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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jayhawks show off depth in rout of Lafayette

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) shoots a basket in the first-half against the Lafayette Leopards Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) shoots a basket in the first-half against the Lafayette Leopards Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self talks starters, improvements from Oubre and Mickelson

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self answers questions following his team's easy win over Lafayette. The coach discusses changes to two of the team's five starters for the game, as well as the standout performances of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Hunter Mickelson.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Oubre, Mason, Mickelson discuss KU's 27-point win

Kansas University basketball players Kelly Oubre Jr., Frank Mason III and Hunter Mickelson meet with media members after contributing to a blowout victory agains Lafayette on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KANSAS 96, LAFAYETTE 69

Box score

Six players reached double digits in scoring and the Kansas University men's basketball team improved to 9-1 with a 96-69 victory over a scrappy Lafayette team Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas raced out to a 24-11 lead during the first 10 minutes of the game and looked to be on its way to an easy victory. But the Leopards (7-3) never got discouraged and just kept shooting. Eventually, those shots started falling and KU's lead was in the 8- to 10-point range for much of the next 15 minutes.

Hunter Mickelson's energy off the bench (8 points, 7 rebounds), Frank Mason III’s signature toughness (14 points, 9 assists) and Wayne Selden Jr.’s leadership (12 points, 6 assists) helped spark the victory.

It was Kelly Oubre Jr., however, who led everyone with 23 points in 25 minutes. Oubre was 9-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point range. He also grabbed 10 rebounds in what was by far his best game as a Jayhawk.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: KU responded to the Leopards cutting the lead to 57-49 with 13:01 to play with a 10-3 run to push the Jayhawks' lead back to 15. That run eventually turned into a 28-8 run and KU led 85-57 with five minutes to play. KU's defense was a big part of the run. Lafayette opened the first nine minutes of the second half shooting 69 percent or above. That number dropped by nearly 20 percent during the stretch that clinched the game.

• Offensive highlight: A harmless inbounds play by Lafayette under the KU bucket quickly turned into a highlight-reel slam on the other end by Selden. As Lafayette's Bryce Scott broke down the lane and looked to be wide open for an easy connection, Evan Manning jumped in front of the pass from out of nowhere, grabbed the ball and quickly pushed it ahead to Selden, who went right to the rim and finished with a double-clutched slam dunk to give KU 96 points and Selden 12.

• Defensive highlight: We all know that Mason's not afraid to get in there and rebound, but now we know the KU point guard is willing to play the role of the rejector, as well. Early on in Saturday's victory, Mason stalked Lafayette guard Nick Linder as he drove to the rim on the right side of the lane. After getting all the way to the basket, Linder went up for what looked like it might be an easy layup, but Mason went up with him and swatted the shot off the backboard and grabbed the rebound himself. That led to an easy bucket on the other end for Kansas and was the start of KU's run to a double-digit lead.

• Key stat: KU's first-half three-point shooting was lights out. The Jayhawks hit 6 of 11 three-point attempts in the first half (55 percent) and matched Lafayette's first-half total in four fewer attempts. Lafeyette came in boasting 42 percent team three-point shooting and shot 46 percent against the Jayhawks.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will travel to Philadelphia for their final game before Christmas on Monday against Temple, at the Wells Fargo Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be shown on ESPN2. After that, KU will close out 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 30, when the Jayhawks welcome Kent State to town for a 7 p.m. game on Jayhawk TV. 

— See what people were saying about the game during the KUsports.com live blog.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Lafayette


By the Numbers: Kansas beats Lafayette, 96-69

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Lafayette, 96-69

Comments

Bryce Landon 7 years, 9 months ago

Glad we got the win today, wish our defense was better. Did it feel like an NBA game to anyone else?

Words cannot do justice to what Kelly Oubre did today. Here's to more games like that from him going forward.

Also heard Bill Self tell Greg Gurley that Brannen Greene sat out the first half as punishment for missing weights. As much time as Greene spent in Self's doghouse last season, you'd think he'd take his role as a Jayhawk a little more seriously in his sophomore year.

Not sure what was wrong with Perry Ellis today, but he seemed zoned out. Here's hoping he snaps out of his funk Monday night

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

How many times has a Bill Self team taken 76 shots with 23 of them being 3s? We shoot the 3s better than the 2s at the rim!!!!

