Monday, January 29, 2018

Road-tested Jayhawks beat K-State in Manhattan

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) drives against Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) drives against Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.


Manhattan — The road was once again kind to the Kansas basketball team Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum, where the Jayhawks’ two battle-tested seniors steered them to a 70-56 victory over rival Kansas State.

With Svi Mykhailiuk providing scoring (22 points) and rebounding (seven boards) and Devonte’ Graham (16 points, 11 assists) running the show, KU improved to 5-1 in true road games this season.

Although Wildcats junior forward Dean Wade (20 points) gave Kansas trouble at times, K-State only shot 32.3 percent on its home floor in defeat.

KU (18-4 overall, 7-2 Big 12) avoided falling into a tie atop the conference standings against a K-State team (16-6, 5-4) that had only lost by a point at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month.

Unlike the previous six Sunflower Showdowns in Manhattan, decided by single digits, Kansas won this one rather comfortably.

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

• The game turned when: In spite of a dreadful offensive start to the second half — when the Jayhawks missed every one of their first 11 shots and turned the ball over twice before Mykhailiuk provided the visitors with their first post-intermission basket on a 3-pointer with 12:53 to play — Kansas got out of Manhattan with a victory.

K-State threatened, for certain, getting as close as five points, but the Jayhawks withstood the push and finished an at-times ugly rivalry game by scoring down the stretch, when they had to get points on the board.

A Malik Newman layup with 4:06 to play gave Kansas a double-digit lead for good.

A Mykhailiuk 3 less than a minute later helped the Jayahwks feel even more comfortable, and free throws from Graham and Newman in the closing minutes added to the cushion.

• Offensive highlight: KU’s unselfish first-half play.

The Jayhawks’ offense came nowhere near perfection during the opening half at K-State, with too many trips down the floor ending in turnovers (12 giveaways on 36 possessions).

But when Kansas wasn’t allowing the home team to stick around — the Wildcats scored 18 points off turnovers before the break — the Jayhawks were finding open teammates and converting. See: 70-percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes.

It wasn’t until Mykahiliuk swooped in for a layup off a drive from the perimeter 3:02 before halftime that a Kansas basket lacked an assist.

Each of KU’s first 13 successful shot attempts were set up by a teammate.

As one would expect, Graham set the tone, dishing seven assists in the first half, beginning with a perfect pass that allowed Lagerald Vick to catch-and-shoot on a corner 3-pointer.

Malik Newman attacked with the intention of finding teammates, too, hitting Mykhailiuk for one 3-pointer and Graham for two others.

The Jayhawks’ willingness to move the ball and get the best shot available so often allowed them to lead by as many as 15 points in the first half, despite playing their rival in as hostile an environment as they will experience all season,

As a result, KU led 40-27 at halftime despite turnover issues.

• Defensive highlight: When the name Svi Mhkhailiuk comes up, the mind doesn’t exactly call up his various defensive feats.

The 3-point-shooting senior from Ukraine came through with one to remember on Big Monday, though.

K-State sophomore forward Xavier Sneed had what looked to be a break-away jam.

Hoping to give the Wildcats’ raucous fans extra incentive to scream — what with KU already up 15-4 — Sneed cocked the ball back with his right hand, as Mykhailiuk sprinted to close in.

As Sneed tried to blow the roof off the Octagon of Doom, Mykhailiuk took off, too, and used his left hand to block the would-be dunk and avoid making contact.

Not only did Mykhailiuk deny Sneed at the rim, he swatted the ball off of Sneed, giving KU possession.

• Key stat: KU’s defense.

Though fired up for the Big Monday home date with rival Kansas, the Wildcats couldn’t find any sort of offensive flow early on, and only shot 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from the floor in the first half.

Even Wade, the only Wildcat experiencing success on offense, shot 5-for-12 while scoring 13 of his points in the opening half and finished 8-for-18. Barry Brown (nine points) went 4-for-16.

The Kansas defense didn’t go away in the second half, either, when the perennial Big 12 champ limited K-State to 40-percent shooting (12-for-30).

• Up next: The Jayhawks head back to Lawrence for an early tip-off on Saturday, against Oklahoma State (11 a.m., CBS).

