Darrell Arthur played with startling efficiency in both halves Monday night in a 90-71 win over archrival Missouri.
It took the super sophomore just two minutes to score a bucket and pick
up three fouls.
Then he scored 11 points in 12 minutes in the second half.
In the interim, KU coach Bill Self looked down the bench and saw Sasha Kaun, who filled the void just fine, thanks. He scored 12 points, eight
on shots that would win just about any game of HORSE this side of Larry
Bird’s house. He also added three rebounds, all on the
Cole Aldrich played 12 minutes and scored six points. More importantly,
though, he pulled down nine rebounds, four on the offensive end, and
forced Missouri players into altering shots from close range.
“Sasha and Cole bailed us out the first half,” KU
coach Bill Self said. “It’s ridiculous Shady
(Arthur) gets three fouls in two minutes, but Sasha and Cole played so
well tonight, it didn’t matter.”
“Cole played terrific. I thought he did an awesome
job,” Kaun said.
Aldrich credited an amped-up Big Monday Allen Field House crowd for his
performance. “We had a great crowd out there tonight. It was
crazy. That gives us an extra boost.”
Self marveled at the improvement Aldrich has made since the opening of
practice and credited the Minnesotan himself, his coaches and his
“He’s just gotten better,” he said.
“Cole’s smart and he picks up stuff quick.
He’ll tell you there are a lot of things he needs
to get better at, but he amazes me. Our players would tell you, from
Late Night to now, it’s unbelievable the progress
he’s made. Danny (Manning) has done a great job with him, but
the other three big guys (Kaun, Arthur and Darnell Jackson) have done a
great job with him.”
Kansas never trailed in the game, getting off to a quick 5-0 start on a
Brandon Rush three-ball and a dunk by Arthur, courtesy of a Rush assist.
MU’s latest delivery from the Lithuanian pipeline, Vaidotas
Volkus, hit two free throws with 2:30 gone to tie the game at 7-7. MU
knotted the score twice more: at 11 all and 13 all just minutes later.
From then on, though, the Jayhawks steadily and efficiently built a
A 7-0 lick made the KU lead 25-17 with 10:45 left in the first half.
Missouri played well for much of the period, but Kansas played just a
little bit better. At each media time-out, KU seemed to have added
three or four more points to their lead. Kansas led, 45-33, by the time
the intermission rolled around.
The second half saw more of the same. KU went on 6-0 and 9-0 mini-runs
in the second half to very quietly separate themselves from the Tigers.
Kansas’ largest lead was 25 with 5:29 left in the game.
Self blamed much of Arthur’s foul trouble – and
Mizzou guard Keon Lawrence’s 25 points – on his own
“Our guards don’t understand that the big guys foul
more when (an opponent’s) guards get in the paint.
We’ve got to do a better job of guarding the ball.”
“It’s a give and take: we don’t guard on
the perimeter, but our big guys have really started to rebound the ball
better,” Self conceded. KU nearly doubled the Tigers up in
rebounding, 48-25. The Jayhawks were particularly impressive on the
offensive boards, pulling down 19.
Self said, “We missed 35 shots and got 19 of ‘em
back, so anytime you’re above fifty percent, that’s
really good. We did a real good job on the glass at both ends, I
Brandon Rush continued to heed his mother’s advice, staying
aggressive, looking for his shot and taking defenders off the dribble.
Rush had 19 points to lead Kansas. He added six rebounds. Self said a
quick beginning to the game is important for Rush to get into an
“He got off to a good start and made a three right off the
bat,” Self said.
Kaun and Rush were joined in double-figures by Arthur with 13, Mario Chalmers with 15 and Sherron Collins with 12.
Chalmers and backcourt mate Russell Robinson combined for 10 assists
(four for Robinson, six for Chalmers) against just two turnovers (one
Missouri was led in points and rebounds by Keon Lawrence –
all 6-2 of him – with 25 points and six rebounds. DeMarre Carroll, J.T. Miller and Leo Lyons each added 13. Only two other MU
players scored and they combined for just seven points.
Self’s concern for about his guard play is especially germane
with a much-improved, guard-heavy Baylor squad coming to Allen Field
House this Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We’ve got to tighten up a lot of things before we
play Baylor because Baylor has as good a group of guards as there are
in our league,” Self said.
KU Sweeps Border War, Basketball Edition
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