Travis Releford gives complete effort in win over Kansas State
1. Travis Releford: Kansas coach Bill Self said afterwards that Releford had one of his best games as a Jayhawk. The senior darted through numerous screens to chase down Kansas State leading scorer Rodney McGruder, holding him to 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Releford also was his normal efficient self on the offensive end, making five of six shots (and two of three three-pointers) to lead KU with 12 points to go with three assists, one steal and no turnovers.
2. Jeff Withey: Playing with the flu, Withey hit what Self called the game's biggest shot, putting in a jump-hook over the top of Kansas State's Jordan Henriquez to push KU's advantage late in the second half. Withey also was the biggest reason KSU had one of its worst games on the offensive glass, pulling down seven defensive rebounds. Withey posted a double-double with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting with 10 rebounds.
3. Ben McLemore: Though he sat out most of the first half with two fouls, McLemore took over a stretch in the second half, lifting KU with a three-pointer an a long two off scramble plays. McLemore finished with 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal to go with three turnovers.
4. Perry Ellis: Ellis helped save KU in the first half when Withey picked up two fouls. The freshman was aggressive in scrums and efficient with his shot, going 3-for-4 from the floor for eight points with four rebounds in 18 minutes. The only negative for him was the free throw line, where he made just two of six shots.
5. Naadir Tharpe: Hit the game's two biggest free throws, making both ends of a one-and-one with 22 seconds left to extend the Jayhawks' lead to five points. Though Tharpe made just two of seven field goals and missed all four of his three-point tries, he posted two assists against just one turnover with a steal in 18 minutes.
6. Kevin Young: Though his line was ugly, Young made two important plays. One was an offensive rebound around Shane Southwell, which led to a McLemore three, and the other was a stickback before the first-half buzzer that pushed KU's lead to four. Young missed too many bunnies, making just one of six field goals to end with three points, six rebounds, two assists and one turnover in 30 minutes.
7. Elijah Johnson: Though Johnson hit the game-clinching free throw with 3 seconds left, his struggles continue. The senior point guard had five of his team's 13 turnovers, which makes 25 turnovers in his last six games; in three of his last six games, he's had five turnovers or more. Johnson's shooting didn't help his line either, as he attempted a team-high 10 field goals while making just three (which included 1-for-3 accuracy from three-point range). Johnson added four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 35 minutes.
8. Rio Adams: Won the Gary Bedore coin flip to take eighth place. Played two minutes with no other stats.
9. Jamari Traylor: Lost the Gary Bedore coin flip to take ninth place. Played two minutes with no other stats.
KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (134 points)
2. Ben McLemore (131 points)
3. Travis Releford (128 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (103 points)
5. Kevin Young (96 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (87 points)
7. Perry Ellis (75 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (58 points)
9. Andrew White III (30 points)
10. Rio Adams (19 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)