No. 4/5 Kansas shoots light-out to triumph over Stanford, 89-74
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas basketball fans in Allen Fieldhouse gave a warm welcome one of their favorite sons, current Stanford head coach Jerod Haase, but then the ball was tipped. Haase, who went 42-0 as a player at KU from 1995-97, suffered his first loss in the building as No. 4/5 Kansas won its seventh-straight game with an 89-74 decision over the visiting Cardinal on Saturday afternoon.
Junior guard Devonte’ Graham drained five 3-pointers in the first half to lift Kansas to a 43-35 halftime lead. Graham passed the torch to junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who guided the Jayhawks in the second half with 13 points on three 3-pointers – all in the last 10 minutes of the contest.
Senior guard Frank Mason III continued his steady production with his fifth 20-point game of the season, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five assists in 35 minutes.
Stanford entered the game holding opponents to 39 percent shooting, but Kansas (7-1) registered a 52 percent shooting clip on the day, including 12-of-22 from 3-point range.
Reid Travis led the Cardinal (6-3) with 29 points to set an Allen Fieldhouse record for free throws made and attempted by an opponent, finishing 19-of-22 at the free throw line for a game-high 29 points.
Freshman guard Josh Jackson, who posted 13 points and four assists, helped Kansas start with a boom – connecting with Udoka Azubuike for an alley-oop jam on KU’s first offensive possession.
Graham went on to make his first 3-pointer of the day to put Kansas up, 11-9, but the Cardinal rallied for an 8-0 run to take the lead.
The Jayhawks started with a four-guard lineup with center Azubuike but shifted to a two-center lineup with Azubuike and senior Landen Lucas to rally from its early 17-11 deficit. KU’s big-man look stuffed Stanford out the paint to force a three-minute scoring drought.
Graham helped Kansas get past the early hump with his third trey of the game which gave Kansas the go-ahead lead, 20-19 with 9:20 remaining in the half. Graham drained back-to-back 3-poiners to extended KU’s lead to 10 points before going into halftime with a 43-35 lead.
Graham reached 15 first-half points with the third-most 3-pointers in a half in Kansas history (five).
Kansas turned on the afterburners to start the second half with Jackson making a jumper on the first possession, followed by a steal and another fast-break alley-oop to Azubuike off the backboard. Down the stretch, Kansas put on a show as Jackson flushed an alley-oop pass, Mason banked-in a tilting layup while crashing to the floor, and Mykhailiuk knocked down 3-pointers from the wing that sent the lead ballooning toward 20 late in the game.
Mykhailiuk scored all of his 13 points with under 10 minutes remaining to help Kansas run away with the 89-74 victory.
Kansas continues its six-game homestand when its hosts UMKC on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Central. It will be the last game of the season televised by Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Sr. G Frank Mason III (8/85)
So. G Lagerald Vick (3/3)
Jr. G Devonte’ Graham (8/44)
Fr. G Josh Jackson (8/8)
Fr. C Udoka Azubuike (3/3)
• Kansas now leads the all-time series against Stanford, 9-3.
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (247th-consecutive sellout)
• Moves the Jayhawks to 7-1 for the 10th time in the Bill Self era.
• Extends the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 46 games.
• Makes KU 749-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse.
• Improves Bill Self’s record to 392-84 (.824) while at Kansas and 599-189 (.760) all-time.
• Gives KU a 210-9 (.959) home record under Bill Self.
• Moves KU’s all-time record to 2,193-837.
• Kansas knocked down 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from beyond the 3-point line, marking the third-straight game Kansas shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc. Through this period, the Jayhawks are shooting 56.5 percent from three (39-69).
• Kansas’ bench contributed 29 points, the highest output by the Jayhawk bench this season and the most since pouring in 45 against Austin Peay on March 16, 2016.
• The Jayhawks beat the Stanford by 15 points, 89-74, marking the fourth-straight double-digit victory.
• Kansas turned the ball over nine times, the least in any game of the 2016-17 season and the fewest since recording only five against Iowa State on March, 5 2016.