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Kansas State

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, Kansas State 56

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, Kansas State 56


Brian Mellor 4 years, 7 months ago

Fun going back to the pre-game predictions to see almost everybody being wrong.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 7 months ago

I would assume these are the football couch advisors trying to fire a newer coach every dang season. Internet russians that do their advice that way instead of going to a game?

Joe Norton 4 years, 7 months ago

The FOUR HORSEMEN guards do it again!!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 7 months ago

One of my most scathing criticisms of Bill Self has been the way he sticks so doggedly to the man-to-man defense even when it's clear an opposing team is ripping it to shreds. So it seems only fair that I heap praise upon him tonight for switching to that zone. I wasn't sure if it was a 2-1-2 or a 2-3 or 3-2 or what it was because it kept shape-shifting like an amoeba. Whatever kind of zone it was, it was mostly awesome. It disrupted KSU's offense for the most part and contributed to their low shooting percentage. It also kept us with a sizeable lead after we bricked so many field goal attempts to start the second half. Most importantly, it kept Udoka from picking up more than the three fouls he got. Self's wonderful coaching job tonight atones for his horrible coaching job in the final minutes against the Sooners, and I hope we will see more zone defense from the Jayhawks going forward.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 7 months ago

man i have to say. you may be not a great sports analyst . you get so many comments wrong and apologize. maybe just hold back and don't post. i used to write news and some people write really well predictions, other sports writers are excellent after writer analysts of the game. if you pay attention you'll see the differing before and after writers on lj. focus on writing an essay on each game and maybe you'll be good. a scathing criticism isn't something people are going to read. you criticized everything about the game, our coach and our center. i say get something posted to the udk or the udk should call out a troll from kstate. smiles. we don't need to storm kstate games. it is how it is.

Tom Jones 4 years, 7 months ago

"man i have to say. you may be not a great sports analyst"

I actually laughed out loud at this, so thanks, Hank (and Bryce, I guess)!

RJ King 4 years, 7 months ago

YOU used to write? ? ? Oh, wait . . . you USED to write.

Bville Hawk 4 years, 7 months ago

This team maintains it's focus and competes so well on the road. At home they play not to lose.

Robert Brock 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and whoever was guarding Brown - congrats. Brown went 4-16.

Joe Norton 4 years, 7 months ago

Great zone idea to stop Wade and save Dok from fouling. Surprised Wildcats couldnt figure anything out in over 10 minutes on that zone. That’s on Weber.

RJ King 4 years, 7 months ago

Weber even admitted he did nothing to prepare for it.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 7 months ago

wow, big time road win. these kids are playing great team offense and that defense tonight was on it! Hey, we out rebounded someone!!! Man, I love that zone! THAT won the game!

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 7 months ago

svi's block is legendary. I don't know if you saw benton but josh j was all over suns news for a similar one tonight during our game.

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 7 months ago

Been thoroughly impressed with Malik's play of late. Just took him a bit to figure out what Bill wanted. Really happy that he's doing so well recently. Still has a lot of room to improve on the defensive end, but he's been so much better offensively, driving the ball so well (relatively).

On the total opposite hand, we have Legerald Vick. That dude continues to play totally out of control or is totally absent. He did score a few points tonight, but man every time he had the ball I was afraid he was going to fall down and turn it over. He is the one that should be getting double digit rebounds, not Newman. The way he has played the past month has been pretty excruciating to watch. I hope he gets his groove back before March. Will need him badly in the tournaments.

Dok had a quiet game, but I thought he played well. Good to see those two FTs go in.

As bad as Bill's decision making was during the OU game, I thought it was THAT good tonight. Played zone when he needed to. Left Dok on the bench when he needed to. Good job Coach. (btw you were still wrong about the OU game)

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 7 months ago

agreed. malik is reliable when graham needs a couple minutes of massage for cramps. he has come out in game time. de sousa will also, he has to be learning so much from dok. dok is a damn good player aside from free throws. learn that and he's a great center. he was trying. maybe shoot one handed. i think he's too strong to have a side guide hand. his tendency to rise up makes him want to hook maybe. hopefully dok comes back to advise. wish embiid would more with dok.

