No. 5/6 Kansas defeats Georgia for CBE Hall of Fame Classic title

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Josh Jackson notched his first career double-double to help lead No. 5/6 Kansas basketball to a 65-54 win over Georgia in the finals of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Tuesday night at Sprint Center.

Kansas (4-1) wins its second CBE Hall of Fame Classic title in the history of the event.

A night after scoring 22 points against UAB, Jackson notched 15 points and 11 rebounds against the Bulldogs to earn MVP honors. Senior guard Frank Mason III led the Jayhawks with 19 points and junior guard Devonte’ Graham added 14 points with four steals to join Jackson on the All-Tournament team.

The dynamic trio of guards clocked 35 minutes or more of playing time each while combining to account for 48 of KU’s 65 points on the night.

KU’s big men got into foul trouble early, forcing the Jayhawks to use a smaller four-guard lineup and a rare 2-3 zone defensive front for the majority of the game. But the Jayhawks defense held up, limiting Georgia to 32 percent shooting and out-scoring the ‘Dogs in the paint, 32-24.

Georgia (3-2) was led by Yante Maten, who finished with more than half of the Bulldogs’ offensive production, scoring 30 points on 11-of-23 shooting in 36 minutes.

Junior transfer forward Dwight Coleby saw the most playing time of his Jayhawk career, finishing with four blocks and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

While Jackson fueled a quick start by the Jayhawks, making four of his first five shots, starting big men sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr., senior Landen Lucas, and freshman reserve Udoka Azubuike all had two fouls at the 8:39 mark of the first half. Coleby checked in to play the post in a four-guard rotation for the majority of contest.

The Bulldogs made just 1-of-16 field goal attempts in the closing moments of the first half as Kansas went into the locker room with a 35-25 lead.

In the second half, Mason took the ball full-court for a vintage fast break and-1 layup to give Kansas a 46-34 advantage. Coleby scored his first basket of the season, a dunk, to give Kansas its largest lead of the game, 52-34 with 10:54 remaining.

A steal by Mason produced a fast break outlet to Graham, who assisted Lagerald Vick for an and-1 layup to give Kansas a 57-40 lead, after he converted the free throw, with seven minutes remaining in regulation.

Georgia went on an ensuing 9-0 run reduce KU’s lead to single digits, but the Jayhawks kept the Bulldogs at bay on the way to the 65-54 victory.

Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse to face UNC Asheville in a CBE Hall of Fame Classic host game on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Central.


Game 5: Georgia vs. Kansas (CBE Hall of Fame Classic final)
Site: Kansas City, Mo.
Arena: Sprint Center
Attendance (Capacity): 12,147 (18,972)
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 22
Tipoff: 9:15 p.m. CST
Final Buzzer: 11:10 p.m. CST

Updated W/L Records
Kansas all-time: 2,190-837
Bill Self at Kansas: 389-84
Bill Self overall: 596-189
Bill Self vs. Georgia: 1-0

Jr. G Frank Mason III (43/82)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (41/41)
Fr. G Josh Jackson (5/5)
So. F Carlton Bragg Jr. (5/5)
Sr. C Landen Lucas (24/38)

Josh Jackson, Kansas (MVP)
Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Tyler Cavanaugh, George Washington
Yante Maten, Georgia

Kansas moved to 4-0 all-time against Georgia, winning the programs’ first match-up since the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout.

• Kansas improved to 10-1 all-time in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic and claimed its second event championship after also winning in 2012.
• Three Jayhawks and one Bulldog were named to the CBE Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team with KU’s Josh Jackson voted as the Most Valuable Player. The other four players on the all-tournament team included Tyler Cavanaugh (George Washington), Frank Mason III (Kansas), Yante Maten (Georgia) and Devonte’ Graham (Kansas).
• Kansas’ starting guards (Graham, Mason and Jackson) combined for 48 of the Jayhawks’ 65 points.
• Georgia missed its final seven shot attempts of the first half fueling a 5:21 field-goal drought to close the first half down 10 points (35-25). 
• The cold spell contributed to the Bulldogs’ lowest shooting percentage in a half this season (28.6 percent) and for the first time in 2016-17, Georgia didn’t hit a three-pointer in a half (0-for-8). It was Georgia’s worst shooting half since shooting 28.0 percent (7-for-25) against South Carolina in the 2016 SEC Tournament (3/11/16).

• Senior guard Frank Mason III continued to pace Kansas as the Jayhawks’ leading scorer contributed 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point line.
• Freshman guard Josh Jackson logged his first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and also dished out three assists.
• Junior guard Devonte’ Graham hit a trio of three-pointers to lead Kansas from long range and scored 14 points to join the backcourt starters in double figures.
• Redshirt junior forward Dwight Coleby turned in a KU-career-best 20 minutes and led all players with four blocked shots to tie his career high set with Ole Miss against Florida (2/22/14).
• For the second time in less than a week, sophomore guard Lagerald Vick snagged eight rebounds, tying a career-high.


Bill Self

On Frank’s consistency:
“He was good today for a stretch. He got tired mentally. He checked out there for awhile in the second half, but he’s a tough little kid and certainly when he drives the ball he can get other guys shots and create for himself. I thought the zone totally neutralized him for about 10 minutes in the second half, but if we didn’t have Frank (Mason) or Devonte’s (Graham) or Josh (Jackson). That would have been a pretty lopsided loss. Fortunately, those three carried us.”

On what went wrong for the bigs:
“Everything. Dwight (Coleby) was by far the best big we had and he had two points and four rebounds. They’re just not playing very well and they’re just not playing very smart and not contributing.  They’re good kids and they want to do well, but for whatever reason they have both really struggled. Those guys have got to play and got to go after the ball. (Yante) Maten is really good, but we’re going to go against some other guys that are really good players too. Hopefully we’ll get those guys going in a positive direction and play like they’re capable of playing because we’ve all seen what they’re capable of doing. We’re just struggling right now in those positions.”

