No. 4 Jayhawks clip the Cardinal, 89-74

On Saturday afternoon, Kansas extended its home court success, winning its 46th consecutive game in Allen Fieldhouse with a 89-74 win over Stanford.

The 7-1 Jayhawks sent former Kansas player Jerod Haase back to California with terrific guard play from Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham.

Stanford knew coming in that they had a secret weapon; Reid Travis scored an early 7 points to give the Cardinal a 12-11 lead. Robert Cartwright dropped a three, and Stanford was suddenly up six, seven minutes into the game. A string of turnovers from the Jayhawks silenced the crowd early. But Kansas’ bulldogs once again pushed the Jayhawks out of trouble, with a Mason three followed by a Graham triple. Graham would keep his hot hand, drilling two more threes and giving Kansas a seven-point advantage early on.

Landen Lucas started better than he had in any game so far this season on Saturday, tallying three blocks and four points at the ten minute mark of the first half. Fouls once again made it hard for Lucas to get minutes. Carlton Bragg was held in check, and Udoka Azubuike’s only notable moment came on an early dunk. It was once again, the guards’ game, with Lagerald Vick stepping up big for the third game in a row.

If Jerod Haase was known for anything at Kansas, it was his scrappiness and floor-burns. Kansas and Stanford traded plenty of those in the first half, as effort was on full display. The Cardinal and the Jayhawks traded blows in the final five minutes of the half. Kansas held a 43-35 advantage heading into the locker room. Devonte Graham was the obvious star of the half. The talented junior burnt the Cardinal to a crisp, shooting 5-8 from deep, leading to 15 points.

Reid Travis kept the Cardinal in the game early in the second half. A momentum-building dunk from Udoka Azubuike was sure to put away Stanford, but their heralded center Davis brought much-needed post activity to a soft Kansas post, with 18 points and six rebounds. KU extended its lead to 10 on a Lagerald Vick three after an athletic save from Frank Mason. Carlton Bragg snatched two quick fouls, prompting Bill Self to go with his four-guard lineup. Frank Mason fed off of the Stanford big men, even making a SportsCenter top ten reverse layup and-one on the Cardinal.

Frank Mason is like that arcade game where you try to push the game tokens into the hole with a bulldozer. Except, with Mason, you’re always a winner. The senior had 18 points by the halfway point of the second half, shooting 6-8 from the floor. Mason was great, but so was Svi. Stanford mistakenly left Mykhailiuk open for three, on multiple occasions, giving the automatic Ukrainian a free basket. Svi was able to do work in the paint as well, as the guard shook off three Cardinal defenders on one possession, and scoring on a transition layup the next.

Kansas kept their tempo offensively, leading 84-68 at the three-minute mark. Frank Mason continued to have his way, and evened out with his season average 19.6 PPG, scoring his 20th point. Bill Self threw in the scout team and No. 4 Kansas cruised to a 89-74 victory over Stanford. Graham was great early, but Mason and Svi finished things for the Jayhawks late. The Jayhawks backcourt proves almost every game that they are the best. While the frontcourt wasn’t excellent, they did decently but were not a large contributing factor in the game. KU thrives on transition plays, because their speed and athleticism are unmatched to the bucket. Also, they Jayhawks play well when the pace is faster, because that is when they get most of their steals. When the Jayhawks speed up the tempo, other teams that utilize the clock are forced to pick up the pace on their end, leading to more turnovers and forced shots.

The 7-1 Jayhawks will take on UMKC next Tuesday, and will start at 7 p.m.

Stanford vs. Kansas statistics for December 3, 2016. Graphic by Nick Weippert.
Stanford vs. Kansas statistics for December 3, 2016. Graphic by Nick Weippert.