#1-Ranked Jayhawks Pick Up 107-68 Win

The Kansas Jayhawks overcame opening night jitters early to rout the out-manned Fort Hays State University Tigers in exhibition play Tuesday night at Allen Field House.

Senior guard Sherron Collins overcame a slow start to lead six Jayhawks in double figures with 19 points. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor had 15 off the bench. Xavier Henry had 14, junior center Cole Aldrich had 13 to go with 13 rebounds and sophomore forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris added 12 and 10, respectively.

"Well, I thought we started out pretty good, but I though we got stale, offensively," coach Bill Self said. "My biggest thing to me was our carelessness with the ball and obviously we rebounded the ball poorly. We didn't defend the three very well and we didn't do some other things very well."

Self was pleased, however, with his collection of new talent, including Xavier Henry, Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson.

He said, "I thought our young kids played good. I think Elijah's going to be really good, and Xavier should us that he can score the basketball. I thought Thomas played well in the limited time that he was out there. He's got a motor and shoots the ball pretty well. There were some good things that happened tonight."

KU opened the game, 9-2, but the Tigers turned into The Thing That Wouldn't Go Away in a rhythm-less half in which 30 fouls were called (14 by Kansas, 16 by Fort Hays State). KU's lead hovered around nine or 10 points most of the half, and at the 7:43 mark, the Tigers had kept it close, 30-21.

Hays scored at the 3:08 mark to keep Kansas within reach, 42-31. Sherron Collins finally warmed up to hit a three-pointer and then another off a Hays turnover which reset the Jayhawks lead at 17, 48-31. All told, KU finished the half on a 12-4 run to take a 54-35 lead into the intermission.

The second half was more of the same. KU rattled off a 12-0 run to turn the game into a no-brainer, 66-37, by the under-16 timeout in the second half. The Tigers never got closer than 25 in the second period, and they didn't help themselves by committing their seventh team foul and putting Kansas at the charity stripe just 4:38 in.

KU only out-rebounded the Tigers 20-17 in the first half, but FHSU foul trouble – four Tigers fouled out of the contest – and longer, more athletic Jayhawk bodies resulted in a 13-rebound edge, 47-34, by the end of the game. Aldrich led Kansas with 13, Markieff Morris chipped in nine and newcomer forward Thomas Robinson grabbed seven.

It's also worth noting that the Jayhawks had 10 blocks. Aldrich and Markieff Morris each had three.

The Jayhawks see their final exhibition action next Tuesday when another MIAA foe, the Pittsburg State Gorillas, come into venerable Allen Field House. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Other game notes
  • It doesn't quite have the same ring as "New York, NEW YORK!", but the PA announcer may be onto something when he announced starter Cole Aldrich as being from "BLOOOOmington, Minnesota."
  • I'll call the race early: "The Jayhawk Most Likely To Be Stared at a Little Too Long by my Wife" is... Xavier Henry.
  • Xavier Henry, Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson blew the roof off the barn with a steal (Henry), a perfect alley-oop pass (Taylor) and a big dunk (Johnson) early in the second half.
  • Someday, Thomas Robinson will eat Mike Tyson's children. Yeah, he's that bad.
  • Bill Self's antacid bill will almost certainly go down this season, if Markieff and Marcus Morris' improved play Tuesday is any indication.
  • Kansas recorded its 34th straight exhibition victory and 31st consecutive home exhibition victory. KU is now 52-7 all-time in exhibition games. KU improved to 45-4 in exhibition games in Allen Fieldhouse and to 20-0 in exhibition games under coach Bill Self.
  • KU is now 7-0 against Fort Hays State.
  • Kansas used the somewhat-surprising starting lineup of Tyrel Reed, Xavier Henry, Markieff Morris, Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. Tyshawn Taylor came off the bench because, coach Bill Self said, he's been "careless" in practice lately.
  • Nine of 10 players made their first shot. The exception was Collins, who later made three straight three-pointers.
  • Kansas has already matched last season's output of 100 point games: one. KU's only game in which they hit the century mark was Dec. 3, 2008, against New Mexico State.
  • All 10 Jayhawks who played scored.
  • Kansas has scored in the 90s or more against the Tigers in six of their seven meetings.
  • Kansas scored 22 fast break points compared to just six for the Tigers.
  • The last time Kansas tallied 10 blocks as a team was last season against Washington on Nov. 24, 2008.

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