Game observations: Perry Ellis best Jayhawk in final exhibition
The following is a quick breakdown of each Kansas player following the Jayhawks' 79-60 loss to AMW Team France on Sunday night.
Please note that if a player isn't listed, he did not play.
Naadir Tharpe — Tharpe had another solid game offensively without making shots. He had four assists and one turnover and is the best Jayhawk right now at pushing it in transition. Much like Tyshawn Taylor, when he does make a mistake, it sometimes looks really bad. He had one particular errant post pass that wasn't close and resulted in KU coach Bill Self yelling at him. Still, Tharpe played a team-high 30 minutes, and though it's very early, it looks like he'll have the first opportunity to grab the backup point-guard role. He also went 2-for-4 from three after going 0-for-5 Saturday. He finished with seven points and, like Elijah Johnson the night before, had to create a few times to try to beat the shot clock.
Rio Adams — Though it's early, he appears to be behind the other scholarship guards right now. Adams had another tough game Sunday, posting two points on 1-for-5 shooting in 13 minutes. In this game, he once dribbled it into traffic for a turnover and another time was beaten badly off the dribble, which led to a French bucket. Adams had two highlights: a stickback for two and a steal in the backcourt, though he immediately turned it over on a (questionable) double-dribble after that. He did grab four defensive rebounds but also had three turnovers in his limited minutes.
Andrew White — Up and down game for White. With few scorers on the floor, White once again showed confidence in his shot, scoring 15 points on 3-for-7 shooting from three and 2-for-6 shooting from two. His two consecutive three-pointers in the third quarter pulled KU to within three and was some of the last offense KU would get. White was a bit careless, though, turning it over five times, with many of those giveaways coming on poor passes. Though he gets beat occasionally on the drive, White has shown the ability to stop penetration when he focuses in. He had three of KU's seven steals and will likely be one of KU's first options off the bench in November.
Justin Wesley — I'm surprised that the statsheet shows Wesley with 20 minutes, as it didn't seem like he was out there that long. KU coach Bill Self cited him for good play after the game and praised him a couple times for his defense during the game. That didn't result in much on the statsheet: One point and three defensive rebounds in his 20 minutes.
Evan Manning — He played better in Switzerland than he did in Paris. Manning missed all three of the three-pointers he took and also struggled with a tough matchup defensively, as the guy he was guarding had him by at least three inches and 50 pounds. He turned it over once when he slipped on the court and also was blown by a couple times defensively. He finished with no points and one turnover.
Tyler Self — First time we got to see Tyler, who knocked in a running floater off the glass in the final seconds. That was his only mark in the box score in four minutes.
Niko Roberts — Played nine minutes, but dribbled it once out of bounds and another time forced up a three-pointer early in the shot clock that missed. He did come up with an assist and steal, though he also had two turnovers and missed all three of his field goals.
Christian Garrett — Garrett did some good things, as he tries hard defensively and also was able to get to the free-throw line four times. Two of his foul shots were ugly, but in five minutes, he contributed two points, a rebound and steal with a turnover. He was beaten on the dribble once and also couldn't hold onto a rebound another time, which resulted in a tie-up.
Milt Doyle — Doyle had his best game Sunday. On two transition possessions in the second quarter, he glided into the lane with two big steps and finished a drive with a scoop layup. On another occasion, he used a nice move to get by his man off the dribble before missing a shot in the lane. He forced up a couple bad shots, including a heat-check, stepback three, but he still showed some flashes of potential. He had a bad entry pass over Perry Ellis' head and sometimes isn't the most graceful passer. On defense, he stuck with his man on one occasion, which drew kudos from coaches. The freshman finished with two rebounds and two turnovers in 10 minutes.
Jamari Traylor — He had his best game on the glass, fighting for seven rebounds (four offensive) in 11 minutes. Traylor missed all three of his two-point tries but showed a good stroke at the line in knocking down two free throws. He elevated well for one block and also had an assist to go with two turnovers. Offensively, he had one quick spin move that reminded me a bit of Thomas Robinson as a freshman, as it looked like he was trying to make five moves at once while moving a bit too quickly. He appears to still be in the development stages on the offensive end.
Zach Peters — He was limited to just 11 minutes (probably because he'd already played a lot this trip), but he still managed to grab nine rebounds (five offensive) in that time. He missed a lot of chippies Sunday, going 0-for-5 from the floor, but he remains consistent in his effort and also his ability to shove his way into good rebounding position. He had an assist and a turnover and also needs to be careful about fouls, as he had four in his short time out there.
Landen Lucas — Lucas is a guy that appeared to get more comfortable as the trip went on. He told me after the game he'd been trying to do a lot of things too fast on the court — a problem he hasn't had in the past. He looked more composed Sunday, knocking in a 14-foot baseline jumper and also getting a stickback after muscling for an offensive rebound over NBA player Kevin Seraphin. Lucas still sometimes has problems catching passes in the post, as he lost another one out of bounds Sunday. In 13 minutes, he had six points on 3-for-6 shooting with five rebounds, one assist and two turnovers. Like Peters, he needs to watch his defensive whistles, as he fouled out while mostly going against Seraphin.
Perry Ellis — He was KU's best player Sunday, making his first five shots while also creating to draw five fouls on France. He was most impressive in transition, looking comfortable handling the ball (and passes) in traffic before putting the close shots in. He had a nice bounce pass to Kevin Young for a slam and had a great day on the glass, pulling down 12 rebounds (five offensive) in 24 minutes. The freshman had 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting and also made all four of his free throws. He still is careless at times, turning it over five times, with a few of those coming on deflected passes. Ellis added two assists and a steal, and even though Self wants him to be more aggressive, I have to believe that the freshman will be the favorite heading into the fall for the starting spot beside Jeff Withey.
Kevin Young — Quiet day for Young, though Self said earlier that he was going to play him in different roles on the perimeter Sunday. The senior drew four fouls in 14 minutes, both otherwise contributed three points on 1-for-3 shooting with two rebounds to go with one turnover.