• Stanford forward Reid Travis was 19 for 22 from the free throw line. Both figures marked the most by a Kansas opposing player in program history.
• Stanford’s free throw makes (30), attempts (37) and percentage (81 percent) were season-highs for a Kansas opponent.
• KU held Stanford to a season-low two three-pointers.
Senior G Frank Mason III
• Recorded a season-low one turnover. Since giving up a season-high five turnovers against Georgia on Nov. 22, Mason has posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3:1 in his next three outings.
• Finished the night with 20 points, making it seven out of eight games this season with at least 18 points.
• With his 20 points, Mason moved past Eric Chenowith (1,281) and Jo Jo White (1,286) into number 30 on Kansas’ all-time scoring list with 1,289.
Junior G Devonte’ Graham
• Shot 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from three, his third-straight game shooting 50% or better from the 3-point arc. Each of his five threes were netted within the first 15 minutes of the game. Graham has hit 16 threes in his last five outings.
• Posted 15 points to mark his seventh time scoring in double-figures this season.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick
• Contributed eight points off of 3-of-6 shooting. Since entering the starting lineup against UNC-Asheville (Nov. 25), Vick has shot 82 percent (18-of-22) from the field in his last three appearances.
Freshman F Josh Jackson
• Recorded the seventh-consecutive double-figure scoring game of his Kansas career, finishing the night with 13 points.
• Racked up three steals on the night, marking the third three-steal game of his career. He has tallied at least one steal in seven of the Jayhawks’ eight games.
Freshman F Udoka Azubuike
• Matched his season high with three blocks in just 11 minutes of action. He’s recorded at least one rejection in seven of the Jayhawks’ eight games this year.
Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
• Shot 50 percent or better from behind the arc for the third-straight game.
• All 13 of his points came in the final 20 minutes of action, which included a three-of-five mark from three-point range.
Kansas head coach Bill Self
“You take away how we defended their post and free throws, I thought we actually played pretty good. I thought our first shot defense was good. We played out of foul trouble with our bigs, but I thought that all of our perimeter players: Devonte’ (Graham), Josh (Jackson), Svi (Mykhailiuk) and Lagerald (Vick), I thought they were all very positive contributors in the end. Our bigs productively played a little better, we just don’t play very smart so we’ve got to do a lot of things to correct that. I think it was a pretty solid win. We just didn’t have an answer for their big (Reid Travis).”
On Stanford forward Reid Travis’ 19-22 free throws and Kansas bigs fouling:
“Yeah, that’s not good. We made so many dumb fouls. It’s like if you play four big guys, it’s okay if they make dumb fouls because there’s somebody else you can put in. Our four big guys fouled 17 times. Seventeen times basically guarding one guy. Unbelievable. How many times did we foul at 94 feet where they just walked the length of the court and made two free throws? I think it was four. Certainly, we’ve got to tighten things up and know when the other team is in the bonus or close to the bonus we’ve got to play a lot smarter. All in all, we did some good things and offensively. I think we really drove the ball downhill and I thought we actually shot the ball very well.”
On Svi (Mykhailiuk) scoring big late in the second half:
“They cut it to 10 if I’m not mistaken and then Carlton (Bragg Jr.) got trapped in the short corner and made a bad pass to Frank (Mason III). Frank made an unbelievable athletic play to save that ball and then fed Svi for a three. I think that kind of eliminated their hope, but I thought that Svi played well. He moves the ball, sometimes we get some ball holders and he was good. We’ve just got to develop a little more of an inside presence and not worry about offense, just worry about being able to protect the rim and rebound and keep the guys off the line. We’ve got enough bigs (that) we should be better at that than we are and that’s got to be our focus.”
On Frank Mason III’s game:
“Frank was a little out of it the other night, but he was good today. The thing that was impressive was that he didn’t score the ball early in the game. I think he had four (points) at halftime and he goes and gets an effortless 20. He’s so good at driving that ball downhill.”
On sharing the ball:
“We shared the ball – 20 assists and nine turnovers – we shared it well, we made the extra pass for the most part. I still think there are some things we could do to get better, but I was encouraged by some of our play today.”
