Kansas Opens Year with 700th Fieldhouse Win
LAWRENCE, Kan. — A foul call is what finally provided the spark No. 5/6 Kansas needed to defeat Louisiana at Monroe, 80-63, and collect win No. 700 in Allen Fieldhouse Friday night.
After a four-win season a year ago, ULM (0-1) was uninterested in rolling over against Kansas (1-0). The Jayhawks held a double-digit lead only twice in the opening frame and finally cracked the 20-point barrier with 4:40 left on the clock.
Leading 47-41 with fifteen minutes to play, freshman guard Frank Mason was whistled for one of 58 combined fouls on the night while hustling after a rebound. Still waiting for a big basket, a game-opening run or an alley-oop dunk, the sold-out Allen Fieldhouse crowd had yet to witness any of the sort in the season opener. So when Mason was whistled for the foul while sprinting after a loose ball, the crowd used it – roaring the Jayhawks back to life.
The Kansas offense showed its appreciation with back-to-back buckets for its first double-digit lead of the second half. Up 51-41, KU saw its lead sink back to a single-digit number only once more before closing the door on the Jayhawks’ 41st-consecutive season-opening victory.
Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins was the first Jayhawk to double-digit points on Friday – and the only one until sophomore guard Andrew White III joined him with just over nine minutes to play. Wiggins led the offense with 16 points, while White and sophomore forward Perry Ellis each scored 12. Freshman center Joel Embiid was right behind them with nine points. Ellis led all players with eight rebounds and two blocks.
In the role of starting point guard as junior guard Naadir Tharpe was off limits for the first game, Mason registered a team-high five assists and no turnovers. Helping out, fellow rookie guard Wayne Selden, Jr., dished out four assists to go with his eight points.
After leading all scorers in the first half with 12 points, junior forward Marvin Williams went on to lead all players with 19 before becoming one of two Warhawks to foul out. Senior guard Amos Olatayo chipped in 11 points as ULM finished the evening shooting 43 percent compared to KU’s 54 percent efficiency.
The Warhawks made it known early that they would make the night a tough one, taking a one-point lead five-and-a-half minutes into the game. Although White nailed a three-pointer in response, ULM countered with back-to-back fast break points to prompt a timeout from the Kansas bench.
Pausing game action only paused the teams’ trend of trading baskets. White hit another three, doing his part to be the spark, but again the Warhawks had an answer. Midway through the opening half, the Jayhawks had managed a meager two-point advantage, 23-21.
Kansas had seen enough – or so it seemed. Ellis kicked off an 8-0 scoring rally with a layup, quickly followed by a three from Selden and long jumper from fellow rookie guard Brannen Greene. In less than two minutes, the Jayhawks turned their lead into double digits, 31-21. Finding different avenues to the bucket, however, the Warhawks were determined to keep the Jayhawks from running the table. By the final media timeout, Kansas was hitting over 60 percent of its shots, but held on to just a 34-30 edge.
With less than three minutes till halftime, the Jayhawks took its second shot at distancing themselves. An offensive rebound from sophomore forward Jamari Traylor resulted in a three-point play, while Wiggins chalked up three points the traditional way. His first trey as a Jayhawk opened up the second double-digit lead of the night. Ellis put in both free throws in the waning moments to push KU to its biggest lead of the half, 42-30. ULM’s Olatayo cut to the basket for one more layup, sending the Warhawks to halftime trailing by 10.
Unwilling to surrender, the Warhawks knocked down the first five points of the second half, sharply cutting into their deficit, 42-37. In need of a big bucket, Wiggins came through with a crucial three-pointer to prevent the lead from weakening any further.
Mason’s foul was called less than two minutes later.
The Jayhawks responded with three-straight makes, capped by White’s third three of the night to surge ahead, 56-43. When freshman guard Conner Frankamp swiped an inbounds pass from ULM’s DeMondre Harvey and immediately converted it to a layup, Kansas fans had the big play the had been waiting for. Armed with a 62-46 lead with nine minutes to go, Kansas never looked back.
