Kansas sophomore big Udoka Azubuike explains how No. 2-ranked Kansas couldn’t turn a hot start Sunday into a victory against No. 16 Arizona State at Allen Fieldhouse.
Azubuike, who finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds, discusses ASU’s back-court attack, whether fatigue has become an issue for the Jayhawks and their short rotation, KU’s defensive breakdowns and what led to Kansas turning the ball over 16 times in the home loss.
Kansas sophomore guard Malik Newman explains how the Jayhawks exploded for a 32-3 run during their rout of Toledo at Allen Fieldhouse, and why it’s not difficult to remember to play defense when KU is rolling offensively.
Malik Newman didn’t have his best game, but when the Jayhawks needed him to come through, he did.
The Mississippi State transfer hit a late 3-pointer to put KU ahead by four in an eventual 65-61 win over Kentucky. The play was set up by an offensive rebound by Lagerald Vick, who Newman was complimentary of after the game.
“It was big,” Newman said of the rebound. “It was a big boy play. That was a man’s play.”
If you couldn’t make it out for KUsports.com’s 2017-18 Kansas basketball season tip-off party Thursday night at Abe & Jake’s Landing, here’s some of what you missed.
Members of the 2008 KU national championship team, Sherron Collins, Tyrel Reed, Brennan Bechard, Jeremy Case and Matt Kleinmann sat down with Matt Tait and Tom Keegan to watch the final minutes of the Jayhawks’ memorable overtime victory over Memphis from nearly a decade ago.
Afterward, the former KU players fielded questions from fans.
Collins, Reed and Bechard gave their thoughts on what makes Bill Self a great coach.
Case discussed how Self and then-assistant Danny Manning worked together.
And Collins explained how important it was to have Brandon Rush back on the team that season when he could have left early for the NBA, had Rush not suffered an injury.
Speaking at KUsports.com’s KU basketball season tip-off party Thursday night at Abe & Jake’s Landing, former Kansas basketball star Sherron Collins described what it means to him to have his jersey go up in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters this coming season.
“I was speechless,” Collins said of the moment he heard from Jayhawks coach Bill Self his No. 4 jersey would be on display with other program greats. “I wanted to cry. I wanted to run and shout outside.”
Collins earned All-American honors in 2010 and was the recipient of the Lute Olson Player of the Year, via collegeinsider.com, that same season.
The Chicago guard was the 2010 Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player and a two-time All-Big 12 First-Team selection. He was named to the all-conference squad in each of his four seasons at KU, including the 2007-08 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year award. Collins also ranks ninth all-time at KU in assists, with 552, and fourth on the KU career 3-point field goals made list with 232.
Collins’ jersey will be retired on Feb. 19, 2018, the date of KU’s Big Monday home game against Oklahoma.
The Blue squad came up just short of a victory at the 2017 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, but the former Kansas basketball players who returned to Lawrence to raise money for families impacted by cancer provided plenty of highlights for the fans who packed Free State High.
Check out some of the dunks, 3-pointers and baskets scored by Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey, Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed, Perry Ellis and other members of the Blue team in a 104-101 loss to the Crimson squad.
Rock Chalk Roundball Classic scoring:
CRIMSON (104): Mario Chalmers 22, Wayne Selden 16, Cole Aldrich 15, Mario Little 4, Drew Gooden 2, Sherron Collins 18, Elijah Johnson 10, Billy Thomas 6, Brady Morningstar 4, Nick Bradford 2, Guest Jayhawk 5.
BLUE (101): Ben McLemore 32, Tyshawn Taylor 20, Perry Ellis 11, Jeff Withey 12, Tyrel Reed 7, Tyler Self 3, Christian Garrett 4, Darnell Jackson 2, Kenny Gregory 2, Jeff Graves 2, Jeremy Case 6.
After scrimmaging against Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike, former KU big Darnell Jackson, who spent last season playing in Poland, describes what makes the Jayhawks’ 7-footer of the present so difficult to defend down low.
Jackson said he first met Azubuike at Late Night and then watched a couple games.
“It’s no worries for him. He’s unbelievable down there,” Jackson said. “He’s a real problem. So I’m excited. I hope these guys go all the way.”
A season-ending left wrist injury limited Kansas 7-footer Udoka Azubuike to 11 games as a freshman. But now that he’s been cleared to return to basketball, the massive big man from Nigeria is picking up where he left off as he works himself into shape this summer.
“I feel confident in myself, coming back from injury,” Azubuike said Wednesday afternoon, after scoring 12 points (eight on dunks) in a scrimmage victory over former KU players at Bill Self’s basketball camp. “I feel great. I’m ready to come back, ready to start working.”
Azubuike said missing so much of the season was frustrating, but he now feels like he’s ahead of the curve entering his second season of college basketball, thanks to all he learned — even while not playing — over the course of the past several months.
“Just sitting out, watching practice, that was really big for me,” Azubuike said. “I kind of seen the little stuff, like what to do and what not to do, and I think that really helped me a lot.”
In a battle of current and former Kansas basketball players, the young legs of the 2017-18 Jayhawks prevailed in a first-to-80 scrimmage in front of Bill Self campers Wednesday afternoon.
Watch some of the baskets from KU’s Udoka Azubuike, Devonte’ Graham, Mitch Lightfoot, Malik Newman, Sam Cunliffe and Lagerald Vick, who helped Self’s current roster prevail, 82-75.