Kansas junior guard Devonte’ Graham
On whether he enjoys scoring or assisting more:
“I enjoy winning. Whatever it is I have to do to help us win, whether it’s passing or scoring, whatever it is I try to do it.”
On working around Stanford’s defense:
“We knew from the beginning of the game, we talked about it, that they pack the lane. [We talked about] how we were going to have to drive, pitch and drive it again because they do a good job of not letting guys get to the rim. I think we did a good job of moving the ball, attacking bad close outs and just having that confidence.”
On Stanford’s head coach being a KU alum:
“Coach [Self] gave us a talk before the game about how the fans loved him and he was one of the best loved guys on campus. I know he was big time here and people loved him here.”
On the guards scoring more:
“It’s being in attack mode all the time. Coach is always on us about making plays and staying in the lane.”
On the value of a strong roster:
“It’s hard to guard, a lot of teams are in strong help or trying to pack the lane. If they try to pack the lane we have guys who can make open jumpers and then if they try to close out, we have guys on the perimeter who can drive by and make plays for others. It’s good for us to have all of those threats and it’s a nightmare for others.”
Kansas senior center Landen Lucas
On how it feels to be back:
“I enjoy winning. Whatever it is I have to do to help us win, whether it’s passing or scoring, whatever it is I try to do it.”
On Stanford’s forwards:
“Personally, as a big, (we) were not very happy with that. We have to do better on the post. At the end of last year we figured out how to guard. It’s our job to take away the inside game and we haven’t done that this year. I think that we might be too concerned about fouls early on this season, but we still have to find a way to make sure our man doesn’t get position like they did today. They caught it at the free throw line 22 times.”
On if there are other forwards comparable to Stanford’s Reid Travis:
“I’m sure there are. Off the top of my head, I don’t know if I can name anyone. The Big 12 (Conference) has great bigs so this isn’t going to be the last time we face someone with talent. We’ve got to fix that.”
Kansas junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
On what’s it like to be on a run scoring-wise:
“It gives you and your team confidence. We were up 10 or 12 points and then we were up 20. We felt better and just kept playing our game.”
On if the team has more confidence this year when it comes to shooting 3-point shots:
“Yes. Frank, Devonte’ and Josh (all) drive the ball and I’m just getting more looks. It’s easier to make if no one is guarding you.”
On Devonte’ Graham being hot in the first half:
“Yes, he made five threes and he definitely was on fire. He kept us going in the first half.”
On how he feels about the way the team played:
“On the post (Reid Travis) we didn’t do a great job this game. Reid shot I think 17 free-throws. We just need to do a better job on the block.”
On the biggest thing the team has to work on guarding opponents’ post players:
“Today we tried to trap him but it gave them a lot of free points and it gave us troubles because our guys had four fouls, so we just need to play more carefully.”
On if the guards need to work on their defensive as well:
“Definitely. In the Big 12 (Conference), other teams have really good bigs and going into the (NCAA) Tournament, every team has great bigs so we need to improve that.”
On how players feed off each other shooting wise:
“Everyone can shoot. Some days it is one guy, other days it can be another guy. We’re not worried about our shooting, we’re just worried about defense.”
Stanford head coach Jerod Haase
On his feelings of coming back to Lawrence:
“It was certainly an emotional day. My emotions right now are more frustrated that we didn’t perform at a higher level, but I am also very proud of the way our guys performed. For me personally it means a lot (because of) the reception and the relationships and experiences I had here.”
On the performance of junior F Reid Travis:
“Reid is a monster. It’s fun because he is an easy guy to cheer for. I told someone today that the Kansas fans will appreciate Reid Travis. He does everything right. He is a workhorse and a high-character person. The way he handles his academics, his personal life, and just day-to-day things, let alone the basketball side of things (is impressive).”
