Kansas defeats West Virginia, 83-69

  • 3 p.m., Feb. 8, 2014
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Andrew Wiggins more aggressive after talk with prep coach

KU freshman scores 19 in victory over West Virginia

Kansas forward Tarik Black chest bumps teammate Andrew Wiggins after Wiggins finished the first half with a put-back dunk against West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Tarik Black chest bumps teammate Andrew Wiggins after Wiggins finished the first half with a put-back dunk against West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self praises KU bench for performance vs. WVU

Kansas coach Bill Self praises the team's bench for its performance versus West Virginia and talks about the upcoming Big Monday game at Kansas State.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Tarik Black discuss KU's bench

Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Tarik Black discuss KU's bench, the way Black and Jamari Traylor play together and how Selden and Wiggins are trying to become standout defenders.

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Box score


Wiggins top Jayhawk vs. WVU

Huntington (W. Va.) Prep basketball coach Rob Fulford offered some words of wisdom to Andrew Wiggins — his most famous pupil of all time — during an otherwise relaxing dinner on Friday night in Lawrence.

“We joked with him about his drives to the basket and finger-rolls. I said, ‘If I see one finger-roll tomorrow, coach (Bill) Self won’t have to say anything to you because I’ll be cussing at you from the stands,’’’ Fulford said with a smile after watching Wiggins score a team-leading 19 points in the Jayhawks’ 83-69 victory over West Virginia on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I thought he played real aggressive today,” Wiggins’ high school mentor added, after attending his first game in KU’s tradition-rich building.

Fulford was able to witness a pair of vicious dunks from the 6-foot-8, 200-pound Wiggins, who at times has been a bit tentative in finishing around the goal.

Wiggins slammed an in-bounds pass from Frank Mason 4 1/2 minutes into the game. He completed the first half scoring by flushing a Brannen Greene miss to beat the buzzer and give the Jayhawks a 43-36 lead at the break.

“He’s playing really well. He’s playing within the team,” Fulford said of Wiggins, who hit six of 14 shots (0-3 from three) and seven of 10 free throws with four rebounds, three assists, three turnovers and two steals in 38 minutes.

“They (Jayhawks) are really good. They have so many weapons on offense, he doesn’t necessarily have to score a lot. He’s taken the role of being the lockdown defender and transition guy. He getting better in the halfcourt,” Fulford added.

Wiggins’ work on defense was a hot topic in the interview room after the Jayhawks improved to 18-5 overall and 9-1 in the Big 12. West Virginia dropped to 14-10, 6-5.

West Virginia guard Eron Harris cashed three consecutive three-pointers — the first over Wayne Selden and the next two over Wiggins — to give the Mountaineers a 20-17 lead with 11:34 left in the first half.

Harris didn’t make another shot the rest of the game. The 6-3 sophomore hit three of 10 shots overall, three of nine from three with eight free throws in as many tries.

“It was one of those things, not that he took it for granted, but he wasn’t as close as he needed to (be),” Fulford said. “Harris hit his first two jump shots. After that he couldn’t get one off. The kid didn’t make a shot the rest of the game.

“He’s an elite defender,” Fulford added of Wiggins. “I think that’s the biggest part of his game people don’t realize and give him enough credit for.”

Fulford recalled that Wiggins routinely asked to guard the opponents’ best player. “All the time. Every game,” Fulford said. “He wanted it.”

For his part, Wiggins said he made a simple adjustment after Harris hit those three early threes.

“I had to guard him closer and be more aggressive. I tried to turn him into a driver instead of a shooter,” Wiggins said.

KU coach Self and Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins were impressed. 

“Andrew did a good job guarding him,” Self said.

“Wiggins did a great job,” Huggins agreed.

As far as Wiggins’ offense ... “I try to be aggressive and get into the lane. I do what I can to draw contact and get to the foul line,” he said, the aggressiveness something both Self and Fulford always want to see.

Wiggins was joined in double figures by Wayne Selden, who scored 17 points off 5-of-7 shooting (3-of-5 from three); Joel Embiid, who had 11 points and 12 boards, and Tarik Black, who had 11 points and four boards.

Embiid scored six points, Naadir Tharpe three, Selden two and Wiggins one in a 12-1 run that upped a 69-65 lead to 81-66, and finally put away the pesky Mountaineers late.

“Wayne had a super game,” Self said. “Naadir (Tharpe five points, four assists) was good the second half. Wiggs had a good game. Perry (Ellis, eight points, five boards) was better the second half. Joel was better late. The whole thing is, West Virginia is good. If you told me before the game we’d win by 14, I’d say we’d have to play very well,” Self added.

