(Tuesday) Notebook: Balanced Jayhawks begin season 2-0

1. KU Almost Beat K-State 

For yet another season, Kansas football’s motto seems to be “so close.” I don’t usually get very angry when KU loses anymore because I’ve come to expect it, but this game made me mad. Peyton Bender had a good game (21-34 for 232 yards and two touchdowns), but when he fumbled the ball on KU’s last play, I would have told him to pack his bags and go home right then and there. That play encapsulates the hopelessness that is KU football. It doesn’t matter what they do or how close they come, they’re going to fail. You just knew K-State was going to score their last touchdown before they even got the ball back.

This game makes me hate KU football. They just aren’t good enough to win when the chips are down. The David Beaty era has been one big dollar-bill-on-a-string trick. You think they’re finally going to take a step forward until they don’t. It’s so close. Goodbye, David. Goodbye, Peyton.

2. KU Basketball is Here to Save Us

Kansas vs. Michigan State

Kansas beat Michigan State by a score of 92-87 last Tuesday. The score is not indicative of how this game actually game went. Kansas was 9-15 points better than Sparty for 35 minutes or so. It wasn’t until the last five minutes that Michigan State made it a close game.

Quentin Grimes was fantastic, going for 21 points and four assists. He also buried six of his 10 three point attempts. Dedric Lawson was the best player on the floor despite going just 5-18 from the floor. Lawson finished the game with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists. I feel like he might have a triple-double this year. Lawson is going to decimate Vermont, isn’t he? (Ed. Note: Hahaha.)

Udoka Azubuike scored 17 points to go with four blocks on the night. He has polished up the post moves from last year, which could make him one of the most lethal players in college basketball.  Point guard Devon Dotson had a very nice game as well, scoring 16 points, and going 3-5 from behind the arc. He certainly established himself as the starting point guard for this team.

My only two complaints from this game are the bad defense and the lack of an obvious fifth starter. The defense will get cleaned up like all Bill Self defense do, and Lagerald Vick obviously won’t play like he did in this game every night, but it will be interesting to watch.

Kansas vs. Vermont

In the Jayhawks’ second game of the year, they were able to fend off Vermont by a score of 84-68. The Catamounts led for most of the first half and hung around well into the second.

Kansas was able to pull away largely because of two players: Lagerald Vick and Udoka Azubuike. Vick had a career night, burying all eight of his three point attempts. Yes, I said eight. Vick finished the night with 32 points, shooting an incredible 86% from the floor. He was truly on fire. As for Azubuike, he finished with his first double-double of the season, with 23 points and 11 boards. He showed off more of those developed post moves and looked like a much improved rebounder than he did against Michigan State.

Azubuike wasn’t the only Jayhawk with a double-double, as Quentin Grimes finished with 10 points and a very nice 10 assists. We knew going into the year that Grimes was a good passer and probably a natural point guard, and he certainly showed that off against Vermont. Dedric Lawson was nearly a non-factor, collecting seven rebounds but going 0-6 from the field totaling zero points. He will find a rhythm eventually.

Kansas has looked mostly good through two games this season. I expect them to keep improving and contend for title because I would still take them over Duke. C’mon ESPN, fight me.

Landen Fields

I’m a junior in high school. I’m also homeschooled, which gives me the ability to watch ESPN all day. I love the Jayhawks, and I love to write about them. I’m also a huge fan of Star Wars, Marvel, and action/sci-fi movies. I hope to have a career in sports media one day, and I am grateful for this first step into a larger world.