No. 10 Kansas Gets New Leaders in Lafayette Win, 96-69
LAWRENCE, Kan. — A smile stretched across head coach Bill Self’s face as Perry Ellis and Hunter Mickelson fought for offensive boards under their basket, eventually resulting in a layup for Ellis and a 20-point lead. No. 10/10 Kansas utilized a different cast of leading men to power past Lafayette, 96-69, Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse.
For the first time in over three years, six different players chalked up double-digits for Kansas (9-1), yet none of them were KU’s leading scorer, Ellis. Instead, freshman guard Kelly Oubre, Jr., set the tone with a team-best 23 points and 10 rebounds in his second career start.
The Jayhawks celebrated the end of finals week with their eighth-straight victory and season-highs in points (96), field goals (38) and three-pointers (12), while tying season-bests in assists (22) and rebounds (44). KU’s 96 points were its most since a 108-96 overtime win at Iowa State on Feb. 25, 2013 and ended a four-game winning streak for Lafayette (7-3).
Junior forward Jamari Traylor swatted a block and
tallied his first back-to-back games with
11 points against Lafayette.While Ellis ended his double-figure scoring streak at seven games, he was backed by a strong supporting cast. Aside from Oubre, fellow freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Cliff Alexander put up 11 and 10 points, respectively. Coming into his own, redshirt junior forward Hunter Mickelson tallied his season-best with eight points and seven rebounds. Junior forward Jamari Traylor also put in big minutes with 11 points and seven boards.
The usual stars were still plenty helpful, especially sophomore guards Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden, Jr. Selden contributed a solid 12 points and six assists, while Mason was one of the best players on the floor. He certainly appeared ready and able to take the reigns as the primary point guard on a temporarily-shortened list. He dished out a career-high nine assists to complement his 14 points. He also pulled down four rebounds, swatted a block and stole a pass in the win.
The Leopards started the weekend in the top-20 nationally in field goal and three-point field goal percentage, explaining the fact that the Leopards posted KU opponent-highs in field-goal percentage (47.3) and three-point efficiency (46.2). In the opening half, Lafayette did connect on an opponent-high six treys – but Kansas matched it with six of its own. By halftime, KU was firing above 50 percent from inside and outside the arc. By the final buzzer, both would have 12 threes apiece, a season-high for the Jayhawks and their opponents.
Senior guard Seth Hinrichs led the Leopards with seven rebounds and 15 points, which included a trio of three-pointers. Fellow guards Joey Ptasinski and Monty Boykins connected on three treys, as well, to finish with 11 and 10 points. Senior leader scorer Dan Trist wrapped up the leaderboard with 12 points.
Lafayette went to the first media timeout with the 7-6 lead. Coming out of the break, however, the Jayhawks went to work. Stifling coverage by Traylor on the sideline gave the Leopards no other choice but to call a timeout. When play resumed, KU completed the defensive effort by forcing a shot-clock violation. Mason delivered on the other end with his second three of the game, sparking a solid 11-0 Jayhawk run.
After starting the afternoon shooting less than 30 percent, the Jayhawks hit seven of their next 10 shots to build a 15-point cushion, 26-11. The freshman duo of Oubre and Alexander had much to do with it, chalking up eight points apiece in the first 15 minutes.
Attacking from three-point range, Boykins hit back-to-back threes as the Leopards tried to cut their deficit to single digits. Ensuring that wouldn’t happen, Mykhailiuk struck back with consecutive threes of his own to send Kansas to the lockerroom with its largest lead of the half, 45-28.
Alexander’s 10th point of the game kicked KU’s lead out to a 49-30 advantage, but the Leopards fought against the blowout. They strung together seven-straight buckets, highlighted by two more threes, to pull within single digits, 54-46.
Not 90 seconds after checking into the game for the first time, Brannen Greene drained a three from the corner to push KU’s edge back over 10 points.
Yet, the Leopards kept coming. They connected on four of five threes to open the second half, finding a way around KU’s massive 48-14 points-in-the-paint edge. Now leading just 59-52, Kansas needed a boost. Stepping up in relief, Traylor and Mickelson powered the Jayhawks to eight-straight points to finally put their squad out of reach. Kansas finished the afternoon on a 37-17 run to put the finishing touches on its eighth-straight victory.