Now gripping the momentum, the Jayhawks started listing reasons to cheer. A free throw from Mason pushed the Jayhawks to its first – and only – 20-point lead of the night. The Warhawks cut it down to as little as 12, but a breakaway dunk from Wiggins and a late three from Frankamp closed the door, 80-63.
No. 5/6 Kansas will play No. 4/4 Duke at the United Center in Chicago as part of the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Tip-off is approximately 8:30 p.m. (Central), or 30 minutes following the Michigan State-Kentucky contest (6:30 p.m.), and can be seen on ESPN.
Kansas now leads the all-time series with Louisiana Monroe 2-0. The Jayhawks and Warhawks first met on Nov. 9, 2007, where KU defeated ULM, 107-78.
Kansas Starters (Season/Career): Fr. Frank Mason (1/1) , Fr. Wayne Selden(1/1), Fr. Andrew Wiggins (1/1), So. Perry Ellis (1/4), Sr. Tarik Black (1/61)
The Kansas Win…
-Gives KU 700 wins in Allen Fieldhouse.
-Gives the Jayhawks its 41st-consecutive Allen Fieldhouse season-opening victory dating back to the 1973-74 season.
-Gives Kansas its 12th-straight season-opening victory dating back to 2001-02.
-Gives KU a 2-0 series record against ULM.
-Gives Kansas a 700-108 all-time record in Allen Fieldhouse, including 162-8 under Bill Self.
-Makes Kansas 11-0 in season openers under Bill Self.
-Makes Self 301-59 while and Kansas and 508-164 overall.
-Makes KU 2,102-812 all-time.
-After several lead changes in the opening minutes, two free throws from freshman C Joel Embiid at the 12:22 mark gave the Jayhawks a lead, 17-15, that they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the game.
-Leading 23-21, a layup from junior F Perry Ellis sparked an 8-0 run over the next 1:49 to expand the Jayhawks lead to double-digits, 31-21.
-Sophomore F Jamari Traylor sparked another 8-0 run late in the first half, with an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:58 left in the first half to give the Jayhawks their largest lead of the half, 42-30.
-Although Kansas needed five fewer shots to do so, both teams made 13 baskets in the opening half.
-Louisiana at Monroe scored 32 points in the first half against the Kansas defense, the most points the Jayhawks have allowed in a season-opening game since UMKC scored 32 on Nov. 16, 2008. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Kangaroos 71-56.
-The Kansas defense started to tighten up in the second half, holding the Warhawks for nearly seven minutes without a field goal (15:50-8:57) to build a 14-point lead, 62-48.
-The Jayhawks’ lead reached 20 points for the first, and only, time with 4:40 left in the second half, 72-52.
-The combined 58 team fouls were the most in a Jayhawk game since 58 fouls were called in the KU (22) vs. Maryland-Baltimore County (36) game on Nov. 23, 1991.
– Kansas attempted 43 free throws against Louisiana at Monroe, the 43 attempts is the most by the Jayhawks since 46 free throws were taken against Baylor on Feb. 9, 2008.
– The combined 92 field goal attempts were the fewest since the Jayhawks and the Mountaineers combined for 91 on Jan. 28, 2013.
– The 43 field goal attempts are the fewest by a Jayhawk squad since they attempted 37 at West Virginia on Jan. 28, 2013.
– All of KU’s true freshmen on the roster saw time and scored in tonight’s game.
-A jump shot from freshman G Andrew Wiggins scored the first points of the season for the Jayhawks 20 seconds into the game. The bucket was also the first for Wiggins in a Kansas uniform. Wiggins finished the contest with 16 points.
– Wiggins’ three steals in a debut was the most since Mario Chalmers had four against Idaho State on Nov. 18, 2005.
– Wiggins’ 34 minutes in a debut were the most since the 1987-88 (no minutes recorded in Kansas records prior to that season).
