Jayhawks enjoy Allen Fieldhouse

Feb. 20, 2010


Talking before the game, head coach Bill Self told his players that they needed to do a much better job of playing well at home. He said he thought that the team had not played well in Allen Fieldhouse since the first half of the Missouri game. Self had an easy solution: come out and enjoy the home court.

After the Jayhawks 94-74 victory over Colorado, Self said some good things transpired and the squad did a much better job coming out and enjoying the home court.

“I thought we played really well offensively,” Self said. “We made shots, got some easy shots and our defense wasn’t great by any means, but it created turnovers that led to baskets.”

The Jayhawks flocked together in a combined effort, putting together a great game offensively.

Freshman Xavier Henry led the way with 24 points on 9-16 shooting. Of those 24 points, Henry hit four three-pointers, shooting 4-7 from beyond the arc. Starting the day on fire, Xavier went 3-for-3 on threes in the first five minutes of the game to propel the Jayhawks to a 16-7 lead.

When asked about his star performance against the Buffaloes defense, Henry indicated that when the whole team is happy and clicking, the team is going to have a great game.

“They all found me,” said Henry. “We all just clicked. That sparked us, and we just kept rolling with it the whole game.”

Self said that besides redshirt-junior Brady Morningstar and junior Tyrel Reed, who weren’t really involved offensively from a scoring standpoint, the team was probably as good as they have been as far as having multiple guys clicking and having their shots fall.

Going 6-7 from the field, sophomore Tyshawn Taylor added a strong performance to his resumé as he returned to the starting lineup in place of Morningstar. Perfect from the free throw line, as well as from the three-point line with his one attempt, Taylor contributed 17 points, along with six assists, three rebounds and two steals.

While scoring 94 points, it was visible that the team played with a chip on their shoulders and played with greater energy than the first encounter with the Colorado in Boulder.

“We try to be a fast-paced team,” Taylor said. “I think playing a faster-paced game means more shots and more points going up. Every time I get it, I look to attack first before anything and then run our offense.”

With Taylor’s aggressive approach, it opened up more lanes for all of the Jayhawks whenever he was in the game.

“Tyshawn forces help,” Henry said. “He is so fast and athletic that they know they can’t stay in front of him so when he forces help, we either get open or find other driving lanes off of them.”

Junior center Cole Aldrich, senior guard Sherron Collins and sophomore forward Markieff Morris also reaped the benefits of a more energized team, scoring 17, 13 and 11 respectively. In the process Aldrich had five blocks and 10 rebounds. The five blocks put Aldrich over 100 blocks on the season adding to the KU single-season record, which was previously set at 98.

Kansas’ largest lead came with four and a half minutes left in the second half as KU grabbed a 27-point lead.

With five players in double figures, it marked the fifth time this season that Kansas had five or more scoring 10 or more points [Kansas State, California, Radford and Tennessee Tech].

The team moved to 26-1 on the season and 12-0 in Big 12 Conference play. The Jayhawks will host ESPN’s Big Monday as they square off against Oklahoma at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.