KU Obliterates Baylor in Conference Opener

Coming into this game, the #1 ranking was up for grabs. The Jayhawks needed to find a way to win, and the top spot in the polls was probably theirs.

All they did was go out and drop 102 points on Baylor, demolishing the #23 team in the country in every single way on Saturday night. The win was so convincing that the Bears’ coach, Scott Drew, stated that there was “no doubt” who the #1 team in the nation was after the game.

KU beat the Bears 102-74, obliterating Baylor from the very beginning. Kansas jumped out to a 24-4 lead after hitting six of its first seven shots from deep. Leading the way with yet another impressive performance was Wayne Selden, who poured in 24 points, just one away from his career-high. He made his first seven shots from the floor. His first miss didn’t come until 2:52 remained before half. In fact, Selden outscored Baylor through the game’s first 14 minutes.

Baylor managed to cut the lead to 14 by halftime, but it couldn’t get it closer than 12 points for the rest of the game. After hanging around and staying within a 12-16 point window for most of the second half, Kansas ended the contest on a 22-10 run to blow it open even more.

The three-point barrage to open the game was nice, but Kansas did so much more than that in winning its 25th straight conference opener. The Jayhawks shot 54% from the floor in the game, made nearly 80% of their free throws, and out-rebounded the Bears by three.

Baylor entered Saturday’s contest as the nation’s top team in assists per-game (averaging over 23). Kansas held the Bears to just eight assists.

Perry Ellis splashed in 17 points to pace Kansas, while Hunter Mickelson also had a strong game, finishing with seven points, six rebounds, and three blocks. He really has emerged as KU’s best rim protector at this point in the season.

This was KU’s 31st consecutive win at Allen Fieldhouse.

Next up: Monday vs. Oklahoma at 8 p.m. It looks as if it will be #1 vs. #2 in Lawrence. Should be a barnburner.

Notes:

  • The Jayhawks are now 12-1 (1-0 in conference play). They have won 11 straight basketball games.
  • This team is definitely the best KU team since 2010-2011, and it might be the best one since the 2008 championship team. The guard play is the best since it’s been since 2008 and it’s not even close.
  • This team is so good offensively. The Jayhawks’ fifth-best rated player offensively, Devonte’ Graham, would have been #1 on last year’s team.
  • I keep saying this, but it’s worth repeating: Carlton Bragg is going to be really, really good in a few years.
  • Baylor has still never won in Lawrence. The Bears are 0-13 at Allen Fieldhouse.
  • Brannen Greene looks to have injured his hand, so the need for Svi to find his shot is more pressing than ever.
  • Selden: 24 points (9/16 FG, 5/6 from three), five rebounds, four assists, 34 minutes. He narrowly missed his career high of 25.
  • Ellis: 17 points (6/12 FG), six rebounds, and three assists in just 24 minutes. Not surprisingly, he was very effective.
  • Graham: 15 points (6/8 FG), four assists, three steals, and zero turnovers. That will play. Especially in 32 minutes.
  • Mason: 11 points (5/9 FG), four assists, five rebounds, and 28 minutes.
  • In case you didn’t want to do the math, Graham and Mason combined: 26 points (11/17 FG), eight assists, two turnovers.
  • Greene: eight points (2/6 FG) and three rebounds in 18 minutes. His improvement as an overall player is tremendous.
  • Mickelson: seven points (2/3 FG), six rebounds in 17 minutes.
  • Diallo: four points, two rebounds in six minutes. That is the fewest of any of the big men.
  • Bragg: six points, three rebounds in 10 minutes.
  • Lucas: two points, two rebounds in 11 minutes.
  • Traylor: zero points, zero rebounds in 10 minutes. He did have an awesome block, though.
  • Svi: five points in four minutes. All five points came from the free throw line.
  • Vick: hit a three to put Kansas over the 100-point mark in the final seconds.
  • The Jayhawks had just seven turnovers in 40 minutes, opposed to 20 assists. That is tremendous.

Dylan King

Staff writer for Rock Chalk Blog. http://twitter.com/_DK22