-Freshmen G Frank Mason, G Wayne Selden, Wiggins and senior F Tarik Black all made their first career starts donning the Crimson and Blue.
-Selden layed in a shot at the 16:14 mark in the first half to record his first bucket at KU. Selden finished the game with eight points.
-Black’s first bucket as a Jayhawk came on a layup with 15:22 left in the first half. The Memphis, Tenn. native finished the game with eight points to bring him within 43 of 1,000 for his career.
-Mason got on the board with two free throws with 13:47 left in the second half to join his fellow freshmen starters who recorded their first baskets at Kansas. Mason finished the game with three total points.
– Mason finished with five assists and no turnovers. The last Jayhawk to record five assists in a game was Ben McLemore against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 9, 2012. No Jayhawk has recorded as many as five assists in their debut since the 1988-89 season.
– Also playing their first minutes as a Jayhawk were freshmen G Conner Frankamp, G Brannen Greene and C Joel Embiid.
-Greene entered the game with 8:38 left in the first half, took his man off the dribble and nailed a jump shot from the elbow with 7:53 left in the first half for the first points of his Kansas career.
-Embiid checked in at the 12:59 mark in the first half and recorded his first points as a Jayhawk less than a minute later when he sank back-to-back free throws with 12:22 left in the first half. The Yaounde, Cameroon native finished the game with nine points.
-Frankamp checked in for the first time as a Jayhawk with 15:52 left in the first half. The Wichita, Kan. native scored his first points
– Sophomore G Andrew White III tied career highs for three point field goals (3) and three point attempts (5).
– Sophomore F Perry Ellis and White both finished with career-highs in minutes played with 29 and 19, respectively.
– Joel Embiid’s 7 of 10 free throws are the most made and attempted since Markieff Morris also went 7 of 10 at the charity stripe against UMKC on Nov. 16, 2008.
– The Jayhawk freshmen guards of Mason, Selden, Wiggins, Greene and Frankamp tallied 14 assists over four turnovers in their debuts.
– The Warhawks six offensive boards were the fewest by a Jayhawks opponent since Texas Tech pulled down six on March 4, 2013.
– The Warhakws 31 fouls were the most by a Jayhawk opponent since the Kangaroos of UMKC were whistled 32 times on Nov. 16, 2008.
Head Coach Bill Self
“I didn’t see it as negative because it was ugly, and it can get ugly when you play without a point guard. You play without Naadir (Tharpe), you play without Frank (Mason) for the 16 minutes in first half, it’s not going to be pretty. We hadn’t practiced like that much. So, that was bad. I’ll be curious to see what our evaluator of officials says. One thing that did help us was our depth. With a game with 58 fouls, at least we had more depth. We didn’t play very well, obviously, our post defense was horrendous. We need to help them out and learn how to do some things differently. We roughed up one pass the entire night, and that was with two minutes left in the game. There were actually some good things, but not nearly as aggressive as we should be. Certainly, we need to be a lot better before we play on Tuesday. When you didn’t have Naadir, you didn’t have Frank in the first half, I was pretty pleased that we were up 10. They didn’t shoot free throws well either. Considering you miss 16 free throws and one of your guards goes 1-for-6, we had a chance to put them away but didn’t have much killer instinct.
On Andrew Wiggins:
“Efficient, that would probably be a pretty good way to put it. I thought he did some good things. Of course he made a couple of shots and everything. You can go through the whole team and you want more aggressiveness. You want guys to have more pride defensively. We’ve got a chance to crack it several times during the game, and we didn’t crack it because there’s not the killer instinct to crack. Teams here in the past, you get a team down and the building gets behind you, that’s when you put the foot on their throat. We didn’t do that at all tonight. There are a lot of things tonight to learn from. If we had Naadir (Tharpe) in our point guard situation, where we always had one in the game, we could have extended this one pretty good.”