Kansas will play at Temple on Monday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2 before taking a short holiday break and returning home to Allen Fieldhouse for a Dec. 30 game versus Kent State at 7 p.m., on Jayhawk IMG Network/ESPN Full Court/ESPN3. The Jayhawks will close out non-conference play when they host UNLV on Sunday, Jan. 4, at either 12:30 or 3:30 p.m. (Central), on CBS. The time will be determined once the NFL playoff schedule set for that weekend.
KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): So. G Frank Mason, III (10/13), So. G Wayne Selden, Jr. (10/45), Fr. G Kelly Oubre, Jr. (2/2), Jr. F Perry Ellis (10/47), So. F Landen Lucas (8/8)
SERIES INFO: Kansas leads, 1-0
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (216th-consecutive sellout)
- Extended Kansas’ winning streak to eight games, which is KU’s longest since an 18-game winning streak during the 2012-13 season.
- Made Kansas 9-1 or better for the second time in the past three seasons and the sixth time in Bill Self’s 12 seasons at KU.
- Made Kansas 1-0 all-time versus Lafayette and 9-2 against current membership of the Patriot League.
- Made Kansas 3-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and extended its winning streak in AFH to 12 games.
- Made KU 717-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 179-9 under Self.
- Improved Self to 334-70 while at Kansas, 541-175 overall and 1-0 all-time against Lafayette.
- Made KU 2,135-823 all-time.
- The Jayhawks converted on a season-high 12 three-point field goals. KU has now shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in three-straight games, hitting 28-of-51 three-point attempts (54.9 percent) in that span.
- Kansas posted a season-low five free throws on just seven attempts, also a season-low. The mark broke a three-game streak where KU hit 20+ free throws. The Jayhawks’ 11 free throw attempts were their fewest since Kansas went to the line 10 times against Michigan on March 29, 2013.
- Kansas saw six players score in double figures, the most a KU team has seen since six Jayhawk also entered the double-figure scoring column against Towson on Nov. 11, 2011.
- Kansas tallied season highs in points (96), field goals (38), field goal attempts (76), three-point field goals (12), three-point field goal attempts (23) and tied season-highs in points in a half (51), offensive rebounds (20), total rebounds (44), points in the paint (48) and assists (22).
- After going 3-of-10 from the field over the first 6:28 of action, Kansas closed the first half with a 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) clip from the field and ended the period at 53 percent (17-of-32), which marked the fifth time this season the Jayhawks have shot better than 50 percent in a half.
- KU’s five turnovers were its fewest since it also posting five turnovers against Towson on Nov. 11, 2011. The number also ties for the fewest by a Kansas squad since the 1988-89 campaign.
- Kansas was whistled for just nine fouls, its fewest since the Jayhawks were called for seven fouls against Iowa State on Feb. 12, 2011.
- The Jayhawk bench scored 40 points, its second-most this season and the fourth time in 2014-15 the KU bench has added 30 or more points in a game.
- Lafeyette posted Kansas opponent season-highs in points in a half (41 in the second), field goals (26), three-point field goals (12), three-point field attempts (26), three-point field goal percentage (46.2) and assists (19).
- KU went 6-for-11 from three-point range in the first half, which marked the second-straight game and the seventh time this season the Jayhawks have tallied five or more treys in a half.
- Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., earned his second-career start, posting a season and game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting (60 percent) and earning his first-career double-double after adding 10 rebounds, also a season and game high.
- Oubre connected on four of his seven three-point attempts, with three-of-four coming in the second half.
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III dished a career-high nine assists, which tied for the most by a Jayhawk this season.
- Mason III was 2-of-3 from three-point range and has now tallied at least one three-pointer in eight of his 10 outings this season and is 6-of-10 from three in his last four outings.
- Freshman G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk tied a season high with three three-pointers, all of which came in the final three minutes of the first half.
- Sophomore F Hunter Mickelson used a season-high 17 minutes to net eight points and collect seven rebounds, both of which were also season highs. His two blocks were a KU career-high.
- Junior F Jamari Traylor posted 11 points against Lafayette to follow his 13-point effort against Utah (12/13). That marks the first time in his career that he has tallied back-to-back games in double figures.
