Following a 10-point, six-rebound showing versus Oklahoma Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse, previously seldom-used backup big man Silvio De Sousa said working alongside starter Udoka Azubuike prepared him for his breakout performance.
“Seeing him helps you with what you’re doing in the game,” freshman De Sousa said after KU’s 104-74 drubbing of the Sooners. “It’s just a great feeling. We both play the same position and just seeing him sharing with me is a big thing for me, means a lot to me.”
For the first time in a long time, the KU men’s basketball team put its collective foot down.
In the midst of a second-half run that saw KU’s lead over OU get pushed all the way out to 30, Graham made an observation on the court.
“You could just kind of see the air going out of them,” Graham said after the 104-74 KU win. “It made us go harder.”
A two-time consensus All-American and one of the more beloved players of the Bill Self era, former Kansas guard Sherron Collins will see his name and number join those of various other KU legends in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters Monday night.
Collins is the fifth-leading scorer in program history (1,888 points) and ranks ninth all-time at Kansas in assists (552).
As a sophomore, Collins played a key role for KU’s 2008 national championship team.
Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike came through on both ends of the floor for the Jayhawks in a 77-69 victory over West Virginia Saturday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
After providing 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting and blocking three WVU shots (two in the final three minutes), Azubuike explained how he approached what his coach Bill Self labeled a “big-boy game” for the sophomore 7-footer.
“You’ve got to match their intensity,” Azubuike said of the Mountaineers. “If not, they’re gonna blow you out. We came prepared. We came ready defensively, offensively, and thankfully was able to get a win.”
As for the rim protection?
“I just had to do whatever to make my team win,” Azubuike said. “It’s a big game, playing against West Virginia.”
Former Kansas basketball star Cole Aldrich will see his No. 45 jersey go up in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters on Saturday.
A two-time All-Big 12 first-teamer and twice named the league’s top defender, Aldrich was named Academic All-American of the year in 2010.
Here's a look back at the impact Aldrich made for the Jayhawks during his three-year career.
AMES, IOWA — After Kansas won, 83-77, at Iowa State, senior point guard Devonte’ Graham credited the Jayhawks for getting back on track, with the help of guards Malik Newman and Lagerald Vick.
“It was a good bounce-back win. It’s not easy to win here,” Graham said before leaving Hilton Coliseum. “And we had guys step up and make huge plays, and just contributing and doing the little things to help us win.”
The Jayhawks had all five starters in double figures versus the Cyclones, as they scored more than 80 points for the first time since Jan. 9 (also against ISU).
“Coach was on us at practice about guys passing up open shots and stuff like that,” Graham said. “So he just wanted everybody to be aggressive looking for their shot, and I felt like that’s what we did.”
AMES, Iowa — Devonte' Graham has been an iron man for KU basketball, playing 40 minutes in more than half of the Big 12 contests.
On a day he went just 3 for 16 from the floor, though, Malik Newman (17 points) and the Jayhawks were able to pick him up.
"We rely on him to do a lot of things," Newman said. "We were able to put him on our backs for a change."
While Graham eventually reached double-figures in scoring, it was Udoka Azubuike (19 points), Newman and Lagerald Vick (16) who led the team in points.
Asked about the last member of that list — Vick, who had been in a slump since the start of Big 12 play — Newman praised the junior's energy level in the win.
“I think his attitude has always been good,” Newman said. “The last week or so, I think it’s just been outstanding.”
After calling out his team following a loss at Baylor, coach Bill Self was more complimentary of Lagerald Vick and Malik Newman following KU’s 83-77 win over Iowa State.
“I actually thought they tried to guard,” Self said. “Energy level was better.”
While he stated the importance of KU getting all five of its starters going, Self also offered specific praise for one member of the unit.
Asked what the biggest difference between KU’s field goal percentage was between halves, Self responded by highlighting Udoka Azubuike's 9-for-10 shooting performance.
“We threw the ball inside a lot to Dok,” Self said.