On playing Duke on Tuesday:
“They hung 111 on a team tonight that we got beat by two years ago at the Sprint Center, Davidson. I was watching the game. It was close early, then the next thing you know, Duke’s up twenty something at half and hung like 57 on them in the second half. Our defense is just horrendous from what it needs to be so we’ll have to do some things differently. We’re going to have to handle the ball a lot better. It’s a work in progress. We’ll be a lot better two weeks from now than we are right now. Having Naadir (Tharpe) and Frank (Mason) out there, I think they are both going to need to play for us to really break them down and then hopefully be able to get to their shooters because they are going to launch a lot of threes.”
Kansas senior forward Tarik Black
On the game:
“Obviously we want to come out and win bigger than we did and finish the game off stronger. But at the same time, we are still in the beginning of the season. We are still fresh, still learning (about) each other, still learning the system. It was like the first two games; it is a learning experience. We were all so amped because it was the start of our season. We are glad to come into the locker room 1-0 right now.”
On Joel Embiid:
“You can see out there on the court that he is still trying to figure things out. He is going to have a target on his back every night and people are going to go at him. It still is a learning process for him and that’s why I need to keep helping him. I need to continue to talk to him throughout the game and let him know what he is doing right and what he needs to work on. As we go, he is going to continue to get better just like he has from the moment he has stepped onto this campus.”
On him being a leader of the team:
“It’s a quality you have as a person, it’s not really something you can be thrown into. You can’t just call someone a leader. Your teammates need to respect you and I think I possess those qualities. Regardless of that, all I’m going to be Tarik Black. I’m going to speak up and give guys knowledge on things they might not understand at times. If I’m considered a leader on this team then I accept it.”
Kansas sophomore guard Andrew White III
On the number of fouls called:
“We were told it was going to be like this, but even when you are in the game it’s very surprising. Even off the ball it’s very different; there were a lot of bumps away from the ball that were called as fouls. It’s surprising and frustrating, but that’s the rule and we need to adjust on how the referees are calling the game.”
On Conner Frankamp running the point guard position:
“It’s something new. Conner came into college running the point and before he got here he was more of an off-ball guard. He continues to get better right before our eyes.”
Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden, Jr.
On the game without point guard Naadir Tharpe:
“I thought at first it was a little rough but Frank (Mason) did a real good job. We struggled a little bit but I feel both he Conner did a real good job off the bench.”
On the energy after Coach Self was heated about the calls:
“It definitely is fire and fuels the tank for us. We see it and it gets us all into it. Then the crowd gets into it and we turn it up a notch.”
Louisiana at Monroe Head Coach Keith Richard
“I thought that our team gave about 30 good minutes out there tonight. That is really how we want to play this year. We were really encouraged by 30 minutes of the 40-minute game. Disappointed by a few missed layups. We got the ball where we needed to get it. Maybe it was because of their height or just because we missed them, I don’t know. I was pleased by our guys’ effort and playing hard. I think that if we stay on the right path we have a chance to win a few games this year.”
On what you are telling your players regarding the new rules on fouling:
“I’m telling them not to freak out. This is going on all over the country, it’s not just a Monroe thing, it’s not a Kansas thing. The players have to adjust and not lose their minds because of it (the rule). It is not going away.”
On how you think your team was able to get to the rim so many times:
“I thought we did a pretty good job at times spreading them out a little bit with how we were running. We were throwing the ball down to the post to get touches and we were also able to dribble penetrate a bit. We just punched it and dropped it down to guys, we certainly did some good there. But when we play on the road against a team like this, we’ve got to make them all.”
Louisiana at Monroe Junior Center Marvin Williams
On how he would assess his performance tonight:
“I think for it being the first game I did pretty good, but it’s hard for me to pat myself on the back because I fouled out. So like coach, said I have to adjust to the new rules.”
On the rowdiness of the team after he completed a three-point play in the second half:
“I felt like we were in the game at that point and that we kept fighting. When we keep fighting, I just get excited.
Louisiana at Monroe Senior Guard Amos Olatayo
On Andrew Wiggins:
“He has a quick first step, he’s very long. He has a lot of potential, so he has a bright future.”
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.