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander recorded 10 points, his fourth double-figure game of the year. It was also his fourth game with multiple blocks (2). He pulled down five rebounds, extending his streak of five or more rebounds to five games.
- Junior G Evan Manning played six minutes, marking the third time he’s played six minutes at KU. His two assists were a career-high.
POSTGAME QUOTES KANSAS
Kansas head coach Bill Self
On Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s patience:
“He’s not patient and I don’t want him patient, but he’s kept a good attitude and practiced hard. Of course he wasn’t going to start today. That was a gift from Brannen Greene. He was good against Georgetown. He was better against Utah. He’s had a great week of practice, so it doesn’t surprise me that he played really well today.”
On Oubre,Jr.’s ability to get steals and disrupt the passing lane:
“I think he had a couple of near misses, but against a team the moves the ball fast and having opportunities to deny the ball, there’s no one better that we have doing that.”
On Frank Mason III’s play at the point guard:
“He was great. He was good not only because he made shots, but was also able to get the ball where ever he wanted to get it. He had nine assists and one turnover and I think he is getting better all the time. I thought he was terrific and totally controlled the game. When they made their run and we weren’t really playing well, the only reason the game wasn’t closer was because of Frank. Frank kept them at arm’s length.”
On mixing up the offense:
“They played zone almost the entire first half and the second half they played all man. We made shots and Perry (Ellis) didn’t play very much today, so naturally we didn’t have a guy to play through on the post, like normal.”
On Hunter Mickelson’s preparation this week:
“Hunter will be the first to tell you that he has had a great week, or 10 days, of practice. The other thing about Hunter is that I think he is the greatest switch defensive player we have other than maybe Jamari (Traylor). Not so much in explosiveness, but he doesn’t have to gather to jump and thinks like that. Norm (Roberts, assistant coach) has been telling me every day that he has been getting better and better and better; and he has. Certainly, he will play more, or at least have the opportunity to play more. We are not going to play five big guys consistently, but we will play four and he has earned the right to be one of those four at least short term, because we will switch who those four are every game.”
On the lineup change:
“Cliff (Alexander) just had a bad day yesterday and Brannen missed weights, so he basically handed Kelly his starting job. It’s a good lesson for everybody.”
On Temple and the Owls regaining two players:
“They won at Delaware by 20 after they got those guys back, so they’ll probably tighten some things up and be a little better. They have labored this year because of scoring droughts and two of the guys they got eligible are scores. They have a good team and playing up there, on the road, will be hard and with the Christmas holiday right behind it. We have played numerous teams on the road right before Christmas and sometimes we’ve been able to get through them, but other times we haven’t looked very good. We need to go up there with the right mindset and have some momentum going into Christmas. I think we are playing a little better and besides a bad half against Utah, we’ve played very well for the most part since the second half of the Florida game.”
On his approach on coaching Oubre, Jr., to be a guard:
“It’s not just him, but with all our guys. We set ball screens for all of our guys. We try to teach them all to be guards and understand the time-score-momentum and what makes good possessions and bad possessions, hope the ball moves, strengths and weaknesses, and that kind of stuff. Kelly has improved a lot over the last three weeks and he seems, to me, that he’s been playing with more burst as opposed to one speed all the time.”
On Mickelson’s attitude:
“Hunter’s been great. Everyone wants to play, but not everyone gets to play. We have five guys on the perimeter that are going to play a majority of the minutes and those guys that are playing the best will stay in.”
On scoring 96 points with only four being from Perry Ellis:
“Yeah, but it is misleading, because he didn’t play. He didn’t feel well today and something wasn’t right. I thought Jamari played well and had great energy. He, Kelly and Hunter got 15 offensive rebounds. We need Perry though. In games where you are struggling to score or you’re not making shots we have to have someone to throw it to and Perry would be that guy.”
On perimeter shooting success in the game:
“We’ve shot it better. We shot it good in practice and we didn’t shoot it very well against Utah. I think we are shooting the ball a lot better from the perimeter and I think we see it every day in practice. Frank is a great percentage shooter and Wayne (Selden, Jr.) is getting better and better. You get those guys out there and they can knock down shots.”
On Mason III taking smart shots currently:
“I think he is. He’s also taking wide open shots. I wish he would get inside a little more. I think he can get inside the defense at will and I don’t think he does that nearly enough, but I think he is playing pretty smart on the offensive end.”