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh man. I felt so bad for Silvio tonight. That kid worked his butt off to get to KU half a year early and he's just getting rekt out there. Everything has to be moving a million miles an hour for him. I really hope the game comes to him a bit easier as we move into Feb and March. I think he could be really useful come March if he figures a few things out on offense, but right now he just look so lost.

Keep ya chin up, kid. You'll get there and be rockin rims soon enough.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 7 months ago

If nothing else, Silvio will have a great start for next season.

I still think there is enough time between now and the NCAA for him to be able to play 5+ meaningful minutes.

Thomas Green 4 years, 7 months ago

Dok hit two free throws in a row tonight! I’m still miffed about the OU loss, but getting this road win over the Mildcats is a nice step in learning to get over it!

I really want number 14 just because to do so will probably never be passed or even matched. This win is a big step toward that goal!

David Howell 4 years, 7 months ago

I had to rewind the game a bit to re-watch the two made FT's. He really reached in the cookie jar to get those. Patience and work will get him better and anything 50% or better from here on out is a win.

But rebounding, how can we get him to improve ? Biggest guy tied for 5th in rebounds. Does he not get himself in the right spot ? Effort ?

Mike Greer 4 years, 7 months ago

The team played really good tonight, however, they were back to almost no production from the bench. Other than Sam's 1/2 the bench was a perfect 0/0. I was so encouraged by the A&M game, that the bench was finally in the game on the offensive end, oh well.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 7 months ago

This wasnt the win that the one in Morgantown was, but the best part about this game was, we really never let KSU get back in it where they were actually threatening.

I'd also argue, we have the hardest part of the road schedule done. Yes, all road games are hard, but I would trade any of the first 5 road games for the last 4. Baylor and ISU have presented problems recently, but neither of their teams this year are as good as they've been. Chris Beard has a great thing going at Tech, as we've seen in full bore in the Fieldhouse already. And we still have trouble in Stillwater.

So they are hardly gimmies. But I'd take that schedule. I dont think we lose at home again.
Now as long as everyone is driving cars titled to them from here on out, we should be in good shape.

Tom Jones 4 years, 7 months ago

Good game, Hawks. Nice to see the Svi we've been expecting for a couple years. He really seems to be playing with some fire of late.

Also good to see Sam on the floor. He must be figuring some things out. We're gonna need some combination of he and Silvio to have any chance of getting to the Final Four.

RJ King 4 years, 7 months ago

Wade certainly figured out how to draw fouls on Garrett. Pretty sure that's why Sam was called upon to spot. But yes, they all (except Graham, Svi and Newman) need as many minutes on the floor as possible for their own growth.

Dale Stringer 4 years, 7 months ago

I think the game turned when Dok made those two free throws. The Cats were chipping into the lead when they fouled him. You could see some grins thinking they got another stop. Then two points from Dok and that's when it seemed to me that K-State lost their desire to win.

Bill Lamson 4 years, 7 months ago

A lot of justified talk about other players...Newman had another great game again, Svi playing at a high level etc., but can we also give Lightfoot a lot of credit....20 minutes last night and although he didn't score, we don't need him to. I think he's playing like a stud out there given that he's almost always going against a bigger player and he plays D like nobody's business. Another 3 blocks last night, 20 minutes, 5 boards, and he rarely makes mistakes. I'm almost getting to the point where I want to see him in there more than Dok, almost, because he literally does everything he can on every possession to help the team. One of the announcers called him a junk yard dog, but I think that actually undervalues his contributions...yea he takes charges really well, which is awesome, but he does a lot more that maybe doesn't make its way to the stat sheet. Keep it up Mitch!

RJ King 4 years, 7 months ago

Just his positioning cleared the way for a couple of drives by others. Doesn't show up as an assist, but still affects the offense.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually, I didn't miss it too much, Brian. I said solid defense, staying focused, and perhaps having a couple of coaching tricks up Coach Self's sleeve to neutralize Dean Wade and the others who hurt KU at Lawrence. Nothing brilliant in that. Just seems to be the common routine for coaches and teams that have won 13 consecutive conference championships going on 14.

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