Exhibitions are just that, exhibitions. But, the best part about them, is that they provide a team an opportunity to work and get better. That alone makes them valuable. Kansas used Tuesday night's game with Fort Hays State as a chance to improve, as they slugged through a 92-75 victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
With that, the "preseason" is over and on Friday night, they'll begin the long arduous journey for real, when they host Louisiana Monroe. The question will be if the team is ready with a major clash with Duke looming next Tuesday.
"No, no, but I don't know who is," head coach Bill Self said.
The Jayhawks used balanced team scoring to distance themselves from the Tigers, as Perry Ellis and freshman Wayne Selden each scored 13 points. Ellis hauled down seven rebounds. Forward Jamari Traylor also added 11 points and seven rebounds, while super freshman Andrew Wiggins turned in a 10-point effort.
The game itself was relatively uneventful, as the Jayhawks built a 56-36 lead at halftime, keyed by pushing the ball early and often. They would expand the lead to as many as 32 points midway through the second half, before Fort Hays State cut into the lead late.
The game also saw less fouls committed, particularly by Kansas, which had only 15 fouls called against them. The Tigers meanwhile, were whistled 31 times.
With their exhibitions behind them, the Jayhawks will turn their attention to Friday night's opener, which will precede the annual Champions Classic in Chicago. However, they will do so without guard Naadir Tharpe who sit Friday's opener after a minor rules violations that was reported by Kansas to the NCAA that occurred over the summer, meaning that freshman guard Frank Mason will get the opportunity to start in his place for a team that's going to learn in a hurry, as the ride begins, ready or not.
"I don't know who's ready right now, but we don't have a choice. It's time to start." Self said.