Just as Lou Gerhig made the most of Walley Pipp taking a day off, Oubre made the most of Greene's benching for showing up 30 minutes late for weights! Oubre will probably take over the starting job and may never look back.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 9 months ago

Self said in the preseason press conference that he wanted his team to have an identity established by conference play. If Self is willing to moderate, change slightly, see what his stellar recruiting efforts have created, well -- we have an identity. If today is an indication, Self may be embracing the transformation.

I fully expected today to be about pounding it inside. While Lafayette wasn't a good team at defending threes, we certainly had a skill advantage inside with Ellis and Cliff (who was expected to start). But somehow, we played our game. We played outside-in. And it was magnificent.

Only 32 of our 96 points were from shots near the rim. I can't rewatch the game since I couldn't DVR it, but of the 32, many were of the driving variety. Very few were pure post play moves. Astonishing, really. But this is the 2014-15 Jayhawks. I hope Self embraces it.

Did I read that right? 12 of 23 from three? Did I read that right? 96 points? I feel complete. Some nights it won't be 12 of 23. It might be 7 of 23. But this team simply needs to shoot threes. 20+ most nights. Oubre looks like he has the stroke. Svi got it going. Mason is what we thought CF might be, without the tail dribbling. Selden perhaps can challenge 40%, but likely an acceptable 37%. And Greene is the best of the bunch. This is a spectacularly talented perimeter team.

The three point shooting enhances the ability to drive the ball. Defenses have to play tight and close out completely. Oubre appears to be all he was billed to be. Svi is solid in that phase with some nice agility. Selden a bee-line bull. Mason a quick, gap exploiter. Ellis a reverse pivot machine. And Traylor (who initiated not one bit of offense today, by the way) has that quick first step.

Three-Point shooting + Driving = Outside/In. This team has chance at a national championship playing this way. Playing this way, we can beat Kentucky. We can beat Duke. We can beat anyone we might face. Self just has to accept the identity and embrace it. Admittedly, it is riskier than shoveling it in to Marcus, Markieff, or TRob. But it is less risky with this team.

I'm looking at the box score. I can't stop looking at it. 23 three pointers. Mickelson played more than Ellis. Mason 9:1 assist/turnover. Oubre a spectacular double-double. We scored 96 points on only 8 made free throws.

Perhaps I'm just too optimistic here. But this game -- the style in which we executed our offense -- seems like an incredibly positive development. This is how you "manufacture" points. No need for gimmicks. Just play to our strength. And that ain't fool's gold.

Tyson Ailshie 7 years, 9 months ago

Great post, Jack. I don't have much more to add to what you said. Agree with everything. Great point about this team's identity/style/strength. I'm very excited from what I saw from everyone, especially KO. I WANT to see Hunter steal playing time from Lucas.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

It is encouraging to say the least, this does give the team a better chance to be competitive. It is only 1 game, against a team we should have beat, and at home, but it is different.

I would say it is hopeful if this approach continues. We are still a long way from beating KY or Duke, especially how easily we give away big leads. I would not want to have to outscore either of those teams to win. They would get layups/slams and we would have to hit 50% from 3, tough to win like that. We also have not tried this against length yet. Still today it has to be considered a Christmas Miracle to see us play outside the "Bill Self" box. We did seem to be out of sorts at times on defense. Got to give it to the HC to let them play this way though.

What is concerning is the lack of discipline some players are still having. They are making it harder on themselves with something they seem to have control over with these off the court minor faux pa's.

Hope Cliff is ok, we need him playing to get ready for conference play.

Mason is doing great, KO and Svi lets keep it going, nice to see Hunter contribute too, all of this helps.

Evan looks good for 10 mins to help spell Frank to me.

All in all, very nice win!

Everytime a KU 3 rings, an angel gets its wings...

Bryce Landon 7 years, 9 months ago

Someone's been watching "It's A Wonderful Life" this Christmas season...

Bryce Landon 7 years, 9 months ago

Not sure if trolling or just plain stupid.

Tom Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

It's a joke about Jack/Ian's theory from several weeks ago...

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