Miles and Simien celebrate after a Miles dunk (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Simien, With Authority
We know this officially wasn't Wayne Simien's first game back after a long hiatus due to injury. We also know that All American and Wooden Award candidate Nick Collison scored a team high 24 points and grabbed 14 boards in the 94-87 win over Colorado Wednesday night in Lawrence.
What no one was prepared for was the performance that Wayne Simien, the sophomore from Leavenworth, was about to put forward - even playing through a cloud of pain as he recovers from his recent shoulder dislocation.
Coach Roy Williams described Simien's performance in these quotes from kuathletics.com, "It was maybe as tough as a performance as I have ever seen by a kid who has an injury. You can't describe it. We said it was going to be like an ankle. He's going to tweak it and it would be a little painful for him, but he was going to have to play through that. He had 21 points and 13 rebounds. What he did was mind-boggling. I am as proud as I can be to be involved with Wayne Simien."
Simien was taken out of the game midway through the second half, obviously fatigued and wincing with pain in his right shoulder. Trainers worked on him in the locker room, and Simien was able to return to action. Simien scored his 21 points on 10 for 13 shooting, and managed to rack up the gaudy point and rebound numbers in only 20 minutes of play.
Box Score Highlights
- In addition to Collison and Simien's performance down low, guards Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Miles chipped in 14 apiece, with Keith Langford adding 11.
- Kansas shot only 30% from behind the 3-point line, connecting on only three from behind the arc for the entire game.
- Jeff Graves, who started the night with a nice runout layup (and was fouled in the process), converted the free throw and gave Kansas it's first lead of the game at 3-2. However, that was the last shot from the field that Graves would make all night, and he finished with a below-par (for Jeff) 5 points and 5 boards.
- Colorado's Michael Morandais bombed away from outide, hitting 9-21 shots and scoring a game-high 28 points.