On playing zone:
“If you can’t guard their bigs and you can’t rebound out of the man. We had to try to do something to keep the ball out of Juwan’s (Parker) hands.”

On what allows Josh to be successful in the zone:
“He’s tall. He’s 6’8 and he’s a good passer and he’s got good feel and he’s a good finisher. He’s pretty good at those floaters and things like that. He’s just a natural in there.”

On Josh’s ability to play anywhere:
“He’s definitely unique from guys we’ve had in the past. It’s not unique to try and put him in different spots because you want to try and post him a little bit and do some things. The bottom line is he’s just a guard. You play him just like you do Devonte’ (Graham). I don’t think it’s been a lot different. We’ve done some different things to try and get the ball in his hands, but for the most part he’s just a guard.”

On KU’s fatigue:
“I think if anything, our guys are mentally fatigued just as much as they are physically. Hopefully we can kind of get our batteries recharged and get back to playing with a lot more energy.”

On Coleby’s performance today:
“I thought he belled us out. You can see Dwight is still kind of dragging his leg still. His dad was here from Free Port so it was great that he was able to see his son play some. He got four blocks, but he gets two points and four rebounds and every time he checked out of the game, the fans all cheered for him. It’s all because he tried. He played with energy.  I don’t think it’s that hard to please our fans if you give great effort and play intelligently. He did what he could tonight. He’s never going to score a lot of points, but at least he was able to plug the middle some for us and be a little bit of a presence down there.”

On Lagerald’s confidence:

“Lagerald did some good things. He just hasn’t shot the ball well yet. I know he’s a better shooter than what he’s shot. He takes hard shots. He’s got to be smarter and drive it more because he’s so athletic. The play he made in transition where he got the and one was an unbelievable athletic play. I thought Lagerald did some good things.”

On Frank’s playing time:

“I don’t want him to play 35 minutes. If you have to play four guards all the time then he and Devonte’ are going to have to play 35 minutes. That hasn’t been our intent going into the season at all.”

On Josh making up for the forwards lack of contribution:

“It helps a lot. He’s a guard, but he’s big enough to be able to rebound down there and keep balls alive. He’s a matchup nightmare if you put a big guy on him. Certainly, it’s a big advantage for us.”

Freshman G Josh Jackson

On the locker room message:
Just to keep executing and playing hard like we did in the game. We struggled a bit defensively, made a couple mistakes that we shouldn’t have. I think we do a really good job of going over everything we need to do in scout report and prior to the game. Sometimes when we get to the game we make mistakes.”

On having fun with his teammates:
“So much fun. They make the game so much easier. Not going to lie, sometimes I am able to even take plays off. I won’t even get back if it’s a fast break or something because I know those guys. I trust them so much to score.”

On playing forward:
“It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. When I’m out there playing forward it’s not like I’m playing with my back to the basket. I’m still out there playing as if I was a guard, but just that lineup is so versatile and hard to guard. If we just move the ball it makes the game so much easier.”

On running the offense:
“I don’t know. It’s just whatever coach makes the play call and I follow it. That was the play call he made tonight and it worked out. I trust him to put me in the right position where I feel comfortable and able to score. He did a really good job of that tonight.”

On playing zone defense:
We haven’t really done it much. It was kind of new to us, but obviously, it worked. For our pride, we really wanted to play man, but to win the game – it was more about winning the game – we had to go zone.”

 On being at high post in the zone:
I feel like I can find open guys on the floor. Svi’s out there, he’s knocking down threes, Devonte’, Frank. . . dumping the ball down low. It’s just fun being in that spot because I get to be the guy who decides where the ball goes.”

On what makes Frank Mason III so good:
Definitely his toughness. Frank’s got a lot of heart. His ability to drive to the basket, put his head down and get in there. For a guy his size I’ve never seen anybody be able to finish around the basket as well as he has.”

Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox

Opening Statement:
You’ve got to make shots to win. We didn’t shoot the ball very good, I give Kansas’ defense credit for that. We shot the ball so poorly the first three quarters of the game that we just didn’t score enough to stay in a position to win it. We got to eight and had a silly turnover there in the second half. We had our chances we just didn’t seize the moment. Kansas is a good team, congrats to them on the win.”

On Yante Maten’s performance:
“We felt like Yante was going to be able to be a dominant force in the game. We knew it in the first half, not everybody else was scoring but Yante was scoring every time. Not every time, but he was scoring a lot. We wanted to keep going to him, he was drawing fouls. He was making a lot of really good plays. So, we wanted to keep going to Yante and he was able to continue to score and draw fouls in the second half, but he needs a little help around him. We didn’t shoot the ball well against the zone to hold our lead and stay within striking distance.”

On Self using a zone defense:
“He’s smart. We were able to score against their man and draw fouls. So he’s a smart coach, one of the all-time best. Their zone was effective.”

On the good start to the game:
“We were prepared to play. We thought we could win the game. We’re disappointed we didn’t win the game. We thought we could win the game and we came prepared to play. We didn’t have enough guys chip in. J.J. (Frazier) didn’t have a very good night and for our team to win we need more guys than Yante to finish some plays on the offensive end.”

Georgia junior F Yante Maten

On going up against KU’s bigs:
I practice against Derek (Ogbeide) and Mike (Edwards). In my opinion they’re really good bigs as well. When we play during pick up, we go at it. We don’t ever take a play off. We just make sure that we try our hardest, so when we get out here we won’t be surprised.”

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