after stealing the ball under Baylor’s hoop, Wiggins scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. He had five assists, three steals, two blocked shots and did not commit a turnover. During a 93-second span a couple of minutes past the midway point of the second half, Wiggins scored seven points, turning a five-point game into a 12-point lead. He hit a three and had two dunks during that span, dropping jaws all over the building.

5 - Wayne Selden: Brady Heslip hit four three-pointers in the first half, two when guarded by Selden, two with Mason on him. Heslip did not score from the 6:38 mark of the first half to the end of the game and Selden’s terrific defense was the main reason for that. Selden also had five assists and one turnover to go with four points.

6 - Jamari Traylor: Again worked well in tandem with Black and had four points and three rebounds to show for his 10 minutes of hustle.

7 - Frank Mason: Coach Bill Self took the blame for the two-three pointers Heslip hit on him, saying he told his players the wrong way to guard him. After telling them the right way, they held him scoreless. Mason still wasn't as good against a zone as against man-to-man defense, which can be said of most freshmen.

8 - Joel Embiid: He said the knee that he sprained is fine, but he hasn’t moved as well since injuring hit. Lack of lower-body strength showed down low in this game and foul troubled limited him to 17 minutes, during which he had five points, seven boards, two blocks, two assists and three turnovers.

9 - Brannen Greene: Had a rebound and a turnover in two minutes.

SEASON STANDINGS

Joel Embiid 196

Andrew Wiggins 186

Perry Ellis 185

Wayne Selden Jr. 160

Naadir Tharpe 157

Frank Mason 147

Jamari Traylor 121

Tarik Black 95

Brannen Greene 57

Andrew White III 53

Conner Frankamp 42

Landen Lucas 42

Justin Wesley 11

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Comments

Lee Sears 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought I was the only one to feel this way until Scut Farkus posted, I think for as much energy as Mason brings to the game, he has also cost us a lot of points in cheap fouls, driving to the basket when there was no shot, and not being able to guard his opponent. In the Texas game I feel Naa should have had another chance to redeem himself, and with Embiid not playing well, why wasn't Black played more? I'm never one to want to second guess Self, but occasionally there are players that he puts too much faith in (IMO). The sports announcers seem so ignorant calling the games. They were putting Wiggs down at first for not being a factor in the game when his defense was stellar, and he was making a difference in many other areas of the game. I also get tired of the Bio on Wiggs and Embiid in every single game. We are getting ready for tournament play, can we skip the "Embiid's only been playing basketball for 2 years" bit ????

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Erich Hartmann 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Awesome, stunning game from Naa...WOW!!!

And for the first time in a long time (it seems...), KU actually shuts down a hot 3pt shooter!!!!!! Great job by my man Wayne Selden. He sacrificed a lot of energy (thus gave up some offensive contribution) to shut down Heslip, and it made the ultimate difference on the scoreboard, and how it disrupted Faylor's gameplan.

Way to go, 'Hawks!

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Scut Farkus 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Just a few observations: Tharpe has been impressive and most importantly consistent. He has become one of the premier PG's in the country. Mason has been a liability almost every time he has been on the floor the last 3-4 games. Black has become the force we expected we he transferred. Seldon is the most athletic Jayhawk since Rush. He is going to be a beast once he learns to control that athleticism. Embiid will be a work in progress for the rest of the season. Teams are learning he can be intimidated with physical play.

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Dirk Medema 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It seems to me that Jo is confused by the officiating.

The 1st T (or whatever the call was against KSU) he received was for retaliation and deserved.

The 2nd T was after a guy ran into him and started to knock him over. His arm hit the guy as he was falling down, and Jo gets a T for it.

Then in the UT game, he gets body slammed by Ridley while he was holding his arms up in a white flag move, and nothing is called. I think that got him really confused, and playing tentative regarding what physical play is allowed.

If there is any encouragement, it has to be the play and leadership shown by Tarik Black on and off the court. The guy who couldn't exhale without drawing a foul to start the year has really settled into a productive role on the court, and continues to be a tremendous leader from the bench and elsewhere off the court. He took Jo by his side after the first call, and he continues to be a player coach for him. It may take a few more games/weeks, but Jo will learn and grow from the adversity and be dominant again.

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Suzi Marshall 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Correct me if I am wrong. I believe tonight was the first "lights out" game Selden played on D. If we can get that kind of effort from Selden, couples by Wiggins, a usually strong Embiid and an emerging Mason, we will have a chance for a traditional Self defense to take the court for the NCAA Tournament.

Ellis played with some energy tonight on both sides of the ball. Hopefully he will keep it up.

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