Kansas freshman guard Kelly Oubre, Jr.
On what today’s performance was like and being patient:
“I’m enjoying the moment with my teammates; we got a big win today. I just look at it as part of the process, a lot of people said enjoy the process and that’s what I am doing.”
On if he ever became frustrated because of lack of playing time this season:
“When I get frustrated, I go to the gym and work on my game. I just try to get better individually; but I’m just here with my teammates and I just thrive off of them so when they succeed, I succeed.”
On what has changed for him in the past couple of weeks and if things slowing down:
“Yeah, I think the game is slowing down for me a little bit. I can see the floor better. I just feel where I am supposed to be at the right time and that is helping me be one step ahead when I am on the court because the game was fast paced for me at first, but now I feel like it’s slowing down and I am just now catching up to it.”
Kansas sophomore guard Frank Mason III
On Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s day:
“Yeah, I always think positive for my teammates. I thought it was going to be a great day for everyone.”
On how the team is different when Kelly (Oubre, Jr.) plays this well:
“I think we are better on the defensive end as a team because he’s long, he gets out in passing lanes and on the offensive end, he can score the ball and crashes the glass a lot too, so he helps out with rebounding as well.”
On reading the defense and playing the point guard position:
“I try to come out and start the game with getting my teammates involved and creating easy shots for them. That’s what I have been doing the past few days in practice, getting them involved and I did a great job with that today”
Kansas junior forward Hunter Mickelson
On A great week of practice:
“I think everybody kind of had a great week leading up to this game. We’re on break, everybody is finishing up finals and stuff so I think putting that all together with everybody else having a great week, and we just had one of those weeks with everything going right”
Were you planning on playing this many minutes?
“A little bit, Coach (Self) said a little something to me before the game with everybody in the locker room so that’s just about it, just kind of had to be ready and when my time comes, just make the most of it.”
On condition and stamina during the game
“My conditioning was fine. We run up and down every day and go hard in practice so I don’t think it was much different. The lights get a little brighter when you’re out there so I just had a good time and we were all playing for each other. It was a good time I was glad to be a part of it.”
POSTGAME QUOTES LAFAYETTE
Lafayette head coach Fran O’Hanlon
On Kansas’ freshmen ability to make three-point shots:
“I know all of the hype around Kelly Oubre. I know he hasn’t been playing a lot, but today he looked like their best player. The other kid, I am not going to try and pronounce his name, the kid from Ukraine, (Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk) is also a pretty good player as well. When you are playing a team that has a 10, 12 or 14-point lead, those threes are a lot less pressure than when it is a close game.”
On Lafayette’s start to the second half:
“It’s more than saying that we are going to come out and play, we really just have to get back in the game. Up until that first time out in the second half, I thought we really competed. We had the ball first and got a good shot out of it. We got some momentum and got it down to eight points. At the end, they just kind of tired us down.”
On turnovers during the game:
“There were a couple of turnovers there, and when we turned it over they got mad to begin with. You really can’t afford turnovers against a team like that. That was key there.”
On getting back in the game:
“We worked so hard to get back in the game and all of a sudden they would go right back up and quickly. I do think there was a point where they were battling against a good team. It was going to be hard to get back in that game.”
Lafayette sophomore guard Monty Boykins
On cutting the deficit, but seeing Kansas respond with several 3’s:
“We we’re really looking to play tough defense. After we make a shot, we need to play tough defense and hustle back, but when a team hits a shot right after that, it’s pretty demoralizing. You need to get up on your guys a little better and put more pressure on them.”
Lafayette senior forward Seth Hinrichs
On keeping the game close through most of the game:
“They’re the 10th (ranked) team in the country, so we competed for 30 minutes and I think we can be proud of that. Like coach said, we had a few turnovers and they went on a run. So I think overall we can hang our hat on the first 30 minutes, but after that, we would like to compete for the full 40. It’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t close the gap a little more and limit the turnovers.”
On the impact this game had heading into conference play:
“Absolutely, we were down 17 at half and cut into their lead by the first media timeout. There are a lot of things we can build off going forward with one more non-conference game leading into conference play. Playing for 30 minutes with the 10th team in the country, building off that and continuing to work on weaknesses, rebounding is one of those, I think they out-rebounded us by 18.”
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