KU still won, 89-59.
The Jayhawks wouldn't have managed that last year when Cole Aldrich and
Sherron Collins carried much of the scoring burden. But this is a new
season for Kansas and more weapons for this deep and talented team.
Buoyed by 19 points each by fab freshman Xavier Henry and rising
sophomore Marcus Morris (he also added 11 rebounds to go with his
career-high points), the Jayhawks coasted to a blowout victory.
Other than some "soft" defensive rebounding the first half, KU coach
Bill Self was pleased with his team's effort. The Jayhawks limited OU
to 33.3 percent from the field while shooting 50 percent themselves and
committing just six turnovers. KU, meanwhile, scored 20 points off of
13 Oakland turnovers and outscored the Golden Grizzlies 13-2 on
"I thought we played really well," Self said. "It was a non-emotional,
slow-paced game and I'm shocked we were able to score 89 points. We
executed really well in the first half. We didn't shoot the ball
unbelievably well but we had some great offensive possessions
considering how they guarded ball screens, which was different than
anybody else. We only worked on that a day or two so we did some good
Oakland (2-3) managed to stay with No. 1 Kansas (4-0) early. KU was up
just 10-8 with 12:57 remaining in the first half before pushing that
lead to 21-14. Still, OU coach Greg Kampe felt great about his team's
ball-controlled game at that time.
But not for long.
KU went on a 16-5 run to put this game away near the end of the first
half. Included in that run were two alley-oop dunks by Henry and a
three-pointer each from Morris and Collins.
"We had a freshman (guard Ledrick Eackles) make a big mistake," Kampe
said. "We were controlling the tempo and keeping it slow. We felt that
if we could rebound and not give up transition baskets that we could
play with them. That was happening and we weren't even making shots.
Then we get a rebound and the freshman flies up the court with the ball
and throws it cross court to Larry Wright, who shoots it. He misses,
they come down and dunk and then dunk again and all of a sudden they
are up 29-14.
"All that work we (did) is gone because we made a mistake. It is a
learning experience and that is why you play these games, but that was
OU began the second half outscoring KU 6-2 to cut into the Jayhawks'
37-22 halftime lead before Self called a 30-second timeout. Kansas
regrouped and went on a 12-2 run to lead 51-30 with 13:48 left in the
That was about enough basketball for the hungry KU fans looking forward
to Thanksgiving. Some of the Allen Fieldhouse crowd began leaving for
the exits with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Junior guard Tyrel Reed was Kansas' other player in double figures with
11 points, while Collins added nine and Elijah Johnson and Markieff Morris scored eight each. Collins scored all nine of his points and
dished out six of his seven assists in the first half. He became sick
at halftime and threw up.
"I thought Sherron was great the first half," Self said. "Sherron
totally controlled the game for us the first half."
Self said Collins hasn't been 100 percent since getting kneed about
three weeks ago.
"But he's not gimping around and he has never complained once," Self
said. "His attitude's been unbelievable."
Self said the same about Aldrich's attitude. The 6-11 center had a
rough night shooting just 2 of 10 from the field for four points, his
lowest total since going scoreless against Memphis in the 2008 national
championship game. Aldrich scored just seven points in his last game
against Central Arkansas.
"I'm sure that he's frustrated," Self said, "but he's as good a kid as
there is and he's so happy when the team does well. He's not going to
dwell on (his tough game)."
Reed said Aldrich isn't 100 percent.
"I know he has been battling the flu and all that good jazz," Reed
said. "He has a good attitude all the time. Most people can't even tell
he's sick because he has such a good attitude. He'll get through it."
And Collins, too, will get through his injury. Self said he
was a key reason why KU cruised to the victory.
"I would have never thought our three returning leading scorers would
score 19 points (sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor scored six of those
19), and we'd win by 30," Self said. "But in large part, the reason we
did was because Sherron understands we got to bring those young kids
"Young kids" like Henry and Marcus Morris
"We had some other guys step up for us," Self said. "There was no
question, (Morris was) the best basketball player on the floor tonight."
X and McMorris Step Up in KU Blitz of Oakland
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