KU Routs Rival

KU upheld its home court advantage and blitzed Missouri as round one of rivalry week went to the Jayhawks in dominant fashion.

If you told KU head coach Bill Self his team would have 23 turnovers and one of his preseason All-American candidates would go 2-9 with six points do you think he would've predicted 84 points a 19-point win against rival Missouri? The answer is pretty simple – heck no.

Kansas took a game that was tight for the first eight minutes and broke it open with aggressive play and dominance on the boards. The mindset instilled by Self was clear in this one – attack and score against Missouri's pressure defense and Kansas did just that early and often.

"I thought we played good the first half (with) great energy. We had some unforced turnovers but they were aggressive turnovers and then second half I didn't think we played very well at all," Self continued. "We just kind of traded baskets in the second half but I'm not going to sit here and apologize for beating Missouri by 19."

No apology necessary for KU fans that's for sure.

For Mike Anderson's squad the damage was already done, and although Self was not overly pleased with the finish in this one, KU did enough to keep the Tigers at an arm's length with the 84-65 win. When the team goes back to look at the tape Self will point to the lack of touches for Aldrich especially during the second half with the team struggling a bit. He may also mention that when this team is up by 20 you want to try and win by 30 or 40 and keep developing that "killer mindset." But when the Hawks go back and watch the first half of this one there will be plenty of positives to focus on especially the dominant play by the big men on the glass.

"That's a big number," said Self referring to the 56-28 overall rebounding advantage for KU. "The halftime number was the big number because I think it was like 22 at halftime if I'm not mistaken. Our big guys were unbelievable on the glass in the first half. They were great."

"They" collectively were effective on the glass and on the offensive end. KU's big men certainly came ready to play in the first edition of the 2010 Border War. Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, and Cole Aldrich combined for 38 points and 36 of the team's 56 rebounds in this game. Marcus continued his hot play scoring 11 of his team-high 17 in the first half. Aldrich was everywhere. Cole went 4-5 from the floor, grabbed 16 rebounds, and let nothing get by him on defense with seven blocked shots.

"Some of the guys were saying you gotta get a few more blocks," Aldrich told reporters after being asked if he was aware he was close to a triple-double. "Whether I was close or not I still try to block shots. I thought I had one more but I guess I fouled him. That's alright. I had a blast tonight."

"He's played great. I'll have Chris go back and check the stats, but it feels like he got cheated on some blocks or some rebounds tonight. I thought he had more than that. I thought he was dominant and he was moving better," Self said.

The Kansas offense also got a huge lift on the perimeter from junior marksman Tyrel Reed. Reed was 5-6 from the floor including 4-4 from three-point range. Reed was always ready to shoot on any penetration and pitch out and he proved when he gets his feet set he is one of the best in this conference at knocking down the long range shot. It is his 14 points that will get people's attention but he has proven to his head coach that he is more mature, better under pressure, and a more complete player this season.

"We had a lot of guys step up and nobody stepped up any bigger than Tyrel (Reed). Tyrel was really great for us tonight," said Self.

Kansas' defense certainly has looked better in recent games and it was again solid Monday night but Missouri shooting 19-68 for this game and just a shade under 28 percent from the floor had little to do with KU and a lot to do with the Tigers.

"That is our inability to execute and be efficient offensively," Missouri head coach Mike Anderson emphatically stated. "I thought we settled for jump shots a lot of the time, but gives Kansas credit for taking the fight to us. They really dominated the glass and that was really surprising to me."

Kansas has proved this season that if you do settle for marginal jump shots you've got no chance against this much talent.

So the first round of KU's rivalry week goes to the crimson and blue and though Mizzou will have to wait for its next chance, their rivals from the Little Apple will be waiting on Saturday.  

"Hopefully, going to Manhattan on Saturday, we'll handle pressure a little better because they are certainly going to get after us," said Self voicing his concern over the turnovers.

"They're two totally different teams," said Aldrich when asked to talk about Missouri and Kansas State. "It is a rivalry game but one's a home game and one's an away game but it's going to be fun. It's College Gameday it's at Bramlage. They're tough. They're really tough. They're going to be a really tough team to beat. We're going to have to play our best to contend with them."

Phog.net Top Stories