Self said reserves Frank Mason (five points, five assists), Jamari Traylor (seven points, three boards) and Black were the three players he’d rank as MVPs of the game.

“They were the main reason we had the lead (at halftime),” Self said. “I thought our bench played really well.”

KU will next meet Kansas State at 8 p.m., Monday, in Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. After that, it’s TCU on Saturday in Allen with just four home games total remaining in Wiggins’ KU career.

“My first game here ... it was great,” coach Fulford said. “I didn’t want him to be at Kansas and me not get an opportunity to see him play in Allen. It was an honor for me to come out here.”


Bryce Landon 8 years, 9 months ago

A pretty good game, closer than the final score would suggest.

Wish KU would have worn their alternate red uniforms or a set of 1974 throwbacks to honor Ted Owens' team, though.

Robert Lewis 8 years, 9 months ago

Great point! Those were the most hideous, putrid looking uniforms yet!

John Randall 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Bryce, I agree it's so very important that we tog out in something memorable. Doesn't hurt if we also play a little basketball in between poses.

John Randall 8 years, 9 months ago

Sorry I couldn't locate the sarcasm font.

Joe Ross 8 years, 9 months ago

The conference title is now Kansas' to lose. After 10 games in conference, 8 remain. If Kansas goes 6-2, they assure themselves of at least a tie for the conference title. If we go 5-3, Texas would have to go 8-0 to keep us from winning it. This would put Kansas at the 14-4 mark many thought it needed to win the conference. But 8-0 is not likely for Texas, considering they have games left against Baylor, OSU, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Even going 4-4 (.500) the rest of the way, Texas would have to go 6-2 to tie, 7-1 to win. Again, not likely for Texas considering its schedule. Oklahoma also has a slim chance to topple Kansas, but its schedule is also very tough. In addition, Kansas faces both Texas and Oklahoma at home. Simply put, its going to be very hard for Kansas to lose the conference title at this point. Even going 4-4, if two of those four wins come against UT and OU, Kansas would very likely win.

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 9 months ago

Great breakdown. It s easier to get a grasp of the whole picture, the way u described it. And, although there's still plenty of work to be done, it looks like a fairly smooth sail to #10. But we still have to do our part.

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 9 months ago

Coach Fulford, thanks for the talk, and thanks for keep coming to Lawrence. Wiggins surely appreciates that too.

Cameron Schienebeck 8 years, 9 months ago

I hate hearing these guys talk about driving into the lane to draw contact so they can get to the line. Weighs needs to throw in the Ultimate Jordan DVDs and learn how to finish at the hoop. The free throws are a bonus after you score

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago


When we get into the tournament, we will need every and 1 we can get. We will probably be a 2 seed which means going up agaisnt a tough 3, like Michigan in the sweet 16 and a UF (again) to make the final 4.

All season long, many of us have been moaning about his weak finger roll finishes. For the balance of the pre-tournament season, Wiggins should continue to practice his drive and finish strong to insure he will be able to make a big splash in the tournament. If he can finish strong through the tournament, he will earn the #1 draft pick .... and lead Kansas to the NC.

Titus Canby 8 years, 9 months ago

Someone mentioned a few weeks ago that Wiggins always goes up off two feet, and that it might slow him down a fraction of a second. I agree. I watched some highlights of McLemore, and he almost always goes up off one foot, and seems incredibly fast. I know it's hard to break habits, and maybe this is making a mountain out of a molehill, but I feel like Wiggins needs to learn to push off one foot.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, with what Wiggins showed on a natl stage vs a bigname opponent (Duke), I not too worried about him in the Big Dance. He is a PTP'er. So is Selden. So is Mason. So is Embiid. So is Tharpe. Hopefully Ellis, too. So is Traylor. Wiggins GREATEST attribute is he sees the "system" and knows he isnt the only horse pulling KU's chances.

Man, Im going to miss Andrew Wiggins, and he has set the "frosh" bar very high for Kelly Oubre. How many frosh can defend like Wiggins? (and drop 19pts)

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 9 months ago

You are so right about Wiggins D! He reminds me so much of MJ shutting down opponents. I'm really looking forward to watching him matchup with KSU. The ultimate challenge would be in the Tournament if we draw Creighton. Wiggins covering McDermott would be the ultimate acid test.

Jim Stauffer 8 years, 9 months ago

Really like the fact Fulford was able to attend a game for Andrew. Probably meant very much to Wigs.

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