The No. 11 Jayhawks didn’t have a pretty start in the first two games of the season. After a 30-point drubbing by Kentucky, it was clear Bill Self was going to whip his players into shape before they headed to Florida for the Orlando Classic.
The first 20 minutes of last night’s Kansas game was exactly what Bill Self wanted to see from his players. Kansas lead at half, 51-22. Most importantly, Kansas had 15 first half assists on 20 field goals. In the previous game, Kansas had four assists the entire game against Kentucky. Wayne Selden tied his career-high of seven assists in the first half alone.
RCB Player of the Game: (tie) Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene
This was a tough one to decide on which is why I’m letting the fans vote. Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene both had great nights with 17 points a piece.
Who do you think had the better night? Vote at the end of the blog!
Honorable Mention: Wayne Selden – Rarely will you see a player not score a basket but impact a game heavily. Selden had a career-high nine assists in the game and had seven at half-time. Selden didn’t score but he made the Jayhawks score easily. I probably would have named him player of the game if he had scored on half of his four field goal attempts.
You Let the Whole Team Down: Team Discipline
Like the player of the game, it was hard to pick this award. No one really had a poor performance. The only players who didn’t score that played were the walk-ons.
Self used his post-game presser to call out some behaviors from the players that he didn’t particularly care for. He didn’t name names at all but he mentioned off the court issues such as showing up late to tutoring sessions and an overall lack of discipline at practice. He mentioned that if a player didn’t like their amount of playing time, they should probably work on their off-the-court issues.
“The whole thing is, if everybody was responsible off the court, we’d probably have more of the same starting lineup every time,” said Self after the game. “And I don’t mean doing anything bad, but we’ve got to tighten some things up. I see a lot of slippage off the court and I think there’s a correlation to being responsible off it, too.”
“I’d like to see us settle in on a starting five, but I have a hard time starting guys who are late to tutoring,” Self continued. “I can’t do it and that’s kind of where that is right now. Hopefully we’ll tighten some things up because if we let them go now, I know it’s going to be something that will haunt us later. We’ve got to eliminate those things. We’ve got to become more responsible as a group.”
Landen Lucas started over Jamari Traylor and Cliff Alexander while Svi started over Brannen Greene and Kelly Oubre. It’s safe to say that the starting lineup of Mason, Selden, Svi, Lucas and Ellis took care of business while the four others may or may not have slipped up. While Self didn’t name anyone, we can’t 100 percent know who he was talking about.
He mainly took aim at those who had started before so Jamari Traylor seems like the main culprit. Regarding Cliff, considering how well Alexander has played on the court, it would make sense if Self is punishing him with lack of minutes for his off-the-court behavior. Because right now, it’s hard to justify not playing Alexander more.