On any unexpected emotions in returning to Allen Fieldhouse:
“I don’t know that there was one moment. There are a number of people that I have kept in touch with and some I haven’t. I remember clearly the first time I walked into Allen Fieldhouse when I was first recruited by Kansas. I think I will probably remember the first time at shoot around today when I walked into the arena and saw what it looks like. It looks phenomenal. It has a bit of a different feel than when I played to be honest. But they have done a great job keeping it up and making it pristine. And the sound on the scoreboard works pretty well too, it was loud.”
On Reid Travis’ improvement at the free throw line:
“What he has done with his free throws and his shooting is unbelievable. For him to make 19 free throws last year would have taken him probably 50 or 60 attempts. So for him to do it in 22 attempts speaks volumes to his character. For somebody to change their shot in college is a very rare thing, especially during the summer when we have such limited time with him to say, ‘This is what you need to do now do it.’
On the performance of Kansas guards Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham:
“Pretty good. Needless to say, they are getting a lot of accolades and they should be. They are a phenomenal backcourt. They have the combination of shooting, decision making, quickness and toughness. As a coach those are the things you certainly look for.”
On the challenge of defending the 3-point shot:
“We had a clear goal of keeping the ball out of the paint and we were trying to do that in the first half. Six of their first seven threes were in transition or out-of-bounds plays. So I think we actually did a decent job in our half-court defense of really getting in tight and making a tough shot. Bad shots and turnovers led to shots in transition. There’s no doubt in my mind we could take away all of the 3-point shots in the world. But you’re not going to take away all of the dribble penetration and dunks at that point. They’re a good team for a reason, because they aren’t one dimensional. They have the ability to get in the paint, they have bigs who can score and they have players that can light it up. We know who we want to be defensively. We are building our fundamentals and our identity. I like what we are doing, but there is room for improvement as well.”
Stanford junior forward Reid Travis
On being aggressive with only two fouls:
“I feel like my teammates did a great job of establishing me early, hitting me when I was open in the post. Coaches were telling us we had to be big in the paint, so before the game I just knew that I had to draw a lot of fouls and get us in bonus, get us to the line early and get our rhythm going. When my teammates helped, that really helped me get going.”
On how head coach Jarod Haase prepared them for the Allen Fieldhouse atmosphere:
“We have a lot of experience on this team. I don’t think he needed to do too much. It’s going to be loud or it’s going to be rocking, nothing like that. We have a lot of veterans on the team, we’ve played in games like this before. So we were poised with confidence coming into the game.”
On the environment:
“It was great. It’s one of the better arenas I have played in before. It’s definitely top-notch and I had a lot of fun.”
On Coach Haase receiving a standing ovation pregame:
“I’m not surprised at all. Right when we got off the plane people were running to shake his hand. Someone was telling me on the plane ride over here that he’s a legend (at Kansas). We definitely saw that with the ovation.”
On being 19-of-22 from the free throw line:
“It’s been a big piece of my game. Last year and the year before, I struggled with it. Last spring and summer I really made that an emphasis, to really work on my foul shots. It’s just nice to see it coming through with making it like that. I’m pleased, but it can still get better.”
On getting guys in foul trouble:
“I enter every game with that mindset. If I can get my man two quick fouls in the first half, he’s got to sit, they’ve got to bring someone else in, it just ruins team’s rotations. If I can get their bigs in foul trouble, then they’ve got to find different ways to scheme and do stuff like that. So, that’s always on my mind, trying to get guys quick fouls.”
On Kansas’ adjustments:
“Every team adjusts. They’d be silly not to. When we’re bringing the double team, maybe they started telling guys to flash or cut harder on the opposite side, but that comes down to us too. We have to adjust as they adjust. We’ve got to start cutting off passes and close out harder.”
Stanford junior forward Michael Humphrey
On defending Kansas:
“I thought we had a really good game plan. They hit some threes, which was difficult, but I wouldn’t say there was any one thing that stuck out. I just think overall, as a team, we didn’t execute as well as we needed to, but we’ll figure that out and bounce back.”
On takeaways from tonight’s game:
“I think we can play at a high level. We have to do it for 40 minutes, which we didn’t do today. I think like Coach (Haase) said after the game, we’re confident in ourselves that we can be a high-level team.”
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