After a couple of weeks of beating up on each other in practice as they prepared for their Canadian exhibition tour, the University of Kansas Jayhawks finally got their chance to play against another team. Unfortunately for the undersized University of British Columbia it meant that they were about to be on the receiving end of an 82-51 beatdown.
With advantages at every position on the court, it was pretty clear that Kansas was going to look to pound the ball into senior big man Wayne Simien, early and often. However, it was six-foot-two senior guard Michael Lee who opened things up by burying a deep three from the right wing after a slick dish from Keith Langford.
On the next trip down the court, Simien nailed a 17-foot jump shot while British Columbia struggled to get anything going against the bigger and more athletic Jayhawks. At the 16:07 mark of the first half, Christian Moody jammed home an errant jump shot from Aaron Miles and the rout was officially on.
Leading the way in the first half was Simien who took control in the paint and scored 14 points on 7-8 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds in the first half. He hit on a variety of mid range jump shots, post moves and also threw in a two handed reverse dunk after winning a scramble for a loose ball near half court. Thanks to Simien’s dominance, Kansas went into halftime enjoying a 39-25 advantage.
Head Coach Bill Self pointed to Simien’s shooting as a key factor in the game.
“Wayne played well, he can shoot the ball really well and he faced up and made some shots today,” said Self. “He’s a special player and he was midseason form today.”
The second half saw more of the same as Simien continued to toy with defenders en route to a game high 24 points and 13 rebounds in only 22 minutes of action. He also picked up some help from freshmen Russell Robinson and C.J. Giles as the Jayhawks pulled away for the victory.
While Giles seven rebounds and four points may seem like somewhat modest numbers, he was an athletic presence in the paint and it was apparent that he bothered his opponents around the hoop.
Afterwards, Robinson was satisfied with his 12 point and three assist outing in his first game.
“I think we played real good for our first time playing against somebody else, we played defense and we played hard most of all,” said Robinson. “You get tired of practicing and stuff and now we get to display our practice in the real games.”
SCORING- Simien 24, Robinson 12, Miles 8, Langford 7, Giddens 6, Moody 6, Lee 5, Giles 4, Galindo 3, Kaun 2, Jackson 2, Vinson 2, Niang 1.