Here are a few summaries of what’s going on with Kansas Athletics this week, November 21:
1. Kansas defeats Duke in Another Instant Classic
What a game. What a finish. What a win. The Jayhawks defeated the Duke Blue Devils, 77-75, in a thriller last week. Frank Mason was once again fantastic, finishing with 21 points, including the game-winning basket. I can’t stress enough how good he’s been. Another guy who has been really good, yet very few people are talking about it for some reason, is Devonte’ Graham. This is surprising considering how much hype surrounded him in the preseason. Graham had 13 points against Duke, and he played virtually the whole game (the only time he wasn’t on the floor was the seven seconds in between Josh Jackson entering the game and picking up his fifth foul).
Two other players who were very solid for the ‘Hawks were Josh Jackson and Udoka Azubuike. Despite fouling out, Jackson had 15 points and looked much more comfortable than he did against Indiana. Azubuike was huge for KU in this game (both literally and figuratively), with six points and an impressive 12 rebounds. I believe the only thing that Kansas has to really worry about is depth in the post. Landen Lucas will get better, as will Carlton Bragg, but eventually these guys have to stay out of foul trouble and score consistently game to game. And that’s exactly what happened in…
2. The home opener versus Siena
Landen Lucas and Carlton Bragg both played much better than they did against Duke in the 86-65 victory over Siena. Lucas put up a nice stat-line, highlighted by a career-high five blocks. Bragg recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in a career-best 27 minutes. It felt like everybody who played significant minutes had nice numbers in this game (Graham had 13 points and nine assists, Frank Mason logged 18 and four, and Lagerald Vick posted 12 and eight. See what I mean?), which is what you would expect when you win by 21. However, the Jayhawks struggled to pull away until the final four minutes of the game. This was a very frustrating game to watch. Fouls abounded once again, and also once again, KU struggled from behind the arc. Both of these issues will clear up, but until they do, Kansas is going to have quite a few sloppy wins. Through three games, the Jayhawks are a brutal 12-for-55 on three-pointers. Thankfully, the schedule is much easier from here on out, which will give the ‘Hawks a lot of time to work out the kinks. Next up for Kansas is UAB tonight to officially kick of the CBE Classic.
3. They did it!!
Kansas football won. The Jayhawks defeated Texas 24-21 in overtime on Saturday. I believe the day when KU destroyed Nebraska 76-39 in 2007 was the biggest (not just by margin of victory) win in Kansas football history. But the upset of Texas two days ago just might be #2. The Longhorns hadn’t lost to Kansas since 1938 – that’s World War II, for crying out loud! I hope Charlie Strong has better luck with the new team he’ll be with next year.
For the Jayhawks, this win is monumental for coach David Beaty. It’s his first in-conference win with KU, and it buys him at least one more season at the helm of the Jayhawks. I love how much coach Beaty loves football. He loves his players, he loves Kansas, he loves to win, and he wants to give the fans a show every Saturday. I was starting to doubt the man, but his reaction to this win rejuvenated my hope in him. He was literally in tears during the post-game interview. His passion is undeniable, and I believe he is the man for the job. No matter what happens next season or even next week, let’s all just enjoy this (program-defining?) win. ROCK. CHALK. JAYHAWK.
4. Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody!
Thanksgiving is on Thursday, so I hope everyone has safe travels and a great time with their family and friends. Watch football, eat food, and go KU!
Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.