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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

Suzi Marshall 6 months, 3 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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Dirk Medema 6 months, 3 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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Erich Hartmann 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Great post describing the conflicting messages the refs are sending to the young Embiid by "call or no-call".

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Erich Hartmann 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Wiggins pretty athletic, as is Embiid --> in support and addition to your great point on Selden. We've been blessed with some crazy-athletic physiques in the likes of Chalmers, Rush, McLemore, Tyshawn, Elijah, Arthur, Thomas Robinson...

So far, no one really has been able to "replace" what Rush brought to the 3wing position, as he could shoot and defend, and was physically very active from Day 1 as a frosh. But now, I would have to say Wiggins exceeds Rush just slightly: Wiggybaby can defend (best D on team), Wiggy can dribble-drive (Rush had to be coaxed to do it x 3yrs..."no left", recall?), Wiggy can shoot 3s with near-Rush-like efficiency (man, check his 3% since BigXII play started), and Wiggy rebounds (Rush had approx 6rpg avg by his jr season). Also Wiggins not afraid to mix it up, which does differ from highly-ranked X.Henry (who was a very nice kid, too). And you cannot ask for a better team-oriented attitude than Wiggins has shown.

Of course, this is a high compliment to Brandon Rush: look what it took (#1 overall recruit), and how many years of waiting...to bring to the position ALL that Rush brought. BRush is without question MY favorite KU 3wing in the Bill Self-era. We dont win a NC without his efforts in the Final 4, which is why he will remain my fave Self wing. Rush set the bar very high. And the compliment to Wiggins is that he is meeting/exceeding that bar. (see frosh ppg numbers)

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Rodney Crain 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, while I do NOT think he has become one of the premier PG's in the country, let alone the best PG in our own conference, Tharpe is key to our success and continues to show what is possible should he ever become more consistent. He does more to help than hurt our chances when he is in the game now, unlike Mason who is a liability right now, I will give you that. In last nights game Tharpe is the reason we win going away, there is no doubt at all he was the best player, last night. Not sure what you mean by consistent when he is all over the place on assists, scoring, or even staying in the game due to his poor defense, from one game to the next. Rarely does a Junior premier point guard sit the last 9 minutes of a conference road game unless they are in foul trouble. I agree on the rest of you post and would add the Traylor-Black chemistry is close to special right now. That is going to be fun to watch the rest of the season.

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Erich Hartmann 6 months, 3 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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Lee Sears 6 months, 3 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 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Its "old news" to us KU faithful, but I bet KU Athletics wants KU player bios as well known as possible across the country. Think of all the exposure KU is getting. Advertising dollars and pricing go UP for a game with an interesting draw like Wiggins and Embiid. It only helps KU. Being a top10 team helps, but honestly some people will tune in to see the kid on the cover of SI. Wiggins was a HUGE get for Bill Self.

Plus the game announcers are told to work in some basic facts...its part of the list of info they are given, so they can interject at appropriate moments as "interesting filler material". So, to try to help beat the EastCoastBias, I dont mind hearing: Mason=bulldog, WigginsHype, CanadianTVeveryKUgame, WiggyShouldStillBeInHighSchool, Embiid only 2yrs, lion killer, volleyball+soccer background, M'bah Amoute, Traylor lived out of a car, Black=Memphis grad, Greene honor student, Frankamp broke Ellis' h.s. record...

The more outside people know about our players, the better it is for us.

Consider the opposite publicity: PJHairston's strange legal issues, clearly hurting UNC, or troubled guard Clark, got kicked off OkieState team.

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